Craft Days continue today 10 am – 4 pm in Oneida – Oneida Dispatch

Michael Yeoman – Special to The Dispatch
Roy Peters of Tannersville, Pa. plays one of his hand-made wooden flutes.

ONEIDA >> Irma Hutchings of Lairdsville described her day at the 51st Annual Craft Days as an “uplift to her senses.” She noted the tastes of foods, the autumn fragrances and the beauty of the crafts as she joined several thousand others at this event at Cottage Lawn this weekend.

While rain chased early afternoon visitors into the various tents, Sydney Loftus, executive director of the Madison County Historical Society, said that she was pleased with the attendance and the variety of crafters that visitors could meet and patronize. “We have over 100 juried crafters and artisans of edible treats, nine food vendors and four New York State wineries featured this year,” Loftus said. “Visitors seem to be very pleased with the array of handmade items available.”

Loftus sais only juried craftsman are permitted to participate in Craft Days. “The selection process dates back to our first Craft Days 51 years ago,” she said. Crafters who sell their wares at Craft Days need to produce quality handmade items and be willing to demonstrate their techniques during the show.

Jonathan Woodward, owner of Clinton Pottery in Clinton, provided hands-on demonstrations throughout the day as children were given the opportunity to spin the clay on a potter’s wheel and make their own unique pottery creation that they could take home.

Woodward was born in England and learned his trade through an apprentice training. He came to America in 1977 and began his pottery craft business. His designs include mugs, bowls, canister sets, and vases. He has even crafted commemorative mugs for the graduating classes of Hamilton College.

Along with potters, crafters from throughout New York State and Pennsylvania displayed their artistry and offered items for sale in paintings, photography, drawings, fiber arts, floral, handmade jewelry, candles, natural soap and beauty products, hand forged metal items, and woodworking. Visitors’ taste buds were also tempted with baked goods, jellies, honey products and an array of other types of food and snack items.

Tricia and Dominick Manicolla of East Syracuse attend the Craft Days every year and said that the variety of crafts was some of the best they have seen. “There are so many high quality handmade items here. We usually come back both days as we spend the first day looking and the second day buying,” Tricia said.

Loftus said that children under age 12 have free admission during Craft Days and there is a lot of educational and special children’s activities throughout the weekend as many crafters incorporate demonstrations for children into their program. “The Tri-Valley Y has a free leaf rubbing activity for kids. Kids can even create a colorful walking stick if they stop by the Oneida Rail booth,”

The event continues today 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 435 Main Street in Oneida. Admission is $4 for adults, children 12 and under are free. No pets are allowed.

Proceeds from this annual event help sponsor the Madison County Historical Society’s Charles E. Page Summer History Camp, and other programs that enhance the heritage of Madison County for its residents as well as those who may be studying the county’s heritage.