The Artisans Fair at Lord Baltimore Elementary School in Ocean View will celebrate its 10th anniversary when the fair gets under way this Memorial Day weekend, adding on a farmers’ market this year, in addition to its array of artisans new and returning.
“For our 10th anniversary, we were talking about what we could do,” said Artisans Fair spokesperson Ida Crist. “We wanted to expand a little bit, so we decided to have the market outside.”
Local vendors scheduled to set up shop at LB for the first-year farmers’ market on Saturday, May 27, include fresh lettuces, herbs, wheatgrass, microgreens, essential oils and colloidal silver products from Bill Jordan and Fresh Harvest Hydroponics in Millsboro; honey, bees-wax products, jams and jellies, soaps, hand creams, lip balm and lip gloss from Carol Hudson of Backyard Jams & Jellies in Frankford; garden items from the Inland Bays Garden Center in Frankford; and season-fresh produce from Paul Parsons and Parsons Farms Produce in Frankford and Ellen Magee of Magee Farms in Selbyville; as well as soups and sandwiches from Delaware Provisions South in Millville.
The event, sponsored by the South Coastal Delaware AARP chapter, will help raise funds to provide college scholarships to students at Indian River High School and to Delaware Technical & Community College students, which has totaled $31,000 over the years and is expect to raise an additional $5,000 in scholarships this year.
As for the artisans, the 2017 fair will again see a healthy mix of longtime booth favorites and newcomers ready to share their creations, with 50 exhibits.
As always, those creations will include an array of artistic media, encompassing everything from original fine art and photography, custom jewelry, pottery, metal sculpture and works of art in glass and wood, to fine textile handwork and functional and decorative items with coastal themes.
Some of this year’s LB newcomers will include:
• JoAnne Tentschert — glasswork, Ocean View
While she may be new to the fair at LB, Ocean View resident JoAnne Tentschert is plenty familiar on the art circuit, with more 42 years of experience and appearing at fairs such as the Bethany Seaside Craft Show and Sea Glass Festival in Lewes.
The New Jersey native started out as a hobbyist before quickly turning her work into a full-time profession and going on to launch A Touch of Glass with custom-made creations such as stained glass suncatchers, wind chimes, flower vases, window panels, and jewelry and tissue boxes.
“I would say, ‘eclectic and functional,’” she described her art. “I want people to be able to use it as well as enjoy it.”
Her inspiration, she said “just kind of comes out of everyday living. I’ll see something, and my mind immediately converts it into what can I make.”
Some items that Tentschert will put on display this Saturday include flower vases, wind chimes, and nautical windows featuring maritime scenes of turtles, seashells, lighthouses and more — all of them hand-crafted using the same pair of grozing pliers and the copper-foil and fused-glass method that she’s used for the past 42 years.
Tentschert can be reached for custom orders via email, at JM• T1275@hotmail.com.
• Carol Gentes — painted rocks and more, Selbyville
Featured outside amongst the farmers’’ market section will be Artistans Fair newcomer Carol Gentes, who moved to the area from Newark last November.
While her display at the fair will highlight her famous painted rocks of all shapes and sizes, decorated with whimsical yet realistic animal depictions, for either outside in the garden or inside in the home, Gentes also spends her days specializing in home murals and painted wall finishes as well.
Her career in the arts began as an interior decorator, getting her start with other media after a strong response on her handmade gifts.
“It started as Christmas presents and birthday presents,” said Gentes. “Everybody loved them, so I continued to paint them in my free time.”
Headed into her first show at LB, Gentes said she is excited to share her creations after hearing good things about the fair since moving to Selbyville.
“I have heard fantastic things. This is the show that everybody wants to be in every year,” she said. “I’m really just hoping to have a fun day meeting new people and hoping that the rocks find a new home.”
• Harry C. Dill — driftwood planters, Rehoboth Beach
The wood just speaks to Harry C. Dill.
While operating his Rehoboth Beach-based business, Tranquility Gardens, it’s often, Dill said, that he won’t be able to figure out one of his driftwood planters until it tells him what it is. But when it finally does, that’s when the art happens.
“I, a lot of the time, have to wait for the wood to talk to me,” said Dill. “I remember a piece that I had for a year and a half that eventually turned into a dolphin. It was just laying on my deck, and I couldn’t figure out what to do with it. Then, one day, it just happened to be there.”
Since getting his start in crafting items from planters and glass globes to functional driftwood lamps, Dill has sought out shows throughout the area to share his works, eventually finding the fair at LB for the first time this year, ready to share his gift.
“I enjoy what I do. To me, wood exudes warmth and a softness to it,” said Dill of his craft, each of his works sanded to perfection by hand and coated with polyurethane for preservation before being sanded again. “It turns into what it turns into. My biggest thing is that I put a pretty high polish on it so it shows its beauty.”
“I am extremely proud of Harry and the talent he has discovered in his ‘old age,’” said Dill’s wife, Roberta Dill. “The time and love that he puts into each of his creations is priceless, so folks who purchase his artwork are getting a real bargain, in my slightly prejudiced opinion.”
For more on Dill and Tranquility Gardens, visit his booth at the fair or contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A 50-50 cash raffle will also be featured at this year’s fair, with Hocker’s Grocery & Deli providing lunch and snack items, and refreshments from Rita’s Italian Ice.
The fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, at Lord Baltimore Elementary School, located on Route 26 in Ocean View. The farmers’ market portion will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission to the fair and parking are free. For more information contact, email@example.com or visit aarp5226.org.