Viking Village Labor Day Arts and Craft Fair

Except for a few sprinkles, the rain held off Sunday so the annual Labor Day weekend Arts and Crafts Fair at Viking Village in Barnegat Light went on without much of a hitch. The fair brought about 70 artisans together for some early Christmas and holiday shopping, and by many accounts, it was a good day for the artisans who travel from fair to fair, set up their tents and pray for sunshine.

Gretchen Hulse is one of those artisans who’s in it for the long haul. She’s been designing, sewing and marketing her line of “Crescent Moon” clothes for 24 years. The clothing line is roomy, easy to care for and easy to wear. “They are clothes you love to live in,” said Hulse. They also last “forever,” she said.

“I work with jobbers and get end lots of designer fabrics. I just found a denim stripe from a Kate Spade line and used it for a pocketbook.”

Another die-hard designer is Jeanne May from Bridgewater, who has been making a line of batik wear that is decidedly inspired by a ’70s hippie vibe, though toned down for today’s tastes. She also created a line of jewelry made from cotton leavings and shining silver beads for her Jersey Featherheads Co.

It seemed Salvador Dali had surrealistically entered the material world again, but no, that twirled handlebar mustache belonged to artist Ken Orner from Toms River. His specialty is lamp-worked glass; he has made a business of twirling the molten, colored glass into fanciful forms for 17 years. His latest creation is a glass surfer in the tube of a glass wave. Orner will be back at Viking Village Nov. 26 for its annual holiday shopping event.

A very un-crabby Carole Gordon of Country Cats Ceramics was happily selling her extensive line of blue crab dishes, all handmade and painted by Gordon in her Union, N.J., studio. She’s been successful for 32 years.

Local artist Linda Ramsay (she has to travel only a mile or so from her High Bar Harbor home) set up her tent with her signature shore themes of beach bicycles, beach umbrellas, sea creatures and summer wetland vistas. Ramsay has unselfishly been teaching others how to paint shore themes and recently finished teaching a class at the Pine Shores Art Association on painting umbrellas.

Tuckerton artist Jill DeFelice has taken a leaf from Ramsay’s book to focus on large-scale acrylic paintings of octopi, starfish and other sea creatures. DeFelice also presented a marine print by her nephew Eric Hinkley.

Roberta Giannone is an annual presence in the Viking Village shows. She has what people want: Barnegat Lighthouses, old boats and even the famous “Causeway Shack,” painted in her original vignette style. A recent painting of a sailboat in Barnegat Light surrounded by a field of Queen Anne’s lace struck a chord with visitors to the North End.

Tuckerton artist Brad Thomas paints the stuff of fisherman’s dreams – sea bass, yellow fin tunas, stripers and more in watercolors – and also paints small oils that range from still lifes to favorite fishing spots.

Folk artist Jeff Stokes from Mount Holly continues the country tradition of painting on household and natural objects: bellows, saws, shells and fungi. His colorful folk art is prized by those with a taste for everything country.

Lisa Budd from West Creek has studied watercolor painting for years, starting at Jane Law’s Art Studio in the ’90s. Her artistic life has grown and blossomed through work and dedication, and now she’s reaping the awards. Budd also paints with oils for her smaller pictures and is influenced by both the local landscape and the urban landscape of Philadelphia. She’ll be exhibiting in the prestigious Rittenhouse Square Art Fair Sept. 15 through 17.

Viking Village, on the bay in Barnegat Light, has two more shows before the snow flies: an Antique and Collectibles show on Sunday, Sept. 17, and the Santa’s Viking Christmas on Saturday, Nov. 25.

– More photos posted here: Reposted from The Sandpaper