Sunday, August 10, 2014

POAC Arts & Crafts Fair

Every August Pend Oreille Arts Council puts on a fantastic Arts and Crafts Fair in Sandpoint's beautiful City Beach Park. And since I can pretty much depend on some birthday money showing up later in the month, I enjoy perusing the booths, knowing that if I find something, I don't have to feel guilty about buying it - it'll be paid for eventually by that birthday check. Some years nothing stands out as something I want to take home while other years I really have to control myself. As you can see, this was a good fair! Four pieces of jewelry is a bit much for me but they all have a reason for ending up in my bag. The small leaf in the right forefront may actually end up sewn like a charm onto something textile related but I also might wear it. It is an actual birch leaf that has been put through an electroplating process and according to the tag stands for good fortune. I have two other pins similarly capturing bits of nature with this process, but you know how I feel about birches - they are my artistic muse and at one point, an integral part of emotional healing. Ironically, I have recently discovered that their pollen (along with cottonwood and oak) is number one on my allergy sensitivity test and may be partly responsible for the medical issues I've been sorting out for so long. Allergic or not, I vowed I'm not giving up my birches (just being more careful around them). Buying the leaf from Gray's Tree Leaves of Tucson AZ was definitely my way of rebelling, a way to show I am going to fight this and not let it get the better of me. We all need our symbols!

Dichroic Glass pendents by Elizabeth Dunlop

Less controversial are these pendents by Elizabeth Dunlop of Mesa, AR. It is so difficult to capture the color and sparkle of glass in a photo, especially this glass that seems lit by an inner glow. These are actually her test pieces of the dichroic glass she uses in her larger abstract wall sculptures, transformed into affordable jewelry in a variety of colors, sizes and shapes. By far my favorite booth at the fair, and as you can see, I couldn't decide between these two so took both - they were that affordable! Be sure to check out her website to see those wall sculptures, but I have to say, the pictures do not do them justice.

I managed to get away from this vendor of jewelry without info about them, other than that they are based just south of here in Hayden. I snagged this out of a basket of "show special" bracelets for two reasons (other than its very reasonable price). First, it reminds me of a bracelet my dad gave me when I was little - squares of shaped elk teeth (or maybe it was horn) strung on elastic. But the second reason was the real pull - this is tiger eye which I've always loved. I once had a very pretty tiger eye pendant that disappeared during a move. All these years later, I still can't fathom how it didn't make it from one house to the next, and I still mourn its loss. You'd think there was some sentimental attachment involved, or that it was an expensive piece; neither is the case. I just really liked it and have never found anything similar to replace it, though I am always on the lookout. I decided this bracelet was a start. The vendor did dig out a couple of necklaces she had under the table but neither were anything like my lost pendant nor anything I'd really wear. This will do.

Oregon Big Leaf Maple bowl by Thomas Leonard

I hardly need this bowl crafted by Thomas Leonard of Square Peg Products in Bonners Ferry just north of here, but I am a sucker for beautifully turned ones with interesting shapes and grains. I wish I could afford some of his more intricate pieces. In the meantime, this one goes well with the group I bought from Eric von Bargen of Walla Walla Wood Works back in 2009. Both artists believe in reclaiming and recycling wood for their products - no live trees were injured in pursuit of their passion. This piece has very delicate grain lines including a wing-like pattern appearing to caress the sides of the bowl.

So you see, I had a lovely time at the fair. Perfect weather, perfect views of the lake, and perfectly wonderful arts and crafts!


Lucia Sasaki said...

Dear Sheila, thanks so much for sharing these precious moments with us, your loyal readers.
Your pictures are very lovely, as the objects themselves. I like the way you describe them, with so much affection. You make me like them, see them as you see.
You say that we need symbols, it reminded me that when I needed to choose one for my avatar, I was between the owl and the japanese lucky cat and I decided for the laughing owl.
I hope you are going to make beautiful textil art and I will can see these pendants and recognize them.,

Chris said...

wow sounds like a wonderful day and you got to make some nice purchases. It was fun seeing what you bought....always interesting to see what others buy.

The Idaho Beauty said...


Chris, I do think it revealing to see what people are drawn to and collect. I also like the idea that I get to meet and talk to the artist whose work I am buying which adds another dimension.

Lucia - I always wondered about your owl avatar. It makes sense for a librarian, as I grew up with the image of owls being wise, and in cartoons sometimes bookish! And you say this is a laughing one - well, you always have such a big smile on your face in pictures on your blog so I bet you laugh a lot too!