Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Hand-made, Heart-felt: Over 60 Artists Featured in Holiday Festival of Crafts

WORCESTER, MA - The Worcester Center for Crafts in Worcester announces that their annual Holiday Festival of Crafts will be held at their 25 Sagamore Road facility on Friday, November 25, Saturday, November 27, and Sunday, November 28, 2016.  Featuring over sixty fine craft artists and their work, the Festival is held indoors and includes free parking and an on-site cafe provided by Bushel N Peck.  The Festival is open on Friday and Saturday from 10 AM - 5 PM, and on Sunday 11 AM - 4 PM.  Admission is a $5 donation to the Crafts Center with children 12 and under free.

The craft artists in the Festival represent each of the New England States and more, including New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York.  Although some of the artists are new to the business of making craft, together they represent over 650 years of craft experience—all under one roof!

The Holiday Festival is a true alternative and antidote to the Black Friday shopping madness that invades malls and big box stores during the weekend after Thanksgiving: it features hand-made work in an environment where you can meet the maker, you can take your time, and the artist can personally assist you.  The Festival is part of the Craft Center’s mission to sustain craft as an important part of the community by showcasing craft and artisan gifts for purchase - ceramics, wearable art (including scarves, shawls, and hats), photography, hand-printed stationery, glass work, jewelry and metalwork, work by woodworkers, and much more.  Many of the artists are new to the Festival this year.

Sponsored by UniBank, the Festival continues the tradition of the Worcester Center for Crafts as an economic engine for artists.  Additional support is provided by the Worcester Regional Transit Authority.
“As a young person, my Mom would take me once a year to a gallery and let me pick out one piece of handmade jewelry,” said Candace Casey, the organizer of the show.  “There would be music in the background and I would pick.  My memory is one of being surrounded by a sense of peace and the array of beauty overwhelming my senses.  It is one of my favorite memories and those fond experiences sparked a life of loving hand craft.”
“Candace and all of the artists bring a great passion to the work of making and selling handmade goods,” said Honee Hess, Executive Director of the Craft Center. “Wandering through our holiday marketplace gives you a chance to see what happens when creativity meets clay and wood and glass and all manner of materials!”  An assortment of gift ideas will be featured at the Festival including mobiles, puzzles for adults and children, ornaments, wind chimes, leather belts, photography, kitchen utensils, soap and candles, photography, as well as clothing, jewelry, scarves, and creative dolls among other things.
The Worcester Center for Crafts Gallery Store will also be open during the Festival making work available by over 200 other artisans from all over the country including fine glass work by Simon Pearce.  

The Festival is also an opportunity to give the Gift of Craft:  Festival goers can buy gift cards for use in the Gallery Store and to sign up for a variety of classes and workshops. The Craft Center offers instruction for adults and for youth in both six-week classes and shorter workshops where you can learn the skills of making with glass, metal, enamels, clay and more.  

The Festival coincides with Shop Small Business Saturday and accentuates the “Buy American/Buy Local” theme of hand crafts.  

About the Worcester Center for Crafts
The Worcester Center for Crafts (WCC) is one of the oldest non-profit institutions for craft study in the United States.  Founded in 1856 as the Worcester Employment Society to help immigrant women produce and sell hand-crafted wares to support their families, the Center evolved over the past 155 years into New England’s leading center for craft education, exhibition and entrepreneurship.  In 2004, the organization expanded and opened the New Street Glass Studio – an off-campus, 8,000 square foot, state-of-the-art, multi-studio glass facility.  The WCC offers the only comprehensive glass studio program in New England available to the public.  In 2009, WCC became partners with Worcester State University and now hosts WSU visual arts program in its studios. The Craft Center’s mission is “to sustain craft as a vital part of our community” by providing high-quality craft education and training, by supporting craft artists in their professions, and through advocacy and public education initiatives including adult education classes and workshops, youth education and outreach programs, exhibitions showcasing the work of established and emerging artists, artist residencies, lectures, family events, studio rentals, Gallery Store, and major events.  The WCC is a member of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and its WOO Pass program, and receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Honee A. Hess, Executive Director of the Crafts Center at or 508.753.8183, x. 302 or 508-579-8564.

(Left to Right) Wooden Puzzle by Barbara Bitgood, Jewelry by Liz Ryan - Looka Jewelry, Silk Scarf by Brooke Stanton
(Left to Right) Capes by Linda Williams, Beverage Server by Fresh Cut Glass, Felted Ornament by Smith Drygoods