Tuesday, July 13, 2010

People's Choice Festival...

I felt restless and in need of a distraction this past weekend. On Sunday, we headed out to Boalsburg to swing by the People's Choice Festival of Pennsylvania Arts & Crafts. Boalsburg is just shy of two hours away. Unfortunately, we got a late start and only had an hour to look around. It was a nice day though. The weather was perfect and there was lots of talent on display. (I also got my fair food fix and indulged in a tasty pulled pork sandwich, a bucket of sweet tea and a freshly fried funnel cake dusted heavily in powdered sugar.)

The highlight of the show was running into Gina Marie Chalfant of White Swan Illuminations. I met Gina several years ago at the first officially bead show I did in Pittsburgh. First and foremost, she's an incredibly thoughtful and extremely nice person. I always enjoy seeing her and her daughter. Gina is also a supremely talented ceramist, jeweler, and Renaissance woman extraordinaire!

I've seen some of her pieces over the years, but I've never seen the full spread. I'm utterly smitten by her work. It was delightful to see the range of her artistry and interesting to hear about their inspirations behind the pieces. For instance, the raven vase and pitcher were inspired by a 14th century Italian motif and the razorback dish was derived from a fusion of mid-14th and 15th century Spanish designs. Did I mention that I absolutely adore her work? Seeing her and acquiring the three pieces was the highlight of the weekend!

On our way home, I saw a Ghost Bike near the ramp to get on the highway. It was a sad reminder of my friend, Amelia, and the anniversary of her passing. It was strange to come across this shrine, especially on that particular day. It seemed like a sign. I didn't know who this Ghost Bike memorialized, but I wanted to find out. I wanted to pay my respects. The Ghost Bike in Boalsburg was erected in honor of Dr. Bohdan Kulakowski. He was a professor of mechanical engineering at Pennsylvania State University. He died in March of 2006.


Rebecca said...

Looks like a wonderful event - the photos of the area you live in always look so beautiful - peaceful and tranquil.

I don;t think we have Ghost Bikes over here and they are such a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing Amelia's story with us - it is always so sad when someone is taken from us too soon.

Anonymous said...

I rsally like Gina's ceramics, wish there was a linky link to purchase.
one question, how did you manage to consume a 'bucket' o sweet tea? ;)
mmmm....makes me thirsty. Graham would like some now

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Heather,

I love, love, love Gina's work. Isn't it beautiful? Unfortunately Gina doesn't have a website. Hopefully we can encourage her to get one going. You can email her though: ginachalfant (at) gmail (dot) com.

Ha ha ha... Oh, I can drink. Especially sweet tea. Unfortunately they didn't have the bucket of beer. I find a festival on a summer day with a cold beer heavenly.

What are the names of your two new boys? I never asked.

Anonymous said...

thanks. I will certainly give Gina a shout! I had such a hankering for sweet tea all of last night and bugged my hubby bear up until 11 pm to please go fetch some for me. I opted for fruit punch kool aid instead but satiated my sweet tea tooth this morning at the local gas station. 69 cent thirst buster o' sweet tea. lol
my handsome step sons are Gabriel
(10)and Michael(7 in september) Henry LOVES having brothers!!! :)

Anonymous said...

mmmmmm...bucket o beer sounds equally as refreshing :D

Gina said...

Andrew, a few days before you came into the my booth I sold a vase featuring a barn owl in a dogwood tree with a starry night background. The quote on the vase was from the Talmud-"kindness is the highest form of wisdom." You are so very wise! I was so surprised to get my package from you today. I live by the belief that kindness always returns to you, but rarely that fast! Thank-you so much. I don't think that I could of parted with that bead either.
I make mostly one of a kind pieces so putting together a website was always a problem. I've had so many inquires though, perhaps I'll try to start one soon.
Thanks for all of the encouragement.