By Kelsey Banas
The Meridian Times
The Meridian Arts and Crafts Marketplace held its last market on Sept. 28, where seasonal items and decorations were sold.
The Parks and Recreation Department offers the opportunity for local artists and crafters to show and sell their creations at the marketplace.
Vendors sell handcrafted jewelry, clothing, paintings, glassware, seasonal decorations and more.
“The marketplace started in 2008,” said Robin Faust, market manager, in a phone interview. “Showcasing local talent while also promoting the local economy, it is a unique avenue for artists to sell their homemade items.”
Faust said the marketplace is unique with the vendors crafting all kinds of rare items from woodwork to seasonal plates and glassware.
One of the crafts hard to find at a store are hex signs. Hex signs were developed by the Pennsylvania Dutch and are supposed to prevent housed animals, people and objects from being bewitched.
Fred High, seventh-generation hexologist and artist, said he has been attending the marketplace for two years selling his handmade hex signs with traditional hand painted symbols of stars and wheels crafted in his studio and workshop.
“Each hex sign is different and unique because I handcraft each,” said High. “The signs are painted for exterior use and I do take special requests from people time to time.”
The rustic birdcage charmed necklaces and thecolorful glass beaded bracelets attracted customers to Jane Falion’s table, where her vintage relic jewelry style set her apart.
“My style tends to be on the vintage, Bohemian, eclectic side. I go on the hunt to antique stores and find fascinating pieces to use,” said Falion.
Falion said she has been making jewelry for 25 years and she collects old coins, plaques, along with new stuff and puts them together in interesting fun ways.
“All of us vendors become friendly. We get to know each other because we go to the same shows and we share news with one another if anything is upcoming,” said Falion.
The marketplace started because artists and crafters asked for a place that they could join other than the Heritage Festival and Celebrate Downtown Okemos events, said Faust.
“There is something different for everyone. No vendor is the same. Anyone who has a craft is more than welcome to join,” said Faust. “There is nothing pre-made, every object is homemade.”
The majority of the 25 vendors are local, but some are tri-county wide exhibiting their talents to community members supporting local business growth and opportunities for the future.
The Meridian Arts and Crafts Marketplace at the Central Park Pavilion runs every fourth Sunday of the month from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting June 28 to Sept. 27.