Artists, patrons interact at League of NH Craftsmen's Fair
NEWBURY - The 81st annual League of New Hampshire Craftsmen's Fair opened Saturday at the Mount Sunapee Resort.
It's a nine-day show so you have to be ready for the long haul, craftsman Steven Hayden of Meredith said.
Working with wood, metal and ceramics, Hayden is the only member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen juried in three distinct mediums.
"The overall experience of the craftsmen's fair has been wonderful both as an artist as well as someone who enjoys the fair," Hayden said. "The most important thing is we get to meet our loyal patrons on a one-on-one basis and people get to meet us and share our stories and find out how we make it."
His work ranges from fine art to furnishings. So along with his own booth he is showing his work this year in the Sculpture Garden and the Living with Craft Exhibition.
"What's fun about the first day is seeing a lot of the same faces we've seen over the years," Hayden said, and seeing their reaction to new work. "That's what's really nice about this fair is that it brings out so many people that know and love what I do."
And when customers return and buy again, "It means I'm doing my job well," he said.
Fairgoer Annette Sanford of Amherst said it's amazing to return year after year and see the evolution of her favorite artists.
"It's awesome to see these artists and how they have grown," she said.
It wouldn't be a trip to the craftsmen's fair for Kathe Lewis of Portsmouth without a visit with Jim Lambert and his new work.
"I have a number of Jim's pieces," she said.
From images of Uncle Sam to the Mona Lisa to Dorothy Gale, Lambert of Hillsborough uses reclaimed and found objects to create his classic/ contemporary folk art.
"It's funny and people relate to it," Lambert said.
Saturday, a new piece depicting God literally driving Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, in a car, was catching a lot of people's attention.
"It's always great to get people's reactions to your work." Lambert said.
The fair is the oldest continually running crafts fair in the nation and is showcasing the work of more than 350 craftsmen this year.
From jewelry to furniture, baskets to sculpture, glass art to fiber arts, the diversity in crafts is vast.
The fair started Saturday and runs through Sunday, Aug. 10, at the Mount Sunapee Resort. It's open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, rain or shine. Admission is $10 for adults; $8 for seniors, students, active duty military, and groups of 20 or more. Admission is free for children 12 and under. A ticket includes admission to all exhibitions and demonstrations. Tickets can be purchased at www.nhcrafts.org.
The fair will stay open three hours later Thursday, until 8 p.m., with the "$5 After 4" event. Admission is half-price after 4 p.m.