Oct 042011

Published by DelmarvaNow.com/The Wave

BETHANY BEACH — Offering everything from soda cans to sea glass, artists and crafters of diverse mediums will gather at the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company this Saturday for the third annual Artisan Festival.

Roughly 40 artists plan to display and sell their work, said Kristen Steele, secretary and fundraising chairwoman for the fire company’s ladies auxiliary. Before this year, only space for 30 artists was available.

Steele said about 90 percent of the artists are local.

“We pulled all the artists together under one roof, so (people) really only have to go to one place to see all the local artists,” Steele said.

One participating artist is Shelby Foxwell, who lives near Ocean View and operates Sundown Designs, a jewelry business.

She most often uses sterling silver to form unique pieces of jewelry.

“I just love to create,” she said. “I love to put the different colors together; I love doing the metalwork; I love working with the wire and being able to manipulate it.”

Foxwell sells her jewelry at the Rehoboth Art League, The Artful Bean in Bethany Beach and online, but she said most sales are from art shows or festivals.

She participates in about six shows or festivals a year and tries to stay local. She enjoys the Artisan Festival because it allows her to catch up with clients and build rapport with new ones.

“I like this show because it’s a little bit more low-key … A lot of my local clients come out,” Foxwell said.

There will be a gourmet food court at the festival, including quiche made from Steele’s chicken eggs, shrimp salad, soup, chili, pies and more.

Steele said the festival is expected to raise a couple thousand dollars for the fire company.

“It’s a good way to bring people together in the community, and the artists together as well,” Steele said.

Cindi Pace, who runs Cindi’s Soaps, is a first-year participant since moving to Bethany Beach a little less than a year ago. She is looking forward to “just having a good time and meeting new people.”

Pace started selling goat’s milk and glycerin soaps after moving to Bethany. This will be her fourth craft show this year.

She began making soap for herself, then gave it to friends as gifts. Now, she primarily sells at shows, but also has some soaps at Remember When in Selbyville and offers online ordering.

Bethany Town Councilman Lew Killmer said he and others in town have been working to change people’s view of Bethany from a summer-only destination to a town that has a lot to offer in the shoulder season.

“Bethany Beach and the surrounding areas are not just a one-stop summer vacation place to go,” he said.

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