Friday was the day planned for our yearly craft show jaunt but Mom Nature had other ideas. Freezing rain, sleet, ice were forecast and the day started out like the forecasters predicted so we stayed home.
We could have gone. As often happens, the weather for the most part was a “non-event” in the Baltimore area. The media had reporters all over town and TV talking about how bad it would be, and they succeeded in spreading fear and doubt. Kind of reminds me of real estate and the media’s “doom and gloom” Gloom and Doom? Don't Believe It! The hardworking artists lost many potential buyers because the media reported such bad weather that did not materialize.
We hope they made up for Friday's smaller crowds on Saturday and Sunday – I can say for sure that by Saturday afternoon the aisles of the massive Baltimore Convention Center were packed. So where was my head? Shoulda, coulda, but didn’t take along some laminated copies of last year’s blog They Gotta Live Somewhere to this year's ACC Craft Show. Most of last year’s artists were back again this year, and it would have been nice to pass them out to the artists that I featured in 2007. Just take a look at goodies in this year's spectacular show. Maybe next year I will remember to bring copies along and give them to the artists who were kind enough to allow us to take the photos.
Like last year, going with a best friend makes it ever so special. Both of us are artists and both of us see beauty in things others may miss. We have a habit of saying “Oh look at that,” “You would like that,” and “Those are your colors!” Friends do that; they look out for the other more than for themselves.
We both said we were not going to buy anything this year. Yeah right!! It didn't take me long to need one of the show tote bags. Just a few booths down the first row I found Susan Sanders of Alexandria, VA, and her "Silkworms." These very unusual necklaces are crafted of multiple silk strands and have a hand-made magnetic closure. Put it on and click, you're ready to go. Of course I had to have the one-of-a-kind in tones of brown with gold/bronze threads.
A few booths on was Keith Lewis from Rifton, NY and his kinetic jewelry. My friend found a pair that combined carnelian stones with blue/green niobium and gold. One more package for the collection. http://keithlewisstudio.com/
While she was choosing earrings, I was next door with Harriet Moss' Handcrafted Wearables from McLean, VA and her yummy hand woven and knit sweaters and jackets. Of course there was one in brown with my name on it! http://harrietmoss.com/home.php Harriet was a delight to talk with, and even helped us decide which pair of earrings looked best on my friend. Artists are special people. A special bond forms when you own a handmade piece by a fellow artisan.
After that flurry we kept our credit cards stashed and just enjoyed the show…for a while. We had to stop for several minutes and chat with Thomas Turner from Kalamazoo, MI who had a "to die for" ring that my friend fell in love with. An exquisite brilliant green tourmaline stone set in 18k gold, in a ring just her size. The price was also exquisite…maybe next year. But in the meantime Mr. Turner is going to make me an eyeglass holder from clear rubber rope – a fascinating material, just the sort of thing I've been looking for. It was neat watching him design this new item. I will have the cord in a week or a month, depending on his show schedule. http://www.thomasturnerjewelry.com/
Josh Simpson from Massachusetts was there and we had to stop, of course, since my friend is a great fan of his glass work. Last year she went home with one of his "Inhabited" vases, but this year we just looked. We didn't realize that he uses all recycled glass thus making his art "green." Just look at these exquisite bowls, vases, and plates. http://www.joshsimpson.com/
Other artists caught our attention for their creative use of materials. We’ve all seen bowls and mugs, but one artist had turned stoneware into birds – there were puffin mugs, a loon teapot, and what can you say about a double swan serving piece but "Oh, look at this!"
Judy Stone from California had a booth filled with wonderful enamels but instead of the typical jewelry for the body, hers was jewelry for the home. I thought her enameled switch plates and outlet covers would make a great new-home gifts for a special client. http://www.jstoneenamels.com/.
And just to prove that we could see the practical in the beautiful – and also the potential for a neat gift – I brought home these salad servers that flip from flat-folded to springy for one-handed serving. http://www.woodspoon.com/
It was just what we both needed – a day away from the usual work and a recharge for the creative core.