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Winterfair craft sale just in time for holiday shoppers

Photo Courtesy of OhioCraft.org

Winterfair is a national holiday artists’ market, bringing everything handmade to Columbus shoppers this weekend. The fair features everything from photographs to clothing and jewelry, and the artisans responsible for them will be showing them off in person.

It stops at the Ohio Exposition Center from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m Friday and Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

John Barr is the fairs manager of Ohio Designer Craftsmen, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of artistic craft work and helping artists develop professional skills. He said it is the fair’s 33rd year in Columbus.

“It is a fair of fine art and craft by over 400 artists from across the country,” Barr said.

“The fair features ceramics, glass, wearable art, woodwork, jewelry, sculpture, painting, photography and more,” Barr said. “It is quite a variety of work.”

At Winterfair, consumers can find crafts that are made by American artists as opposed to decorations that are mass-produced overseas, said Sharon Kokot, executive director of Ohio Designer Craftsmen.

Consumers can find things ranging “from a sculpture to a leather purse, silk jacket, or a pair of earrings; Things you won’t find anywhere else,” Kokot said. “And for the more practical, these items are not only handcrafted, but many are useful as well.”

Adding to the experience is the opportunity to meet the artists who create the work.

According to a press release, “Indiana artist Paul Jeselskis makes functional and decorative porcelain work for the home, while Grace Stokes of Cleveland Heights creates sterling silver jewelry with gemstones and polymer clay elements. Georgia artist Angela Bond’s Pop Art paintings of animals are bright and fun.”

Theresa Gallup from Missouri uses fabric piecing, dyeing and appliqué, to design new apparel items from recycled kimonos. These artists will be among the 400 exhibitors from 34 states.

Barr said Ohio Designer Craftsmen does the Winterfair every year, because it provides a way to support the artists by presenting their work to the public. He said it also provides a place for people to find fine crafts.

Ohio Designer Craftsmen promotes “the fine crafts aesthetic by establishing a standard of excellence, encouraging creative growth, providing professional support to craft artists, and building public awareness, appreciation and collection of fine craft,” according to its official Web site. In support of this mission, Ohio Designer Craftsmen offers a wide range of exhibitions, publications, programs and artist services. Winterfair is just one of them.

For more information on Winterfair or Ohio Designer Craftsmen, visit ohiocraft.org.

The Ohio Expo Center is at 717 E. 17th Avenue. Tickets are $7 for adults, free for members and for children 12 and under.

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