Jul 4, 2014

Goderich Festival of Arts & Crafts: Day One Discoveries

At 10am this morning I went to work on the Square, and upon witnessing all the ongoing commotion out the window as I scooped icecream and made lattes, I decided that I would go ahead and take a wander through the Festival of Arts & Crafts, which is lining the inside of our quaint little Courthouse Square, a little later in the evening when the sun started going down and things got a little more slower.

The phenomenal colours, patterns, and textures of the Japanese Shino Pottery of Chica Pottery really caught my eye. As I regarded these beautiful pieces, Erin Grace Harder of Sparta, Ontario came forward to tell me a little bit about them. She creates the rectangular trays, while her mother helps her with the bowls and cups. They are cone 10 reduction gas fired and are oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe and each set is completed with a pair of chopsticks. It always brings a smile on my face to see young artists that are eager to tell others about their work, and she has even more reason to be excited about it as the money she raises by selling her work at the festival this weekend is going towards a missions trip to Malawi, Africa at the end of July. So make sure to check out her booth this weekend!

Goderich Town Square has been bustling and busy since early this morning. Just ask Betty Nelson-Daniel of Mocking Bird from Midland, Ontario. When speaking to her late this evening, she told me that they started setting up around 6am this morning. Mocking Bird was one of the first few booths to really catch my eye, that's for sure. The dolls that she creates are theatrical and graceful, and their feet suggest a definite ballet inspiration. Their heads and beaks are built layer upon layer with paper and are hard to the touch. Their bodies start as metal armatures and dimension is built with layers of fabrics, leather, branches, ribbons, trimmings, and all sorts of found objects. Don't be afraid to touch them, though, she says - they may look delicate, but when you hold them up close you can really see all the detail that goes into them. She has been creating these dolls for over thirty years and she has really honed her skill - the detail in each piece is astonishing, and they are definitely something you need to see up close, this weekend!

I was infatuated with the earthy scents wafting from Jennifer Jansen's booth - From The Blue House. Located in Creemore, Ontario, she creates handcrafted soap from natural ingredients, and even features Creemore Springs Lager in some of these body products. When I asked her about it, she says that the Lager creates a wonderful lather, which is especially great in her shaving soaps. Warm chai spices like cinnamon and cloves as well as patchouli and lavender filled my nose - I told her that I'd be back. And I certainly will be, with scents like that.

If you guys are in Goderich, Ontario this weekend, make sure to stop by the Square and take in all the wonderful sights at the Goderich Festival of Arts & Crafts. There are many talented artisans, including the ones I spoke about above, showcasing their various talents. They'll be open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

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