Craftswomen move their works from private home to public sale


After three Christmas craft and gift shows in a private home, a group of local women artisans has decided to expand into a spring show at a more public location.

The 18 women will take their "Home for the Holidays" craft show and sale to the New Windsor Brethren Center's gymnasium for a spring event this weekend. Crafts, gifts and handmade clothing will be available for sale from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

"This is a consortium of local women, some of whom have never shown their work outside of their home until now," said Linda Van Hart, a public school art teacher who is one of the artists in the show. "Not all of them are professional artists."

Previous shows were held in a group member's home, with a mailing list of invited friends and acquaintances attending, said Jo Fleck, chairwoman of the committee organized to set up this first public show.

"The shows got to be too big for a private home, and that's why we decided to have it in a public place," Ms. Fleck said. "Some of our members belong to the Arts Guild, and they used to have shows at the New Windsor Brethren Service Center. They suggested we try there."

The women wanted a place with a cozy, homey atmosphere, not too big, but large enough for visitors to be able to stop, examine items closely and talk about the crafts, and maybe place custom orders for gifts, Ms. Van Hart said.

"The Brethren Center, the whole town of New Windsor, is a place everybody knows and feels comfortable with," Ms. Van Hart said.

Some of the women whose work will be represented at the show are:

* Carolyn Seabolt, known for her batik work and cat designs, as well as English tinsel painting.

* Shawn Scanlan, who makes limited edition block prints and original wood art and jewelry.

* Ms. Van Hart, whose grape, ivy and dogwood jewelry is worn by women throughout the county.

Other participants include Sharon Schaeffer, baskets; Alana Combs, Battenberg T-shirts; Jo Fleck and Lora Unkle, dried flowers and herbs and gift baskets; Bonnie Williams, hand-painted porcelain china; Lynne Schmidt, hand-sewn dolls; Joyce Heiner, hand-smocked children's clothing.

Also, Cheryl Held, vests and jackets; Laura Wailes, stoneware; Patricia McCord, accessories; Janet Schmidt, baked goods; Betty Jones, cross-stitch designs; Judy Stephenson, pen and ink drawings; Debbie Leister, decorative painted items; and Prabha Simhan, hand-painted clothing.

Ms. Fleck stressed that the show is juried, meaning that items for sale have been selected by committee members for their quality and artistic merit.

The group's Christmas show this year, also juried and scheduled Nov. 10-11, is accepting other vendors.

Both shows are listed in the Carroll County Office of Tourism's Calendar of Events, Ms. Fleck said.

Admission is free to "Home for the Holidays."

Information: 876-5421 or 848-1194.

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