The Spouse and I spent hours this weekend at (of all places) the Oregon Convention Center where we visited the annual displays by local craftspeople. We went initially for the Oregon Potters' Associations Ceramic Showcase which was huge and splendid. Pottery is an art form that's very mysterious (and somewhat nerve wracking) to me. I'm always afraid of knocking something over. But it was worth it--so many gorgeous colors and forms. I bought a replacement for the much lamented blue pasta bowl that had been a constant companion in our kitchen for years. The new model is very different with jaunty vertical stripes and a lovely matte finish but will, like all blue dishes, make food look wonderful.
We also managed to visit the annual showcase events of the Portland Handweavers Guild (where I bought some lovely hand dyed organic cotton yarn destined for a baby kimono and wished I could buy one of the huge woven willow balls), the Fine Woodworkers (who had wonderful chairs made of limbs and branches), the Portland Bead Society and the Oregon Glass Guild. It was heaven, I tell you. So many bright and shiny things, and beautiful shapes and textures.
As lovely as all these things were, I was well and truly lost when I entered the room where the Creative Metal Arts Guild was doing their thing. I spent a lot of time taking in the simple and appealing designs of Stubborn. I really went wild over the work of Rebecca Scheer, another artist working in the simplest of shapes. The Spouse, clearly aware of both my enthusiasm and his impending responsibility on the upcoming holiday, suggested a solution that worked well for both of us and I am now the proud owner of a pair of these bought as an early Mothers' Day gift. I love them so much-- they're simple but unusual. The circles are both graceful and fun in a bubbly sort of way.
Two of three kids came along, despite much protest on the part of MonkeyBoy who was sure it was going to be ......boring. (Where did my kids learn this word? I never taught them to say "boring"!). But we dragged him along and it only took a little bit of candy to cheer him up and suddenly he was quite interested in all the wonderful things, especially once one of the nice weaving ladies handed him and his sister a card and some threads to start learning some simple kumihimo which occupied them both for quite some time. I was thrilled that The Princess was able to manage this easily. She's been dying to join me in some sort of handcraft but knitting and crochet are still to difficult for her tiny hands.
As we were leaving MonkeyBoy pointed out that not one of the hundreds of beautiful, unique, handmade items could possibly be bought at Target. Good point, kiddo! And therein lies the beauty of handmade things.