Art to stir the fire, light the dining table and hold the punch has great appeal today when not everybody can either afford or understand some of the so-called fine arts.
Four hundred or so craftspeople, among the busier and better who are working on the East Coast are displaying their work to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Sunday at the Winter Market of American Crafts at Baltimore's Civic Center.
Yesterday and Wednesday at the preview, buyers for shops thronged the exhibit, nothing that the prices for the handmade (and often one-of-a-kind) crafts compare well with those of mass-made merchandise.
To give you an idea: an conical copper lamp by Hosking Lamp Works, $90; pewter goblets by Don Miller, $36; Patrick's laminated exotic wood rolling pins, $20; Shaker peg boards from Barretts Bottoms, about $8 a board; The Bookworks' leather and handmade marble paper book bindings, $27,50 for a blank book; handwoven cushions by Laurel M. Moranz, about $42; handwrought iron wall hooks from Randy McDaniel Blacksmith, $18 a dozen; glass goblets in several colors by UpCountry Glassworks, $24, and Don Drumm's fanciful cast aluminium casseroles, three-quart size, $38.
Here and there through the show were pieces whose principal use was to be admired: Don Drumm's sculpture; Madge Huntington's appliqued wall hanging, $1,300; Elizabeth Gurrier's trapunto angels, $400; a three-panel screen filled with off-loon weaving by Helen Dean, $1,250.
Some of the more expensive pieces seem cheap when you think how much work the artist/craftsmen put into them: the domed ceramic lighting fixtures and punch bowls made by the raku process by Carl Stockwell; the elephant table by ANdrew J. Willner; the painted and embroidered vest by S. Perez, $195; the rather art-nouveau laminated-wood vanity by Perez Art works; the dinner plates by Seth Duberstein, $16; and the outside door lamp by Dennis and Sansea Sparling, $95.
A great many of the craftsworkers came in pairs - sometimes she wing totally different work. A number of the woodworkers, for instance, had wives who showed textile objects. There were many small children, as well, who no doubt fetch and carry in the cottage industries at home.