It's fair season here in the south, but way back in August I went and hung out at the New Jersey State Fair for a bit. Peters Valley always has a tent where we spend the entire 10 days displaying art, running hands on activities and presenting demos. I volunteered to do a torch fired enamels demo since, 1. I love to enamel, 2. Fire always gets people's attention, and 3. Peters Valley will actually be running a torch fired enamels workshop during the 2013 summer season.
One of my fellow Artist Fellows, Jesse Lerch from the Special Topics studio was there doing an encaustics demonstration while I was firing away. I was worried that the combined heat from the torch, griddle and an August day in New Jersey would make things rater unbearable, but I actually had a great time. We demo-ed an extra 30-45 minutes past our scheduled time, to about a dozen or so interested folks in total, explaining that the enamel isn't a paint, it's actually a powdered glass, and no, Jesse is not painting ceramic tile. We then spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the fair.
My favorite parts of the fair are always the animals and agriculture and less the rides and food. This duck was such a flirt! He wouldn't stop posing for us! A prize winner for sure. There were also tons of rabbits, a few show pigeons and some chickens trying to impersonate David Bowie.
I'm a little ashamed to admit that it took me about a day to put two and two together and realize that this "skinny pig" is really just a hairless guinea pig. I thought he was a bit cuter than his furry compatriots.
Loved the vegetable and plant displays. There was an astounding amount of garlic. I never really thought of New Jersey as a major garlic growing state, but there you have it.
This was my other favorite thing from the fair besides the "skinny pig". I paid a dollar to see the "The Rat! The Rat! The Giant Amazonian Water Rat! Drinks Gallons of Water Daily!" The "rat" turned out to be a capybera, who was pretty stinkin' cute.
It was a long and exhausting day, but overall really fun. I rode a couple rides and ate some funnel cake, and got my fair fix in for the year.
I hold a BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from Kent State University and an MFA in Metal Design from East Carolina University. In 2012, I curated the international, juried exhibition "Hot Under the Collar" and was the Artist Fellow in Fine Metals at Peters Valley Craft Center. I currently teach adjunct at Craven Community College in New Bern, NC.