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Canajoharie, NY ,

Joshua Thomas
Theresa Olsen, of GTO Woodturning, shows a lathe-turned pepper mill created by her husband, George.

Joshua Thomas
Suzanne Williams, of Sprakers business Bale and Twine, shows off her expanding line of products, which includes fabrics she created.

Joshua Thomas
JoElla Casse, of Watervliet, sold her handmade stained glass mosaics at Saturday's Holiday Fair.

Joshua Thomas
Victoria Wilday and Cara Porter raised money for Girl Scout Troop #2399 Saturday. They sold items created by the seven members of the troop to go on an upcoming trip to Washington, D.C.


Vendors sell unique items at Seventh Annual Holiday Fair

Thursday, December 19, 2013 - Updated: 12:17 AM


C-S-E Editor

CANAJOHARIE -- On Saturday, 14 vendors sold a variety of creative items during the Arkell Museum at Canajoharie and Canajoharie Library's Seventh Annual Holiday Fair. Many of the vendors are annually thrilled with the unique show, and make it a goal to exhibit there for a variety of reasons.

JoElla Casse, an artist operating out of Watervliet, displayed Saturday for the fourth time. "I love it," she said of the show, commenting that Event Organizer Leah LaFera always puts Casse's booth in front of the window -- the optimum place to display her sparkling, translucent stained glass mosaics.

This show specifically "stands out," said Casse, because, "it's a very nice setting -- it's in a great town." She also likes to support museums, and her participation allows her to kill two birds with one stone.

The mosaics Casse displayed were incredibly detailed. One piece, featuring a Native American profile with a windblown headdress, took a massive amount of time to construct, including 15 hours just to lay out the glass pieces and longer to grout the finished glass puzzle. The pieces included a variety of materials, from BBs, to abalone -- a material used as part of a very labor intensive creation process that doesn't require grout. Another piece contained a shell that "looked like a person wandering the desert at night," said Casse, who noted that she's always acquiring materials for her work, which she never stops creating.

"It's a compulsion," she commented.

Theresa Olsen, of GTO Woodturning, of Richmondville, said she puts the Holiday Show in her calendar every year because, she stated of herself and her husband, George, "it's one of our favorite shows."

She continued, "It's a wonderful facility and the other crafters are pleasant and easy to get along with. The people who come are usually in the holiday spirit and the people here at the facility are very warm and welcoming."

Everything at the GTO Woodturning booth was created on a lathe, using mostly local wood -- "the wonderful trees that grow around us here," said Olsen. There were a variety of pepper mills on display, which take about three days to create, depending on how cooperative each piece of wood is.

While George has been woodturning for eight years, Theresa has been his apprentice for three. "George has a wonderful eye for looking at a piece of wood and developing it to show off its characteristics," Olsen said.

Suzanne Williams, of Bale and Twine, has also been exhibiting for a few years, and has expanded her line of products since the first time she sold her work at the Holiday Fair.

Bale and Twine, operating out of Sprakers, NY, first sold handmade candles and soaps, but this year, Williams expanded into fabric design, and as a result, sold items such as pillow covers and aprons. 

"I wanted it to be a gift giving company," said Williams of Bale and Twine, explaining that she annually looks forward to exhibiting at the Holiday Fair, stating of the annual event, "I love all of the vendors and all of the people -- I just love this show."

Joshua Thomas - JoElla Casse's stained glass mosaics were on display for the fourth year at Saturday's Arkell Holiday Fair.

Joshua Thomas - This detailed piece took JoElla Casse 15 hours just to lay out and much longer to grout.


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