Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Shop, Learn, and Have Fun at the 81st Annual League of NH Craftsmen's Fair

CONCORD, NHThe 81st Annual League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair is the place to see and shop for fine handmade crafts—and learn how craft is made. The Fair takes place at the scenic Mount Sunapee Resort in Newbury, NH from Saturday, Aug. 2, to Sunday, Aug. 10. The longest running annual crafts fair in the nation—drawing some 30,000 people each year—will feature the contemporary and traditional work of 350 craftsmen, along with daily craft demonstrations, workshops, and entertainment for the entire family.

“The League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair is the perfect way for the whole family to get an in-depth look at the world of craft making. The Fair is a rare, interactive opportunity where visitors can talk to a range of craftspeople (all juried members of the League), take a workshop, watch a demonstration or just browse the myriad of exciting and intriguing craft booths,” said Susie Lowe-Stockwell, executive director of the League of NH Craftsmen.  “Many of our craftspeople have been participating in the Fair for 30 years or more and every year they relish this opportunity to present new and inspiring creations. I also love seeing the fresh talent of our newest craftspeople as well.”

“The Annual Craftsmen's Fair—it is where we show our work and interact with friendly and educated fairgoers,” added Robert Burch, who has been working in blown glass since 1971, making vases, perfume bottles, paperweights and sculptural pieces. Robert and his daughter Caitlin, who also works in blown glass, are both juried members of the League. “It is a pleasure to talk about the design and process of our work and to connect with other craftspeople.”

Craft Demonstrations, Workshops & Family Fun
There are many options for learning more about fine craft. Take a leather working workshop with Grant Taylor to learn how to cut, edge, smooth and prepare small leather items, such as bracelets and belts. The leather working workshop will take place on Saturday, Aug. 2, and Sunday, Aug. 3.
Craft demonstrations at the Fair are educational and entertaining. Watch wood carver Bill Schnute as he demonstrates how to use carving gouges and mallets to form an intricately carved wooden piece. Schnute will provide demonstrations all day on Sunday, Aug. 3. On Tuesday, Aug. 5, and Wednesday, Aug. 6, basket maker Lynn Goldberg will show visitors how to make a basket from birch bark using a plaited weave and zigzag borders. 

And on Friday, August 8, special guest, ceramic artist Jon Keenan, will demonstrate his technique and give a presentation about his work and inspiration. Visit for a complete listing of workshops and demonstrations.

This year’s Craftsmen’s Fair will have even more activities for families, with special craft workshops and demonstrations geared toward children and teenagers, including a pottery school and woodworking activities. Roving performances featuring oversized puppets, magicians, mind readers, and musicians will wander the grounds, creating a festival atmosphere.

“We have families who have been attending the Fair together for years,” Lowe-Stockwell said. “The Fair offers a variety of fun and creative activities for all ages – it’s a great way to enjoy New Hampshire in the summer.”

Special promotions & events
Brand new this year is the “Collectors’ Sprint” on Saturday, August 2, where guests can pay $50 to enter the Craftsmen’s Fair an hour early at 9 a.m. and have exclusive access to all craft booths, exhibitions and The Shop At The Fair. Collectors’ Sprint patrons also receive a tote bag with a limited edition 2014 Ornament, premier parking and refreshments.

For those who can’t make it during the day, there will be a special Thursday night event on Aug. 7 called “$5 After 4,” in which the Fair will remain open three hours later until 8 p.m. and admission will be half price after 4 p.m. Visitors can enter a contest to win free tickets for the Collectors Sprint and Late Night Thursday at

Additional features of the Annual Craftsmen Fair
  • Fairgoers can purchase the League of NH Craftsmen's 2014 Annual Ornament. This year's ornament is Whispers of Spring, a hand-formed cast pewter birch branch by Kristine Lane and Paulette Werger, both juried in metal by the League. The ornament costs $23 and is numbered and signed by the artists. 
  • Visitors can learn how to collect fine craft by attending a Collectors Seminar on Thursday, Aug. 7, from noon to 1 p.m.
  • Learn more about your favorite craft by taking a Tour with a Master.
  • Picture your home with a piece of handmade furniture, wall hanging or basket from the Living With Craft Exhibition which showcases room settings with a creative fusion of handmade furniture and decorative items.
  • Try on one-of-a-kind handmade fashions and accessories at the CraftWear Exhibition, which displays stylish “art-to-wear” clothing, jewelry and accessories.
  • Walk through the Sculpture Garden and enjoy a breathtaking display of landscape sculptures and garden ornaments. Last year, this exhibit was one of the most talked about at the Fair, and will be expanded this year.
League Fairgrounds: The 2014 Annual League of NH Craftsmen's Fair will feature more than 200 craft booths, craft demonstrations, workshops, and three craft exhibitions, including the Sculpture Garden pictured here.

Richard Foye: Pottery maker Richard Foye, a juried member of the League of NH Craftsmen, demonstrates his method for creating unique and beautiful pottery. The Annual League of NH Craftsmen's Fair showcases the latest handcrafted work by the juried members of the League. Creative, one-of-a-kind clay, metal, glass, wood, fiber craft and more are on display and available for purchase.

Annual Craftsmen’s Fair Ticket Information
The 81th Annual League of NH Craftsmen Fair will be open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, rain or shine, from August 2-10. Admission is $10 for adults; $8 for seniors, students, active duty military (with ID), and groups of 20 or more. Admission is free for children 12 and under. A ticket includes admission to all exhibitions and demonstrations. A ticket for a second return day is available for an additional $5. Visitors who purchase their tickets in advance on the League's website,, will receive a $1 discount, plus no convenience fee. This discount will be offered until August 1. Having tickets in advance is a great way to avoid the long ticket lines at the gate. Parking is free.

Picnic areas, as well as a food tent, indoor cafeterias, and an outdoor Garden Café (serving adult beverages) are open daily. Parking is free. Please leave pets at home; only service dogs are allowed on the fairgrounds.

About the League of NH Craftsmen
The League of NH Craftsmen is a non-profit, craft education organization. Its mission is to encourage, nurture and promote the creation, use and preservation of fine contemporary and traditional craft through the inspiration and education of artists and the broader community. The League represents the signature of excellence in fine craft, through the work of its juried members, and its rigorous standards for self expression, vision, and quality craftsmanship. The League of NH Craftsmen is supported in part by grants from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information about the Fair, or the League of NH Craftsmen, call 603-224-3375, email, or visit the League’s website at

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