9th Annual Nevada City Spring Craft Fair set to return Sunday
Special to The Prospector
KNOW & GO
WHO: Miners Foundry presents the Nevada City Spring Craft Fair
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City
TICKETS: $5 General Admission, Children 12 and under Free. Tickets are available online at www.minersfoundry.org, by phone 530-265-5040, or in person at the Miners Foundry, or in person at Briar Patch Co-Op.
For much of the latter part of the last century, America seemed increasingly obsessed with the brand name goods and services.
We are often trading quality for recognition, but if the popularity of on-line sites like Etsy is any indication, that trend seems to have turned to a love for quality hand-crafted products — preferring unique, homemade items to internationally recognized logos.
Taking advantage of that trend in Nevada County, The Miners Foundry began producing The Nevada City Craft Fair, filling shoppers desire for the unique and unusual.
The 9th Annual Nevada City Spring Craft Fair is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, featuring vendors with a focus on sustainably-sourced, hand-made goods.
Naomi Cabral has been producing this one day-only show (along with a holiday show) on behalf of Miner’s Foundry for the past four years. She says she receives between 100-200 applicants for the juried craft fair and whittles it down to just over 70 artisans, designers, do-it-yourself crafters.
“We have to make some tough choices, because there are so many talented people,” Cabral said. “We have expanded it to Northern California, so crafters from surrounding regions are also interested in getting in. It is a Nevada County craft fair though, so we wanted at least half of the people to be representing Nevada County. But we think it’s nice to open it up to Sacramento and sometimes even San Francisco. They love Nevada City and love to come out and make a fun day of it visiting the town and the area. They love the people here, and by bringing people from out of town, it makes it more interesting.”
The Spring Crafts Fair caters to the more unusual and unique crafters. Part of the criteria this year, is to have a level of sustainability to the materials and the process of producing the products. People are using recycled materials, non-toxic materials, and hand-made crafts.
“We get a lot of people (applying) who have beautiful hand-made things, but they are the idea people and someone else makes them, and we don’t want that,” Cabral said. “We have the ability to offer the shopper the chance to meet the people who make the product. You can hear the story behind the making process and meet the person who actually made it. I don’t think it’s something we are connected to very much anymore when we buy things from department stores and that sort of thing, so I do require that the person who is showing the craft is the person who actually made the item.”
The Spring Craft Fair is full of unusual items. One crafter makes book safes — hollowing out old books to hold treasures that will blend into any bookshelf.
There are plenty of ceramic vendors, but one stand-out is Pickle Pottery by Stephanie Adams. Adams is a local artisan who may be the only vendor who has been at every one of the Nevada City Craft Fairs. Her ceramics have been described as “fun” and “cool”. Every item is hand-painted and the items are almost whimsical — which is another trait Cabral looks for when selecting candidates for the fair.
“Nevada City has a quintessential, whimsical, small-town feel to it and people come looking for that,” Cabral said. “We are incredibly lucky that word has gotten around about how special this crafts fair is and people come from all over just to see what we have. Part of that, is that whimsical feeling that you get when you come to this small little town. So, a lot of the crafts are chosen for their level of whimsy.”
It’s a great place for kids because of that, and there are a lot of hand-made toys and hand-made clothing, but Cabral says there is something for everyone, including crafters who make teas and tinctures, unique bath products, one-of-a-kind jewelry, and hand-embroidered textiles
Cabral said they have quite a few clothing vendors this year with a lot of bright, psychedelic colors. “There is hand- dye and intricate tie-dyed clothing. There are T-shirts with unique drawings and designs and other beautiful textiles work.”
Roughly 2,000 people are expected to attend the one-day event. Cabral says a lot of the items are one-of-a-kind and when they are gone, they are gone, so she recommends coming early for the best choice.
“One of the other things that is nice about the crafts fairs is that you get a taste of the culture of the area you are visiting,” Cabral said. “If you go to Sacramento, you will get a taste of Sacramento culture and if you go to San Francisco, you will see different things there. Nevada City is such a special place and people really love what Nevada City has to offer. Not everyone gets to live here. They only get to visit, so getting a little something that reminds them of Nevada City to take home is really good. We get a lot of people who are making a day trip just to come out to the show to get a little mountain town vibe. They see the show and visit the town.”
“The Nevada City Crafts fair is committed to featuring some of the precious voices in the local hand-made movement. That is something we pride ourselves in. It reflects our cultural heritage. We have a rich cultural history, but this is our modern heritage and I think it’s something that needs to be celebrated.”
Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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