In keeping with the traditions of the first Oktoberfest held in 1973, several crafters will be demonstrating their skills at the Historical Society’s Oktoberfest to be held Sunday, Oct. 2, on the Historical Museum lawn, 809 E. Lawn Ave.
Demonstrating for 49 years, Don Richardson, a skilled blacksmith, is very popular with the crowds. He creates decorative objects, iron stands, plant hangers, and hooks as well as horseshoes. It is always a surprise to see what he is creating – he never knows what he will make until he begins. Follow the sound of the anvil and see what Don is creating this year.
Dan Bartoletta, a Detroit native, was exposed to the beauty of working with glass at an early age. His mother’s family were glass blowers at Morgantown Glass in Morgantown, West Virginia, and when visiting, he would go to the plant and watch them blow glass. Thus began his fascination with glass. In the late 1970s, he taught himself how to do stained glass and, in the ’90s, he took a class in glass bead making and never looked back.
The beads are made with a special torch using 15th century Venetian lamp working techniques. With these beads, he creates bracelets. pendants and earrings. Ava Mayo, being an artistic person, began to work with wire and decorative stones when confined to her home due to COVID restrictions in 2020. Encouraged by her family and friends, she began promoting her unique jewelry on social media and participating in art and craft shows. She will be designing spoon rings, wire-wrapped crystal pendants and rings and will also size rings as needed. Visit her at Ava’s Authentics booth.
Sheila Davis of Columbus, Ohio, also found the COVID restrictions a bit stifling and began making paper flowers. From this activity came the idea to create works of art using paper flowers and silk flowers to form a unique product. Coupled with her sustainability interests and the desire to reuse and reduce waste, she began upcycling and incorporating her creativity to bring new life into décor with paper flowers. Look for her at Sheila’s Papercrafts and More booth.
James Hamlin, a combat wounded veteran, became very bored when returning home from the service and searched for ways to fill his time. With the desire to create something primitive and get in touch with his roots, he began designing knives using high carbon steel. Although his specialty is knives, he also creates swords, spears, barbeque utensils and other items. Check him out at Rolling Thunder Forge and watch the magic.
The Champaign County Historical Museum’s Oktoberfest is the largest fundraiser of the year. With an entry fee of $3, you are guaranteed a day of fun for the entire family.