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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Local artisans get crafty at fairgrounds

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dee Albin shows her art at the Arts and Crafts Fair Saturday at the Putnam County Fairgrounds. Albin said her interest in art began with a childhood interest in horses. Banner Graphic/JOSH GARVEY
GREENCASTLE -- Allison Nagel sits behind a table surrounded by art including oil paintings, digital images, photography and other media. There are pictures of fantasy horses and armored female warriors next to snow covered branches.

Nagel was at the Arts and Crafts Fair at the Putnam County Fairgrounds watching her sister's art booth.

"She's been coming here for four or five years, but she's been painting since she was 9 years old," Nagel said.

She goes on gushing about her sister, mentioning her master's degree from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

"She does a lot of fantasy," Nagel said.

As her sister, Dee Albin, returns to the booth, Nagel continues to talk her up. Albin said her sister is basically her public relations department.

Albin said even though she hadn't had much financial success at the fair, she was happy to be there.

"It hasn't been good for business, but I've talked to a lot of people about my art," Albin said. "I consider it good PR."

Mike Black shows his barns at the Arts and Crafts Fair Saturday at the Putnam County Fairgrounds. Black said it takes about three days to make one barn. Banner Graphic/JOSH GARVEY
She talked about how her art had progressed. She began with a childhood interest in horses that still shows up. She had a reality phase, but "got over it," she said. She's also switched media for a more practical reason.

"I used to work in oils, but I became allergic to kerosene, so I switched to digital media," Albin said.

The Arts and Crafts fair that Nagel and Albin were at was hosted by the Past Presidents Club of the Putnam County Homemakers Extension. Mary Harcourt, who helped to organize the event, said she was happy with how it had gone this year.

"It went really well," Harcourt said. "We've got a nice variety between new vendors and old timers that have been here before. We've had really good attendance this year."

She said one of the nice things about the fair is how most of what is available is from Putnam County.

"The majority of what's here is hand made by local craftsmen," Harcourt said.

Harcourt mentioned this is the 32nd arts and crafts fair hosted by the Homemakers Extension.

Another vendor at the fair was Mike Black. He had a selection of hand made barns for sale, all of different colors.

"I'm retired from GM and this is what I do," Black said.

He said the barns were fairly time intensive to make.

"It takes about three days to make one," Black said. "That's about four or five hours a day.

"It's a labor of love," Black said. "What takes so long is painting --putting on all those layers."

He said business at the fair had been good, but that he would always like more.

"Most of the orders I get are for grandkids," Black said. "It always seems like it's grandparents ordering these."

Black also sells pens made out of .308 rifle shells.

"They make a good stocking stuffer," he said.

Bonnie Bryan with the Extension mentioned that, in addition to the arts and crafts fair and other programs the group puts on, it also has two new clubs -- photography and quilting.

"There's been a great response for quilting," Bryan said.

Both clubs are open to anyone over 18. Call 739-6101 for more information.

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