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Crafty folks, they are

August 07, 2005|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

Bob DeLauder is a man of many materials.

As a crafter and a businessman, he's always looking for the next popular idea.

"My main emphasis is hand-formed pens and pencils," said DeLauder, an artisan set up Saturday at Jonathan Hager Frontier Craft Days at Hagerstown's City Park. "Also, small lathe work."

Pens are not original, but DeLauder hopes people think pens made out of corncobs or antlers are. (He carries both.)

Or, perhaps a key chain made from part of a former duckpin bowling ball. (He sells that, too.)

"The desires of people keep changing," said DeLauder, of Libertytown, Md. "It almost has changed from show to show."

To illustrate different ways of thinking, DeLauder said he sells pill boxes, but calls them "mystery boxes," because they're not necessarily for pills.

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An older woman wanted one to hold snuff.

A man wanted one for a ring he was giving someone.

A mother wanted one for her daughter, a soccer player who sometimes lost her earrings.

At a nearby booth, Ron Belcher's jewelry boxes also had their market niche.

Each is a small log of cedar. And each has a hidden compartment, or two, that only can be reached by removing one piece, jigsaw-style.

Belcher, who lives in Morgantown, W.Va., said he used to make birdhouses and other crafts, but he wanted something that could get him into finer craft shows.

Friends in Florida gave him some "Hide-A-Box" ideas and sold him wood.

Belcher said he was slow at first, needing a full day or more to make one box. Now, he does three or four boxes per day.

Patti and Adam Hozempa's crafts also involve hiding. They sell pillows with quilts tucked inside.

Some quilts match all or part of the pillow design; others don't.

Adam Hozempa said he and his wife, who live in Tunkhannock, Pa., near Scranton, have an exclusive license to make Penn State University pillows. It took two years to get the license, he said.

Hozempa said the hidden-pillow idea has been around since the 1930s.

"I always say we're like Emeril (Lagasse, the chef). We've taken a good recipe and kicked it up a few notches."

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