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Holiday fair officers assortment

November 21, 2004|by TAMELA BAKER

tammyb@herald-mail.com

Shoppers seeking unique and handcrafted gifts can find plenty to choose from this weekend at the Americana Arts & Crafts Holiday Faire at Hagerstown Community College's Athletic Recreation and Community Center.

Along with the usual assortment of wreaths, woodcrafts and jewelry were works by Hagerstown potters Annamarie Poole and Vivian Ogle, the partners in "Of Cloth and Clay," who are displaying their wares at the show for the first time this year.

Even so, the show represented a bit of a full circle for the next-door neighbors - they took their first pottery classes at HCC.

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"I just fell in love with this," said Poole, who said she's been making pottery for about four years. Ogle, who first suggested Poole try pottery, has been making pottery for about 12 years.

For Sarah Voltz and Anne Stephens of "Crafty Little Things," crafting is a mother-daughter partnership.

Voltz, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., makes jewelry and paper crafts, while her mother, who lives in Columbia, S.C., paints designs on everything from furniture to glassware.

While Stephens admits the half-dozen or so craft shows they do each year mean long drives from the south, the time she gets to spend with her daughter and infant grandson makes the trips worthwhile.

In fact, her only worry Saturday was whether she would have enough items left to sell today.

"I'll have to get painting," she said.

Though the show is called "Americana," some of the most unusual pieces on display were created by Peruvian artisans.

Marilu Del Carpio, who spends half of the year in Rockville, Md., and the other half in her native Peru, makes intricately hand-carved candlesticks and mirror frames, and paints designs influenced by both European art and ancient designs derived from the gilded works of the Incas and from other Peruvians.

The designs on many of the items are "reverse painted" on glass, she said, and were developed by the people of northern Peru. She combines those styles with those of the sun-worshipping Incas for a style called "Cuzcaja."

Her sister, Didi, displayed her own art, made with embossed metal over wood. Both were equally enthusiastic about the decorated gourds of their nephew, Percy Medina, a museum director in Cochas Chico, Peru. Del Carpio said Medina's gourds soon would be available in shops at the Smithsonian Institution - "for a higher price" than they're selling for this weekend.

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