GARRETT COUNTY, Md. – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business, this week visited two unique Maryland business locations whose renowned artisans draw tourists and boost local economies with products they produce by hand.
“I’ve long known that the landscapes of Garrett County are inspirational, but to see it reflected in so many different creations was truly special,” said Senator Cardin. “From amazingly detailed bird carvings to some of the finest hand-blown glass in the world, there are a wide range of distinctive items hand-made right here in Western Maryland.”
Senator Cardin first toured the Spruce Forest Artisan Village in Grantsville, Md., where numerous artists produce and market their handcrafts in historic wide-planked log cabins clustered along the bank of the Casselman River. Spruce Forest provides visitors with the chance to interact directly with artists in their studios, and to learn lessons from the past via interpretative exhibits focused on history.
Senator Cardin also toured the production facility and retail outlet of Simon Pearce in Mountain Lake Park, Md., where visitors can ascend catwalks to watch master glassblowers shape molten ingots into functional and decorative items whose quality is celebrated in homes around the world. Based in Vermont, Simon Pearce opened its Western Maryland facility in 1999; it has proven to be vitally important to the company’s continued growth.
“From Nestlé Dreyer’s Ice Cream and Volvo Truck Group, to Paul Reed Smith Guitars, Heavy Seas Brewery and many others, it has been tremendously helpful to for me to listen to the needs of local businesses and take real ideas back to Washington. The federal government should be a partner, not an obstacle, helping to assist these great companies as they strive to be the best and most innovative in their field,” Senator Cardin added. “’Made in Maryland’ is my way to highlight the diverse products being produced in our great state and companies that are reinvesting in their employees and our local communities.”