Archive for Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Booths offer variety of arts, crafts, jewelry

October 17, 2001

It's considered one of the largest craft shows in Northeast Kansas.

The Maple Leaf Festival features more than 200 craft and food booths each year with exhibits ranging from pottery, photography and paintings to wood crafts, jewelry and wheat weavings.

Maple Leaf publicity chair Star Novak said it's not just local exhibitors that set up booths.

"Exhibitors come from all over," she said. "They know it's a high-quality festival. Many crafters return year after year."

Novak said booths are juried each year.

"Exhibitors must apply and be accepted in order to have a booth," she said. "That keeps the quality of crafts very high."

Even though not all of the craft exhibitors are local, all of the food booths are, she said.

"All of the food booths are civic and church booths. Most of them make their yearly revenue from the festival," she said. "So we adhere to the fact that it's a local festival, which is why there are only local food booths."

Novak said Maple Leaf visitors come back every year to visit their favorite craft booths and see the new ones.

"There's really something for everybody," she said.

Booths are set up along both sides of the streets in the downtown area, as well as several businesses and buildings including Baldwin Elementary School and the Baldwin Fire Station.

Clay and paints

Novak said there are numerous booths featuring paintings, photography, pottery and other fine art exhibits.

One such booth is Bob Nothhouse's Redstone Pottery booth. Nothhouse, from Savannah, Mo., has been exhibiting his pottery at the Maple Leaf Festival for 20 years.

"It's just a really good show," he said.

Nothhouse said he is one of the few potters digs his own clay for the pottery.

"Not too many potters do that," he said, "so that's a little different."

He said his pottery is mostly functional ware with blue and turquoise glazes.

Nothhouse said he enjoys exhibiting at the Maple Leaf.

"There's just always such a huge crowd, even when the weather's bad," he said. "It's a good outdoor show."

Necklaces, bracelets, rings and things

Silver, gold and gems will decorate many booths along the downtown strip.

Robert Sifrit, with the help of his wife, Mina, will be one of the exhibitors this year specializing in lapidary at his R & M Gems booth.

Sifrit, who has been coming to the Maple Leaf Festival from McPherson for four years, said much of his jewelry is made out of Kansas petrified wood.

"It surprises people that Kansas has petrified wood," he said.

He also uses petrified seashells, Australian Fire Opal and Lapis from Afghanistan.

Sifrit said he plans on bringing a variety of jewelry including bolo ties, belt buckles, earrings and bracelets.

"I think I'll have to leave my banjo at home because I don't have enough room for everything," he joked.

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