Festival spotlights latest trends in crafts

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Carol Sorgen

So, what’s new in the crafts world? More than 250 American craftspeople and artists will answer that question at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival in Timonium, taking place from Friday, Sept. 30 through Sunday, Oct. 2.

The theme of this 35th anniversary festival is “New This Season.” It will showcase the latest work, techniques and materials of the jury-selected artists.

Among the items to be displayed are functional and decorative pottery, sculpture, glass, jewelry, fashion, wood, metal, furniture, home accessories, photography and fine art.

Hot trends

“American craftspeople are always inventing and experimenting,” said Deann Verdier, president of Sugarloaf Craft Festivals. “They set the style and create the trends in fashion, housewares, jewelry and art.”

According to Verdier, what’s new this season in American crafts includes:

Fashion: In right now is wearable art — items that can be worn in a variety of ways, including sweaters, shawls and shrugs that double as scarves or belts, and outerwear that serves double duty as dresses or blouses.

Jewelry: The trend for jewelry artists is combining traditional metals with found objects, such as beach glass, driftwood, windshield shards or old coins.

Home décor: In home fashions, the buzzword for this season, according to Verdier, is “raw.” Wood coffee tables, chairs and lamps, for example, are retaining their natural shape, color and textures, while metal artists are accentuating the inherent qualities of their materials rather than embellishing them.

Fine art: Digital images and techniques are more prevalent in painting, printmaking and photography, and fine artists are manipulating images to create unique collectibles.


In addition to artists from across the country, a number of recognized Baltimore-area artists and craftspeople will be featured in the festival.

Among them are Ann Tyler of Baltimore, who creates handbags through her limited-edition collection, Millie Bags; Olga Goldin of Reisterstown, who specializes in traditional Jewish ceramics; Barbie Levy of Owings Mills, who is known for her lightweight earrings that incorporate metal and colorful glass beads; and Lucile Martin (Marti) MacSherry of Butler, who creates classic jewelry with a simple, modern edge.

Visitors to the festival can also enjoy entertainment and activities such as artist demonstrations, live music and specialty foods sampling.

Hours for the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival are Friday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission (good for all three days) is $7 when purchased online; $9 at the door. Children under 12 are admitted free.

The festival will be held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Rd. in Timonium. Free parking is available on site.

For more information, including driving directions and admission discounts, visit www.sugarloafcrafts.com or call 1-800-210-9900.