A Brand New Art Festival

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Coming to Manchester, New Hampshire: a brand new venue for Fine Art and Craftwork! The First Ever Queen City Art and Craft Show will open October 30-November 1 at the Center of New Hampshire Expo Center at the Radisson, 700 Elm Street in Manchester NH.

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A new undertaking by Craftproducers, this show has a fantastic central location: an easy drive from Boston, Portland, Providence, and Brattleboro – to name just a few surrounding cities. The timing is also great: opening at just the right time to start thinking of holiday gift-buying, its also early enough that you needn’t feel guilty making purchases just for yourself. And with the quality of work that will be on display, this show is an ideal place to spend your art and fine craft purchasing dollars.

Find gifts, decor, functional pieces, jewelry, clothing, and more – all made by the Artisan Exhibitor in the booth and all the result of years of work, training, and practice. Art and Craftwork such as you will find at the Queen City Art and Craft Show are unique pieces developed and produced by an individual or small team, with each piece handcrafted and bearing the unique marks of its maker. These are not mass produced “decor”, but real Art. From coffee mugs to precious gemstone jewelry, your purchases from the Queen City Art and Craft Show will bring an element of intention to your life, an extension of the intention and attention the Artist brought to creating the piece.

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American Craft Week in Manchester and Stowe

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When autumn approaches, that’s when the craft festival season begins in earnest. In October Craftproducers offers two superb craft shows as part of American Craft Week.

The 27th  Annual Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival kicks it off. The Festival will be held October 2 through 4 at the Practice Tee on Route 7A, a mile and a half north of the new roundabout in downtown Manchester, Vermont.

The second show, the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival,  will be held at Stowe Events Field October 9-11, on Columbus Day weekend, at the zenith of fall’s color.

Attending the Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival and the Stowe Arts Festival  is an opportunity to celebrate the wonders of American Craft. Every day thousands of American artists share their vision and talent by producing amazing hand-made decorative and functional objects. Craft show patrons demonstrate their love of these items by coming to the shows, meeting the artists, and buying handmade products. As one craft artist put it, “this is the creative economy!”

According to organizers of American Craft Week, “While other industry associations have long touted their products, the craft industry has lacked a single way to be highly visible. Along with craft organizations across the USA, Vermont is a leader in supporting American Craft Week. American Craft Week is held 10 days in October and the hope is to educate more people about the importance of American craftsmen and women. Crafts enrich our homes, wardrobes, offices and public spaces.  The crafts industry contributes to our nation’s economy and the fabric of our national history. Craftwork is original, beautiful and enduring.”

CERF’s “At the Ready” Fund

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For 30 years, the Craft Emergency Relief Fund, or CERF+, has helped artists get back on their feet after personal and natural disasters. Providing immediate financial aid through grants, no-interest loans, access to resources, waivers and discounts on booth fees, and donations of craft supplies and equipment, CERF+ allows artists from all over the USA to get back on their feet and back to creating.

Donations to CERF+’s “At the Ready” Fund will be matched by the Windgate Charitable Foundation. Help support American Artists and keep our creative economy strong. Donate to CERF+ today!

A New Year of Great Art and Craft Festivals!

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Happy New Year! At Craftproducers we are looking forward to a new year of successful and enjoyable Festivals. We have great things in store for 2015!

We begin the year with the Crafts Pavilion at the New England Home Shows in Boston and Foxborough, MA. These extremely popular home shows are augmented by the addition of a dedicated handmade art and craft section organized by Craftproducers. Fine art, clothing, fine furniture, and more will be on display. These shows are coming up quickly – Boston in February and Foxborough in March! You can find out more about the New England Home Shows here, and even buy tickets in advance.

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Craftproducers own fine Art and Craft Festivals begin June 19-21 in Saratoga Springs, NY with the Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival. This is the second anniversary of this Festival which features over 150 fine art and craft Exhibitors set up in soaring Camelot tents. Specialty foods, food and beverages to eat on site (including beer and wine!), and live music create an exciting and festive atmosphere, and then of course there are the balloons! Hot air balloons will be launched each morning and evening (weather allowing – high winds can be dangerous and we are all about safety at the SBCF!) and tickets for this once in a lifetime experience can be purchased prior to the show at www.balloonandcraft.com. On Saturday and Sunday evenings the Festival will be open late for the magical Balloon Glow – over 15 tethered hot air balloons lit from within, with live music and concessions. Don’t miss it!

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Next up is the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival, July 31- August 2, a southern Vermont summer tradition that was moved from Manchester to Bennington three years ago. Bennington has proven a delightful home for the Festival, with a supportive arts community and easy access for visitors from the surrounding areas including Albany, Saratoga Springs and northern Massachusetts. Come meet and purchase fine handcrafted items from over 150 Exhibitors, enjoy great food and live music, and then explore lovely and historic Bennington, Vermont. This weekend kicks off the newly formed Bennington Art Week.

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Moving into Autumn, we have the 27th Annual Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival, October 2-4 in Manchester, Vermont. Surrounded by the green mountains with their flaming orange and gold foliage, the setting is nearly as impressive as the art and craftwork within the tents. The Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival is an institution in southern Vermont. Formerly known as the Hildene Festival, the name and location have changed along the way but the quality and production of the Festival remain top-notch. Around 200 Exhibitors include fine art, furniture, clothing, jewelry, sculpture, photography, wood products, and more and many Exhibitors demonstrate their craft techniques in their booths. A separate tent is home to a selection of Specialty Food Exhibitors – jams and jellies, maple syrup, salsas, and locally distilled spirits and liqueurs. Head over to the Dining Tent when you need a break, sit down with a plate of great food and a glass of beer or wine, and enjoy live music until you are ready to shop once more!

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The Stowe Foliage Arts Festival is our northern Vermont equivalent to the Manchester show. Taking place the following weekend – October 9-11 – just outside the quaint village of Stowe, this Festival is usually right at the peak of the Vermont foliage color. Stowe is a destination year round, but if you want to experience a Vermont Autumn this is the time and place. 200 Exhibitors, Specialty Foods, craft demonstrations, great food and beverages, live music and entertainment combine to make this a not to be missed family weekend event. The Festival takes place at the Stowe Events Field, which is located on the Stowe Bike Path for easy access from the village and on up into the resort and mountains.

October Art and Craft Festival in Manchester Vermont

We end the 2015 Festival season with a brand new show! The First Ever Queen City Art and Craft Show in Manchester, New Hampshire will take place October 30-November 1. We look forward to sharing more details about this exciting new adventure soon!

Vermont Art and Craft Festivals and Events

We are beginning a new year with unlimited potential and we plan to make the most of it. We look forward to seeing you at our 2015 Fine Art and Craft Festivals!

The Stowe Foliage Arts Festival Returns to the Stowe Events Field

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The Stowe Events Field, located right on the bike and pedestrian trails just outside the beautiful village of Stowe, is once again hosting the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival this coming weekend, October 10-12.

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With close to 200 art and craft Exhibitors, specialty foods and spirits, food and beer, and live entertainment, the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival is the perfect way to enjoy a crisp autumn weekend in the Green Mountains during peak foliage season. This is a family friendly event, with comic juggling, ice cream, and crafters demonstrating traditional and innovative techniques of their art.

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Bring your friends and family, but out of respect for the Exhibitors who bring their handcrafted creations for your enjoyment please leave your pets at home. There is plenty of free parking and easy access to the festival from the Stowe bike path. Adult admission is $10 for the day or $12 for the entire weekend, kids under 12 are free. Get a coupon for $1 off adult admission when you join our mailing list (scroll to the bottom of the page for the sign up form).

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Opening Day at the Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival!

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Starting today!

Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10am-5pm

Art, Craft, Food, Music and more at The Practice Tee, Hunter Park Road in Manchester, Vermont.
Bring your friends and family and enjoy a beautiful weekend in picturesque Manchester.

Details here >>>

 

The Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival

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Autumn is here! In Vermont the days are getting shorter and crisper, the famous foliage is putting on its annual exhibit, and the Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival is approaching. Artist and Artisan Exhibitors from around the country are making their way to tiny, picturesque Manchester for this annual celebration of art, craft, food, and music.

October Art and Craft Festival in Manchester Vermont

With over 150 Exhibitors, the Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival has an impressive array of craftsmanship available for purchase: leatherwork; jewelry; clothing; furniture; wood bowls and spoons; inlaid mirrors and boxes; original paintings; prints; photography; and so much more (check out our Artist Listings page to see a list of participating artists).

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The Festival has the feel of a bustling marketplace, with a spectacular backdrop of the Southern Vermont mountains at peak foliage. Upon entering the festival, visitors walk through a courtyard where small tents and booths shelter outdoor Exhibitors and food and beverage vendors. Stepping into the soaring white Camelot tents is like entering another world, each brightly lit booth beckons, handcrafted treasures displayed enticingly. A separate tent houses Specialty Food Exhibitors – gourmet chocolate, Vermont maple products, locally distilled spirits, jams and jellies, spice mixes…

Vermont distillery in the Specialty Food Tent

When you are ready for a break, stop by one of the great food carts (gourmet grilled cheese, sweet or savory crepes, pizza, tacos, Asian cuisine, and more…) and then find a table in the Dining Tent. At 12:30 and 2:30 each day there will be live music – Spencer Lewis on Friday, Studio Two Beatles Tribute on Saturday, and The Bondville Boys on Sunday.

Richard Foye raku pottery demo

 

Many Exhibitors will be demonstrating their craft. Here, potter Richard Foye shares his techniques for firing raku pottery. See the results below:

Raku pottery

Take another round of the Festival before you head home with your purchases. If you haven’t had enough, you can upgrade your admission to a weekend pass on your way out and come back again! There’s a lot to see at the Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival and many incredible Artists to meet.

The Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival starts this Friday, October 3, and runs through Sunday, October 5. Hours are 10am-5pm daily. This is a family friendly event, but please leave pets at home. Adult admission is $10, kids 12 and under are free. There is plenty of free parking.

Sign up for our mailing list (at the bottom of the page) and get a coupon for $1 off adult admission.

 

Sculptor Dennis Sparling

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This year Craftproducers is fortunate to host Dennis Sparling, one of Vermont’s best known sculptors, at both the Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival and the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival. His work will be on display and for sale. Sparling’s latest creation, Leonardo Da Vinci, comes in an 18 foot long trailer and is lighted for nighttime viewing. Modestly and humorously Sparling says of his return to Vermont:

I arrived in Vermont in 1970, borrowed $60 from the new Vermont Craft Council run by Dyanne Fago—went dump diving for metals and arrived at the First Bennington Craft Show to sell nothing until two people came looking for me and helped me stay and get through the next 10 years in Vermont.  Since then I have mainly sold my work out of state; until 2008 when my clientele disappeared.

Before Vermont I studied Architecture at Arizona State and U. of Washington — Built a Gallery in Pioneer Square, Seattle and collaborated with Tom Robins on “The Vincent Van Gough Donut Festival — then fled to Vermont looking for what Life was all about.  Now I know a little more of what life is about, and it is time to pack up the wagon with some above average Stories and sell my pots and pans to Act III of the American Dream.

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Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival

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When autumn approaches, that’s when the craft festival season begins in earnest. The 23rd Annual Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival kicks off American Craft Week in Vermont. The Festival will be held October 3 through 5 at the Practice Tee on Route 7A, a mile and a half north of the new roundabout in downtown Manchester, Vermont.

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Coming to the Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival is an opportunity to celebrate the wonders of American Craft. Every day thousands of American artists share their vision and talent by producing amazing hand-made decorative and functional objects. Craft show patrons demonstrate their love of these items by coming to the shows, meeting the artists, and buying handmade products. As one craft artist put it, “this is the creative economy!”

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While other industry associations have long touted their products, the craft industry has lacked a single way to be highly visible. Along with craft organizations across the USA, Vermont is a leader in supporting American Craft Week. American Craft Week is held 10 days in October and the hope is to educate more people about the importance of American craftsmen and women. Crafts enrich our homes, wardrobes, offices and public spaces.  The crafts industry contributes to our nation’s economy and the fabric of our national history. Craftwork is original, beautiful and enduring.  

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The Manchester show features 150 artists and artisans displaying and selling traditional and contemporary crafts and original art as well as a specialty food tent. Exhibitors are housed in large Camelot tents, tents transformed into veritable cathedrals of creativity. While craft shopping, customers are delighted with culinary choices served by local restaurants and food trucks. The Dining Tent, which is heated, offers tables and chairs with a relaxed ambience. Vermont craft beers are served to accompany the luncheon plates. Live music will be played here too.  Besides savoring Vermont food and drink, there are many craft demos and a Vermont Cheese Tent.

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As part of the American Craft Week celebration in Vermont, the Vermont Craft Council is planning its Fall Open Studio Weekend on October 4 and 5. Maps will be available at the Festival so craft show patrons may also visit those studios local to Manchester. For more details about the Open Studio Weekend, visit VermontCrafts.com.

Once again, the Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival will be held October 3-5 at the Practice Tee in Manchester. Hours are 10-5 daily, Friday through Sunday. Adult admission is $10, children are free. Rain or shine-under tents. Plenty of free parking. No pets, please.

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Artist Spotlight: Heidi Skillman, WinterScarf

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In the days leading up to Craftproducers Autumn Arts Festivals, we are profiling a few of the participating Exhibitors. If you are an Exhibitor and you would like to see your information here, email amanda@craftproducers.com.

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The saying is that “necessity is the mother of invention.” And so it was for long-time business executive, Heidi Skillman, who, while solving a problem, invented the dynamic 360 Scarf and launched WinterScarf.   Skillman’s WinterScarf products exemplify her common sense approach and practical-driven past as well as her creativity.

Throughout her career, Skillman has focused on creative ways to drive strategic change, improve revenue, maximize efficiency and increase customer satisfaction. After years of serving at the top of the corporate ladder in finance, business strategy and supply chain management, Skillman gained the confidence to build her business from the ground up. In 2003, she designed her first 360 Scarf® after a cold and blustery Chicago day when she wanted to walk her dogs in single-digit temperatures. Soon after requests starting pouring in for the scarf from friends, she decided to leverage her business skills and launched WinterScarf. Skillman’s creative and strategic thinking continues to shine in her WinterScarf products as she adds her functional flair to once-mundane accessories like scarves, hats and gloves. Simply put, Skillman’s practical yet strategic approach strived to make the most out of available resources in her corporate life. And in a sense, she continues that work today with WinterScarf.

The fusion of fashion and function is the purpose of WinterScarf. When founder Heidi Skillman created her first 360 Scarf® in 2003, her simple goal was to create winter wear that would keep up with an active lifestyle.  There was a need for highly fashionable, highly functional winter accessories and it took Skillman’s vision to create the 360 Scarf® and launch WinterScarf.

Skillman patented her 360 Scarf® and soon began selling it at local markets. The demand was immediate and she soon expanded WinterScarf across the country at various craft shows, boutiques and over the Internet. Based upon customer demand, the product line has grown to include matching hats and gloves.

WinterScarf believes in using only the finest quality fabrics. All products are made with only the  warmest, softest, and most stylish fabrics for our customers. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority, and we truly believe it drives our success.  We always strive to keep our customers warm and looking absolutely fabulous!

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When people ask you what you “do”, how do you answer?
I have a patent on a unique neck warmer and hand make them along with matching hats and gloves

What mediums do you work with?
Fiber

How would you describe your subject matter?
Highly fashionable and functional at the same time.

What are you trying to communicate with your art?
Warmth and convenience

What do you want your work to accomplish?
Warmth and convenience

What are you most proud of?
The substantial amount of repeat business and customer following I have.

How long have you been exhibiting at Arts Festivals?
10 years

How many shows do you do each year?
Only in the Fall – about 13

How long have you exhibited with Craftproducers?
4 years

What aspect of Festival life do you most enjoy?
Seeing my customers and how much they really enjoy my products

Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do?
Age 8

Do you have a designated Studio? How does this space inspire or contribute to your creative process?
I work from my home

What is the best advice you ever received about how to be more creative?
Listen to and observe your customers

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Meet Heidi and see the WinterScarf products for yourself at the Manchester Fall Art & Craft Festival, beginning tomorrow – October 4 – and running through the weekend at the Practice Tee at Riley Rink in Manchester VT.

Find WinterScarf online at www.winterscarf.com and on facebook.

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