The Shelburne Craft School has hired a new executive director.
An architect by training, Claire Gear comes to the school from Yestermorrow Design Build School in Waitsfield. She’s lived in Vermont for the past seven years, most recently moving to Shelburne from Charlotte.
Gear studied at Syracuse University, the University of Maryland and the University of Washington and worked for 10 years as an architect.
Gear calls herself a “lifelong learner.”
“My professional work as an architect focused on the marriage between beautiful, functional space and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels through high-performance buildings,” she said.
At Yestermorrow, Gear was executive and operations director.
“When I am asked if I miss being an architect, I usually say, ‘I am still an architect!’ But I use my skills in design, creativity and communication to lead not-for-profits, rather than architectural teams. My daily work doesn’t produce buildings, but it is focused on people, beauty and craft.”
Gear said she grew up in a woodshop, and loves working with wood. “At the Craft School I am very much looking forward to exploring the visual arts, clay and glass and anything else we think up for our programming,” she said.
Gear replaces Sage Tucker-Ketcham, who led the school for the past eight years. Board member Andrew Everett said Gear impressed the board of directors and the school’s staff in the interview process. “She brings tremendous experience and energy to the role and I am excited to see where she leads the organization in the coming years,” Everett said.
Gear said the craft school has a “transformative power” in its approach with both children and adults, professional artisans and beginners who look to work with their hands and make connections in the community.