Memories of the Art Craft Building Holiday Sale


I am still humbled and honored to have been asked to set up our soap and silk stand at the Art Craft Building Holiday Sale a week and a half ago.  Such amazing and talented professional artists offer such inspiration and encouragement.  Advertising the show was a joy and candy to the eyes with the beautiful blown glass, ceramic pieces, unique assemblage art and high end unique jewelry.  And arriving at the building there was quite a team spirit and sense of eager anticipation in the air.

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Steve and I had a corner of the building, giving us windows on two sides.  Ideal for displaying silk, especially the larger pieces.  I had just finished a 4 foot square silk in a new pattern to me… a large sunflower.  The centers delicately hint of seeds, the petals of the flower were in a watercolor abstraction… luxurious colors that might look amazing.  Thankfully i had my magnetic pins with me, and the magnets secured them in place.  The sunflower looked amazing hanging in that window, and even more fun as you looked up from outside:

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It was a quick shot from my cell phone as we were about to turn the  corner into the street… and wouldn;t you know the ice and slush that had been firmly hanging on to the top of the windshield gave way as i clicked it.  Drat, and there was no second chance because we had to take the turn.  Oddly when i posted this on facebook a ton of people thought this was very interesting, and that the ice looked alot like santa and his reindeer flying through.  Hmmm, unplanned happy accident!

I hung the other floral focused 4 foot square scarf on the other window, immediately behind our checkout, and it also looked wonderful.

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We met such talent… our neighbors were Billy Ritter, the potter who runs Art House’s ceramics program.  He tells stories by sketching (scrifido?) on the outside of pottery telling stories… not just any stories – the headlines of the news, the social issues of our times, the mysteries of life and the interesting thoughts that we seldom express. I loved watching as people would stop and look at his showpiece, a large vessel paying homage to the news report of the controversial police shooting of those two people after a long chase through Cleveland and East Cleveland.    He also replicated a large 357  six shooter in clay… interesting.

And the neighbor on the other corner was Patty Fields, who upcycles unique vintage things, like the round typewriter keys from 1920’s typewriters, set in bezels of silver, and delicately linked into bracelets, or as drop pendants with a pearl.  Her style is crisp, clean, well done.  Her materials are a rare and limited commodity that are handled with a deft hand, and a fine set of metal-smithing skills.

Next to Patty was an unusual pair of 8 year old twin boys that created unique dolls made of scraps of fabric, drapery, rick rack, fringe, drapery embellishments, buttons, ribbon and whatever they could imagine sewing together.  Enterprising young men, they were challenged by their mom to earn their own money for things they wanted… that new iPod, that new game.  This was their second year, and they came loaded with a huge rack of their creations, each with its own card announcing their maker, and the name their stuffed doll was given.  We could not resist supporting the cause, and bought Phyllis, pictured above.  She now has a place of honor atop our computer on our desk.  She is a lesson that that good old American spirit is alive and well, and still quite possible.  It only takes hard work, initiative, and determination to succeed.  One day Phyllis will be a collectors item, and we got her as a memorial to those boys and their determination.

Our host, Mark Yasenchack is a talented ceramic artist who makes so many amazing things.  My eyes were wide eyed with wonder.  He was a wonderful host, and i think he was happy that we were there.  We remain very grateful and thankful for his invitation.  Art Craft was our single best two day show in his tory… loved the clientele. They were knowlegable, and educated, and loved beautiful things, appreciated the skills that went into making them, and had the resources to buy so many wonderful things.  It will remain a cherished memory in our minds.  And we have been invited back for next year!  yeah!