Saturday, June 26, 2010

Highland Park Festival of Fine Craft

I had a rare chance this morning. I really enjoy the Festival of Fine Craft held by our local art center, but I've had to skip it the past couple years. The Short One has had an unerring tendency to run towards the most fragile object in the fair like a linebacker - giving me (and undoubtedly the artist in question) palpitations. It's been so completely not relaxing to stroll around the fair with him, we've opted for more child-friendly activities instead during fair weekends.

However, I had breakfast with friends from my lawyering days this morning, while the SO hung out with his Dad. We walked around town after eating and came across the festival, so I had a quick chance to look around (and lost my friends twice in the process, due to my distraction).

The first source of my distraction was Steff Korsage's booth. She had the most unusual pendant ring settings for Czech glass dagger beads - the pendants simultaneously had a very industrial yet very organic look. (Sadly, I couldn't find a photo of this particular piece to share with you.) In fact, this describes much of her jewelry. I tried on one of her rings at the booth:

Enamel Ring by Steff Korsage

Beautiful, right? As you know, I love statement jewelry, and these rings are wonderfully hefty. She also had similar settings for druzy quartz cabs that were really attractive. If you aren't already familiar with her work, check out her website here.

I also had the opportunity to see Jill Hurant's work in person. Jewelry Artist had a profile on her work in May, and I was blown away by her black tourmaline and 22k gold granulation necklace. I don't have permission to reproduce the photo of the necklace, but you can see it and the article here. She had the necklace at her booth along with some stunning work in 22k gold (I believe) and raw hematite slabs. (Where does she find those beads? We completely have the same taste in stone.) Jill Hurant is a Saul Bell 2010 Finalist. You can find more information about her work at her website.

After stopping by these two booths and becoming completely distracted, I finally snapped back to my senses and left to spend a little more quality time with my friends (one of whom I had not seen in several years). However, it was certainly inspiring to have that brief opportunity to see such beautiful work in person.

If you live in the Chicago area, the Highland Park Festival of Fine Craft runs through Sunday.

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