Return of the Craftmasters - The Explorer: News

Return of the Craftmasters

Annual crafts festival set for this Saturday

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Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 3:00 am

Beverly Fairful’s friends like to kid her that she’s never without a craft project. She could be sitting in an airplane, watching television or on a social visit. Wherever she’s at, her creative juices are always flowing, designing a fashionable article of women’s and children’s clothing or jewelry, or crocheting something for the home.

The public can see and even purchase clothing, jewelry and other crafts by Fairful and about 70 local artisans this Saturday at the Sun City Vistoso Arts & Crafts Festival.

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the crafters, who all reside in Sun City Vistoso, will display and sell their wares in the active senior community’s Mountain Vista Recreation Center. Admission is free.

The event, now in its third year, has earned a reputation for high quality merchandise.

“Many of our participants are award-winning or professional artists,” said event chair Kathy Hrdy. “You’ll find only good quality items.”

Among the artisans are Carmelita and Darrell Martin, who use gourds and silver, respectively, to express their creativity.

Carmelita carries on the tradition of decorating gourds that dates back some 4,000 years to Peru. She adds traditional techniques, like burning and carving designs on the gourds, and also inlays and adds items, like beads.

Darrell began making jewelry because, he jokes, he married a rock hound and needed settings for all the stones they found. With research and practice, he mastered the ability to create intricate designs in sheet silver.

Eventually, he discovered a new world of design that combines the metal-working skills of medieval armor-makers with the textile arts of weavers and lace-makers.

Jerry Hrdy also is a silver specialist, creating fine jewelry in classic Southwest designs. He began his journey about seven years ago when he “needed something to do.”

A friend helped teach him the skills, and Jerry has since developed into a superior craftsman.

His creations will feature one of the largest collections of No. 8 turquoise around. The stones were taken from the No. 8 mine in Eureka County, Nev., before it closed in 1976, making the brilliant blue stones collector’s items.

Artisan demonstrations will take place indoors at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. In addition, raffles to win donated craft items will be conducted. Proceeds will help offset the cost of producing the festival.

Food will be available for purchase all day. In addition, non-perishable food donations will be accepted for the Catalina Food Bank.

If you go

What: Sun City Vistoso Arts & Crafts Festival. Open to the public.

When: Oct. 1, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Where: Sun City Vistoso Mountain View Recreation Center, 1495 E. Rancho Vistoso Blvd., in Oro Valley

Cost: Free admission

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