Vendors in the National Folk Festival’s Marketplace sell traditional arts. These arts are learned as part of the cultural life of a group of people whose members share a common ethnic heritage, language, religion, occupation or culturally united geographic region. Folk and traditional arts are shaped by a community’s aesthetics and values and are passed from generation to generation, most often within family and community through observation, conversation and practice.
Traditional American Indian arts
Maine’s native people – Micmac, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot – present traditional woodcarving, basket making and beadwork.
Stanley Sayers grew up in Canada’s Shubenacadie Tribe, where traditional art skills were passed down through generations by watching elders. Today, Sayers makes and sells traditional Micmac Indian crafts, including turtle clocks and bags, horn rattles and jewelry.
Anita R. Ellis
Kabunook Arts Belgrade, Maine
Artist Anita R. Ellis grew up in Vassalboro. She learned traditional basket making from Passamaquoddy artisan William Neptune. She is also a woodcarver, having captured wildlife images from an early age. She will display her carvings and baskets in this year’s Marketplace.
Frances Frey and Peter Moore
Beaded Quill Designs
Frances Frey comes from a family of basket makers and began learning as a child. She has apprenticed with master basket maker Sylvia Gabriel and does beadwork as well. Her partner, Peter Moore, does woodcarving and makes traditional moccasins. Together, Frey and Moore have more than a decade of experience. They work mostly on commission and participate in art shows through the Maine Indian Basket Makers Alliance.
Native Arts Gallery
Bar Harbor, Maine
As a girl growing up in Arizona, Jean Seronde learned to made traditional Navajo-style jewelry by watching her mother. She came to Maine as a seasonal resident of Mount Desert Island and has made the island her home.
Pounded-ash splint baskets have been made in Aroostook Country for centuries by the Acadians for harvesting potatoes and by woods workers, sportsmen and trappers for pack baskets and fishing creels. Annette Daigle learned to make baskets from her father and by watching master basket makers Eldon Hanning of Limestone and Edmond Theriault of Eagle Lake.
The Basket Tree
In northwestern Maine, guiding for sportsmen is a common occupation. Dorothy Lawrence makes woven backpacks for her three children – all Maine Guides – and for others to use camping, ice fishing and fly-fishing. She learned the craft from other Maine basket makers and is teaching it to her daughter and granddaughter. She fashions traditional Maine Northwest Mountains work baskets.
Baskets and Woodcraft of Mossy Grove
Donald Deschane has worked with wood products all his life. Growing up in northern Maine, he was taught at a young age to use waste logs, or burls, by his grandparents. He perfected his craft with help from his father and grandfather. For more than 14 years, he has produced burl bowls.
Edward M. Harrow
Edward Harrow and his group are experienced carpenters, sign painters, craftspeople and furniture makers who have turned their skills to carving wildlife-inspired works of art. Norumbega Woodcarvers specializes in making traditional Maine duck and fish decoys, as well as flora- and fauna-inspired pieces.
John K. Jewell
John K. Jewell Woodcarvings
John Jewell has done woodcarving for most of his life. He makes decoys and old-style bird carvings. He is co-founder of the Penobscot Bay Carvers and Artists Association and a member of the Maine and National Woodcarvers associations.
Jeff Peterson learned traditional Swedish woodcarving from his family. He is a carpenter by trade and a woodworker since childhood. He makes pickle forks for pickled herring and ladles for rice pudding for his family’s annual holiday smorgasbord. He also makes wooden spoons, rolling pins and dough bowls.
Laurie Sterns grew up in the northern Maine woods. She learned how to carve wood from her father. She has had her own business for more than five years and has a special skill for re-creating Maine wildflowers in wood.
Dallas Seger learned woodworking as a child from his grandfather and in his shop class at Old Town High School. He also has an interest in music and began crafting bass guitars at age 16.
Knitting and spinning
Liz Ahern creates hand-spun and hand-knit sweaters from the wool of merino sheep. When she was a child, her mother taught her to knit socks, scarves, hats, sweaters and even underwear, worn by Maine families during the winter. She is a member of Made in Maine and the American Knitting Guild.
Maine’s Fine Fibers
Artist Joan Davis was 4 when she learned to knit from her baby sitter and later studied with Elizabeth Zimmerman and Alice Starmore. Davis began annual knitting retreats in 1993 and edits Knit ME, a newsletter for Maine knitters. She specializes in nautical and home-based knitting traditions and creates christening shawls and Christmas stockings for her family.
Done Roving Farm & Carding Mill
Paula Farrar was raised in Maine’s Washington County, where she learned to knit at age 5 from her eldest sister. Today she knits hats, mittens and sweaters; braids rugs and makes jackets, vests, blankets, wall hangings and quilts from the fleece of her family’s sheep, and also from mohair, alpaca and llama wool. She recently opened the Fiber Studio and Learning Center at her farm, to teach others about her craft.
Ash Grove Spinning and Knitting
Lynn Winters grew up in a family where hands were never idle. She learned at 10 to knit and has learned how to “full” items from the wool of her own small flock of Romney Lincoln sheep. Fulling is a process that brings fibers tightly together. Winters makes mittens in the traditional style of Atlantic Canada. She belongs to the Maine Spinners Registry and Maine Fiberarts.
Beeuw Van Knijeren
Vermeer’s Lace & Fiber Studio
Beeuw Van Knijeren immigrated to Maine from her home in Delft, Netherlands, where her mother taught her to knit, crochet and embroider at age 6. Her father used to spin the yarn from his brothers’ sheep, and her mother and grandmother would make items to keep the family warm. Today she lives in Stetson and owns a small business where she sells her knitted goods.
Nanny Kennedy grew up in Damariscotta where her grandmother taught her to knit to get her to sit still. Ever since, knitting has been Kennedy’s passion. She is always enhancing her knowledge and skills through experimentation. Over the years, she has developed a solar and seawater process to dye the wool of the sheep that she and her sons raise. The wool is then made into blankets, sweaters and other items in traditional Maine styles.
Ginger Phelps and Gabriella D’Italia
The Spring Street Co.
Ginger Phelps learned to quilt from an older relative while living in Southwest Harbor. She passed her knowledge of quilting on to Gabriella D’Italia, who was educated at Boston’s Museum School of Fine Arts, and the two have worked on projects together for several years. Phelps is the resident costume maker at Penobscot Theatre. Phelps and D’Italia make quilts that combine old and new styles.
Nora Flanagan Quilts
Lincolnville Center, Maine
Nora Flanagan loves color, which is reflected in her decorative quilts and pillows. She was inspired to quilt more than 30 years ago by her grandmother who also practiced the craft. She makes quilts that not only are functional but also serve as records of special events.
John J. Halloran
John Halloran has been braiding rugs for more than 25 years. He uses woolens from Maine’s only surviving woolen mill, in Oxford. His braided rugs are traditional in style. He passes on his skills through rug-braiding classes in Greater Bangor.
Jill D. McCollum
Doublejays Rug Studio
Long Island, Maine
Jill McCollum comes from a family of rug hookers. She learned how to hook rugs from her aunt and grandmother by pulling strips of wool through burlap. McCollum founded “Hooked on Healing,” a program whose mission is to help people suffering from mental disorders by creating. She makes all sorts of rugs including unique wedding rugs to order.
Mary Ann Small
Maine Island Rag Rugs
Mary Ann Small learned to knit at age 5 and has been spinning and knitting ever since. She learned to weave on a loom and began making hand-woven rag rugs. She starts with cotton warp, strips and rolls fabric into balls, then weaves them into wall hangings, bags, pillows, as well as traditional rugs.
Natalia Bragg’s family has been making herbal remedies for six generations. Some of her family’s medicinal plant treatments include Old Log Drivers Arthritic Formula, Balm of Gilead Healing Salve, Sweet Birch Complexion Cream and Stinky Feet Soap. She helped found the Aroostook County Herb Association and has been a practicing herbalist for more than 30 years.
Maine Coast Herbals
From a young age, Mary Mondello learned to make home remedies from her grandmother. Today she cultivates diverse organic herbs in her greenhouses and gardens. She is a certified herbalist and prepares and sells herbal teas, tinctures, salves and facial creams.
Betsy Ann Golon
Common Folk Farm
Naples Village, Maine
Growing up in Maine, Betsey Ann Golon enjoyed working with her father in the family garden and learned about medicinal plants from her grandmother. She has created a business out of her herbal hobby of herbs and produces herbal teas from her home and works at the nearby Shaker community.
Terrence C. Williamson
Appalachian Resources Inc.
Terrence C. Williamson worked for 30 years in mineral exploration in the eastern United States and Canada. Later in life, he was encouraged by his mother, an artisan, to try his hand at making jewelry. His pieces are made with sterling sliver, gold-filled wire and Maine gemstones. The jewelry is solderless and is made by hand with simple tools including pliers, cutters and hammers.
Wrenovations Stained Glass Creations
Mark Wren always loved stained glass and learned to create it as an offshoot to his occupations as a millwright and carpenter. He began making stained-glass pieces as gifts and later turned his hobby into a business. He also serves as a mentor, demonstrating the art of stained glass.
Bryony Brett Stained Glass
After studying fine arts at Bristol University in England, at age 28, Brett moved to Southern California, where he studied the art of stained glass at the Dave Woolsey Stained Glass Studio, in Anaheim. For more than 20 years, Bryony has been creating and selling stained-glass pieces at his Portland studio.
Susan E.A. Dickson-Smith
Susan Dickson-Smith, a native of southwestern Maine, learned her art as a girl living in an area with a vibrant crafts tradition. After graduating from college Dickson-Smith apprenticed with April Adams of Columbia Falls Pottery. She now is passing her skills on to the next generation by teaching children in her family.
J. Victoria Rattigan
J. Victoria Rattigan began Shard Pottery as a one-woman operation 16 years ago, and it has become a thriving business. She learned her trade from potters in central Maine, where she perfected the method for making her signature blue and white stoneware that depicts coastal scenes.
Donald Sutherland was raised in a traditional New England community where baked beans and brown bread were the standard Saturday night fare. Clay pottery in the form of crocks and baking dishes were used. His own practical and decorative pieces reflect his upbringing. He studied pottery at institutions in New York and California. Before returning home to Eastport, he worked for seven years as a “thrower” for a craftsman in California.
Robert Moore was 10 when he began helping a neighbor tap their maple trees. He became interested in the process and built a homemade “evaporator” from a 50-gallon barrel. He has been perfecting his craft for more than 60 years. He was past president of Maine Maple Producers Association and belongs to several art and craft organizations.
Steve and Diana Hobart
Breakneck Ridge Farm
Breakneck Ridge Farm has been operated by Diana Hobart’s family for more than five generations. As a child, she learned how to make maple syrup when she and her family would go to the farm and help her grandfather collect sap. She and her husband, Steve, now operate the farm. Steve Hobart’s mother and grandmother help produce and sell the syrup, the Hobart children give tours of the facilities and help with packing while their parents do the bottling and oversee the operation.
Jim and Linda Leach
Fine Pine Designs
Jim and Linda Leach have been making finished hardwood furniture for more than 15 years. Both are self-taught woodworkers who take great pride in the quality of their work created by hand and machine tooling. A clear oil finish brings out the rich beauty of the wood. The Leaches intend to pass their craft onto their grandchildren.
Artisan Mildred Crocker says tatting, a form of lacework similar to crochet, is becoming a lost art. In recent years, she has taught both needle-tatting and shuttle-tatting to help ensure that the tradition survives.
Art Designs from Moose Horn and Deer Antler Sheds
At 58, Ed Croy discovered that he had a talent for carving. He uses moose and deer antlers to create pieces ranging from lamps to cribbage boards. He says the trick is finding the antlers before other animals such as bears and porcupines gnaw and disfigure them.
Bob and Anne Dickens
Bob and Anne Dickens have been in the leather business for years. He got his start working at cobblers in Hancock County. The Dickenses have worked for more than two decades, producing leather bags, belts, sheepskin slippers and other items.
Iron Art Forge
Growing up in Lyme, Conn., Gary Griffith knew at age 12 that he wanted to be a blacksmith. Learning from blacksmiths in his area, he crafted horseshoes and artful birdhouses. Finally settling in Maine, by way of Alaska where he worked as a truck driver and blacksmith, he produces wrought-iron pieces using a hand-cranked bellows forge.
As a child growing up on a farm, Wilma Stanchfield learned the tradition of canning food. Moving to Maine in the mid-1970s, she purchased a farm in Milo, where she produces many of the vegetables and seasonings used in her pickles, jams, jellies and other products.
Everett and Lee Worcester
Worcester’s Wild Blueberries
In Orneville, Everett and Lee Worcester cultivate 35 to 40 acres of wild low-bush blueberries. Regulars at both the Bangor-Brewer and Orono farmers markets, the Worcesters also sell their blueberries in pint- and quart-size packages at numerous local stores and from a roadside stand near their home.
For more than 30 years, Betty Maker and her family have participated in the annual blueberry harvest in Down East Maine. With the fresh fruit, Maker makes savory blueberry jams, jellies, toppings and syrup. Founded eight years ago, Blueberry Bliss products can be found in places such as the Maine governor’s residence, the Blaine House, in Augusta.
Hand Knotted Linen Jewelry
Rosemary Dilernia learned how to tie nautical knots from her father, a sailor in the U.S. Navy. She took that skill and turned it into a professional career tying knots and fashioning watchbands and other decorative pieces.