New host, location for Artisan Fair

By on November 9, 2016

For those who enjoy high-quality craft fairs, the Artisan Fair is most likely on your list.

This year, the Artisan Fair has a new host and a new location. It’s being held Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 12 and 13 at Spooky Nook Sports, 2913 Spooky Nook Road, Manheim. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 and parking is free.

The event had been hosted for a number of years by the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen at locations such as Manheim Township High School; F & M College; and, more recently, the Lancaster County Convention Center. Now it’s being hosted by the Lancaster Designer Craftsmen, the guild’s Lancaster chapter.

Greg Pencheff, an artisan and president of the Lancaster Designer Craftsmen, said that last year the guild decided that it would no longer host the event.

Ceramic vases wildlife-themed pendants by Alexander Cluck, of Manheim, will be available for purchase  at the Lancaster Designer Craftsmen's Artisan Fair on Nov. 12 and 13.

Ceramic vases wildlife-themed pendants by Alexander Cluck, of Manheim, will be available for purchase at the Lancaster Designer Craftsmen’s Artisan Fair on Nov. 12 and 13.

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“Our chapter had discussed hosting a show for a number of years, but finding a location and date for vendors was a bit difficult,” he explained. “I was disappointed to learn that the guild would not be hosting the Artisan Fair, since I do really well at this show. But it turned out to be a great opportunity for our chapter. Suddenly many fine artisans had a hole in their show schedule. We decided to continue the tradition of hosting a show on the second weekend of November.”

He pointed out that October is the beginning of the craft show season. He expects that Nook Sports will be an excellent venue for both artisans and patrons. For artisans, loading and unloading will be pretty easy. For patrons, there’s a lot of free parking. And there’s easy access to the venue itself since it’s right off of Route 283.

“We do have artisans and patrons coming from both other parts of the state, as well as from out-of-state, so having a place that’s easy to get to is important,” Pencheff said.

Vendors will offer a variety of items, including sculpture, jewelry, photography, metal work, glass, ceramics and both wearable and non-wearable fiber art. Pencheff stressed that the Lancaster Designer Craftsmen will continue the guild’s strict requirements for vendors, and each of the 80 exhibitors is a fine craftsmen.

“People who have been attending the show for a number of years will notice that we have a number of returning artisans as well as several newcomers,” he said.

"Bounty" by Andy Smith, Lititz watercolorist.

“Bounty” by Andy Smith, Lititz watercolorist.

Ceramic artist Alexander Cluck of Manheim is one of the first-timers. He said that although he learned the basics of ceramics at Lancaster Clay Studios in Landisville, he’s mostly self-taught.

“I picked up a lot of experience wood-firing ceramics in Baltimore, Md,” Cluck said. “My forms vary from the handbuilt stoneware vases, layered in porcelain and carved to carved nature inspired stoneware; bottles, vases, pitchers, and boxes. Lately I’ve been focusing mostly on carved porcelain pendants, fired in the electric kiln in my studio at home. All of my larger pieces and some pendants are wood fired to cone 10 (2350 f) in a Noborigama wood kiln at Baltimore Clayworks or Chester Springs Studio.”

A member of the Lancaster Designer Craftsmen, Cluck said that he does one or two shows each year.

“I haven’t done a show this large since being an emerging artist at Mt. Gretna’s art show about six years ago,” he said. “I chose to because the show is local, I like the venue, and it seems to be a good mix of artists.”

Andy Smith, a watercolor artist from Lititz, is one of the show’s returning artists. Pencheff pointed out that Smith was one of the first artists’ to sign up for the show. Smith said that he started exhibiting at the Artisan Fair when the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen held it at Manheim Township High School.

“I followed the show when it went downtown to the convention center, but I didn’t really like that location,” Smith said. “I’m excited about the move to a new venue — it offers easy load-in for artists and lots of parking.”

For further information about the Lancaster Designer Craftsmen’s Artisan Fair and a listing of exhibitors and a sample of their work, visit artisanfair.org.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com.

 

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