Scott & Jill Stowers
The Wood Frog
Homestead arts: Woodworking furniture, games and novelties, soap, candles, jams, jellies, demonstrations, and classes
Thur–Sat 10-5; closed Sun–Wed
Year round by appointment
1294 McLary Road, Nashville
On their modern homestead in Brown County, Scott and Jill Stowers bring together traditional skills with a modern interpretation.
They offer handmade soaps and candles, traditionally preserved foods, plus fine woodworking, all in a setting including gardens and farm animals.
“When most people think of a homestead, they imagine something like Little House on the Prairie,” says Scott. “What’s fantastic, though, is that anyone can create a sense of place in their own space to homestead, and we are no different.”
The Stowers use inputs from their own land to create an experience that is both functional and charming. Products range from the unique and artistic to the functional and traditional, and all resources are locally sourced.
“Our work offers a glimpse into how the skills, crafts, and lifestyle of our ancestors is attainable even in our modern culture,” says Jill.
Scott and Jill are largely self-taught, and have slowly increased their skills over time, moving from hobbyists to professionals.
Scott has always been drawn to expressive creativity, and tinkered with a number of mediums before settling on woodworking.
“I select locally milled pieces of wood,” he explains, “with an eye for the character of the wood. Creating pieces in our wooded surroundings allows for a sense of the complete circle.”
Jill has never been able to stay out of the kitchen.
“A family history of farming and self-sufficiency has left in me a love of traditional food preservation,” she says.
As their homestead has grown, they’ve added hand crafted soaps and candles. Even the kids often help in making soap or pouring candles.
A typical day in the life of The Wood Frog starts with tending the farm and its animals.
“I make the rounds,” says Scott, “letting animals out and caring for them. Perhaps the gardens have harvest that is ready, or a fence needs fixing.”
After that, Scott spends time in the wood shop, crafting pieces for the galleries and shops that carry their work, stocking up their home gallery for the Back Roads of Brown County Studio Tour, or working on custom orders.
“Evenings are back on the land,” Scott says, “getting animals down for the night and making plans for the next day.”
Inspiration is everywhere on the homestead. For example, the need to take down a few oak trees led to growing mushrooms that thrive in decaying oak.
“Keeping bees inspired a deeper understanding of native bees and Scott designing solitary bee houses to support them,” adds Jill.