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From Award-Winning Art to Glow-in-the-Dark Bugs--100 American Craftsmen Had It All! | Arts & Culture

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From Award-Winning Art to Glow-in-the-Dark Bugs--100 American Craftsmen Had It All!
From Award-Winning Art to Glow-in-the-Dark Bugs--100 American Craftsmen Had It All!

Whether you were on the hunt for a gorgeous piece of ceramic work or a future Christmas gift, the 100 American Craftsmen show at Lockport's Kenan Center, June 3-5, had plenty to please--and surprise--thousands of visitors over the weekend.

More than one hundred artisans exhibited a wide array of traditional and "ecclectic" craft wares, from highly popular  "patio flames" created by clay artist Mark Kuzio which use sterno to add a warm glow to outdoor tabletops, to a glow-in-the dark gold necklace created by long-time 100 American participant, Julia Skop, which featured three resin embedded insects. "I took a lot of orders for single pendants," Skop said, demonstrating how the necklace glows by "charging" with a hand-held flashlight.

Possibly the most fashionable attraction of the weekend were the clutch purses made from wood, presented by first-timer Sharon Hammill Diebolt, whose work proved to be so intriguing, it captured a Best of Show award, along with plenty of sales.

Awards were presented on Saturday, with six top awards and seven Honorable Mentions handed out. Winning the most prestigious award of Master Craftsman was clay artist, Richard Aerni, a seven-year veteran of the show. Meeting the credentials for technical excellence, dedication to one's craft, and quality, are tough standards which the attending past masters use to determine the annual nominee. They were: Pat and Jim Reno, Bryan Hopkins, Christopher Stangler, Karen Hibbs, and Sally Danforth. .

Other top award recipients included: Robert Hessler, clay, First Place Best of Show; Sharon Hammill Diebolt, wood, Second Place Best of Show; Laurie Leonard, jewelry, Best New Exhibitor; Karen Hibbs, glass, Best Booth; and Missy Crowell, jewelry, Best Emerging Artisan, an award given to an artist who has been practicing their craft for six years or less.

Honorable Mention awards were presented to: Mark Klammer, clay; Amanda Shero Granstrom, fiber; Mark Diebolt, wood; Carly Wright, jewelry; Harvey Greenwald, leather; Patti Harris, mixed media; and Richard Seegers and Donna Fein, glass.

The show, which has been presenting fine craft art for 41 years, is held annually the weekend after the Memorial holiday. And because it takes place entirely indoors, the Saturday rains didn't dampen attendance or sales. In fact, many of the artists said the rain helped keep people buying. "They didn't want to go back outside," said one artist. Next year's show will take place June 1-3. For information, go to www.kenancraftshow.com.





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