Archive for the ‘Craft Shows’ Category

Last year my work, folk bird carvings, was juried into Indiana Artisans.  This group helps brand and promote outstanding Indiana arts and crafts.  The Indiana Artisan Marketplace is the showcase event for this group and is the finest show that I’ve been involved with.  It’s coming up again, fast, and I will be busy carving new work.


Indiana State Fairgrounds
Exposition Hall, Indianapolis

Saturday March 31, 2012 10am – 6pm EDT
Sunday April 1, 2012 10am – 5pm EDT

Indiana Artisan Marketplace is a chance to buy one-of-a-kind artwork and sample artisan food directly from the Hoosiers who make them, to meet the artisans and to share their stories.

Watch artisans CREATE artwork before your eyes.
CULTIVATE relationships with your favorite artist or foodist.
CELEBRATE Indiana creativity with music and entertainment.

Admission: $10 (Children 15 & under free)
Details: www.IndianaArtisan.org


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This great video features some of my favorite artists at the Bloomington Handmade Market. I get a chance to talk about 50 Little Birds at the end.

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Come enjoy this fun fellowship event! We have 27 booths filled with handmade work. Items include: jewelry, journals, woodcrafts, yarn purses, glass mosaics, original art work, knitted & crocheted items, note cards, baby items, Christmas Ornaments, and much more. yummy treats can be found at our bake sale too! Plan to do some of your Chrustmas shopping right here at Bethel!!!

And then Friday, December 1 in Indianapolis.

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Indiana Artisan and
Indiana Landmarks presents…




Indiana Landmarks Center
1201 N. Central Avenue
Indianapolis, IN


Friday, December 2, 2011
6 to 9 pm EST



Join Indiana Artisan at Indiana Landmarks as they partner for First Friday.

This holiday event will feature the foods and art of 26 Indiana Artisans in the gallery of the beautifully restored Indiana Landmarks Center in Indianapolis’ Old Northside neighborhood. Indiana Artisan participants will be selling their work, which make great gifts. See what the Hoosier state’s highest-quality Artisans have to offer. Admission, of course, is FREE. A list of the 26 participating Artisans, coming from 15 Indiana counties, is at www.IndianaArtisan.org

Questions: Contact Eric Freeman at (317) 607-8715 or Eric@IndianaArtisan.org

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This is another post for my fellow artists.  If you are a consumer/patron/customer it doesn’t apply to you — you know I have a website.

I’ve written about Luann Udell more than once here.  She is a very knowledgeable businesswoman/artist.  She’s funny, she’s bright and she can write.

She has been posting a serties of articles on her blog that she has written for Fine Art Views.  They discuss the things that you may be doing, that are well intentioned and positive, but might be slowing sales.  Two weeks ago she explore “How long does it take you to make one of these?

This week she handles another common and, seemingly, harmless question.

You’re at a great little art fair.  The crowds are good and there’s lots of beautiful work on display.

You have nice customers in your booth.  They’re looking at your work and making little appreciative noises.  Finally, they look at you and ask a dangerous question:

“Do you have a website?”

Read the remainder of the discussion here.

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I’ve written before about my artist mother embracing her Pennsylvania Dutch origins in decorating chests, boxes, wooden purses (it was the 60s and 70s) and ornaments.  I remember sitting at her side as she painted, in oils, distlefinks, pomegranates, tulips and hearts — all old and familiar motifs in a family raised on scrapple and shoofly pie.

It seems that the piece I wrote about Fraktur (linked above and here) is my most popular post to date.  I write about my areas of expertise — teaching, ukulele, birding and bird carving — but this area of limited knowledge and experience is what folks are seeking.

This weekend I’m selling birds at a primitive antique and folk art show. To provide broader price points and to increase interest and sales I’ve developed a line of very simple picture frames with a variety of faux and decorative paint finishes.  I’m filling these frames with a few prints that I’ve made over the years as well as simple drawings of my carvings.

These frames have inspired my to re-visit fraktur inspired painting using the Pennsylvania Dutch motifs from my childhood.  I’ve been filling sketchbooks with stylized birds, hearts and flowers.  I suspect that these thems and the techniques that I develop will appear her over the next few weeks.

For the time being I want to share a couple of favorite resources.  The Philadelphia Free Library has a huge fraktur collection that can be examine, close up, online.

I think Mom had a copy of Folk Motifs of Pennsylvania by Frances Lichten.  I bought mine at a used bookstore for less than $2.00.  It’s been re-printed by Dover.

Thanks to  Mom and Grandma and my Berks and Lebanon County ancestors (Romig, Crist, Bader, Christian, et al.)

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Once upon a time I was a cabinetemaker (furniture maker) for a shop that catered to, what was then called, country style.  I had scruples (still do) and refused to cut corners.  I build historically accurate reproductions of 18th and 19th century vernacular furniture.  I specialty was dining tables.  They featured wide stripey cherry tops with distressed and painted skirts and legs.

Customers where few and far between — similar, though vastly inferior –pieces could be bought at the same price at Kittles.  In these customers minds, the prestige of buying at a local high end furniture store outweighed that of buying from an independent shop in a small town.  I was selling wholesale to this shop, so my profit margin was very thin.  This venture did not last long.

I’m still fascinated by this market and have kept current with the trends.  There are folks with taste and money to spend looking for unusual and well designed pieces.  The movement, now dubbed prim (for primitive), has eveolved and changed but still exists — on a much smaller scale.

This Friday willow furniture maker, Greg Adams, and I are venturing to Troy, Ohio to try my hand at this market.  I’m pretty excited. It’s something new.

The most complete information that I see is here.

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