Arts & Crafts Fair

RIPLEY- Repurposing items for works in jewelry was among the art crafts found at the 2013 Mountain State Art and Craft Fair at Cedar Lakes Conference Center near Ripley.

Created to celebrate the West Virginia Centennial in 1963, the 50th edition of the fair will wrap up today at 7 p.m.

Pat Anderson of Ravenswood, an art teacher at Ravenswood High School, said she makes her glass jewelry with dichroic glass and recycled glass. Dichroic glass is shiny and the color of the glass is different when light passes through it.

Anderson uses a diamond blade cutter to cut the bottles, such as those for steak sauce, cologne and soft drinks, to make her bracelet and necklaces. She said the process to make the glass right for the items takes time and limits the quantity.

“It’s the quality, not the quantity that counts,” she said.

Anderson said the jewelry has sold well at the fair for the past three years. She started making the pieces five years ago and started using the recycled glass two years ago.

“The customers loved the recycled pieces,” she said. “They love the dichroic because they are shiny; all of us have some crow in us and we like bright things.”

Anderson said she thinks the popularity of the recycled glass is because of the story behind the items. She said the original push in the use of recycled glass was to experiment with it to see what would happen.

“I have a big time with them, experimenting,” she said. “As an artist you get bored easily. If I’m someplace and I see a bottle I like to think what it might look like.”

Anderson said she is not able to predict what will happen to the glass once she cuts it from the source. After the glass is cut it goes in a kiln.

“The kiln not only fire polishes them and smooths them it also makes them harder,” she said. “You never know what they will look like. They come out different colors; when I put them in they come out different colors but they go in clear.”

One piece in her collection appears to be acid etched, but was clear before it went in the kiln.

In 2012 Anderson won an award in the art category for the “Made in West Virginia” awards.

Thomas Doak of West Union has been making hardwood rockers, swings, tables and chairs at his home since 1986.

Doak started his company, Atta-Way Rockers and Woodworking, as a result of his prior career.

“I taught economics at Doddridge County High School and I decided I wanted to see if what I was teaching would work,” he said.

Doak said the Atta part of the name comes from his name, his wife’s name and their children – Anna, Tom, Tricia and Anessa.

Doak buys the lumber from a lumber company in Ohio. He said since starting in 1986 he has made 4,600 rocking chairs.

“We have the process down to six hours per chair but we don’t work on one at a time,” he said. “We do up to four at a time; we cut many pieces out and then we put them together the way people want them.”

Doak said most of his customers comment on the look of the furniture.

“They really like the color of the wood; we don’t paint or stain,” he said. “It’s all natural. We use mostly oak, walnut, maple and cherry.”

Doak said they do not work with pine. Doak’s products are available at Tamarack near Beckley, in gift shops in state parks and through an artists colony in Nashville, Ind.

The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.