Innovation at the Occoquan Craft Show
The last weekend of September, Ryan Somma, my mother and I ran down to downtown Occoquan, Virginia to check out their giant craft fair. We were far from alone. The Occoquan Craft Show is as heavily attended today as I remember it being as a child.
My favorite episodes of Project Runway are typically the innovation episodes where the designers have to use unusual materials to make their garments. I believe witnessing the innovation of the vendors is my favorite part of the Occoquan Craft Show as well (though the food is pretty darn delicious).
This year, there were a lot of neat items to look at. Here are three of my favorites:
One stand had little frogs carved out of wood with ridges along their back. When you took a stick and ran it down the frog’s back, it made a realistic croaking sound! They also used the same concept with pigs and crickets. I liked that the different carvings produced pitches and sounds that were true to their animal inspiration.
Percussion Frogs (Photo by farleyj)
Fish Scale Flowers
This concept is not exactly new to me as I already own a fish scale flower (a beautiful yellow rose barrette that is currently somewhere in storage). Yet, I still believe this is my all-time favorite innovation I’ve seen at a craft show. Just the notion of taking something like fish scales and making them into beautiful works of art really appeals to me.
Finally, there was a stand that was chock full of creativity and vision. They took bolts, tools, buckets, bicycle gears, springs, old rakes, you name it! and fashioned them into the cute animal figurines.
A menagerie of innovative animals (Photo by Ryan Somma)
Cranes/Herons made out of rakes! (Photo by Ryan Somma)
Cats, Ducks and Dogs (Photo by Ryan Somma)
It was inspirational to see the different designs people come up with and the unusual materials they work with. Kudos to the artisans. I look forward to seeing their work in the coming years!