This time of year, there's nothing like spending a few moments sniffing every single handmade soap on a table, trying to decide between honeysuckle and ginger. A handmade terra cotta lamp is one of life's sublime pleasures. And you don't have to be a kid to appreciate the soft calico floppiness of a handmade rag doll or the clean lines of a wooden pull toy. And then there's the invisible element, the indelible warmth around something made by hand.
In an excellent article for the Aug./Sept. issue of American Craft, jeweler Bruce Metcalf wonders, & quot;How, under the double onslaught of consumer culture and new technologies, does one justify craft practice? & quot; The answer lies, perhaps, in the feeling the craftsperson has in working, whether the finished product is a piece of exquisite porcelain, jewelry made from salvaged bits of metal or even the ubiquitous paper towel holder. As Metcalf writes: & quot;The importance of emotion to craft -- the way people feel about their chosen work -- cannot be underestimated. & quot;
& & by Sheri Boggs & & & &
& & Spinning Wheel & &
The first of this season's crafts shows opens today at the Spokane Interstate Fairgrounds with the merging of the & & IDLE WHEEL CRAFT SHOW & & and the Junior League Gift Galleria.
& quot;This is our second gift galleria; we held it at the Ridpath last year, & quot; says Wendy Kenison, co-coordinator of the Idle Wheel Craft Show. & quot;One of our Junior League members, Joan Winston, had been doing the Idle Wheel Craft Show for 21 years, and this year she turned it over as a gift to us. Having a new venue, and then putting the two shows together was just a perfect decision for us. & quot;
The Gift Galleria brings together top gift retailers, including Joel, Wilderness Creek and Austin's Fine Jewelry, while the Idle Wheel Craft Show is a sampler of the region's best craftspeople.
& quot;About 90 percent of our crafters have participated in Idle Wheels in the past, & quot; says Kenison. & quot;And most of the new vendors were referred to us by vendors who'd been in the show before. & quot;
In addition to the tole painting, dried flowers, needlework, stationery, soaps, candles and holiday items, the show will have a cafe serving soup, sandwiches and, of course, coffee. Proceeds from the show benefit a variety of Junior League charity projects through the holidays.
& & & lt;i & The Idle Wheel Craft Show and Gift Galleria is at the Spokane Interstate Fairgrounds Thursday, Oct. 12, from 6-9 pm, Friday, Oct. 13, from 11 am-9 pm, and Saturday, Oct. 14, from 10 am-6 pm. Tickets: $4. Call: 328-2801. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &
& & Cup and Saucer & &
The Spokane Porcelain Artists present & & A HARVEST OF PORCELAIN & & this weekend at Heritage Congregational Church, and while a significant share of the work displayed is of a traditional variety, the show's planners hope to attract a young, new audience.
& quot;We would love to attract young people, and we want to keep the tradition of porcelain painting alive, & quot; says Olga Forv & eacute;, a spokeswoman for the event and a painter in her own right. & quot;It's not just old-fashioned art; it's not just cups and bowls and lots and lots of plates. There are new techniques, new paints, new ways of doing things, that I think would appeal to many younger artists. & quot;
For traditionalists, there will be a variety of fine porcelain objects -- cups, bowls, plates, dresser trays, boxes, vases and dolls -- and even a few examples of what Forv & eacute; hopes will be the new wave of porcelain painting, the simple porcelain tile.
& quot;The tile is the canvas, & quot; says Forv & eacute;. & quot;You can do anything you want. You can paint in a variety of styles, you can paint abstract, traditional, realistic, whatever you want. It can be whatever you imagine. & quot;
& & & lt;i & A Harvest of Porcelain runs Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Heritage Congregational Church, 1801 E. 29th from 10 am-5 pm. Tickets: $3 donation. Call: 466-6264. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &
& & Upcoming Pleasures & &
The month would feel incomplete without a show of cozy, comforting quilts, and fortunately the Spokane chapter of the Washington State Quilters comes through with a show of more than 500 quilts at the Spokane Convention Center Oct. 20-22. & & A STITCH IN TIME & & is the name of the show, which also includes a lecture by featured quilter Karen Schoepflin Hagen, a merchant mall and demonstrations of quilting techniques.
& & & lt;i & A Stitch in Time is at the Spokane Convention Center Friday, Oct. 20, from 10 am-9 pm, Saturday, Oct. 21, from 10 am-7 pm, and Sunday, Oct. 22, from 10 am-5 pm. Tickets: $4; $3, seniors and students; children 12 and under free. Call: 468-8132. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &