The morning started off quite foggy and cool, but the Belfast Art Market had been my planned destination for weeks, and I wasn’t going to let a little fog get in the way. It was expected to burn off, and once I made the 1 hr 20 min drive around Penobscot Bay, wonderful humid Maine air, art, water views, and maybe a nice lunch would be my reward.
I was lucky enough to have my sister-in-law, Kathie, as my adventure companion, while David stayed back working on a home improvement project (yet another future blog post subject).
I have been watching The Belfast Art Market’s facebook page and website (http://belfastartmarket.weebly.com) which lists 30 vendors and was excited to see that it was also held adjacent to a farmer’s market. I have managed to visit local markets as we travel across the country, and have at least one to choose from 5 days a week around here. Just look at this map: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=200080101083190409718.0004e054bb22905a19e1f&msa=0
Each market has it’s own particular feel. I am pleased to report that the Belfast Art Market was filled with wonderful artists, all of whom were friendly and ready to talk about their art. Kathie and I lingered at each booth, admiring the work, chatting up the artists, and discussing technique and just enjoying the beautiful day.
There were some artists whose works really stood out. First we visited the booth of Nora Flanagan. Her nautical-themed quilts and pillows were just stunning. You can see them here: http://www.noraflanaganquilts.com/quilts.html Kathie and I are both taken with her plaid lobsters, and of course, I loved her use of the color orange.
River Wind Woolies can be found at several of the local Farmer’s Markets, but today was my first chance to check out her work. Robin Kronish-Byrne has created a wonderfully colorful product line of felted wool bottle covers, wallets, soap, and whimsical color dreads hair ties (of which Kathie purchased one and wore proudly all day to many compliments). Here are samples of her works:
We spent a good deal of time with Neale La Salle of Clay With Me (is that a great business name or what?) I could not resist picking up a new soap dish, and Kathie purchased three nesting plates. While this picture shows some of the various pieces he had to offer, if you can’t make it to Maine, you can check out his Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ClayWithMePottery. The details on these pieces are just lovely.
Continuing on the theme of artisan pottery, we visited with Kelly Kelsey-Davis, who happens to be the contact person for the entire market, as well as a talented artist. While I believe her focus is on textiles, and her husband, Bill Davis, focuses on pottery, their booth had many items, very reasonably priced, that I was interested in. I just loved the fabric banners, and Hannah will be receiving a little unique piece of Bill Davis art when I am finally reunited with her in August. Here is a sampling of their works:
For more detailed pictures, see their website: thebilldaviswebsite.weebly.com
There were other booths that I admired as well. Sew Friendzied (http://www.etsy.com/shop/SewFriendzied), with truly unique fabric earrings, bracelets, and headbands showed the craftsmanship of Diana Delaney. I especially admired an orange headband, but it was just a tad too wide. I will be following up with her to order a slimmer version. Susan Cobb, of Circle of Stones (where Kathie purchased an amazing pair of lime colored stone earrings) was so knowledgeable of the stones she presented, we walked away educated and dazzled! Here is some of their handiwork, along with a photo of the talented singer who provided just the right level of background sound.
Upon leaving the FM next door, our bags contained a blueberry pie and a piece of baklava from Sweet Henry’s (guilty!), along with bleu cheese and blueberry cheese from Appleton Creamery (Kathie’s indulgence, not mine).
A not-so-quick lunch at Chase’s Daily, a zip through the Co-op, and a walk onto the pedestrian bridge afforded a tour of old Belfast. This was a full day of fun and adventure, and if we could have stayed for the Celtic Festival which was starting tonight, we would have. There is always next year!
As we drove back to Deer Isle, we stopped at a local farm stand to pick up a box or two of fresh raspberries. Again, the honor system was hard at work.
And to top off an already wonderful day, we were surprised to see that blueberries were ripe for the picking when we stopped at Caterpillar Hill. We, of course, had to eat two for every one that made it into our bag. After all, this is Robert McCloskey country (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_McCloskey)