Artist Jenifer Herman sits with the cabinet she made out of the old red door to her grandmother’s house.
Cicero It was just over a year ago when Jenifer Herman, proprietor of Red Door Artisans decided to tear down the original farmhouse (childhood home of both her mom and grandmother) in order to build what was to become a new home for local artists and artisans to showcase and sell their creations. Sitting in the center of a parcel of land that holds the current homes of Herman and her siblings, the old farmhouse needed too much work to make for a suitable contemporary home, but it was an ideal spot to grow her family homestead into a small family business. When the property was being readied for demolition, Herman went through and found objects that would be of later use — old doorknobs, bric-a-brac and, the one most important piece, her grandmother’s original red door, which she had thrown into her garage waiting for the time when she would need it.
Herman is an engineer by trade. But seven years ago, she took a class in tile-making and shortly thereafter bought a kiln. As is the story of so many who find expression in the arts, she was immediately drawn to ceramics. Her ceramic bowls and trays and vases line one of the walls of her shop. The impulse to begin the business was due in part to the accumulation of objets d’art that emerged from her hand.
Part boutique, part museum, Herman is proud of the range of goods she offers her clients and proud, too, of those twenty-seven local artists she has helped to showcase. Enter and find original art, both framed and unframed: watercolor, acrylics, photography, wood marketry and stained glass. You’ll also find beautiful hand-painted furniture, quilts and knits and felted pieces and handmade jewelry. Herman’s ceramic tiles are found in beautiful trays and in furniture.