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From the Fair

Our booth with some of our wares on display

It’s been a month since I attended the Crafts Fair here in Sibiu, Romania, enough time for the impressions to gel up, so that I can share them on this post.

From the get-go, I will tell you, I just love going to craft fairs! Being a craftsman myself, I enjoy seeing what others of the lot are doing, sometimes be inspired for my own work, and meet interesting individuals that oftentimes are excited to tell you all about their craft. And let’s not forget about the grilled hot dogs, the funnel cake and the cotton candy! It all adds up to an enjoyable Saturday afternoon.

Now, being one of the crafts people and tending your booth, answering questions and being nice to everyone while hoping to sell some of the wares you’ve been working on for months, is an altogether different experience. I do enjoy meeting people, sharing tips and try to smile for the ones who just want to take a picture with the “Elf”.

For one thing, being “plugged in” ten hours a day, four days in a row, it is Tiring! And then, it is the weather, being an outdoor event, you are at the mercy of the elements. It’s funny and sad at the same time, to see how if it starts sprinkling, in ten minutes’ time, the park is empty, while the craftspeople are scrambling to cover their stuff with plastic sheathing, if they have it. Although a few times the sky got dark and we even heard thunder, we were blessed and the rain by-passed us by a few miles.

Demonstrating woodturning while making some spinning tops

The attendance was better than usual, as for the past two years, because of Covid, they did not organize a fair and people were eager to come, especially in the beautiful setting, the Village Museum with its winding alleys among traditional restored dwellings and homesteads brought from all over Romania with some dating back to 1700, a subject that I want to devote an entire post to, sometimes soon.

The fair I attended brought artisans from all over Romania with a focus on traditional, popular crafts such as pottery, weaving, leather work, blacksmithing and various woodworking, like spoon making, coopering, wood turning and decorative chip carving. Being primarily a woodworker, I had some wooden items decorated with traditional Saxon tole painting and some items turned on the lathe. I had also taken the lathe and demonstrated woodturning, making small wooden dishes, honey dippers and to the delight of young ones, spinning tops, free to all who had the patience to watch me make one.

Maia at work, making some silver earrings

Along with me, I had Maia, who was demonstrating silversmithing and jewelry making. This was her first such event and she enjoyed it “immensely”.

As far as sales go, it was a fair turnover, although it could have been better, too. But being retired and not dependent on that income, I have to say like Maia, I enjoyed it “immensely”, just because of the people I met, some from as far as Texas, Spain, Israel and Iran and a lot of them from Ukraine.

"This is how you spin it"

I also had some surprises, pleasant ones, meeting a fellow woodturner who’s roots are from the same village as my wife’s, Margau (see the post Gingerbread anyone?”), and a young lady, not yet 16 and a very accomplished potter.

In closing, I would like to encourage anyone reading this blog, don’t miss any chance to go to crafts shows and fairs and along with the hot dog and funnel cake, buy a little something from an artisan and help keep the crafts alive, otherwise, they might just go extinct!

The pictures are hardly doing justice to what was there, my only excuse is that I had to stay at my booth and wasn’t able to stroll leisurely and take more photographs. Perhaps next time...

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Sep 20, 2022

Great to see young people interested in craftsmanship! It seems so rare these days with phones and computers that take so much time but seeing that there are those who still want to create with their imagination and their hands is good. Glad the fair is back!


Cathy Jones Vinson
Cathy Jones Vinson
Sep 18, 2022

I enjoy reading this so much! There was so much joy in that event. You shared it so well. The pictures are so helpful!


Judy Moyer
Judy Moyer
Sep 18, 2022

Loved the pictures... Envy your talent.. woodworking, Calligraphy, now sewing... + You are gifted.

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