Over 30 artists will be taking part in this year’s Handmade for the Holidays at the Lincoln Cultural Center in Lincolnton on Friday and Saturday. All of the items being sold will be crafted by the hands of local artisans. There will be a wide variety of art available including local pottery, woodwork, bags, jewelry, art, signs, crafts, pens, bowls, ice cream scoops, ornaments, wreaths, tobacco stick ladders, Santa dolls and much, much more.
Jean Derby and her two daughters, Madison Payne and Kellie Derby, will be at the craft fair selling their lovingly handcrafted soaps. The family, which is a blended family, moved to the Vale area from Charlotte with the intention of starting a farmstead.
“Madison’s dad was a single parent with custody of his kids, as was I,” Jean Derby said. “We used to hang out because it was fun and our kids were all the same age. We said we couldn’t date because we had too many children. I have three and he does too. It all worked out though.”
The farmstead, “Black Sheep Farmstead,” started with just sheep in 2014. Dairy goats were added later on.
“When we were living in Charlotte, Kelly made friends with a lady at the farmer’s market who made goat milk soap,” Derby said. “It’s something she always wanted to do. When we moved here, we got goats and decided to try it. Madison helps more with the making of the soap and Kelly helps with the selling. She likes to go to events. It’s fun for us and something we can do together. It’s quality time.”
These are not your basic bars of soap, they’re molded into artistic shapes using essential oil scents like peppermint and lavender. Some soaps are made with ingredients like apple cider, beer and oatmeal. Some include dried herbs and flowers, many of which are either grown on the farm or locally. All of the bars are beautifully wrapped and presented.
“This is all the soap we use,” Derby said. “If I go to a hotel and forget to take my soap, I can tell the difference.”
Gary Munday took up “playing with wood” to avoid boredom. He got hurt at work and had to medically retire.
“You can only watch so many videos and play so many video games before the walls start closing in,” he said. “One thing led to another and here we are. The smell of sawdust makes me content.”
Munday is often referred to as “Grizzly Adams” because he frequently wears overalls and has a beard. He and his wife, Laura, decided to market his woodworking creations as “Grizzly’s Woodwork.”
When Munday is unable to stand up at the machinery he uses to create bowls, vases and fountain pens, he hand carves whimsical figurines and Laura hand paints them. Unfortunately, Munday often carves the figurines far quicker than she can paint them.
Entirely self-taught through “YouTube University” Munday said he just learned by doing. He just shapes and varnishes the wood and nature does the rest.
“He doesn’t do it as a business,” Laura Munday said. “It’s a hobby and once we got all of our family and friends covered and he kept making things, they started to stack up. So occasionally, we’ll do a craft fair to share his work with other people.”
Other vendors slated to be at Handcrafted for the Holidays include:
Bags by Shelia
Woodturnings by Jerry
Deb's Little Bits
Big Bear Beadworks
Crochet by Neely
Artworks by Maëlle
Fable Link Jewelry
Robert Hovis Pottery
Reid's Wood Goods
Kathy Richards Pottery
Yard Art Re-creations by Linda
Goodson Vintage Treasures
“There’re so many unique artisans and craft makers, potters, woodworkers and others that offer an amazing variety of gift giving options and décor,” Lincoln Cultural Center director Cathy Davis said. “The most wonderful element of the market is the vendors. They’re so friendly and never pressure patrons.”
Handmade for the Holidays offers community members not only the opportunity to support these local artisans but also to support the local economy without having to fight for a parking space or push a cart through a crowded store. The Lincoln Cultural Center will be open for shopping on Friday, Nov. 22 from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Lincoln Cultural Center is located at 403 East Main Street in Lincolnton.