Don’t let the name mislead; you won’t find pom-pom pets or Popsicle houses at this show. Craftsmen from North Carolina and Virginia will bring their tools, knowledge and wares to showcase traditional heritage crafts expertly designed and lovingly made by first-class artisans.
The 59th Annual Albemarle Craftsman’s Fair Oct. 27-29 will be held at the Knobbs Creek Recreation Center in Elizabeth City, N.C. Sponsored by the Albemarle Craftsman’s Guild, the fair features artisans who demonstrate and sell traditional crafts that range from quilting and fiber arts to pottery, jewelry and woodwork. We were curious about the show’s history and participants, so we posed a few questions to Elizabeth City craftswoman, Lisa Winslow.
Working to preserve and perpetuate heritage crafts, Guild members pride themselves on using creative approaches to advance their crafts. “We use modern tools and up to date designs, but the items are still traditional crafts,” said longtime Albemarle Craftsman’s member Lisa Winslow. “For example, you’ll find the most beautiful jewelry in 10 different forms, but still using a traditional craft. Or you’ll see furniture making, which is a traditional craft, but in modern designs.” Exhibits will include boat replicas, custom fishing rods and hand-tied flies; linens, quilting, pocketbooks, silk scarves and fiber art; decoys, carvings, stools, woodwork, furniture and leather work; glass, ceramic, metal and wire jewelry; pottery, stained glass, baskets, dolls and much more. A requirement of the fair is that participants give demonstrations,” Winslow said.
“We have people weaving on looms, people using scroll saws and carving, people working on pottery wheels,” explained Winslow. “Our guild is a sharing organization. We enjoy the teaching aspect because it continues the tradition of these crafts and hands them down to the next generation. That’s important to us.”
To learn more about what goes on at the fair and all that goes into becoming a member of this talented guild, take a look at the video featuring interviews and past fair experiences.
All exhibitors are Guild members whose work has been screened and accepted by the Guild prior to membership. In addition to the high quality of works in the show, Winslow stressed the wide range of prices and affordability, including many items priced at $10 or under.
“These make great teachers’ gifts and gifts for people who care about quality and craftsmanship,” said Winslow. “When you buy someone a unique handcrafted gift, they’ll know you put a lot of thought into it.”
- Weekend passes for the fair are $5 for general admission and $4 for seniors, military and students.
- The Knobbs Creek Recreation Center is located at 200 Ward Street in Elizabeth City.
- Hours are Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- For details about the fair, go to www.albemarlecraftsmansfair.com.
Visitors may select and book accommodations online at www.DiscoverElizabethCity.com.
The fall is a great time to enjoy attractions, shops and restaurants along the city’s historic Downtown Waterfront or a hike at the nearby Dismal Swamp State Park.