Sleigh Bells Arts & Crafts Fair displays unique items

By Merja H. Lehtinen - ReminderNews
Colchester - posted Mon., Dec. 9, 2013
Elaine Purvee and her hand-painted gourds were popular items for gifts that are both art and bird feeders. Photos by Merja H. Lehtinen.
Elaine Purvee and her hand-painted gourds were popular items for gifts that are both art and bird feeders. Photos by Merja H. Lehtinen.

Bacon Academy’s cafeteria and atrium were packed on Dec. 7 with tables of arts and crafts from vendors as far away as Fairfield County and all over the region. Now in its second year, Sleigh Bells Arts & Crafts Fair became such a success that more than 35 vendors had to be turned away this year due to lack of space, according to fair organizer Jo-Ann Campbell of Glastonbury, who teaches graphics arts at Bacon Academy.

She came up with idea last year as a way to raise money for her own use in her classes and offered the same opportunity to other committees at the high school ranging from the GSA to Senior Night Committee and the Graduation Committee.

Sue Murphy, of the food services department, was a strong supporter and influenced Campbell to take on the challenge of helping individuals, groups and classes raise money on their own in these difficult economic times.

This year, Sleigh Bells was a professional-quality arts and craft fair with talents ranging from photographer Larry Reitz of Salem to Colchester’s own Charlotte Abbott of Sweet Country Road LLC, makers of spices, jams and other homemade treats. Jenn and Josh Scott of Hebron were displaying their own special scents as part of their family-owned business called Scentsy.

Ed Bareiss of Stafford Springs was displaying wooden magic wands that captured the imagination of readers of “Harry Potter,” including 5-year-old Logan, who bought a wand.

“The level of the crafters is very good,” said Diane Grise. “Last year was the first time, and I came back.”

One display was of whimsical artwork by a Czechoslovakian artist Ladka Fruehaufova, whose unique drawings were available as prints. Her daughter and son-in-law were marketing her name and work.

Unique bird houses made out of gourds by Elaine Purvee were works of art in themselves as the artist paints a unique scene on each one. She also had some other unique articles made of gourds and other natural materials. “See how strong they are,” she said as she banged one on a table. “They last outdoors for years.”

Let us know what you think!
Please be as specific as possible.
Include your name and email if you would like a response back.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the code without spaces and pay attention to upper/lower case.