Craft Shows And Art Fairs

I love craft shows. I probably love them just as much as I love art fairs. I love the fall because there is a large abundance of craft shows and art fairs. I never get tired of looking at the creative ideas people had that got them a booth at a craft fair…and I definitely never get tired of looking at art.

A few weekends ago I visited the craft show at September Fest in Schaumburg, IL. Every year, Schaumburg holds September Fest on Labor Day weekend which happens to have one of the largest craft shows in the area. You can walk for hours just gazing at people’s booths, such a nice beginning to the cold weather.

The morning of the craft show I put a sweatshirt on, went to Starbucks and got myself a nice large latte, and set out to look at some crafts with my friends. Perfect. Fall. Morning.

As we wandered around the sea of booths, we noticed quite a few trends.

“Spoon Jewelry” seemed to be one of the biggest trends. People everywhere seemed to be showcasing their spoon jewels. Spoon rings, spoon bracelets, spoon necklaces. You want it? Someone’s made it out of spoons. We even saw a guy who was selling wind chimes made out of spoons. I have to say though, his wind chimes were spectacular and very cleaver. I would have bought one if they weren’t so expensive.

Antique Jewelry – Also a big trend. There were quite a few booths showcasing jewelry made out of antique buttons or bottle caps…or anything these crafters could get their hands on at the thrift store. Although I am a huge fan of antique jewelry, this stuff was not that impressive. We all agreed that the bracelets they wanted $50 dollars for were not worth it. I can’t blame them though, if I were a crafter, I would be doing the same. Get more bang for your buck! If that antique button cost you 5 cents, and the backing costs you $3 at Michael’s, you are making a pretty big profit even if you sell it for $10. Shesh.

Baby clothes/bibs/kids stuff – Any time you visit a craft show, you know this is coming.

SO, on to the fun stuff. What did I see that was awesome? Well, I have been to the craft show in Schaumburg many times…each time I see much of the same stuff. It seems that there are a lot of the same exhibitors each year. Last year, I saw a certain couple selling these spoon holders made out of melted down bottles. I wanted one last year, but this year I finally caved….mostly because we needed a spoon holder for our stove. I was tried of getting the counters and everything else full of pasta sauce and the like because I didn’t have somewhere to set my spoon down.

So, when I came across their booth, the search was on. I knew at some point the right spoon holder would appeal to me and I would buy it….and I was right. Suddenly, there it was! The perfect spoon holder just popped right out and said “buy me”.

Cheesy, I know. It does have a back story though. My sisters bought this bottle of wine for me (hilarious) for my bachelorette party this year and I was trying to think of a way to preserve the bottle. This was PERFECT! :) My trip to the craft show was now complete with my purchase.

The next day there was an Art Fair in Oakbrook. Having enjoyed my time at the craft show so much the day before, I decided to take a looksie. Of course, I didn’t buy anything at the art fair, but it is always nice to go and see what other artists are up to.

I saw some great work that day, but one thing did upset me. Walking through the show, I noticed there were a lot of photographers there with prints on canvas. Although I know these are prints, most non-artists aren’t aware that they are prints. I guess it kinda bothers me that photographers are part of a “Fine Arts” show for this reason. I definitely think photography is an art (and something I wish I were good at), but I do not think that it is in the same realm as painting. I feel that there should be a separation between painters and photographers. When you put them all in the same place and you have painters who are trying to make a living put next to a photographer who is also trying to make a living and is selling prints on canvas, people who do not know the difference flock to the photographers because they think they are amazing painters and therefore end up leaving the painters who ARE amazing painters with empty booths. As a painter myself, this seems truly unfair. I almost felt as if the painters were being shunned by the consumer because of lack of knowledge about prints and painting. Someone such as myself who is just looking can appreciate both the painters and the photographers, but I just wish that there were two separate shows in order to give the painters a chance.

OK, time to get off my soap box. Now that I have bored everyone with an outpouring of text…that no one read anyhow…I am off to bed!

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