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home : business : business July 22, 2018

9/5/2017 12:05:00 PM
Fall festival beats smoky weekend
Patrons checked out the wares of The Cuddly Pitchfork at last weekend’s Sisters Fall Street Festival. photo by Jodi Schneider McNamee
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Patrons checked out the wares of The Cuddly Pitchfork at last weekend’s Sisters Fall Street Festival. photo by Jodi Schneider McNamee

By Jodi Schneider McNamee

The smoky conditions on Saturday didn't stop folks from getting out to browse through the 10th annual Sisters Fall Street Festival that lined Oak Street and Main Avenue with a bright blend of eclectic merchandise from some 47 vendors.

Each year the festival gives folks that last chance to savor the final days of summer.

The festival featured unique showcases of handcrafted arts and crafts. From rake birdfeeders to hand-designed jewelry, there was something for everyone.

Vendor Karla Piatt from Netarts has been selling her uniquely creative fused-glass art, Fusion, at shows for six years. She has three kilns in her studio that run almost continuously on weekends.

"Each design is made of one piece of fused glass that I personally design and hand-cut. I melt all the curves together to form whatever shape I'm interested in," Piatt said. "I add decorations and then it is mounted onto a reinforced designed canvas. But this year I've added my fused glass to wood panels. I wire it through, but you can barely notice."

Bendistillery joined the festival with a long table of Crater Lake Spirits for the tasting.

"We are giving samples of fused vodka, gin and whiskeys today and we carry sample packs, great for stocking-stuffers," said Oregon sales manager Amy Saxton.

Jim Spiegel from Albany has been a woodcraftsman for over 20 years. His lamps are made from Juniper and the crowd favorite, a fishing rod holder, is also made of juniper.

"I also make utility boxes made out of pine and bird houses," Spiegel said.

First-time vendor Eric Moberg and his wife, Patty, featured recycled and weathered wood from their thriving business, Bend Cottage Furniture.

"I design all kinds of cabinets out of old wood. I used 100-year-old picket fences for the side of this cabinet," Moberg told The Nugget. "I find old wood everywhere, even on Craigslist you find people selling wood. This is all recycled wood. It's old material and in pretty rough shape when I get it."

Moberg has crafted quite a few reproductions of pie safe cupboards made from weathered wood and punched tin metal door inserts. Pie safes were used to hold food of all types, and the punched-tin panels allowed air to circulate inside while keeping bugs and other pests out.

"I started back in the 1970s building houses and have been involved with carpentry my whole life," he said.

Another new vendor, Timi Lalonde from Bend, and business partner Beck Helms, showcased their handcrafted wood items from her home-based business, The Cuddly Pitchfork.

"This is our very first show. I make bird houses and just started six months ago," Lalonde said. "It's rakes, shovels and pitchforks. I like to take old rakes and make birdhouse designs out of them. It's all recycled. I find things at garage sales. It's just a lot of fun for me to get creative with wood."

Entertainment was provided by Friends of Lenny, that keep the hits from the 1960s through '90's alive.

The sensational aromas coming from Noel Lee's Farmhouse candles booth had people stopping by to smell a variety of soy candle scents made with essential oils.

"I hand-pour the soy candles in small batches and use lead-free cotton wicks and essential oils," Lee said. "I used to be an RN and I have four kids, so I know that I didn't want to burn candles that contain artificial scents and dyes, which release additional chemicals when burned. These candles are made with high-quality phthalate-free essential oils."

Folks kept busy all weekend with a variety of arts and crafts, games, food, entertainment, and a beer and wine garden.

Event organizer Richard Esterman was on hand to talk about the smoky conditions forecasted for Labor Day weekend:

"Yes, we had some cancellations due to the air quality but it's still a good-looking show with 47 vendors. I kept the show open so we could boost the economy in Sisters."

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