Northville 9th woodworking and art weekend going strong
NORTHVILLE — At the ninth annual Woodworking and Fine Arts Weekend, Connie van Laer of Stratford encountered something she touted as “phenomenal.”
She was talking about a woodcarving of two bears reaching for a bees’ nest for honey by Scott Hook of American Horse Wood Designs of Northville. “I am amazed at how he can take a chainsaw and create such intricacy,” she said. “I can recognize a true artist.”
The threat of rain seemed to dampen attendance Friday–and some people had umbrella for some light rain that fell. But the weekend continued Saturday and runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the Northampton town park on Main Street.
“I love crafts, period,” said Lisa Roese of Valley Forge, Pa., as she admired a Celtic piece of jewelry by Kim Dolan Design Jewelry.
For her part, Dolan is enthused with the weekend and how well the Rotarians lay out the royal carpet for vendors. “They just treat you really well,” she said. “It’s a pleasure and an honor to be here. This is the best show I do every year.”
Joseph and Sharon Benesch of Holland Patent make a variety of wooden products, including model trucks and trains.
He said his wholesale business has doubled since March because “all the China junk is on the [retail] shelf and mine is sold.”
Benesch said some of his trucks are so strong “I can stand on them, and I weigh almost 250.”
He also is impressed with the Rotarians because “they treat you the way they want to be treated. This is one of the best shows to go to.”
Leann Schroder of On the Bend of Hannacroix has come to the weekend for three years and is pleased that “so far almost every customer has been a repeat customer.”
She said she “hand-forges” recycled sterling silver and copper into jewelry with a blowtorch. “You’d be surprised,” she said, that her bestselling jewelry are pine cones and leaves.
JC Parker of Malta was painting during the fair because he loves painting and said, “I’d go crazy if I just had to stand here.”
Besides that, he said, “it creates interaction between me and the people going by.”
Parker sells commissioned work to very wealthy, well-known people but also retail and wholesale to the public upstate. He said his wholesale business has gone up 25 percent. “People are feeling better about things, and the economy is getting better,” he said.
Sue Owens, Northville Rotary secretary and program coordinator, said the weekend is the Rotary’s primary way to raise funds to help community organizations.
The weekend also “brings lots of people to Northville,” she said.
“It’s a weekend when the stores are full.”
In addition to other arts attractions in the village, the weekend gives “people in Northville something different to do.” Nonprofits can set up booths at no charge, she added.
Owens said the Rotary tries to bring in quality craftspeople, who make their own crafts, and reminds them to have “pieces priced to the average person.”
“We’re not trying to be just a regular craft show.”