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  • Waterbury, Vermont 05676
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Friday Props - Greg Ryan

We give out another Friday Props to another local Vermont artist this week - Greg Ryan of Rochester, VT. Some may accuse us of nepotism since this weeks' recipient of Props is a family member, but we think once you see the wonders Greg creates you'll realize he should have gotten our recognition long ago.

Greg is a modern Renaissance man who manages to express his creativity across multiple domains from music to woodwork to lifestyle.

Greg got his start musically around the age of six. Cynthia likes to tell the story of how she had been playing guitar for a couple years when Greg picked it up and quickly surpassed her abilities. Within a few months her friends were dropping by the house to see if Greg was available to play. 

Greg plays an assortment of music, but he is best known for his astounding Gypsy Jazz. Take a listen to an example from his band They Might Be Gypsies to get a sense of the style of play - you'll feel it in your bones.

"That's all fine and dandy" you might be thinking (and it is), but when you're talking about Greg Ryan you also have to look at the instrument he might be playing because he is just as likely to be jamming on a guitar as he is a gourd. Yes, a gourd. Did I mention "Renaissance"? Here's a look at one of these hand-built unique instruments Greg created.

Hand-built instruments are a good segway into some of the many noteworthy things Greg has built over the years and continues to build today. He is a seriously talented carpenter who pushes the envelope on self-built homes. His own house is a rustic hideaway nestled in the mountains of Rochester, VT. This off-grid home was designed and built by Greg in 1995 well before the Tiny Home craze and has been featured in the book Small Homes.

Greg's building capabilities go way beyond his own humble abode and approach the fantastical when we look at his work for Kid City Children's Museum in Middletown, CT.

"A man's home is his castle" unless, of course, you are Greg Ryan in which case your castle is your castle. 

If you're thinking these two examples are completely different from one another then you need to keep reading, because Greg also has built a solar round house of cob materials. Before I ever knew Greg I was asked by the owner of the home to help market the house. I was blown away by how unique and beautiful the space was. The Facebook page is still available to see more shots, but here's a sample of this incredible work.

Because Greg has an endless supply of talent and skill, we also (proudly) introduce you to his Vardo builds. These are bespoke wagons that are hand-built and are simply beyond gorgeous. His meticulous attention to details and quality craftsmanship have led to a lot of well-deserved attention. 

I could go on and on much like Greg's skill and aptitude for creative endeavors, but I don't want my brother-in-law to think he's as great as he is so I'll just stop here, but I think it's worth checking out more of what he does at his site https://gregryan.us

I'm honored to give Friday Props to the man, the legned and my brother-in-law. Oh - and Happy 50th Birthday Greg!