Sunday, October 21, 2007

Good times, Great Friends and some FANTASTIC art at War Eagle





It's the third weekend in October and a tradition my mom and I started when I was a teenager back in the early 80's. We had just moved from Springfield, Illinois to Branson and had no clue of what "War Eagle" was or even craft shows were for that matter. Since that time, my mom and I have only missed a few years. This is serious business folks....we get up at 4:45 and leave at 5:30 AM...that's in the morning for all those of you who sleep during that time...to leave. The 2 1/2 trip south into Arkansas is breath taking, especially during sunrise.

People from all over the country flock to attend these area shows. War Eagle is a working grist mill located on the King's River.

This area really is three separate craft shows combined into one huge one. Tradition has it that we first walk over the wooden planked bridge to the "art" side. Here this on this side, it's all juried work...no imports! (you know how I feel about import's at craft shows...). There are 4 huge circus tents and one barn, featuring everything from handmade wearables, jewelry, wooden furniture, decorative painting, homemade gourmet foods and sculpture.

And the food....we'll as long as you like it on a stick....you're in luck!

This year my Mother In Law attended for the first time. I think she really enjoyed herself!

I particularly paid close attention to all the jewelry. I loved seeing everyone's interpretation of beads, silver, copper and gold...simply beautiful. There was one outstanding booth, that was just packed full of shoppers. I believe it's because of his uniqueness and creativity and it was MAN art, something you just don't see alot of at a show. This man made sculptures literally out of discarded junk (washers, sparkplugs, I'm talkin' JUNK!). He took a toaster and sculpted it into an RV. A flat food grater was the awning, a church key can opener became the bumper and old discarded metal wheels from rolling skates became the wheels. His creativity was beyond amazing! So he wins the most unique art award!

There was one booth that sold polymer clay miniatures like those that I used to sell. The expression on her faces were adorable and being that this is the second time I've seen her display, I would say that her mini's were doing well. As for polymer clay in general though, I saw only two booths that featured jewelry and they were both at the Bella Vista show not at War Eagle. Personally, the way the unique jewelry artists were swamped with people, I think that there is a market for UNIQUE polymer jewelry. It must be exquisite in its finish, because the people that come to buy at War Eagle are savvy when it comes to shopping and only buy the best. The price range of the jewelry artists ranged from $20 to several hundred. But, being that it is unique and one of a kind, I thought the prices were fair.


Though I didn't buy any jewelry, I did buy a rather large scarecrow, the kids named him BOB and now Bob has a home in front of my studio. I'll say "goodmorning to him" everyday before work. I've also given Bob some pumpkins to look out after.

My only other purchase was ....believe it or not...a potatoe chip maker. The demonstrator looked like he was having so much fun making chips, that I just had to have that much fun too!! (See demo's do sell.......)

It took us close to 3 hours to go thru all the booths on this side. Now it's time to head back over the bridge to the other side. By this time, the bridge is a solid line of people.

The other side features more imports, flea market goodies and a little bit of anything goes. (This is where I bought my potatoe chip maker).......


While I did not photograph anyone's art. I did pick up their business cards and thought I would post their website's for you do peruse and have a "virtual War Eagle" experience.

http://www.katebaerfossils.com/ A family run business, the kids find the fossils and the parents create beautiful jewelry...love the whole family involvement!

Metal Sculpture by Bill Blackford Studios: http://www.metalsculpture.net/

Stewart's Original Silver jewelry: http://www.stewartsoriginalsilver.com/

The metal sculpture guy....he doesnt have a website...but if you email, I bet he'll send you some pictures if you are interested in purchasing. sparkplugguy@yahoo.com (cute email huh?)

Creative Instinct - Hand made jewelry http://www.creativeinstinctjewelry.com/

Unfotunately, the other's didn't list email or web addresses...BUM!

After War Eagle, we head thru Rogers and Bentonville to the Bella Vista show. This show is juried as well. You'll find more painters and fine artists at this show.

As we were walking along, we stopped at a booth that had beautiful dichroic and silver jewelry. They also had "name jewelry". ...so here's the story.... During my craft show years, I met a couple of girls that became really good friends of mine named Becky and Paula. They sold name bracelets. I would always stay with them when I did shows in and around St. Louis if Mariah wasn't in the hospital having her chemo treatments. We all became such good friends that Paula gave us a place to stay, for 3 months while Mariah underwent radiation. After we discontinued craft shows and went our separate ways, we fell out of touch....that is until the name bracelets that I mentioned earlier. As Mariah was looking at them, she said, "Remember Becky and Paula who made those name bracelets, what ever happened to them?" Just then Becky STOOD up!! and we had a great re-aquaintance. We found out everyone was well, but like us had left the craft show circuit in pursuit of other things. It had been nearly 11 years since we've seen each other and had a chance to visit! What a great reunion!!! SMALL WORLD HUH?

I have more to share about our girls weekend...but I'll save that for later

Until next time on the Art Buzzzzzzz............

2 comments:

Christie said...

War Eagle is amazing. Mom and I went a few years ago. (She's been back but I haven't.) She actually invited again this year but I didn't have babysitting. :(
I enjoyed your review! It makes me want to MAKE time to go next fall!

Linda Peterson Designs said...

It is a great time! The scenery is beautiful and what a great way to spend time with family!

I hope you get to go next year!

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