Last year, local artisan and Sierra College Art Instructor Stephanie Adams was nominated for Martha Stewart’s American Made awards. The awards are to spotlight the next generation of great American makers that are creating beautiful, inspiring, useful products; improving local communities; and changing the way we eat, shop, work, and live. The awards celebrate a movement made up of people and communities who have turned their passion for quality craftsmanship and well-designed goods into a way of life. Artisans across the country can be nominated by someone or nominate themselves and are judged on innovativeness, creativity, originality, workmanship, appearance and embodiment of the American Made theme. And even though Adams did not win the domestic diva’s award, it reaffirmed something she had felt many years ago after participating in her first craft fair in Nevada City, that she and her hand-thrown, hand-painted pottery had a future.
Adams is one of 60 local emerging artist and designers participating in the Nevada City Craft Fair Sunday, presented by the Miners Foundry Cultural Center. The bi-annual independent, juried craft fair showcases the region’s top Etsy vendors, artisans, do-it-yourself crafters, and features their unique, handmade, original and repurposed art, vintage/designer clothing, jewelry, body care products, paper and stationary items, ceramics, house wares and more. The event also features locally made food, coffee, chocolates and other treats.
“I love seeing everyone. It is such a supportive and appreciative environment. The other participating artists and the attendees are always encouraging and inspiring me to come up with new ideas and pieces,” said Adams.
Adams was one of the first vendors to sign up for the Nevada City Craft Fair and she has participated every year for the last six years. Her Wabi Sabi inspired Pickle Pottery is beautifully decorated with graphic blue or exquisite gold patterns. It is wildly popular with attendees and sought after by boutiques across the West Coast. It is a style that has taken her years to develop. Each piece can take anywhere from half an hour to eleven hours to paint, and every piece is hand-painted and often times done free hand without a pattern.
After her nomination for Martha Stewart’s American Made award and recent craft fairs, Adams work is now more in demand. She has clients that have requested entire settings, which can take her up to three months to create. She also has clients stop by her small cabin studio looking for one of kind pieces.
For Adams what humbly began with a small craft fair in Nevada City is beginning to evolve into a career, and a way to make a living in a place she loves.