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!

Chad Alan Heise, Heise Metal Sculpture

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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!
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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.

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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.

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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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Artist Spotlight: Jane Chenaille, Quilts by Jane

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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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Jane Chenaille is a new Exhibitor with Craftproducers Festivals. Based in Granby, MA, Jane designs and creates beautiful quilted works, including bed and wall quilts, table runners, hotpads, and napkins, and a line of aprons that are now sewn by her husband. Meet Jane at the Manchester Fall Art & Craft Festival, beginning Friday, October 4, at the Practice Tee at Riley Rink in Manchester VT.

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When people ask you what you “do”, how do you answer?
I’m a quilter

What mediums do you work with?
Mostly fabric. Hand embroidery with Redwork.

How would you describe your work?
Sewn items: Bed Quilts, Wall Quilts, Table Runners, Aprons, several sizes, and specialty items for special orders.

What are you trying to communicate with your art?
To provide my clients with quality sewn items at reasonable and fair prices.

What do you want your work to accomplish?
I need to create my own satisfaction in producing high quality items for my customers.

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What are you most proud of?
The many and varied facets of crafting through sewing, and serving my client base.

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

How many shows do you do each year?
As many as 20, and as few as 15, Depending on the year.

How long have you exhibited with Craftproducers?
This is my first year.

What aspect of Festival life do you most enjoy?
Meeting new crafters and people who enter my booth.

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Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to create things. From mud pies when I was a child to the quilts and sewn items I create today. Unfortunately, most of what I do today is for resale so I can only enjoy it until it finds a “new home”.

Which creative medium would you love to pursue but have not?
I’ve never learned or been taught, TATTING.

Do you have a designated Studio? How does this space inspire or contribute to your creative process?
No studio. Just craft fairs, website, and Ebay or other sales outlets.

What is the best advice you ever received about how to be more creative?
My grandmother told me, many, many years ago to be yourself, and create what you love.

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Visit Jane Chenaille’s booth at the Manchester Fall Art & Craft Festival.
You can also find her work online at www.qualitysewingbyjane.com.

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Artist Spotlight: Caryn King

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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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Caryn King will be at the Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival with her lovely and gently humorous animal paintings. With bright colors and minimal backgrounds, these paintings are reminiscent of vintage graphics, while also being detailed realistic portraits. The artist clearly loves animals, and you will love her work! Here is Caryn…
I paint mostly animals. I find it hard to resist starting a new painting every time I see a great looking cow, sheep pig, cat etc. Many of the chickens I paint live by my studio door so getting good reference of chickens is easy!

My paintings are contemporary folk art, realistically painted animals with personality. I am concerned with finding emotion and individuality in my paintings and feel I have a mission to share the wonder and love I feel for animals.

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I first did Craftproducers fairs over thirty years ago although at the time I was working in clay and my business was called Claydreams. Through the years since I studied and received a BFA at  Massachusetts College of Art, worked as an illustrator, moved to Vermont and taught art in Southern Vermont schools. For the last 8 years I have concentrated on painting. My studio is in South Newfane where I welcome visitors and students.

Artist Spotlight: Kimberlee Forney Art

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In the days leading up to Craftproducers Autumn Arts Festivals, we will be 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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Kimberlee Forney finds her inspiration among the beautiful Vermont landscape, within music, animals, people, and her daily surroundings. Texture and color are used in her creations to not only convey mood but to also represent the surrounding energy. For Kimberlee, being an artist is more than just about creating art. It is also about using her artwork to help benefit the lives of others. She spends a portion of her time promoting awareness about the “silent epidemic” of TBI (traumatic brain injury) and child abuse in our society. Every year, another 2 million persons in America sustain a brain injury and little assistance is available.  Kimberlee is also concerned about the epidemic of generational child abuse and the need for swift and appropriate action by our social systems to protect the children and end the cycle.

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When people ask you what you “do”, how do you answer?
I create…paintings mainly.

What mediums do you work with?
Acrylic on canvas…wood.

How would you describe your subject matter?
Colorful animals and ambiguous figures embedded in a joyful and playful world of solid color or intricate backgrounds.

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What are you trying to communicate with your art?
Harmony. Peace. Laughter. Joy. Lightness. Love.

What do you want your work to accomplish?
Bring a smile to the viewers face and inspire others to create.

What are you most proud of?
Using my art to promote peace and well-being in real-world situations.

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How long have you been exhibiting at Arts Festivals?
My first show was probably 10 years ago…and within the past couple years I have been expanding my show schedule to many kinds of festivals in different areas.

How many shows do you do each year?
This year about 20…but next year, perhaps more…

How long have you exhibited with Craftproducers?
Not sure…maybe 5, 6 years.

What aspect of Festival life do you most enjoy?
A lot of it.. traveling to a new place…meeting people…sharing my work with people.

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Which creative medium would you love to pursue but have not?
Perhaps some sculpture…but I think stained glass could be interesting too…

Do you have a designated Studio? How does this space inspire or contribute to your creative process?
I do have a space but it is not open to the public.  I work out of a basement, so there is little natural light in the space…perhaps that is why my paintings tend to be bright.

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Find Kimberlee Forney online at www.kimforney.com and on facebook.
Meet the Artist and see her wonderful, inspiring work in person at the Manchester Fall Art & Craft Festival, October 4-6 at the Practice Tee at Riley Rink in Manchester VT.

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