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Art of crafting

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Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 11:46 pm | Updated: 12:07 pm, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

Nov. 18, 2012

To the editor:

While we were grateful for the front page article Nov. 11 about the Holiday Marketplace at the Carlson Center, it seemed to miss the underlying joy of our event. I’d like to add a bit more from a craftsperson’s perspective. 

I am an artist and craftsperson and have been for 43 years, most of that time in Fairbanks. There are many of us in Alaska, and we always look for ways to share our work and passion for creating.

Thanks to local entrepreneur Kris Knutzen, 179 vendors participated in one of Fairbanks’ premier shows. We love doing this show. A main reason is Kris. This was her 21st annual show.

We are a community that comes together for one weekend each year and sets up a show in a day. It’s like the circus coming to town, minus the rides. There is a lot of planning to do after the product is created plus we drive or fly, hundreds of miles through all kinds of weather — packing not only our product but ways to display it. We also bring our business to the local stores, hotels and restaurants.

We’re potters, blacksmiths, woodcarvers, farmers, furriers, sewers, painters, carvers, cartoonists, glass artists, photographers, writers, knitters, precious metal designers, Native crafters and chefs. We are your neighbors and friends.

Some of us have a store, and others work from a table set up in any available space. Some work year round and others only craft at this time of year. And it’s not all about the money, but, yes, it’s what we all hope to obtain during the course of the weekend. It is also the art of storytelling — about how and why we create, and why we are passionate about what we do. We want share it — to make you smile and help in the joy of hunting for that perfect gift. 

I’d like to encourage you to attend a local craft show — there will be more, perhaps at a local hall or church near you. Many locally owned stores also carry work by local artists — please consider supporting those as well. Happy holidays!

Judie Gumm


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