7th annual Holiday Artisans Market opens Friday and Saturday | CraigDailyPress.com

7th annual Holiday Artisans Market opens Friday and Saturday

Get a chunk of Christmas shopping done and support local artists

Craig photographer Patti Mosbey poses next to her photos at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion during the 2014 Holiday Artisan Market. The event returns to the pavilion on Dec. 2 and 3 this year with 25 artists offering handmade items.

— Local, handmade arts and crafts will be available for holiday shoppers at the seventh annual Artisans Holiday Market that takes place this Friday and Saturday — Dec. 2 and 3 — at Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion.

"We hope that people will turn out to see what the Northwest Colorado Artisans are creating in their basements and shops in the off season," said Artisan and Market Founder Roberta Hawks. "I feel it's a great event for the community."

This year, 25 artisans will offer items for sale including jewelry, photography, soap, lotion, pottery, stained glass, woven baskets and creative arts and crafts.

"The vendors that participate in the Holiday Artisans Market continue to offer new products each year and a high level of quality," Hawks said. "Look for new vendors."

Hawks is one of the vendors.

"Part of the fun of having my own pottery business has been always trying something new or a new perspective," she said. "This year I put together a more cohesive body of work that includes hand drawn and decorated pottery, new glaze combinations and gold luster. I have a new ornament this year."

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Hawks along with Susan Erikson and Jean Jones started the market that merged into Yampa Valley Artisans, an open group of local artists.

"We were trying to create a market for handmade-only items, so that's how the very first one started," Hawks said. "At first we were going to start with just pottery. Then other makers of art expressed an interest and we opened it up to anyone that made things with their hands. "

When the event started it was held at the Center of Craig. Two years ago the group relocated to the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion.

"We moved to the pavilion for better lighting and with everything on one level, the floor plan is more equitable, great parking, the lighting is good and it's easy to get into. It's also nice to use a county facility," Hawks said. "Last year we had the opportunity to use a downtown location and a nice break from the rent. This year that location is filled."

The organizing committee now includes six people: Hawks, Patti Mosbey, Amy Andrews, Janele Husband, Chrissy Winters, Sheri Sanford and group mentor, Pam Foster.

"It's a great group of people that we work with," said Amy Andrews who will be selling her handmade leather wrapped, glass beads and gemstones jewelry.

The group spends six months organizing the event.

"We started in July this year. We met, developed guidelines, developed posters and postcards, and we sent out a letter to everyone who had expressed interest as well as advertised for vendors," Hawks said. "We insist that everyone has a sales tax or special events license."

Prospective artisans have to complete an application with photos.

"I submitted an application, pictures and followed the guidelines. The selection committee chooses the vendors and then they let us know if we got one of the limited spaces," said Chrissy Winters, who has participated for three years. She owns Winters' Blessings Soap. "I have some different scents of soaps and lotions and sugar scrub —winter dreams, pumpkin spice and sweet pomegranate are my wintery blends."

Sheri Sanford describes herself as a relative newcomer, and this will be her second year to participate by offering hand painted glassware.

"It is a small group, but we are open to any artisan in Northwest Colorado. If you are interested in marketing or connecting with other artisans, you shouldn't be afraid to contact us," Sanford said.

The Court Appointed Special Advocates will be on hand to gift-wrap presents and refreshments will be served.

Doors open at 3 p.m. Friday Dec. 2 staying open until 7 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 3 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion, located at 640 E. Victory Way.

It's free to go and have a look at the carefully crafted items on offer.

“It's always nice to see old friends and make new friends. It's always a festive occasion, people are in good spirits," Sanford said.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.