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ISSUE 118 VOL 8 PUBLISHED 11/12/2004

Artisans display crafts, talent

By Allie Helling
Contributing Writer


Friday, November 12, 2004

Wednesday's Ole Artisans Bazaar brought crafters to the Buntrock Crossroads, where students, faculty and visitors searched for unique gifts. The fifth annual sale was held from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, with 25 vendors participating.

The fair was first held in November 2000, and was organized by the Ole Ventures Club and the Finstead Enterprise Program. However, after two years, the task of organizing the bazaar changed hands. For the last three years, Barb Schmidt, administrative assistant to the dean of students, has been in charge of organizing.

"I usually start in the fall, reminding old vendors of the bazaar, and sending e-mails to staff and art students to let them know about it," Schmidt said. Posters are also placed around the campus so that if new crafters are interested, they can contact Schmidt and have a place reserved.

Faculty, visitors and students milled around the numerous tables set up in the Crossroads on Wednesday. While many vendors sold handmade jewelry, others offered products as diverse as black and white photographs, journals, wreaths, Christmas cards, cookbooks and baskets.

Overall, vendors seem to like the bazaar; some even decide to participate in it annually. Debbie Fischbach, a vendor who was working a table filled with soaps and lotions, explained that it was her fourth year in the bazaar.

Vendor and alumna Heather Lawrence '00 explained that while it was her first year in the fair, she was very happy with it so far.

"The turnout has been great," Lawrence said, while selling necklaces and other pieces of jewelry. "I've been making jewelry for at least ten years, but seriously for about three."

Roommates Julie Boehmer '08 and Rachel Carlin '08 learned about the fair from an advertising poster on campus. The two had started making small pins and decided that others might be an interested in them.

"I had a button maker and we started making them for fun, Boehmer said. We heard about the bazaar and thought they would be a hit."

Indeed, the small buttons, each containing different pictures such as Frank Sinatra or the characters from the 1980s movie "The Breakfast Club" along with other pop culture finds, did prove to be a hit. "We've sold about half and expect to sell the other half before it's over, " Boehmer said.

The only critique of the fair is a small detail about its advertising to the community. Vendor Evelyn Johnson '05, who was selling jewelry, saw many faculty and students, but wasn't sure if others in the Northfield community knew about the fair.

"I wish there was a little more advertising outside of St. Olaf," Johnson said.

Students also seemed mostly satisfied with the bazaar. "I think it's neat because we recognize our professors [outside the fair]," Catie Boshoven '05 said. "It's neat to see what they do outside of class in their spare time."





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