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Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
Visitors shop for lanterns and other artwork at the Pane in the Glass Studio booth Sunday at the Covington Art Fair.

Sales, ideas, stories flow for art fair participants

Although it was a slightly steamy Sunday to be sitting in a booth, a little humidity couldn’t stop Jerry Krider and his wife, Ann, from setting up shop at the Covington Art Fair.

For about the past 10 years, the couple has displayed some of Krider’s finest works – ranging from 1-inch wooden cats to puzzles and a Nativity scene to a wooden turkey fit for Thanksgiving.

The Kriders are natives of Columbia City and said they enjoy traveling to nearby states to display the wooden creations and share stories with other crafters.

More than 90 artists with a variety of creative media were selected for the annual Covington Art Fair. The fair, now in its 21st year, took place Saturday and Sunday at Covington Plaza.

“I’ve been doing this full time for about 15 years now,” Krider said, in between talking with customers who visited his booth.

“It’s like opening a new shop every time we come to a show like this because you don’t know what people will be looking for.”

Krider said the wooden turkeys – made of about nine colors of wood cut into small pieces to make up the animal’s tail feathers – are usually a best-seller.

Most of Krider’s wood supply comes from woodworking stores and none of the pieces is dyed or cut by lasers. It’s all done by hand, he said.

Patty Chavarria, a fused glass artist from Waterford, Mich., said handmade is the key to her artwork as well.

Chavarria’s studio, playfully named “A Pane in the Glass,” features fused glass lanterns and wall art.

The lanterns vary in shape and size and each has a different design and color scheme, making it difficult to recreate from year to year.

“I tell people if you want them, you’d better grab it now because I never know what the next lantern is going to look like,” she said.

One of her top sellers is a fused glass version of Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”

Chavarria said although she enjoys creating artwork herself, she also offers classes to share her talents with others.

“That’s one of the best parts,” she said. “I really enjoy teaching others.”

Tina Suozzi and her daughter Sierra, 11, stopped by the fair, hoping to collect some creative ideas of their own.

Both are fans of the online crafting website Pinterest and said they enjoy coming each year to see what new ideas the artists bring to Fort Wayne.