Kes, my wife, discovered that the Sugarloaf Craft Festival was going to be in town this weekend. We bought tickets and made plans to attend today. With two preschool kids. <.<
It was fun, but both of us felt that the term “craft festival” was a misnomer. There’s definitely a strong fine arts streak, including painting, photography, and fine jewelry; furthermore, a lot of the crafts side was represented by designer furniture, clothes, and metalwork.
There were several booths which really caught my eye. Tom Vosler’s custom knives booth had some mesmerizing hilt and handle designs. He doesn’t have a website, but his name pops up in blade forums when you search Google. Jasper James had some excellent work up for display, including his famous piece “Moonwatch”. I asked if it was a composite piece, and I was told that it was a double exposure – first the shot of the wolf on the ridge, then a zoom lens on the moon, done in the mid-90s. Jan and Mel Fleck, also with no website, showed some great etchings and embossings focused on themes like classical Egypt.
Fran Martin Dixon had a truly striking booth. Her website’s portfolio section does no justice at all to the works she had on display, unfortunately. Each piece was a large acrylic painting on wood – not planks, but true cross-sectioned slabs of tree, with all the knotholes and bark intact. The flat portions formed by the cross-sectioning became the canvas on which she painted scenes featuring animals from that wood’s habitat, like foxes and raccoons for a pine slab – and the empty knotholes were backed and painted inside with hiding owls or foxes. What grabbed me were her driftwood pieces with bright, beautiful bay and gulf scenes, where holes in the wood became spaces in the rocks for bright fish to dart through. Her pieces were priced quite reasonably. I only wish that we had been able to pick up a piece. She said she only shows them at craft fairs. I’m going to keep an eye out for her name in the future.
Susan Loy and her husband were displaying some of their work. The tables for the concession area were right by their booth, so we were ogling pieces like “Emily Dickinson: ‘Spring Flowers'” as we ate. Then I got up to sneak a peek into the booth and saw her Constitution series, and I knew we were giving them money before we walked out the door. Kes is a government attorney, and I have a strong desire to give her elegant crap to toss somewhere in her office. When she passed the New York bar, I gave her a desk statue of Justicia, which was promptly destroyed by a cat or child. Perhaps our print of Loy’s representation of the Bill of Rights will last a little longer. I hope. >.>
The highlight of the show for me, of course, was Cyndi Mylynne‘s paper booth. Along with her original paper art, she had stacks of large and small sheets of her handmade paper. Better yet, she gave demonstrations of papermaking at her booth – blenders, vats, screen, press, drying board, the whole shebang. I, the paper nerd, had to watch her first demonstration of the day. The kids were getting rowdy, so Kes, may she be canonized by someone other than the Pope, took over the wrangling job so I could geek out. We swung by the booth again before we left and caught the tail end of her third demo, which had drawn quite a crowd. I bought four sheets of her abacá paper. It’s got a lovely boardish rigidity and great texture. It’s going to be a lot rougher than, say, lokta to work with, but I’m hopeful.