Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Big Fiber Art Fair

The calendar might say it’s mid-November, but the weatherperson had other ideas last week. We had some delightful sunny days with days in the mid seventies. Normal people think of raking leaves or going for a nice walk, but not me. I took the unexpected opportunity to finish four wood frames for weavings. Just like rodents putting away nuts for the winter, I store away finished frames for those long winter days when I’m cozied up in my art studio weaving and it’s too cold outside to use putty or stains. Of course that got me excited about weaving, so I spent some time working on my Baby Carrots commission. I wove a little dirt and remembered just how much I enjoy weaving. Luckily I snapped out of my reverie in time to get ready for the Bloomington Spinners and Weaver’s Guild Fiber Art Fair on Friday and Saturday. It was wonderful to catch up with people I only see once or twice a year. It was especially nice to finally cross paths with a woman who’s been looking for me for five years. I did a show in Sellersburg, a small town in southeastern Indiana not too far from Louisville. I haven’t done the show since, mostly because Sellersburg isn’t an apt name. I even read the papers the next day, thinking that the bridges between Indiana and Louisville must have washed out, keeping all my potential patrons south of the Ohio River...

The thing that struck me about this weekend’s show was the number of people who not only recognize my art, but can also point out the pieces that represent my new directions and ideas. This year the big hit for me was the ruffled scarves. I sold every one I had, which has sent me into a frenzy to find more merino. I try to buy all my stuff locally, but I've exhausted the supply of merino fleece for fifty miles. I ultimately ordered some from a web source in Portland, Oregon, but I ended up buying them out too. I’m patiently waiting for the delivery and a refund for the rest of the incomplete order. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m anticipating making more ruffled scarves and a black shawl, all before the next show, the UU Art Fair and Bazaar on December 3 & 4.

Doing the show this weekend made me appreciate my support crew. I got a delightful breakfast of toast, sausages and eggs. OK, the eggs were egg beaters and the sausages were the veggie version, but they were just what I wanted. They brought me food at the show when I needed it, including a delightful sandwich from Panera for lunch Saturday. When the show was over they packed me up in the rain and drove me home, smiling the whole time. I’m very lucky. My security translates into warm fuzzy art and new challenges.

A next step for me came to pass over the past few weeks, with David Goodrum stepping down as the president of the Fourth Street Art Fair executive committee. I tried to bribe him with some old champagne. Actually, I gave him a bottle to congratulate him and a second bottle to bribe him to say on. It didn’t work. When the committee reconvened and had elections to replace the executive committee, I threw my hat into the ring. Now I’m the new Fourth Street Fair president. I’m a little nervous about the enormity of the task but I’m looking forward to the challenge. The show has been a big success for 35 years, so I have big shoes to fill and long shadows to grow beyond. The good news is that the hard working crew of volunteer artists that make it happen is still in place. They make it fun and worthwhile.

Until next week…

Martina Celerin

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