Is Yolo ready for a monthy crafts fair? Artists and artisans of the Square Tomatoes Crafts Fair think so.
“Portland and Eugene, Oregon, are famous for their weekly crafts fairs, but no one from Sacramento to Colusa has a regular crafts fair,” says organizer Sally Parker. “It could be great for this town.”
After its debut in August, Square Tomatoes is coming back Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sixth and G streets with a score of crafters, comfort zones with cushy chairs and shade, tables with hands-on instruction, and 1960s rock music by Ken Kemmerling. Kathmandu Kitchen will sell Indian food, and Love Baked and the Davis Creamery will sell ice cream and cupcakes.
The fair’s venue is on the south side of the Davis Food Co-op.
Among the crafts offered will be jewelry by Parker with cast silver and bronze animals, paintings by fine artist Dori Marshall and wool and knits by sheep raiser Shirley Dunnels. Erin Jackson of Madman Clay says her ceramic chickens make people laugh.
The craftspeople include fine artists, shop owners at the Etsy website, and several instructors at the UC Davis Craft Center. Photos of their work are displayed on the gallery page of the Square Tomatoes Crafts website.
The Co-op Crafters will hold an old-fashioned craft circle with knitting and visiting. They invite anyone to join and provide free knitting instruction to visitors who want to learn.
Monica Riche will teach children of all ages how to make upscale match boxes. Riche charges a modest fee to cover expenses.
Parker, a Davis jeweler, is running Square Tomatoes on the model of a farmers’ market, with artisans taking their products directly to customers and avoiding the cost of a middleman. Vendors are selected by a jury; artists, artisans, food vendors and musicians are invited to apply online at the Square Tomatoes Crafts website, www.squaretomatoescrafts.com.
The fair provides comfort zones — a booth set aside for visitors with wicker chairs, free iced tea and shade.
“I want visitors to have a chance to relax, meet people, and stay for a while,” Parker said.
The fair is sponsored by Davis Dollars, Monticello Cuisine, the Pence Gallery, The Artery and the Davis Food Co-op. Davis Dollars are accepted at all booths.
Why the name, Square Tomatoes? The fair is named after Davis’ most famous but controversial agricultural invention, the square tomato. It’s meant as a spoof, Parker says.
Next month’s fair, planned for Oct. 21, will teach round-robin storytelling and making Day-of-the-Dead skull pendants out of polymer clay. Parker will tell the story “High Noon in the Twilight Zone.” “High Noon” relates the adventures of an anti-social corpse who refuses to decompose or stop talking until he meets his match in a mediocre violinist.