‘We can build a snowman’

November 29, 2023

Sue Bainton, Sue Hopp and Barb Davidson display their finished product.

‘We can build a snowman’

By Ron Beeber, Contributing Writer

PENTWATER — “In the meadow we can build a snowman, and we’ll pretend that he is Parson Brown” is a favorite lyric from the holiday song “Winter Wonderland.” 

Did this popular tune inspire Sue Hopp to recently conduct a wooden snowman-making class at the Pentwater Artisan Learning Center for 15 members to each build and decorate one of their own? 

Jodee Melse with a pair of completed snowmen.

“Not really. I recently saw at a friend’s house a wooden snowman that she bought, and I wondered if members could make them here,” Hopp explained.  “So I took my friend’s snowman to Barry Freed in the artisan center’s woodworking area. He started doing mockups, and helped me finalize the design. Once we got it just right, Barry cut out the 21 wood pieces needed to form a snowman. And then he made 15 snowman kits that the students could use to build their own snowman here at the center.”  

That’s certainly a lot easier than building a snowman out in the freezing cold. PALC member-students were also given a packet of nails, glue, paint, brushes, fabric, buttons,

Juanita Pierman, Beth Russell and Jim Attridge work on their snowmen.

charcoal and greens that they used — along with their own decorations — to personalize their snowmen.     

“This is what Gene lived for,” added PALC co-founder Barb Davidson about her late husband’s motivation.  “Gene wanted to start a place where everyone could get together and use their smarts to help mentor everyone.”

The nonprofit artisan center has so far raised a bit more than half of the $250,000 it needs to repair, replace, and add new equipment. For more information, call 231-869-5323. Tax deductible contributions can be charged to a credit card by logging onto oceanafoundation.org/give/our-funds. In the “Search Funds” box, enter “Equipping the Pentwater Artisan Learning Center for the Next 20 Years Fund.”  Click on “Give Now,” and then scroll down to where the words “Equipping …” are shown in a gray background. Click on those words, and the background shading will turn blue.  Then, follow the prompts to charge a contribution.

Jodee Melse and Jane Gooding

Sue Bainton, Khris Kelleher, Barb Davidson and Judy Jankowski work on their projects in the artisan center.





Sue Hopp and Barb Davidson

Jodee Melse, Jane Gooding, Sue Hopp and Barb Davidson

Sue Hopp