About Us

The Handmade Effect brings to the community skilled instructors committed to sharing their knowledge with others. Our workshops take place at the Friends School of Portland, in their new net zero passive house building nestled in the woods of Cumberland, Maine.

We believe art takes many forms and is found in many places. From woodworking to textiles and shoemaking we offer workshops that guide our adult and teenage participants through techniques and ideas useful in making beautiful and often functional items.


Art is for everyone, everyday - to use, to make, to see, to hold. The Handmade Effect welcomes all students - all ages, all backgrounds, all abilities.

We foster a rich and diverse community experience where thoughtfulness, kindness, integrity, and the joyful exchange of knowledge is highly valued.

We see a richness embedded in objects created by hand - the marks, imagery, and material connections, all giving certain signs of human care and involvement.

We overlap and draw connections within a wide range of disciplines including textiles, woodworking, drawing, painting and printmaking.

We promote the use of environmentally sound practices and ecologically sustainable materials.

Who We Are

Laura Glendening, Director

Laura has been an art teacher in schools and community programs for over 25 years. She has worked to organize programs that bring art to people of all ages through classes, camps and gallery exhibitions. Laura works primarily with textiles these days - felting & sewing.

Ella Jenness, Marketing Director

Ella is equals parts organizer, process/structure builder, storyteller and doer. She enjoys watching the creative process unfold and believes we all have an innate ability to tell our own stories through that process.

Nathaniel Chalfant, Designer

Nathaniel has worked doing drafting and CAD work for the past few years, and occasionally takes freelance graphic design work for local businesses. Growing up he was surrounded by people who created things with their own hands, and learned the value of making something yourself from those experiences.


Susan Hanley

An accomplished seamstress and embroiderer who has spent many years studying historic textiles, needlework and handcrafts. Susan began embroidering as a child and through the years - working, raising children and grandchildren - thread and cloth have been a constant.  She teaches a great diversity of handwork and outdoor living skills in community programs.


Marjorie Cormier

Learned pie making at her mother's pastry board. She bakes "My Pie" in her home bakery and sells them at the Farmington Farmers' Market.  She's perfected a flaky and buttery-good pie crust that appeals to even the most discriminating of pie fanciers.

Harvey Johnson, Carpenter

A builder and fixer of things, Harvey is most at home in his workshop, with a tool in hand and a project in mind. While skilled with tools of all types, Harvey prefers the intimacy of hand tools, and enjoys teaching others how to make beautiful things out of woods using only their hands and a few sharp tools

Chris and Ashirah Knapp

Are educators and homesteaders.  For the past 20 years they have crafted the majority of their food, shelter and fuel from the land.  The brown ash basket plays a prominent role in their everyday life.  In 2008 the Knapps co-founded Koviashuvik Local Living School in Temple Maine, where they work with schools, families and individuals teaching folk arts, and modern-day sustainable living.


Sharon Raymond, Shoemaker

Twenty-five years ago Sharon, while at a commune in the UK, realized you could make your own footwear and her life was transformed. Since then she has been helping people make their own footwear. She is committed to making footwear ecologically, all her processes avoid toxic she cements and new petroleum-based soling and use materials such as layers of inner tubes and vegetable tanned leather.

For more info please see Sharon's website: simpleshoemaking.com

We are grateful for the support of Rachel Bingham Kessler, Anne Gresinger, and Friends School of Portland in helping to make this program possible.