About 35 vendors participate during the second annual Clear Spring Days

August 20, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |
  • Blacksmith, Art Shanholtz, of Martinsburg, W.Va., handcrafts a snake during Clear Spring Days.
By Chris Tilley/Staff Photographer

CLEAR SPRING, Md. — Most of the wood rolling pins that John Halteman made were supposed to be Christmas presents a couple of years ago.

Made with multiple types of wood cut, glued together and finished, the colorful finished product instead proved to be an easy sell in about a week's time.

"So nobody got their present on time for Christmas," Halteman's brother, Arlin, said Saturday at the second annual Clear Spring Days festival.

Arlin Halteman, who works at Hicksville Planing Mill, worked at a tent filled with colorful violin and pig-shaped wood cutting boards, pizza cutters, ice-cream scoops and rolling pins.

At least one of the latter was made with 19 different types of wood, including zebrawood, cherry, Osage orange, walnut and maple, through a cut-and-glue process, Halteman said. It takes a week to make one pin, he said.

"You'd be surprised at how many people collect rolling pins," Halteman said as a woman admired one of them for sale for $45.

The Haltemans were among about 35 vendors participating in this weekend's arts and crafts-focused fundraising event presented by the Clear Spring Volunteer Fire Co., fire company President Robert Downs said.

The festival on the fire company's carnival grounds at 12323 Big Spring Road continues this morning at 11 a.m. A sit-down fried chicken dinner will be held at 11 a.m. in the fire company's activities building, which adjoins the carnival grounds.

Downs said the company hopes to continue to grow the festival, which added about 10 vendors over the last year.

"The company thought it would be a good thing to try (to raise money)," Downs said. "It's the public that keeps us going ... Hopefully, we can get a little bigger next year."

Standing next to a fire pot fashioned from a tire rim, blacksmith Art Shanholtz of Martinsburg, W.Va., said he demonstrates his metal-working skill at shows he participates in so people clearly know that the items for sale at his booth are locally made.

The lunchtime crowd Saturday at the festival was fairly small, and Shanholtz said he feels the economy is "doing a number" on many artisans because people generally are not spending money on arts and crafts.

Shanholtz said he began taking lessons in blacksmithing 20 years ago after returning from serving in Operation Desert Storm.

While Shanholtz was shaping a piece of metal into a tent stake puller for a Civil War re-enactor, his wife, Denice, was fashioning her own art with yarn and working at their booth.

"She's the storekeeper," Shanholtz said.

The shows, which he started participating in last year, are "something we can do together," Denice Shanholtz said.


If you go

What: Clear Spring Days

When: Today, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Clear Spring carnival grounds, off Big Spring Road, Clear Spring

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