Spruce up for Spring

Find unique items for you and your home at the Su­gar­loaf Craft Festival

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By LISA HAR­LOW

Spring­time in Bal­ti­more means it is time for the spring tour of the Su­gar­loaf Crafts Festival. The festival, which is one the big­gest craft shows on the east coast, re­turns to Ti­mo­nium on Fri­day – Sun­day, April 28 – 30 and fea­tures more than 250 unique lo­cal and na­tional in­de­pen­dent ar­ti­sans.

Shop­pers will have their pick of thou­sands of select hand­made goods in fash­ion, jew­elry and fine art, such as pot­tery, sculpture, glass, fur­ni­ture, pho­tog­ra­phy and more. Ar­ti­san food ven­dors will also of­fer gourmet nut but­ters, truf­fles, cheese and other in­dul­gences.

The Su­gar­loaf Craft Festival, founded in 1975, is a ju­ried show, mean­ing only the best of the best of the na­tion’s artists are se­lected to par­tic­i­pate. The festival tours twice a year in fall and spring. This spring it will make stops in Ti­mo­nium and four other lo­ca­tions in the Mid-Atlantic region.

New to the show this spring is Bar­bara Bass Tex­tiles and Fash­ion De­sign, which has been fea­tured on QVC and in the New York Times. Since 1977, fiber artist Bass has been cre­at­ing orig­i­nal, wear­able works of art. Each scarf, shawl, hat, jacket and collar neck­lace is ver­sa­tile and stylish, made from im­ported, nat­u­ral fibers from all over the world. All of the ma­te­ri­als are com­pletely dif­fer­ent, lend­ing to the line’s in­di­vid­u­al­ity. Just as no two people are the same, iden­ti­cal ar­ti­cles of Bass’ cloth­ing are nearly im­pos­si­ble.

In ad­di­tion to artists sell­ing their wares, festival at­ten­dees can experience live artist demon­stra­tions, mu­sic from lo­cal mu­si­cians and sam­ples from dozens of spe­cialty food providers. Chil­dren’s en­ter­tain­ment in­cludes in­ter­ac­tive the­ater, pup­pets and sto­ry­telling by Carl Odhner of Mid­dle Earth Stu­dios.

Vis­i­tors will also en­joy these and other demon­stra­tions by select ar­ti­sans:

Me­tal/Forged Iron Demo by Car­son Sams / Car­son’s Cus­toms LLC

In a time when the fo­cus is on tech­nol­ogy and au­to­ma­tion, black­smith Car­son Sams proves that the cen­turies-old artistry of forg­ing ob­jects of iron by hand is still alive. He is a distinguished black­smith and knife maker. Founded in 2010, Car­son’s Cus­toms LLC has been cre­at­ing var­i­ous ob­jects from wrought iron or steel in­clud­ing Celtic crosses, prim­i­tive style knives, hatch­ets, grilling tools and more. He sets up his equip­ment and uses his tools to ham­mer, bend and cut for all to see just how much skill, time and pa­tience is needed to forge each piece.

Wheel-thrown Pot­tery Demo by He­len & Allen We­ich­man / Ground­hog Blues

Whether you’re look­ing for dec­o­ra­tive or func­tional stoneware, the work of He­len and Allen We­ich­man is one of a kind. With more than 90 years of com­bined experience, the pair opened Ground­hog Blues Pot­tery in 1973 and have been pro­duc­ing beau­ti­ful ce­ram­ics by hand ever since. He­len in­stills her love of an­i­mals into her work, pro­duc­ing a num­ber of col­lec­tions themed for cute crit­ters such as their “Man’s Best Friend” line. Allen hand throws each of his pieces, cre­at­ing sculp­tural as­pects on items where, in his words, you “can al­most smell the earth.”

From plates to soup tureens, from re­clin­ing cats to punch bowls, ev­ery dish and sculpture from Ground­hog Blues is made to or­der us­ing throw­ing and fir­ing tech­niques that are per­fect for the spe­cific item.

Stone Sculpt­ing Demo by Marty Sil­ver­man / The Fountain and Sculpture Gar­den

If there’s one thing sculp­tor Marty Sil­ver­man does bet­ter than ev­ery­thing else, it’s har­ness the beauty of na­ture in each and ev­ery one of his pieces. His com­pany, The Fountain and Sculpture Gar­den, of­fers a se­lec­tion of one-ofa-kind stone sculp­tures that are some­how si­mul­ta­ne­ously ethereal and down to earth. Sil­ver­man

em­ploys a di­rect carv­ing method us­ing stone sculp­tor’s tools to ham­mer and chisel each piece, which he does by mem­ory and whim, rarely us­ing a sketch or model. The re­sult is a fine art sculpture that cap­tures the imag­i­na­tion. Af­ter it’s been carved, Sil­ver­man uses a special pol­ish­ing process to pro­duce his sig­na­ture glossy fin­ish.

Me­tal Spin­ning Demo by John Akkus / Akkus Sil­ver Touch

Af­ter spend­ing 17 years at Gen­eral Elec­tric, John Akkus left the com­pany in 1989 and be­gan us­ing cop­per and brass to pro­duce hand­crafted en­graved designs. Nearly 30 years later, Akkus Sil­ver Touch is the stan­dard in ar­ti­san met­al­work­ing. Us­ing a wood­turn­ing lathe re­designed for me­tal spin­ning and his own self-taught tech­niques, John, who is from Turkey, cre­ates beau­ti­ful jew­elry, or­na­ments, vases and dec­o­ra­tive plates. Ev­ery item fea­tures un­matched crafts­man­ship with sil­ver­plated designs. Su­gar­loaf Crafts Festival

Fri­day & Satur­day, April 28-29: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sun­day, April 30: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Mary­land State Fair­grounds 2200 York Road Ti­mo­nium- Luther ville, MD 21093

Tick­ets: $8 online or $10 at the door. Kids 12 & un­der free.

Free park­ing

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to http://sug­ar­loafcrafts. com/fes­ti­vals/spring-tour/ ti­mo­nium/info.

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