Entertainment at the Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival

Live music adds an extra air of festivity to grounds of the Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival. Take a break from shopping to relax in the Dining Tent and listen to some great tunes.

On Friday, Spencer Lewis will play 2 sets (12:30 and 2:30). Lewis plays a blend of classical, new-age, folk and country on an acoustic steel-stringed guitar. Have a listen below:


On Saturday, enjoy a revival of the Fab Four with Studio Two the Beatles Tribute. Taking listeners back to the early 60s when the Beatles took the world by storm, Studio Two relives the music, instruments, and onstage banter in performing your most favorite hits. Catch them at 12:30 and 2:30 and get a preview below:


Sunday brings the Bondville Boys back to the Festival stage. Hailing from right here in Vermont (“some of us are from Bondville and some of us are boys!”) the Bondville Boys play a huge assortment of music, including many original tunes and covers of everything from Flatt and Scruggs to Blondie. Stop by for sets at 12:30 and 2:30 and check them out below:

Bondville Boys: Vermont Bluegrass Jam Band from Travis Wilber on Vimeo.

Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival

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!”


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.  


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.


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.


Bennington is Back!

Southern VT Art & Craft Festival, August 1-3 at Camelot Village in Bennington VT

Bring your friends, bring your kids, bring your parents! The Southern Vermont Art & Craft Festival is back August 1-3 at Camelot Village in Bennington, VT!

With 150 art, craft, and specialty food Exhibitors, this festival is a shoppers paradise. Live music, comic juggling, great food, beer, wine, craft demonstrations, and the Kid Zone children’s area provide entertainment for all.

Visit the Southern Vermont Art & Craft Festival page for details about the weekend, and head over to Artist Listings to see who is coming. Then plan out your weekend adventure in picturesque Bennington. We’ll see you there!

Art and Cynthia Baird


Art and Cynthia Baird are a husband and wife exhibiting team who travel to festivals and fairs together during the summer and autumn months and sell their handcrafted creations. Art is a potter, working from his studio in an antique barn behind the couple’s 1870’s home in the Adirondacks. Cynthia is a weaver, creating beautiful handwoven scarves and table textiles.

Art and Cynthia Baird

“The sights, textures, and rhythms of the natural world in our garden, in the woods near our house, and in the Adirondack wilderness shape the way I think about my work,” says Art. “I find insights in design, glazing, and surface decoration from Japanese folk pottery, the major influence on my work, and from 19th century American salt glazed pottery.” He mixes his own clay and glazes, believing “that mastery of every aspect of ceramics from raw materials to finished pieces is essential to being a potter.”

Read more about Art’s approach to his work and the couple’s history at www.artbaird.com. And be sure to stop by their booth at the Saratoga Balloon and Art Festival!

Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival Back Again in Bennington

After a rousing success in 2013, the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival is returning to Camelot Village in Bennington August 1, 2, & 3. 150 artists and artisans will display and sell their own handcrafted creations. The exhibitors will be housed in Camelot tents. In addition to the arts and crafts, there will be a Kids Zone, a food court, music, comic juggling, and Vermont Craft Beers.

Bennington was without a major craft show since the American Crafts Council departed Mount Anthony High School in 1972. In 2013 Craftproducers brought its famous Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival to Bennington. This event had been held at Hildene in Manchester for nearly 30 years. When Hildene announced that its Meadows would be converted into agricultural pasture land, Craftproducers was left without a venue for its summer show as well as the Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival. As Necessity is often the Mother of Invention, Craftproducers listened to the overtures of the Bennington community and decided to move the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival there. Craftproducers Fall Manchester event was successfully moved to The Practice Tee at Riley Rink in 2013.

Now in its second year in Bennington, word has gotten out among the artists and artisans. ‘Bennington is back!” Seemingly, memories of the former craft show in Bennington were vividly alive. After 30 years the craft community still remembered the original craft market. The public came out in droves and avidly bought an abundance of craftworks. With such stellar sales, the grapevine spread the news. This year applications came in at a much higher rate so there will be more exhibitors and the quality of craftwork will be improved.

The show is hosted at Camelot Village, home of the Southern Vermont Garlic Festival. Camelot Village is worth a visit on its own. It is a sprawling multi-leveled barn full of antiques, collectibles, and furniture. The Festival is located on their lawns and pathways. There is a lovely food court under the shade of tall maple trees where picnic tables are available too.  A dining tent with tables and chairs provides shelter for eating lunch and listening to the live music. There is a different musical act daily: Saints and Liars on Friday, Bob Stannard and Those Dangerous Bluesmen on Saturday, and The Bondville Boys on Sunday. Comic juggler Jason Pipitone will provide the laughs with daily intermittent shows.

What’s a Festival without great food? This one will deliver delicious choices: wood over pizza, falafel, chicken wraps, vegetarian curry, steak sandwiches, Chinese dumplings, sesame noodles, Greek salad, sausage, pepper, and onion sandwiches, French fries, espresso and lattes, lemonade, ice cream, hamburgers and hot dogs, and kettle corn.

The Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival will be held August 1, 2, and 3 at Camelot Village, 66 Colgate Heights, on route 9, a little over  a mile west of the Intersection of routes 7 and 9 in downtown Bennington. The Festival is open 10-5 on Friday and Saturday and 10-4 on Sunday. Adult admission is $8 and children are free. Rain or shine- under tents. No dogs, please. For more information, visit www.craftproducers.com/festivals/southern-vermont-art-craft-festival.

A Chance Encounter

Craftproducers’ Exhibitors travel extensively for Festivals – up and down the East Coast and westward as well. And they also travel for supplies: we ran into jewelry artisan Karen Cardoza unexpectedly at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show! Karen was purchasing brightly colored Afghan beads and stopped for a quick picture.

Jeweler Karen Cardoza at the Tucson AZ Gem and Mineral Show

We can’t wait to see what Karen creates from her gem show purchases! Visit Karen Cardoza at several of our 2014 Art and Craft Festivals.

Craftproducers 2014 Festival Season

2014 is here and Craftproducers is gearing up for a new year of Art and Craft Festivals! Applications are coming in from Artisan Exhibitors around the country and booth spaces are filling up.

We recognize the familiar names of Exhibitors who return year after year: people we have come to know well from the weekends spent together in beautiful fields around Vermont. And we are always excited to see the new names – whether they are artisans new to the festival world in general or seasoned veterans just now joining Craftproducers – we look forward to meeting them in person at Exhibitor checkin time.

Visitors to Craftproducers Vermont Art and Craft Festivals

From the photos sent in with their applications for jurying, we know what each Exhibitor will be bringing to the shows. But we know that touring the tents and seeing the booths overflowing with handcrafted creations will, as always, be an inspiring reminder of the variety and quality of the work these Artisans offer.

We are looking forward to a wonderful 2014 Festival season – we hope to see you there!

Holiday Gift Guide: Handmade For Him

Our Syracuse Holiday Crafts Spectacular is coming up next weekend – December 6-8 – at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse NY.  This show is a Holiday favorite for Customers and Exhibitors alike! Join us to find handcrafted gifts for your friends and family, holiday decor that will set you apart from the masses, and maybe a little something to pamper yourself…

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There is something for everyone at the Syracuse Holiday Crafts Spectacular. To get you started, here is a selection of wonderful gifts for the men in your life, handcrafted by Artisans who will be exhibiting at the show…

Does he already have All The Tools? How about chocolate ones? Isn’t It Sweet, a chocolate shop out of Albany NY sells a handyman set ideal for fixing up a sweet tooth. If he prefers savory treats, maybe artisan beef jerky made with top quality meats and all natural seasonings would fit the bill. Or for a gift that keeps on giving, select the Roaster’s Pick monthly coffee delivery from Simple Roast Coffee Company.

Of course, there’s a lot more than food. Find wonderful handcrafted items such as personalized golf markers, family name history plaques, fine art, unique clothing… and more.

See more of our picks and find links and info on our pinterest board:

Follow Craftproducers Handmade for Him on Pinterest

Chad Alan Heise, Heise Metal Sculpture

Chad Alan Heise of Heise Metal Sculpture is an Exhibitor new to our Syracuse Holiday Crafts Spectacular this year. Read Chad’s introduction below, and come meet him in person at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, December 6, 7, & 8. Welcome, Chad – we are so pleased you are joining us!

Proudly carrying the proverbial “torch” for my uncle, Bill Heise (who started Heise Metal Sculpture in 1966) I strictly adhere to his principles, using only recycled and repurposed metal, the majority of which is turn-of-the-century agricultural equipment and tools collected from the fields and farms of Vermont. Employing this unusual twist on the concept of “swords into ploughshares,” I assemble the various component parts to create sculptures with graceful lines and distinct personalities.


The delicate lines of the sculptures often defy their rugged origins, and I feel I’m paying homage to the farm equipment which faithfully turned soil for years, as well as to my uncle, who discovered the unique shapes within these components, and who taught me to discover how those shapes could be given new life.


Artist Spotlight: Heidi Skillman, WinterScarf

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.



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?

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


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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