BREVARD COUNTY — Craft festivals are a wonderful way to support local artisans and a great opportunity to buy items that are one-of-a-kind gifts for your home or friends.
This summer the “18th Annual Indialantic Craft Festival” returns for a two-day event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 6-7, at James H. Nance Park, 201 N. Miramar Ave.
The craft festival is free to attend and visitors are encouraged to bring their leashed pets along.
“Nance Park is a beautiful location, and our crafters come from all over the country,” said Elizabeth Dashiell, communications director for American Craft Endeavors. “Unlike a lot of craft shows, we never overload on any one type of medium. The beauty about craft is it’s so diverse, and everything featured has to be handmade within the United States.”
Participating artisans must qualify through a juried process, which allows event organizers to provide a high-end experience without the high prices or third party goods that craft shows sometimes feature.
The craft festival will include a summer Green Market, along with thousands of handmade pottery, jewelry, paintings, soaps, food and more.
One of the featured items Ms. Dashiell has seen are fiber nesting bowls by West Palm Beach crafter Murat Atuk. Ms. Atuk can even customize the bowls to match your kitchen or dining room, based upon the textiles you choose.
“They take fibers and different textiles to protect surfaces from hot dishes,” Ms. Dashiell explained. “You can wash them; you can set ceramic and glassware, anything in it, and then you can put it in the microwave. Then you can pick it up with your hands and your hands would never burn. You can set it on a table, and it’s completely protected.”
Another artisan, Tracie Brown, creates 3-D glass display boxes and wall art using shells, sand, glass, resin and sculpture; while Mike and Mickey Bradham hand-sculpt ocean-themed statues for decoration.
Visitors can also speak with the artisan themselves during the festival, and can ask questions such as what inspires their products.
“I love it because I can buy all my gifts at craft shows. I know that I’m going to get something that nobody else has,” Ms. Dashiell said. “I don’t bother going to Lush or other retail stores because my daughter has really sensitive skin. These people [at the craft shows] make incredible organic soaps that use all natural products. They work great, they smell great, they look beautiful and I know what was in it.”
The Green Market will feature savory dips, gourmet sauces and tasty treats, added Ms. Dashiell, and visitors can find treats for summer parties that nobody else makes.
For more information, call (561) 746-6615 or visit www.artfestival.com.