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C.N. Grinnell
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Company Background

"Artisans of the Valley specializes in hand crafted custom woodworking, including period furniture reproductions and custom built-in furniture. Hand crafted woodworking enhances the unique atmosphere of your home, and is as artistic as a painting, a stained glass window, or sculpture. Woodworking, free standing or built-in, can accent your home and bring a warm rich feeling to any room unlike that of any other material. We work with wood as a medium for our art, carrying on a tradition passed on through generations; we do not simply build cabinets and furniture."

- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

Artisans of the Valley - Master Craftsman Stanley D. Saperstein photo by Henry SchweberArtisans of the Valley was conceived in 1972 by Stanley D. Saperstein, at the time living in Ewing Township, NJ. The business started with simple commissions for household furniture, carvings, and accessories.

As Stanley progressed with his formal training (defined below) and gained experience he expanded into more elaborate projects as well as beginning to offer antique restoration and conservation services. Stanley received his journeyman papers in 1977.

The business moved to Hopewell Township (Pennington), NJ in 1979, also known as Hopewell Valley. The move gave Stanley a larger shop and the transition to a formal Master. Within a few years upgrades in equipment and the coming of age of his son Eric allowed Stanley to begin offering built-in configurations including entertainment centers and libraries.

Artisans of the Valley - Master Craftsman Eric M Saperstein photo by Henry SchweberEric entered the shop at about 10 years old and by Jr. High he became more useful with basic skillets in finishing and holding the other end of lumber and plywood.

From Eric's teenage years through into his mid-twenties Eric's experience and skills grew into the journeyman level. By the year 2000 he had reached the point where he was considering taking over the shop with Stanley entering some health issues and the perspective IT job market taking a bit of a plunge after September 11th, the official transition of Artisans of the Valley to a new master began late in 2001.

Eric operated the shop with Stanley's support and oversight through the next seven years. Stanley, now almost 30 years a Master Craftsman, finally conceded that Eric's skillet had reached the level of a master by 2008. To commemorate the occasion Eric decided to commission a formal parchment, hand scribed and hand illuminated.

Stanley & Eric's journeyman and master's papers are featured below under "Craftsman - A Definition."

Photo by Frank Jacobs Eric Saperstein and Stanley Saperstein

Photo by Frank Jacobs of The Trenton Times: Stanley & Son Eric shown in our Pennington, NJ shop - January 2002

All of the works proceeded by commission, including furniture, carvings, sculpture, folk art, and other artistic pieces are personally signed and dated to insure clear identification and prove artistic history. Many of Stanley's early works are signed in black pen or lead pencil, sealed with shellac.

Pieces produced from 2001 forward received an engraved brass plaque noting their origin with Artisans of the Valley, and our signatures are hand burned into the framework to form a permanent mark

Many works are signed by Stanley and Eric as individuals, others are signed by the father/son artists as a joint piece.

Craftsman - A Definition

A master craftsman is one who has studied every aspect of his art for many years under an established master craftsman. In the art of reproducing period furniture, Stanley D. Saperstein is such a craftsman.

Mr. Saperstein has studied the arts of woodcarving, joining, designing, and finishing under master craftsman C. N. Grinnell, whose family have been master woodcarvers and cabinetmakers since 1614.

Stanley has learned the skills that have been passed down from generation to generation, his pedigree is documented in the form of Journeyman Papers.

Original Journeyman Papers(View larger picture)Journeyman papers were often scribbled notes offering the assurances of a master craftsman that their apprentice had reached journeyman level. Mr. Grinnell took great joy in presenting this simple note to Stanley upon completion of his apprenticeship.


Formal Journeyman Paper(View Larger Image)

Stanley had to have something to frame, so he had Mr. Grinnell sign this parchment, written in calligraphy, authenticating his training.

Stanley spent the next twenty some odd years perfecting his craft and preparing his son Eric to take on the role of Master Craftsman in order to continue his legacy. The formal proclamation was extended in the form of a hand scribed illuminated parchment on January 2nd, 2008.

From this date forth, Eric has the right to carry the title of Master Craftsman.

Artisans of the Valley: Hand Scribed Illuminated Manuscript Eric M. Saperstein's Journyman & Master's Papers by Rosemary Buczek Artisans of the Valley: Hand Scribed Illuminated Manuscript Eric M. Saperstein's Journyman & Master's Papers by Rosemary Buczek

Scroll Artwork by Rosemary Buczek

Photography by Henry Schweber

Artisans of the Valley
Hand Crafted Custom Woodworking & Museum Quality Antique Restoration
Pennington, NJ

Be it known that I Stanley D. Saperstein master of the shop known as Artisans of the Valley hereby do transfer the name of my shop and my Title of Master to my son Eric M. Saperstein who has followed in my footsteps earning the title of Ars Artisan of Custom Furniture Making and all its branches.

I hereby certify that my son has fulfilled his obligations as my apprentice from the age of ten through the 2 day of the year 2000.

I hereby certify that my son has demonstrated to my satisfaction his abilities as a journeyman furniture maker by delivery of a series of master's pieces designed, joined, carved, and finished by his hands.

I hereby certify that my son has demonstrated to my satisfaction his abilities as a journeyman in furniture restoration by completion of a series of master's level restorations.

I hereby proclaim to have fulfilled my obligation as the fifth generation set forth by the tradition of my teacher Fourth Generation Master C.N. Grinnell and the masters before him to pass on our trade and heritage.

I now transfer this title to my son as the sixth generation of master woodworkers formally trained in the Grinnell family tradition.

Ergo I take the title of Master Emeritus and set my signature to this document on the 2 day of the year 2008.

Stanley D. Saperstein


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Artisans of the Valley
Hand Crafted Custom Woodworking

Stanley D. Saperstein
Eric M. Saperstein
Our studio and showrooms are open by appointment.
Please call ahead so we don't miss you!
(609) 637-0450
Fax (609) 637-0452