Thursday, August 25, 2016

HandmadeMN Makers: Meet Us at the Fair!

By Sharon Parker
Sharon's Compendium

State Fair photo magnets from Painted Fish Studio
Are you a Mn State Fair fan? If you're like the crafty and craft-loving folks of the HandmadeMN team, you probably spend more time admiring the crafts and art exhibits than you do in the Midway — although, I must admit, there's loads of artistry to be enjoyed in the Midway as well. In fact, the whole fair experience is a sensory feast for the artist in all of us.

You'll likely find the presence of HandmadeMN artists and makers throughout the fair, possibly even standing next to you when you least suspect it. I know I'll be spending some time in the poultry barn to sketch and photograph the chickens when I visit.

Displays and Competitions

In the Ag-Hort building, check out the exhibit Ways to Help Honey Bees and Other Pollinators by Myla Meyer, whose shop, Sweet Bee Honey, offers honey and beeswax goodies from her own hives. Also look for her beeswax candle in the Bee and Honey exhibit area.
Garden Leaves pillar  beeswax candle by Myla Meyer

Also in the Ag-Hort building, look for granola and granola bars created by Nicole Aufderhar, who may be better known for her hand-bound leather journals that she sells at several art fairs throughout the summer and also in her Etsy shop, Wayfaring Art.

One of Nicole's leather journals — because she was too busy baking for the fair to send me a photo of her cookies.
But that's not all. In the Creative Activities building, Nicole has entered six types of cookies, including one in the "decorated cookie on a stick category," she says, adding that that one is "definitely more arts and crafts than baking."  When I asked if baking was a regular hobby of hers, she said, "It's really more of an obsession than a hobby! This is only my third year entering things, and while you never know how you'll do, I've won ribbons each year, so I'm hopeful!"

I neglected to ask whether she serves any of her award-winning cookies at the art fairs she participates in.

Greg Just, whose Etsy shop Just Turned, showcases his woodturning creations,  has entered three items in the Handcrafts/Wood category in the Creative Activities building: two bowls and a birdhouse. The birdhouse got a first place ribbon, and a segmented bowl, pictured below, got fourth.

Segmented wood bowl by Greg Just, which won a 4th-place ribbon at the fair
In Weaving/First Time Weaving Entry/Original Design, Mary Ellen Kutz entered a Saori-style handwoven shawl made from alpaca and wool yarn, sari silk ribbon "and various art yarns." Her Etsy shop is Mimi's Fun Stuff.

State Fair shawl by Mary Ellen Kutz

The West End Market

Heading on over to the West End Market, you'll find many independent small business shops with booths at the fair featuring handmade goodness, too. Including some items from HandmadeMN makers.

Christine Burnes will have some fun pin-back buttons  and magnets for sale at the I Like You booth, which you can take a peek at in her online shop, BenTine Buttons. She also makes hand-spun yarn, jewelry and paintings, all available from her Etsy shop, Kaleidoscope Kitty.

Buttons by Christine Burnes, sold in the I Like You booth

Brenda Irwin, whose Etsy shop is called Light Reading,  will have some of her Minnesota-themed lampshades for sale at the Piccadilly Prairie booth, also in the West End Market.

Lamp shades by Brenda Irwin, available at Piccadilly Prairie
And in Another Recent Fair . . .

In case you missed it, in July, the Ramsey County Fair featured some blue-ribbon entries from Karrie Norenberg Blees, Etsy shop Sewing for the Harvest. 

Her blue-ribbon winners were a brooch made of zippers (fabric clothing accessory category), an upcycled dress, a leather handbag made from discarded coats, and an 1895 lingerie set of corset, chemise and drawers —which also won the grand champion ribbon for the clothing division.

1895 lingerie set that won at the Ramsey County Fair, by Karrie Norenberg Blees



Brian Western said...

Nice get-together of HandmadeMN craftology...I'll be in the Swine Barn sketching grinning Sus scrofa domesticus...and don't forget the hand sanitizer, eh?

GJust said...

Thanks for the recognition! I also had an entry in the bird house category which I'm happy to say won a blue ribbon. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture.

Greg Just

Cindy said...

I'm going to the fair today and will check these out. Thanks for the guide to HandmadeMN members' exhibits.

painted fish studio said...

Thanks for including my state fair magnets, Sharon! I'm heading there tomorrow -- thanks for the great tips!

Shelly Daood said...

This is great!

Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

Creative Arts and the Ag/Hort buildings are always on my must-do Fair list. Thanks for providing such a good resource!