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Amee Sweet-McNamara, soutache jewelry artist. Kelly Sennott photo.




Interactive art 

League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Fair director Terri Wiltse wishes more people knew that the fair’s not just for high-end buyers.
“I do think we’re very family-friendly. My kids loved to come when they were little, and even more kids do now. I think a lot of people think of us as being very high-end craft, but there are all kinds of hands-on workshops and projects that don’t even cost money for kids and adults to try,” Wiltse said. 
Some kids even sell their work here.
“We have a ‘Next Generation’ tent, and the kids really run it as a business.” (The Next Generation tent, Tent U, contains art by 17 youngsters ages 10 to 19, with work that ranges from jewelry and pottery to tie-dye and fiddle sticks.)
Part of the fair is run like an art exhibition. Included are Craftwear, in the Spruce Lodge next to the member/exhibitor entrance, and Living With Craft, which is just upstairs and set up like a home decorated with exquisite handmade items. The sculpture garden, located next to the Sunapee Lodge, contains work by a variety of well-known area artists, and the Shop at the Fair tent offers art by craftsmen who don’t have a booth.
Also, more than 50 percent of the fairgrounds is for educational purposes.
“You can take a tour with a famous woodworker, like Terry Moore, who is known nationally,” Wiltse said. “We have a workshop tent with people who love to teach. They’re all juried members, so they make craft at a high level. … There is a small fee usually involved, but some costs are as low as $5. … I think it really gives you an appreciation for the quality of our members’ work.”
She thinks this interactive nature sets them apart.
“I think a lot of craft fairs are essentially just come and buy,” Wiltse said. “They have booth holder tents. They don’t have exhibitions, and they don’t always require their craftspeople to be in attendance. We do. If you’re a booth holder for nine days, we require that you be on the grounds for six of those nine days. People want to meet the makers.”
 
League of NH Craftsmen Fair
Where: Mount Sunapee Resort, 1398 Route 103, Newbury
When: Saturday, Aug. 2, through Sunday, Aug. 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. On Thursday, Aug. 7, the fair stays open until 8 p.m. New this year is a Collector’s Sprint, a $50 ticket that gets you into the fair at 9 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. on Aug. 2 and includes premier parking, a tote bag with a limited edition 2014 ornament (which this year is a hand-formed cast pewter birch branch by Kristine Lane and Paulette Werger), bottled water, coffee and pastries.
Admission: $10, $5 if you come in after 4 p.m. Thursday; free for children 12 and younger
Contact: nhcrafts.org, 224-3375; the website also includes a 48-page program with a list of all participating craftsmen, booth information, workshop times/fees, maps and much more




Handmade for you
Shop the locally-grown fine craft of the annual nine-day mega fair

07/31/14
By Kelly Sennott ksennott@hippopress.com



 The League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair always starts with a loud horn.

When it goes off, hundreds of people barrel in through the gates, ready to spend money like it’s Black Friday. Potters, wood turners and makers of shoes, belts, baskets, jewelry, furniture and fly fishing rods stand at the ready, manning their decorated booths with items that took all year to make. 
“It’s like a craft fair on steroids,” said Siiri Grubb, co-owner of Sally Bags. “You get there, you see the level of talent, and you’re just in awe.”
This year’s fair starts Saturday, Aug. 2, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 10 (see box at right). In addition to the 200 craft booths, the 81st Annual New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair hosts live demonstrations and workshops, seminars and exhibitions, theatrical performances and a collector’s sprint. Scattered about the fair will be work by more than 350 crafters.
Part of the appeal, naturally, is in the merchandise — you can see the difference in quality in work handmade by professionals. Having work at the fair is a milestone, a declaration of true excellence, and the fair-goers know it; the League, one of the oldest and most recognized craft organizations in the country, saw 27,000 visitors at last year’s fair, with representation from every state and 19 countries.
Equally appealing is meeting the artists in person. Here’s a tiny preview of some of the League crafters who will be at the fair and the hand-crafted items they’ll be selling.
 
Running With Scissors
Amee Sweet-McNamara, soutache jewelry artist 
Location: Tent 6, Booth 633
Based in: Manchester
Contact: ameerunswithscissors.com
Be childlike. Be creative. Be fearless.
Amee Sweet-McNamara of Manchester named her jewelry business Amee Runs With Scissors to remember the importance of not getting bogged down by what does or doesn’t sell. She didn’t get into the business to make money; it was an incurable passion for color and art that drove her from interior to jewelry design. 
“This is the jewelry for the women who are attracted to things that are big, bold and beautiful, who are absolutely unconcerned with status ... or trend,” Sweet-McNamara said during an interview at her studio. She sported fire-engine red lipstick with hair colored to match. 
Her studio, housed in her Victorian Manchester apartment, is as colorful as the jewelry she makes, with a great big wall covered with rainbow soutache, another with an ornate cabinet containing supplies organized alphabetically. 
Her jewelry is like twisted rainbows, spangled with beads and stones. The primary material is soutache, which is of French origin and fairly new to the American crafting community. She developed an interest in the thin, braid-like material composed of two cords strewn together while Googling “bead embroidery inspiration.” On the 50th page back, she found a fuzzy photo with instructions in a foreign language. She was intrigued.
At the time, she was working full time as an interior designer at Blackdog Builders but was in the midst of a transition. She’d begun to put herself through school at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, a feat she thought might fulfill her longing to do something more colorful and creative than her current job allowed. It led to an unfortunate discovery: she was in the wrong industry. 
“I had an amazing boss for 17 years. I worked for Blackdog Builders, and I had an amazing family there,” she said, threading another bead on a curvy, turquoise earring while we talked. “But when you start to figure out what your absolute passion is — and then when you have to spend your hours in between doing the thing you no longer love — it’s just not a good way to live your life.”
She made the transition to full-time crafter earlier this year.
Sweet-McNamara was always an artist, always a sewer; in high school, she made her own clothes like Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink. 
“In the ’80s, it was not cool to be crafty, the way it is now. In the ’80s, it was geeky to be crafty, and I was a super geek,” she said.
In her family, there was always great respect for the League. Her grandmother was a member long ago, and Sweet-McNamara remembers attending the fair as a kid, hands crammed with allowance money.
So when she continued making soutache jewelry and began achieving a bit of recognition — a crafting magazine called Bead & Button published her art on the cover and an article inside, and even more recently, Stephen Tyler reportedly purchased a piece of her jewelry — she knew that in order to be “legit,” she needed to get that League stamp of approval and become a juried member. 
This year is her fourth with the fair, her second with a booth all her own. She’ll present customers with a few new items — soft cuff bracelets and pieces with druzy stones and Kumihimo braid attachments — still with that bold, signature style.
 
Glass and Class
Frank family, glass artists
Location: Tent 2, Booth 204
Based in: Nashua
Contact: renaissanceglass.com
Thirty-three years ago, husband and wife  Mark and Kathleen Frank started Renaissance Glassworks. Twenty years later, they decided to join the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, thus ensuring a busy June, July and August from that point on.
This year is no exception.
Since they started the business three decades ago, their son Kyle has become an integral member of RG, which is based in Nashua’s Picker Building. They teach classes year-round, but on the day of the interview, just a couple weeks before the fair, all three were bustling about the studio, scouring (cutting) glass, soldering and packing finished products away.
This year’s merchandise is varied, as the family always intends it to be. At this interview, Kathy Frank was working on a bright piece that seemed to consist of rainbow feathers.
“It’s a fly fishing hook,” Kathy Frank said, heating and melting the seams of the glassy picture. “My husband and son are into fishing, and this year, we have some fish-themed items. … This year, the guy next to us at the fair makes fly rods, so we thought this might be a good idea.” (The maker is Fred Kretchman, who we also interviewed.) 
This year’s stock also offers ornate trees, dragonflies, landscapes, sunset scenes and birds reminiscent of Charley Harper’s famous illustrations. A good number of their items for the fair are 3-D and of smaller size than what’s in the League store galleries.
All of their art is custom-designed and almost always 100-percent handmade, sealed together with the copper foil method. Whenever they can, they purchase top-of-the-line handmade glass, produced locally and around the world. You can see the difference in the swirls and patterns within each pane.
Kathy and Mark said they’d be working nonstop right until Aug. 2, and then, if need be, they might create during the week, too. 
“If we have something that’s selling like hotcakes, we might come back and make more,” said Kathy Frank, who on this day wore a silver bracelet from a past fair. (Artists are consumers too; Kathy Frank said that on the last days of the fair, they’ll often trade items with fellow craftsmen, which is common practice.)
They have a regular following, at the fair, but just as much so in their regular commission work.
“People become emotionally attached to homemade glass,” Mark Frank said. 
 
Lookin’ Fly
Fred Kretchman, split bamboo fly rod-maker
Booth: Tent 2, Booth 203
Contact: finebamboorods.com
Based in: Kittery Point, Maine (but lived in New Hampshire for 30 years)
You haven’t fly fished to your full potential until you’ve done so with a bamboo fly-fishing rod.
Naturally, Fred Kretchman is biased in his opinion; a resident of New Hampshire for 30 years, he now lives and has a storefront in Kittery Point, Maine, 300 feet from salt water. He discovered the beauty of fishing with a bamboo rod in 1990. 
“I was fishing with a friend of mine. He had an old bamboo rod. I thought it looked really cool, and it brought back memories of my dad fishing,” Kretchman said in a phone interview. Soon after, he began a quest to find his own bamboo treasure.
He scoured antique shows and yard sales, but realized soon that in order to find that perfect rod, he’d have to make his own. A Nashua resident at the time, he checked out A Master’s Guide to Building a Bamboo Fly Rod by Hoagy B. Carmichael at the Nashua Public Library. He built his first in 1993.
“Then, one of my fishing buddies saw the rod I’d made. He said, ‘Wow, can I buy one of those?’ The thought hadn’t occurred to me before — that I could make rods and sell them,” Kretchman said. 
Soon all Kretchman’s fishing friends were ordering handmade rods. They recognized the careful creation in each piece, crafted with a combination of tapers, carefully selected bamboo, heat-tempering, flaming and glue. They take about two weeks to make.
His part-time hobby became a bustling business. Most modern fly rods, he says, are made with graphite, a very stiff material. Bamboo is better suited, and better-looking, too.
“Bamboo rods have a nice, easy casting to them,” he said. “You can make a fly land so softly with a bamboo rod; it’s almost impossible to do the same thing with a graphite rod.”
Kretchman had always been a fan of the craftsmen fair. He’d been a regular attendee since he first moved to the New Hampshire in the mid-’80s, and he spent most of his time there admiring work by woodturners and furniture makers.
It wasn’t until 2009 that he left his career of 21 years and began building rods full-time. Last year was his first show, and he caused a bit of commotion with live demonstrations.
“When I put a reel on one of my rods and strung it out, I started casting on the grass. I had crowds of people gathering around, just to see how the rod worked,” he said. 
He tells customers they’ll catch more fish with his constructions, even if it simply means they’ll enjoy casting more and thus will spend more time fishing.
“You can always tell who’s fishing with bamboo on the water because they’re the ones with the smile on their face,” Kretchman said.
 
Bedridden to Beadaholic
Deb Fairchild, beader
Location: Craftwear exhibition; she’ll also teach two classes
Contact: debfairchilddesigns.com
Based in: Hampstead
Eleven years ago, Deb Fairchild was not a beader. 
She worked long, 12- to 14-hour days that started with a 4 a.m. commute. She studied anthropology at Harvard but was also good with numbers and seemingly fell into financial administration, first at Brown, then at MIT.
It was during one of these long, 12-hour days 11 years ago that everything changed; while racing to a meeting a half mile on the other side of campus, she slipped, fell and broke her leg on the snow-covered ice.
“It was one of those things where you’re running in too many directions,” Fairchild said during an interview at Hampstead’s BeanTowne Coffee House and Cafe. The day was warm and sunny, and she wore a draping, spiraling, moss green necklace.
After the break, she was ordered to stay off her feet for 12 weeks. Her husband went mad trying to find things for her to do while bedridden; she estimates he stopped at Barnes & Noble four times a week purchasing books and magazines, anything to ensure she stay rested and heal quickly.
“In some ways, it felt like a wake-up call, for me to have to be laid up for a while. You really need to stop and look at the world again, to regroup and figure out what’s important and what’s not. I look at it as a real life-changer for me,” Fairchild said.
One of those magazines her husband purchased was a beading magazine. She’d known how to knit and crochet, but there was something different that enthralled her.
“I must have gone through that thing about 400 times,” Fairchild said. 
Part of her fascination, admittedly, had to do with her undergraduate studies.
“At every archaeology site in the world, you’ll see that where there were people, there were beads,” she said. “I was just fascinated with beads. I think part of that had to do with my studies. They’re everywhere, and they’re beautiful. I’ve never seen a bead I don’t like.” (Her daughter doesn’t mind this fascination; at her Mardis Gras-themed wedding in California, Fairchild beaded individual earrings for each bridesmaid.)
When her leg healed, she returned to work, but only for three years.
“When my daughter graduated from college, I said, ‘Enough is enough,’” Fairchild said.
She became a juried member of the League a few years ago, and today, much of her career consists of teaching. Her signature style: jewelry with movement. From far away, it almost looks like cloth.
“My style is more in the way I construct things,” she said, playing with a few of the pieces she’d brought to the interview: a navy blue roped necklace, a starred, red beaded bracelet and a coral reef-like necklace that can be draped and strewn like a scarf. 
“I use a lot of seed beads and accent beads. … I like the way the free form moves,” she said.
Her necklaces are intended to be worn and to last. After she makes a piece, she puts aside a few beads and tells customers she’s happy to perform a “tune-up” every five years or so.
“I think the League is a well-recognized organization. People have heard of it from all over the country,” she said. “I can’t say I have a BFA or MFA, but to say I’m a member of this juried organization, that I’ve won awards at their exhibitions, gives me credibility.”
 
The Bag Ladies
Janet Durkee-Prescott, sewer/bag-maker
Location: Tent 2, Booth 209
Contact: sallybagsonline.com
Based in: Conway
Twelve years ago years ago, Janet Durkee-Prescott started making hefty, sturdy bags with bright, fun designs from high-grade upholstery fabric. Her best friend, Carol Churchill, came up with the name: Sally Bags. (Sally, for whatever reason, is their nickname for one another. Neither, obviously, is named Sally.)
Sally Bags began as a hobby. At the time, Durkee-Prescott worked full time for the Chamber of Commerce. In 2007, she met a new employee, a woman named named Siiri Grubb.
Despite their 26-year age difference, they became instant friends. Both, they discovered, weren’t really living their dream job — Durkee-Prescott loved sewing, and Grubb wanted to be a business owner. It was Grubb who came up with the idea.
“She said, ‘We’ll quit our jobs, do this full time, and it will be awesome,’” Durkee-Prescott said. At that point, Durkee-Prescott was also at a crossroads; it was becoming increasingly draining to work 40 hours a week, come home and get ready for a show on the weekend. Something had to give.
A full-time Sally Bags business started in 2010 in Durkee-Prescott’s big old farm house on the Saco River. They both quit their jobs, and her old tool shed became a studio with carpeting, shelving and walls coated with inspirational bright colors. Durkee-Prescott became the full-time bagmaker — working while balancing on an exercise ball, sometimes so fast, the whole studio shakes — and Grubb would work the business end.
“I also do all the cutting and the finish work, but she does the sewing — she makes every bag we have and is the true artist,” Grubb said in a phone interview. 
This year’s hottest piece is the Trekker, an oversized tote with two open side pockets on the outside (ideal for water bottles), two inside open pockets, two inside zippered pockets (with beaded pulls), magnetic snap closures and 26-inch double handles. Next in demand is the Day Tripper, a smaller cross-body piece, “just big enough for the essentials,” Grubb said, which was recently reworked to fit an iPad.
Right now, nine different prints and nine styles are listed at sallybagsonline.com, but each bag, Grubb said, is made with care and durability. The upholstry-grade fabric comes straight from U.S. mills. Think of a canvas bag.
“You can throw them in a washing machine, and they last longer; we use a double bag method. There’s an ‘inside’ and an ‘outside’ bag [different patterns for each] which adds an extra layer of protection. Everything is finished, the seams are hidden, and the straps have webbing,” Grubb said. 
It’s the busiest season; they work seven days a week and attend upward of 40 retail and craft shows a year. This is their second year at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Fair.
“We’re always tweaking our designs. … I think there’s a shift in how consumers are buying their products,” Grubb said. “They’re being more choosey. They want quality, and they want things as local as they can get them.”
 
Woodturning Wonder Woman
Donna Zils Banfield, woodturner/carver
Location: Tent 3, Booth 304, Living With Craft exhibition
Contact: livealifelessordinary.com
Based in: Derry
Donna Zils Banfield’s husband Dave was always pretty good at picking out Christmas gifts, but in 2001, he outdid himself.
“My husband gave me a lathe in 2001 as a Christmas gift,” Banfield said in her red-walled, green-roofed Derry studio, just a couple of weeks before the fair’s start. She was surprised when she opened the present 13 years ago; she hadn’t been hinting at anything of the sort, but he’d seen her, year after year, eyeing the woodturners during the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Fair practical demonstrations during their annual Sunapee visits. (She estimated that they probably have a dozen pieces of art from past fairs at their home.)
So that Christmas, even though she was already busy with her own law practice, even though she was cramped for time teaching as an adjunct faculty member at UMass-Lowell, she began to learn the art, first at a wood craft store in Woburn, Mass., and then during hours of her own standing at the lathe.
It wasn’t long before she lived and breathed wood. She describes the material the way some people talk about food, from its warmth and hypnotizing aroma to its interesting texture.
“And I was achieving some mild success, but I was also experiencing the deep dissatisfaction law eventually has for a lot of people, and I was finding every excuse possible not to go in to work that day,” Banfield said. 
Her husband, seeing her misery, suggested in 2003 she just try woodturning full time while still teaching at UMass.
“Before he even finished, I was already mentally writing a letter in my head to my clients,” Banfield said. “Is it an easy way to make a living? No. I work more hours now than I did when I was practicing law. The difference is, I don’t hate getting up for work Monday morning anymore, like lots of people do. I am very fortunate that I was able to make that choice, and have that choice be supported.”
Her work today includes wood-turned vases, bowls and vessels, but also characteristic are the intricate carved designs, which often are burned or stained in a way to emphasize the wood’s natural properties. Her work will also decorate the Living With Crafts exhibition, which includes a piece she partnered with fellow league member Peter Bloch to create, a lamp shade with leaflet engravings.
 
Fishing vs. Pottery
David Ernster, potter
Location: Tent 8, Booth 806, Aug. 2 to Aug. 5, Living With Craft exhibition
Contact: davidernster.com
Based in: Newbury
When you grow up on the Mississippi River, there are certain perks, particularly if you’re into fishing or pottery. Or both. 
It was unmistakably a big influence on Newbury artist David Ernster’s development. As a kid, he fished on the river nearly every day. Today, he tries to get out a couple of times a week, but it’s hard when making a living involves creating art and teaching college art classes (at Colby-Sawyer College, about 25 minutes away). Both are pretty time-consuming.
Firing, for instance, can take upwards of 19 hours; if you fire with wood, you have to sit nearby the whole time. Ernster does this in his studio’s homemade kiln, settled on a large Newbury plot of land with little cell reception. Many of his pieces at the fair will have been fired this way.
“I think most people are a little surprised to see wood-fired work, because it’s not all that common. The whole surface isn’t glazed, and the colors are usually really earth-toned. It doesn’t have that bright, shiny experience people expect to see when they think about ceramics,” he said. “It’s a really demanding process, but I really love being directly involved in it. … There’s a much more visible reaction with the wood ash. … I think it’s interesting, to see how things adapt to their environment.”
He makes up for his lapse on the water in his work; not only do quite a few pieces contain fish drawings or engravings, but they contain natural coloring — sea green, turquoise, brown and, every once in a while, a salmon pink — reminiscent of the water. One of his pieces, lying on the recently laid floorboards, was a sculpture of a grouchy-looking catfish.
“People call them mud cats — they kind of live in the mud, in the clay, which is sort of how I first got into clay,” Ernster said. 
He makes his own clay bodies, something he’s always done; growing up in Iowa, he dug up clay from the river.
“It takes a lot of work. Most people don’t do that — they buy their own clay. … I do buy some of my materials, but I like to add a lot of local materials, too,” he said. 
Another influence: metalsmithing, his undergraduate major.
“I worked as a goldsmith first,” Ernster said. “It’s one of the ways I’ve supported myself over the years. … To me, they’re [pottery and metalsmithing] not really any different. … They’re things you can do anything you want with; one’s just a little harder to move.”
 
The Alpaca Farmer
Jamie Page, weaver
Location: Living with Craft, Shop at the Fair exhibitions
Contact: sanctuarysalpacafarm.com
Based in: Alstead
Alstead resident Jamie Page feels pretty lucky she’s found a career that melds her two passions: animals and art.
Page grew up in an old farm house, and while her family didn’t own an actual farm, they lived near many. In college, she took painting and drawing classes, but it was always just a hobby.
Her livelihood, starting 10 years ago, was in alpaca farming. The goals were straightforward — to breed healthy, well-conformed alpacas with breeding and nursing vigor and fleece of excellent quality. 
But five years ago, the farm took a different direction when, upon encouragement, she learned how to weave at Harrisville, which is a “weaving center,” Page said in the interview, and close to her home. She had all this excess fiber, and it seemed a shame that it go to waste.
She began sending the alpaca fiber to mills in Ohio, Barrington and Brandon, Vt., to name a few. They transport the yarn back to her, and she creates scarves, hats and rugs.
Weaving has since become her primary business.
“I don’t like marketing my animals as much as I like marketing their fiber,” Page said in a phone interview. “My whole life, I’ve liked to sketch, to paint, but now I get to really zero in on something. … I always wanted to learn to weave, but I never had the opportunity. Finally, it just became one of those things that made a lot of sense for me to get going on. I was given a loom [from the mill in Barrington], I took a course, and I made it my business to learn.”
She stopped breeding about three years ago and became a juried member of the League last year. The 22 alpacas — all named — are there to stay. It’s less work, breeding them purely for fiber.
“It’s easy [caring for alpacas] if you’re not breeding. They’re quite easy as livestock go. They don’t eat much, they’re pretty tidy, and they don’t mess up the land as badly,” Page said. 
At Sunapee, she’ll present rugs, mug rugs (coasters) and table runners. Her latest work has involved experimenting with natural dyes, like from the pokeberries near her house.
“I love to make do with what we have, and what’s local and natural,” Page said. “One of the things I’ve loved about being an alpaca farmer is that, as far as the industry goes, it’s fairly new to everyone.”
 
Lots of Leather
Diane Louise Paul, leather artisan
Location: Tent 6, Booth 630, Craftwear exhibition
Based in: North Hampton
Contact: dlpleather.com
Before she was a leather artisan, Diane Louise Paul raced horses at Rockingham Park. Naturally, she came across leather items all the time — chaps, straps, sleigh bells, you name it. On occasion, she came across very badly made items. One day in the mid-1980’s, when her chaps needed replacing, she took matters into her own hands. She rented an antique sewing machine and got to work.
“The very first pair I made, I wore,” Paul said in a phone interview. 
People noticed quickly. Many other riders were facing the same problem — worn-down or broken leather gear — and requested help.
“They used to give me things to practice on, and I repaired their stuff. It’s how I self-taught myself: I took things apart, repaired them, and put them back together,” Paul said.
Her craft evolved; when she wanted bells for her horse, she found a bell maker and started making her own. Eventually, she did away with the antique sewing machine and began collecting antique tools for hand-stitching instead.
“In a machine-stitched item, if something breaks, it will unravel. If it’s hand-stitched, it’s individually knotted and will stay together. That’s the difference,” Paul said. 
She learned about the League at a church bazaar.
“An older lady came up to me and told me I was selling my stuff at the wrong place,” Paul said. “She told me I should get juried and join the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.”
She was accepted straightaway and participated in her first fair in 1999.
Today, she no longer makes horse items; her merchandise includes designer belts/belt straps, dog collars, leashes, leather bracelets, cuffs, etc. She also enjoys repair and preservation work. At the fair, she invites visitors to bring old belt buckles, for which she will create a new, custom strap.
 
League Vet
Sam Wild, potter
Location: Tent 2, Booth 208
Contact: wildpottery.com
Based in: Wilmot
Sam Wild produced pottery for 31 years at Potter’s Place in Andover. Fittingly, the signature characteristics in the 71-year-old’s art — from his bowls and mugs to his spoon rests and soap pumps — are the tiny wild creatures that sit atop a lid or scurry across an edge. 
Wild was in the Navy before he earned a master’s degree in Fine Art from Ohio University, but he’s been a potter since 1971, which is when he moved to New Hampshire and joined the League. He celebrates his 44th year with the fair this August.
He remembers the fair’s early years.
“The first time I ever did it, there were individual tents that each craftsman got,” Wild said. “There was no electricity, and there were no booths; they gave us a few knock-down shelves. … There also used to be a river running through the front of the fair.”
His stock this year includes pottery in all forms, including bowls, mugs, drawer and cabinet knobs, vases, spoon holders and soap pumps, trimmed with things like dragonflies, lizards, turtles, fish and leaves. 
 
As seen in the July 31, 2014 issue of the Hippo. 





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