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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Fourth Indiana Artisan Marketplace


Only once a year, the state’s highest-quality Artisans come together, and the Indiana Artisan Marketplace provides that opportunity.  Talk with the state’s exceptional artisans,  recognized by both art and food jury panels, taste their foods, wines and beer, see what makes them the best at their craft, and enjoy the opportunity to take home some of their work.
Dates: March 29-30, 2014
Times: Saturday, March 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, March 30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: The Expo Hall at the Indiana State Fairgrounds
Tickets: $10 at the door, 14 and younger admitted free
Artists from the juried Kentucky Crafted program, and foodists from Kentucky Proud, join Indiana Artisans at this event each year. Nearly 150 artisans will participate in the 2014 Marketplace, and you are invited at the 2013 ticket price.
The Marketplace is a once-a-year opportunity to buy one-of-a-kind artwork and foods directly from the artisans who make it. Here is a great example, of Indiana Artisan Megan Winn making one of her leather-covered journals. The event provides opportunity to meet the artisans and to share their stories. Come and watch 19 artisans create work – potters throwing, painters painting, weavers weaving, and some exciting looks at candy making are just a glimpse of what’s in store.  Four artisans – painter Douglas David, chocolatier Jayne Hoadley, fiber artist Sylvia Gray, and Mark Cox and Josh Henson of Fermenti Artisan – will demonstrate their work all weekend in the center of the Exposition Hall.
Also, Aurora-based Great Crescent Brewing Company, which recently had two beers recognized by Indiana Artisan, will sample and sell three of its craft brews. All food artisans again will offer samples of their candies, cheeses, wines, chocolates, noodles, pretzels, jams, and more.
In addition to browsing through the work of the Artisans, visitors again will enjoy Indiana music, this year sponsored by radio station 92.3 WTTS, sharing locally produced music all weekend from the station’s annual Collectors Edition CDs.
The work of more than 250 artisans in nearly 60 Indiana counties has been juried and is part of the Indiana Artisan brand. An Indiana Artisan is a Hoosier recognized for careful attention to detail, knowledge of a craft and an entrepreneurial spirit. His or her talent contributes to Indiana’s reputation for quality work, and the Artisan brand includes glass, wood and leatherwork; oils, watercolors, acrylics, and colored pencil; wine, jewelry, weaving and fiber art, specialty cheeses, pottery, fudge, chocolates, popcorns, and more.

I will be exhibiting my handmade rustic willow furniture at the fourth Indiana Artisan Marketplace March 29-30 at Expo Hall at the Indiana State fairgrounds. I will be demonstrating making furniture continuously during the show. My buddy John Bundy will also be exhibiting his magnificent duck decoys adjacent to me and will also show how his ducks are made. We will also show tables for which John has finished the tops and I have made the rustic willow bases. We will be next to the beer garden area, so it should make for a fun time.

We are happy to support the efforts of Indiana Artisan, which of course means the efforts of our fearless leader Eric Freeman. Without his visionary hardworking efforts, the organization would have crashed and burned long ago. It remains to be seen if an organization like ours can survive without state support in these difficult economic times. The arts have taken a hit as disposable income becomes money for gas and food and heat. The economy has improved, but not for the average family trying to raise their families. The arts are totally dependent upon patrons who want to support local Indiana producers. I believe people do appreciate things that are made by their neighbors and understand that this support translates into better economic conditions for all of US! It does not become a jingoistic xenophobic thing, but just common sense supporting of local efforts.

It is always a pleasure to meet and greet returning patrons year after year and show after show.

While I am retired and there is no financial urgency to my making sales, many artisans depend completely upon sales at shows like this for their livelihoods. Many people seem to feel that we are hobbyists who do not expect to be financially successful. I have coined the phrase "the Traveling Museum" to describe what art shows have become, we still put our best work out there for the public to see and enjoy, but it is vitally important that the public support us with their purchases, and not just see us as providing them with and afternoon's entertainment.

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