On Saturday Steve and I left early for Charlotte, North Carolina. Though we couldn't check immediately into our room at the Residence Inn, we were able to park our car in the lot and walk to the Convention Center. It show was as wonderful as I remember last year's event to have been. There are dozens of aisles with professional booths full of remarkable works of fine craftsmanship.
I noticed, however, that there weren't quite as many "new" artists displaying for the first time and there weren't as many "funky" booths either. The work being shown tended to be more conservative. This was quite obvious in the women's apparel booths. Most of the custom-made creations were tailored, traditional, and business like. There were even more jewelers than before. Yet, both Steve and I noticed the affordable pricing, the high level of quality, and the engaging personalities of all the artisans. Most accepted all forms of payment and had plenty of colorful business cards easily available. I even examined the program carefully. I found that about 177 of the booths had websites compared to 55 without cyber representation. Everyone, of course, had an email address.
We went up and down the aisles methodically, trying to avoid nothing accidentally! Then we returned to the booths at which we had decided to make purchases. Steve bought a coffee mug; I bought an art glass tumbler; we bought a gift for my Dad (won't tell, since he might read this!); and a covered ceramic pot for our kitchenware.
We went to a late lunch at a nearby Tex-Mex restaurant. I spent some time writing down all the good ideas that I had seen and might want to try. The some fascinating fibers were by Hilary Gifford of Trumansburg, NY. I haven't been to her website yet, but it is: www.customcloth.com.