Artisans fair to kick off summer at lord balitmore elementary coastal point 7 gas station

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Stewart, who said he believes he inherited his love of wood and woodworking from his grandfather, specializes in things that are “designed toward eating and drinking” — cutting boards, serving trays of varying shapes and sizes, wine holders and wine racks.

Stewart said he lets the wood itself determine what it will become, but “finding the wood is the biggest challenge.” While some of the wood for his pieces comes from his 15-acre farmette, “I don’t have the high, fancy woods on my property.” Still, he manages to acquire a nice variety.

Even though woodworking has been a lifelong passion, Stewart said he is always open to new things. Having recently added a lathe to his tool collection, he said he is “trying to make pepper grinders, but I’m not there yet.” In the meantime, he has added decorative rolling pins to his stockpile of offerings — but he has high hopes for the pepper grinders to come.

Stewart said that, while he enjoys the actual work in his shop, he also looks forward to sharing it at shows, including the Artisans Fair. He and his wife love to travel, and he said, “When we go to different cities, we always go to the markets. I really enjoy talking to the other woodworkers.”

For Jo Houtz, a watercolor artist from Abingdon, Md., the Artisans Fair at Lord Baltimore is a fun outing and a chance to show off her art and her sense of humor — two things that are blended together to create whimsical pieces, and some more serious, in her own unique style.

Houtz, who is a retired “bean-counter” for the Social Security Administration, said she decided when she retired that she wanted to pursue her interest in painting. She took lessons, she said, but after several years, she realized that “I’m not a landscape painter.”

What she paints on the paper ranges from serious mini-reproductions of famous works to her own whimsical paintings, which are, essentially, painted fish puns. For example, a painting depicting six fish wearing monastic robes is titled “Monk Fish.” Fish playing cards becomes a work titled “Card Sharks.”

Explaining how she comes up with the ideas for what she calls her “silly fish” paintings, she recalled listening to a conversation between a father and a son, where the son was talking about the need to get a fishbowl for the goldfish he was, at the time, carrying around in a plastic bag.

“They have no artistic value at all,” Houtz said, and that’s just fine with her. “I’ve had people come up and look at them and say, ‘That’s dumb,’ she said. “I just say, ‘You’re right.’ It’s become more of a joke than anything. It’s pleasant,” she said, and she enjoys pushing the envelope a bit “just to see what people will accept. I wait ’til the saying hits me before I take off.”

Houtz and Stewart will join 70 other artisans at the Artisans Fair, now in its 11th year at Lord Baltimore. Other media represented at the event will include photography, handcrafted jewelry, pottery, metal sculpture, fine textile handiwork and glass.

The Gardeners by the Sea club will have plant cuttings from members’ gardens for sale at the farmers’ market. The club serves the community in a variety of ways, including landscaping for Habitat for Humanity, offering scholarships for aspiring horticulture students, and garden therapy and floral arranging programs at the Ocean View Leisure Center, and cultivating and maintaining a garden at Lord Baltimore.

“We are so pleased that the Artisans Fair has become such a tradition and so successful — both in providing a quality arts venue for our community and by supporting the higher education of young people in this area,” said fair coordinator Maureen Eisenhart.

Proceeds from the fair, which is sponsored by the South Coastal Delaware AARP chapter, will go toward scholarships for high school seniors at Indian River High School, as well as adult students attending Delaware Technical Community College.

The Artisans Fair will be held both outside on the school grounds and inside the school building, in the cafeteria and the gym, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 26. The farmers’ market will be held outside on the school grounds from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.