Friday, June 15, 2012

Forge Festival of Arts & Crafts

Dean White is a familiar face at the Forge Festival of Arts & Crafts

On June 30, Old Forge will welcome more than 60 venders from across five states for the annual Forge Festival of Arts and Crafts. The festival will be held on June 30th to July 1st at the North Street Recreation Center. Hours are Saturday, 9am – 5pm, and Sunday, 10am – 4pm.

While the festival is always offering new attractions, one vender will offer a familiar face: Dean White. White, a ceramic artist, has been participating in the craft festival since its inception, only missing the event once or twice during the last 40 years. He began his career after attending art school at Munson Williams School of Art and, soon after, established his retail shop, White's Pottery and Gifts, in Deansboro, N.Y. All of White's pottery is designed to be functional as well as beautiful. He will be bringing a wide variety of ceramics for sale to the festival as well a wheel for demonstrations. White has been demonstrating at the festival for the past few years. "I like to share with people what I do and how it’s done," he said.

All of his pieces are hand-thrown on a pottery wheel, one piece at a time. White creates his own glazes, each formulated so that they are all food-safe and contain no lead. All of his pottery is ovenproof, as well as dishwasher- and microwave-safe. White, a long time summer resident of the area, has a group of loyal supporters who purchase his work at the festival every year, looking to add to their collections.

"My parents used to have a camp on First Lake, so I was aware of the arts center when I originally got involved," said White. He is a firm supporter of View.  "This craft fair represents the art center. It's important to support the local arts and to let the public know this craft festival exists," he said.

White emphasizes the benefit of a juried craft fair, like this one. "When I started in the 70's and 80's you could depend on the artist to make 100% of the items." Now, says White, many vendors often buy foreign products and re-sell them at festivals. "Thankfully, this fair is juried so that doesn't happen," he said. “The public really does appreciate it when they come to an arts and craft festival and there is real quality."

All 60 venders at the Forge Festival are selected to ensure high quality merchandise and a wide variety of products. Venders will be offering everything from woodworking and paintings to quilts and candles. Maple syrup, jam, popcorn and old fashion fudge will also be some of the delicious treats available at this year's Forge Festival of Arts and Crafts. Enjoy music, concessions provided by Walt’s Dinner, and cold beer and wine. A  Chinese raffle will feature unique items donated from select festival vendors. Tickets will be sold for $1 each or 10 for $5.

Families are encouraged to join in on the fun! Children 12 and under are free, and there will be interactive activities including face painting and pillow case tie dying. There is a $5 admission at the door for adults, good for both days. There is also free parking.  The craft Fair supports View, the arts center in Old Forge.

Visit for a coupon for $1 off admission and a list of participating vendors. For more information, please call View at (315) 369-6411. For further information about Dean White, visit his website at .

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