Local Artists, Crafters Share Their Stories in Bethesda

Local Artists, Crafters Share Their Stories in Bethesda

Annual craft show benefits Clara Barton Community Center.

Shirley Hendel sold her handcrafted fused glass.

Shirley Hendel sold her handcrafted fused glass. Photo Contributed


Dale Feuer displays her handmade jewelry.


Cecelia Kurtz of Just Peachy brought her skin care products to the show.


Dot Proctor shows off her paintings and notecards.


Rebecca Kahlenberg sells her El Salvadoran crafts to help improve lives for El Salvadoran children.

Some of the community’s most creative people participated in the 10th annual Clara Barton Craft Show on Sunday, Dec. 4. The show featured 50 local artists, crafters and authors. The event featured paintings, photography, pottery, glass, jewelry, books, wood carvings, knits, carved crayons, soaps, lotions, aromatherapy oils, hair accessories, stuffed animals, children's clothes, quilts, embroidery, totes, place mats, wooden boxes, cookies, honey from hives in Bethesda, jam made in Glen Echo, and inlay serving boards from an artist in Cabin John.

Twelve new participants brought a variety of items to the show. Lauri Michelle premiered her paintings for children. Award-winning reporter/columnist Paul Dykewicz discussed his latest book, “Holy Smokes, Golden Guidance from Notre Dame’s Chaplin.” Cabin John’s Ayesha Court presented her photo cards of local canal scenes and her children, Lucy and Charles, offered sculpted crayons. Other new vendors sold needle and pin arts embroidery, jewelry with semi-precious stones, glass and pearls, crocheted baby items and hand-made scarves, hats and headbands.

“What makes the Clara Barton Craft Show so unique is the profits enhance programs, support activities for children and seniors, buy supplies and equipment for the center, and for fund the Children’s Halloween Party and Family Bingo Night,” said Leslie Barden, director of the craft show. “The Friends of Clara Barton Community Center sponsor the show each year. In addition, we have crafters who are supporting two charities this year. One sold knits, children’s clothes, gloves and hats created by Bosnian refugees — and she is sending proceeds back to Bosnia. Rebecca Kahlenberg presented crafts brought back from her volunteer trips to El Salvador. She sends her profits to the Amun Shea Center for Integrated Development, a school working to transform education in El Salvador. She says, ‘My small business in which I sell handmade crafts is called ‘El Salvador Almost Paradise.’ My best sellers include handbags and wooden items such as colorful boxes.”

Dale Feuer has been displaying her jewelry at the show since its inception. “I am an avid beadweaver, which means I sew tiny beads together using a needle and thread and various stitches (e.g., herringbone, peyote, right-angle weave, brick stitch) to make intricate cuffs, earrings and necklaces,” she said. Feuer enjoys the Clara Barton show because it feels very community oriented. “Every year I enjoy catching up with friends and customers I may not have seen for a year. It's a very up-close and personal afternoon of art and socializing.”

Local artists shared how they became involved in the arts. Potomac’s Shirley Hendel creates fused glass art. She said, “I have been in the creative arts for many years, initially as a decorative painter. It started as a hobby and led to my doing shows. In 2006, I took some fused glass classes and have been working only in the fused glass arts since then.”

Artist Dot Proctor said, “My mother and grandmother were both artists and their love for creativity seeped into my bones. I have loved color since I was a little girl, and that passion was nurtured in many different ways. It started out as a love for my box of 64 Crayola crayons. And it has grown from there, going through many stages. It has been and continues to be a magical journey. This year I displayed my original paintings, prints and notecards. Many are of the C&O Canal.”

Cecelia Kurtz of Just Peachy said, “I started Just Peachy Organics in 2005 mainly as a hobby — just for fun, I began to make decorative soaps and lotions and would sell them at bazaars. Eventually, I noticed an improvement in my skin being moist and soft after using my products, as well as my customers reporting their feedback. As the chief organic officer and handcrafter, I use organic butters and oils as the base for my ingredients that is responsible for the exceptional quality of the body care. Over the past decade, my product line has improved and increased. My favorite thing about this craft show are the customers. They know my company is local, they love my products, and they are very supportive. Also, Leslie and her team are wonderful to the vendors. If you have a craft to showcase, starting a business, or gain additional customers, this is the venue for you.”

The craft show is held the first Sunday in December. For more information go to http://friendscbcc.org/.