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Artisans return for Dunedin Craft Fest
Article published on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014
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Photo courtesy of AMERICAN CRAFT ENDEAVORS
Don Williams, a raku pottery artist from St. Petersburg, works on a new piece. Williams is scheduled to participate in the 22nd annual Downtown Dunedin Craft Festival Feb. 15-16.
DUNEDIN – The 22nd annual Downtown Dunedin Craft Festival is Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 15-16, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Main Street.

Presented by American Craft Endeavors, the annual event boasts an eclectic selection of original crafts and affordable handmade gift items. The festival is open to the public and admission is free. For information, visit www.artfestival.com.

Craft enthusiasts will have the opportunity to stroll down Main Street and browse the wares of dozens of vendors exhibiting and selling their unique, handmade art with broad appeal. The artistic media will include folk art, pottery, personalized gifts, handmade clothing, handbags and accessories, handmade cards, leather, stained glass and much more.

A Green Market will offer a wide variety of quality plants including exotics, as well as dips and other gourmet items. The prices have been set to suit all budgets and range from $3 to $3,000.

This year’s juried outdoor craft showcase expects to showcase the work of more than 140 crafters from 30 different states. The crafters are hand-selected from hundreds of applicants and remain on site for the duration of the festival. This allows shoppers the chance to meet individual crafters and learn about the creative process.

More than 140 crafters will be exhibiting their creations.

More than 140 crafters will be exhibiting their creations. Among the Pinellas residents participating in the annual Downtown Dunedin Craft Festival is Gulfport’s Robin Short.

Short has been quilting and sewing for most of her life. Her mother, Ellen Plankey, who is a well-known award-winning artist, has inspired her.

Short loves putting together great fabrics, colors and high quality products to create usable, and unique items for her customers. A lot of her ideas come from customers who can't find exactly what they are looking for. She then goes home and develops a pattern that will be useful and fun. She has been working with American Craft Endeavors for more than four years and truly enjoys taking part in the festivals and meeting new customers and craft enthusiasts.

Don and Cristina Williams, raku artists from St. Petersburg, also will be taking part in the festival.

This couple collaborates on each piece perfecting their skills in the ancient Japanese art of shino glaze, a process that has not changed in centuries, yet yields a different effect with each finished piece. They welcome the opportunity to meet and speak with art enthusiasts and potential investors they meet at each festival.

“I was born to do art,” Don said in an email. “I love it, live it and love to share with others. I have been doing pottery almost 30 years now. My wife Cristina is very talented as well and we do a lot of collaborative pieces like our penguins and cats.”

The couple frequently participate in American Craft Endeavors craft shows through- out Florida, sharing their work and their love for raku pottery.

“Teaching pottery is also my passion,” Don said. “It gives me a great feeling to share skills with others and see them learn and smile with the joys of achievement. I teach at the Morean Art Center for clay on Wednesday evening and do demos as part of the Chihully tour.”

Amy Wiley is a silversmith living in Ozona. Her jewelry is completely handcrafted and based on her own designs.

“I passionately love making jewelry,” Wiley said in her profile on Etsy. “I love the creative aspect to it and the endless options. Every piece is an exciting adventure and unique from anything else you might find because it is completely handmade and one-of-a-kind. I find a lot of enjoyment seeing what comes out of the raw material.”

For information, visit www.artfestival.com.
Article published on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014
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