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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Design Your Own Silk Scarf!

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Paint on water and create your own gorgeous silk scarf with Shibumi Silks at the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival.

 

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Richard Borden and Patricia DeSantis are the dynamic duo behind Shibumi Silks – creating custom designed water marbled silk scarves and drawing crowds with their demonstrations and interactive booth display.

Visit Shibumi Silks at the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival to try your hand at painting with ink on water, marbling, and ultimately creating your own one-of-a-kind marbled silk scarf: a masterpiece of color and texture! Shibumi Silks will have their entire set-up waiting for you to choose your ink colors and scarf style and they will guide you in every step of this fascinating creative process! Look for their booth in the outdoor courtyard.

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photo credit: Shibumi Silks

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!

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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!

Holiday Gift Guide: Handmade For Him

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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

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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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