Some of the area’s most innovative crafters will be showing off their work when the 2016 Artisans Fair gets under way at Lord Baltimore Elementary School in Ocean View on Saturday, May 28.
Now in its ninth year, the fair will feature an array of different artistic mediums, including pottery, fiberwork, jewelry, ceramics, woodwork, metalwork, photography, paintings, glass, candles, baskets, needlepoint and more.
Per usual, proceeds from the event will benefit the South Coastal Delaware AARP chapter, to help provide college scholarships for local students.
After seeing more than 1,200 attendees at last year’s show, this year’s show promises to be as popular as ever, with 53 exhibitors — some new to the venue, and some returning seasoned vets.
“As our reputation has grown over the past nine years, we attract some of the best artisans,” said fair coordinator Ione Phillips. “Because our exhibitors do so well at the show, most of them return year after year, and we have a waiting list of others who want to participate.”
Here are just a few of the participants ready to showcase their work at this year’s show:
Maureen Dyer Ickrath, photography
Whether they know it or not, those who have slathered syrup at the Bethany Diner in Bethany Beach have gotten a glimpse of some of Maureen Dyer Ickrath’s Irish-aquatic inspired portraits.
A Breezy Point, N.Y., native with Irish bloodlines, Ickrath has long been influenced by both the ocean and the arts, getting her start visiting the Brooklyn Children’s Museum as a kid before unwrapping her first camera for Christmas at the age of 8.
She’s been both literally and artistically developing ever since, finding work as a graphic designer after making the move to Maryland in 1971. However, it wasn’t until Ickrath decided to retire that she decided to give photography a full-time go, urged to put in for the Boardwalk Arts Festival in Bethany after shooting a neighbor’s birthday party.
Now an active member of the Coastal Camera Club, she’s been hanging frames at shows ever since, and looking forward to making her return to LB this Saturday.
“The thing that I get the greatest pleasure out of is talking to people about my art,” Ickrath said. “I just love talking to the people about it and about Bethany — that’s one of my favorite parts of it, is meeting new people.”
For more on Ickrath’s work, check out her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/maureendyerickrathphotography or stop by her booth at the show.
Paula Howard, fiberwork
It’s all in the family for Ocean View’s Paula Howard.
Not only will the long-time crafter be making her first appearance at the LB show, but joining her will be her sister, Jessica Clifton, and mother, Anne McClain — both of whom bring their own unique touch to the booth.
While McClain got the girls their start in knitting, Howard said her sister took it to a whole new level.
“We all learned how to knit from Mom, but my sister — she just took off with it,” Howard explained. “She does the most gorgeous hand-knit sweaters.”
As for Howard herself, she focuses mostly on decorative clothing, handcrafted jewelry and leather bracelets — which she’s been whipping up for going on 33 years now.
After living in Texas for a stint, before moving to Delaware around 30 years ago and eventually landing a job as a speech therapist at Lord Baltimore Elementary, much of Howard’s work is inspired by scenes and styling from the American Southwest.
“I always try and incorporate that kind of Southwest feel,” Howard said, “leather and turquoise and things like that — most of my wrap bracelets are made of leather.”
With her work also influenced by the beach, Howard has set up shop at a variety of shows around the area but said she is excited to get her start at LB this Memorial Day weekend and see what other crafters have to offer.
“Whether I sell it or I don’t sell it, I still enjoy doing it,” she said. “I love going to the shows, just to walk around and see what people are doing. People just amaze me with the things they come up with.”
Ray Secrist, furnishings
Specializing in hand-crafted custom furniture and accessories made from local mature timber, Ray Secrist will be one many returning vets for this year’s show, after getting his start back in 2011, when the venue was the Millville fire hall.
“Excellent one-day show for both buyer and seller,” said Secrist of the fair. “For the buyer, an offering of quality goods at reasonable prices, while, for the seller, an excellent indoor show location at very reasonable booth rents. I always look forward to this show.”
Cabinets, tables, hand-held mirrors, coffee tables and chests are just some of Secrist’s woodworking specialties and some of the items to be found at his booth this Saturday.
Dawn Pierro, jewelry
It was 16 years ago that Dawn Pierro tried her hand at making what she described as “simple beaded jewelry.”
Soon after, Turtle Moon Designs was born.
After studying with Heidi Lowe of Heidi Lowe Gallery in Rehoboth Beach, and taking plenty of other classes, Pierro went on to do some teaching herself and expand into ventures such as metal-smithing, enameling, precious metal clay, mixed metals, riveting and etching.
“Creating art jewelry is my passion, and I put my heart, hands and soul into every single piece I make,” Pierro said.
Handmade metalwork designs, enamel, beadwork, etching and clay creations are just a few of the pieces shoppers will find at her booth when she makes her return to LB this year. And as always, she’s open to working with new people.
“I have such a great customer base and love doing custom and collaborative work,” she said.
For more on Pierro, check out the Turtle Moon Designs website at www.turtlemoondesigns.me.
Raffle, goodies and more
Maureen Dyer Ickrath’s photography, Paula Howard’s clothing, Ray Secrist’s furnishings and Dawn Pierro’s jewelry are just some of the craftwork to be found at this year’s show.
In addition to the booths, exhibitors will be contributing items for a raffle, in addition to a 50-50 cash raffle, all to benefit the South Coastal Delaware AARP scholarships. AuSam’s Trolley will be providing lunch and snack items on the grounds, to go along with homemade baked goods, as well.
The show will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lord Baltimore Elementary School on Route 26 in Ocean View. Admission and parking are free to the public. For more information on the event, contact email@example.com or visit www.aarp5226.org.