I had the pleasure of visiting the historic Izaak Walton Inn in Essex, MT this weekend for an arts and crafts fair...had my stuff set up and met some great folks. Here's some good shots of the quirky old building. This used to be a boarding house for the train folks back in the day, and this place has got a lot of history in it. A lot of dusty, funny, cool, weird, old stuff.
The selling jewels part of the weekend was a bit of a flop, but I met some great folks, learned a lot about venue, advertising and how IMPORTANT that is, and really just feeling out a venue that might or might not work...there's a craft world out there for everybody, you just have to figure out where you belong.
So the best part of the weekend was Jan. She's this older gal I set up next to this weekend. She is a quilter, and a damn good one. Her home is up waaaaay in the boonies, off one of the bigger mountain passes in montana, Marias pass. SHe lives with her husband and maincoon cat, and sews her little heart out. There's no cell phone service, no grocery store, no gas station, no mall or movie to run to when things get quiet and slow...and I have a feeling it is all pretty quiet and slow. Her attention to detail, and meticulous craftsmanship is jaw-dropping.
I have realized a lot about craft this weekend. Not all of it is glamorous, not all of it is about the trend of the week, but ALL of it is about heart. About putting yourself into something you make, and knowing that someone out there will appreciate what you do, sometimes be BLOWN AWAY by what your craft is...It's not about getting into galleries, or filling the pages of American Craft with the latest and craziest schemes. There's stuff for all creative hearts out there, meticulous stuff (like this quilt that jan made that just floors me, or the teeeeeny seed bead bracelets she makes and that are just gorgeous and NOT my cup of tea at all) there's fun stuff, like toy trains and trucks, there's funky stuff (there was a lady upstairs selling beaded horseshoes...whaaaat? and they are actually pretty cool) and there's the "old lady stuff" and you know what i mean. BUT the idea is there's something for everybody....I didn't sell much this weekend, but I met some great people who are the heart of craft....Screw the fancy galleries. GO to a craft fair to see the beating heart of America.
So here's more great pictures of the weekend. A success in itself : )