Wednesday, August 11, 2010

League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Fair

Our Montana daughter and her family just went back home after a wonderful but all-too-short visit. I am missing my lovely little granddaughter so much! To take our mind off our empty house, we went on a road trip and stopped at this fair. The fair began in 1932, making it the oldest craft fair in the US. This is a rigorously juried affair with gorgeous work at every booth.

I got an early birthday present - this lovely bracelet made by Anne Hanson from Dunstable, Massachusetts. I've been looking for a silver bracelet for some time now and believe I've found just the right one! Not only is Ms Hanson's jewelry beautiful, but it is even more amazing once you hear her story. She was a successful artist, making wonderful jewelry when she had a major stroke at age 50, leaving her right hand - her jewelry-making hand, essentially paralyzed. She then taught herself how to be left-handed - not just for day-to-day life stuff, but to start all over as a left-handed jewelry artist. What a courageous and talented woman! If ever there was a lesson in " when life hands you lemons, make limoncello" , this is it.

I'm always intrigued by the labels we give ourselves ( as those of you who've read some of my older posts know!) - do we call ourselves "artists" or "craftsmen" ( or the PC "craftspeople"). In one of the booths - very intricate woodblock printing by Matt Brown, I came across these definitions that finally made sense to me. He says that "craft" is the technique part of what we do and the part that can be reproduced over and over. Like making water-stamped backgrounds - a technique we can all learn, and repeat whenever we want to use it. The "art" part is unique to us - once the technique part is done, art is what we do with it to make it uniquely ours - the colors, composition, materials and vision that go into each piece.
Now, to get going on that canvas that needs to be finished!!

1 comment:

  1. Love the bracelet, but like you the story behind the maker is incredible. Just coming out of rehab, the stories there made me appreciate my health and be thankful for the life I have. What a great present to celebrate your birthday. Wishing you a Happy Birthday!


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