After half a year of crafts fairs, Square Tomatoes has expanded and moved into Central Park. The Tomatoes expect more than 30 crafts booths along with food vendors, Ken Kemmerling’s music, and hands-on crafts instruction for their inaugural fair from 10 a.m. t0 4 p.m. Sunday.
The fair will display and sell a wide variety of items including Day of the Dead masks, carved jade, turned wood, cast bronze, sweet Lolita accessories, and bath and body care products. New vendor John Heurta, who admitted that his grandmother saw ghosts, will sell Day of the Dead masks, paintings and cards.
“I like to create the traditional art that I grew up with,” Huerta said, “but I add color. I love color. I like to see contrasting colors battle it out on the canvas.”
Some vendors sell a variety of crafts.
“I love crafting,” Jori Delvin said. “It started as hobby and now it has turned into a business.”
Delvin specializes in sea-salt bath scrubs and hand and body lotion, but she also sells wire wrapped gemstones, and driftwood mobiles from wood found at Lake Tahoe.
Ian Holster, like many of the vendors at the crafts fair, is an instructor at the UC Davis Crafts Center where he teaches lost-wax casting, lapidary stonework and bone carving. Holster is a jade carver with a doctoral degree in toxicology. He will gladly explain the geological processes that produce jade.
Morgan Black is a 16-year-old craftswoman with an online Etsy shop. She describes her work as, “Sweet Lolita accessories with a girly Victorian style that consists of large poofy skirts, hair bows, pearls and sparkles, lace, and anything adorable.”
Visitors who are thinking of trying out a craft are welcome to come to Monica Riche’s table where they can try their hands at making decorative magnets good for posting New Year’s resolutions.
Lead Tomato Sally Parker hopes to expand community craftsmanship and community involvement in the fair.
“I’d like to see school art clubs or classrooms sharing a booth at Square Tomatoes,” she said. “New crafters can learn a lot by talking to experienced artisans. I’d like to see volunteer entertainers.”
Square Tomatoes is a project of the nonprofit organization Rural RAP, and high school dramatists can perform at the fair for community service credit. Parker believes that making crafts is good for the community.
“Our culture should move in the direction of Bali, where everyone knows some kind of craft,” she said. “More people need to experience the joy that can come from creating a lasting object of beauty.”
Visitors and potential craftspeople can see more of Square Tomatoes on the website SquareTomatoesCrafts.com.