Traditional Demonstrators


Traditional Crafts are practiced or sustained in a family or community and serve a purpose within that family or community. Unlike "art for art's sake" or craft that is learned through formal instruction, traditional craft is pursued for the sake of one's occupation or faith, by social custom, or in the conduct of daily life. Michael Berg learned to make working decoys, intended to float on water and to lure real ducks into the hunter's lair. All of the traditional craftsmen listed below are demonstrating their craft's materials and techniques during the Florida Folk Festival. All learned their skills from their families or communities and continue the tradition as a way of honoring their heritage. Exploring their personal stories is a great way to learn more about the history and culture of Florida. Visit them throughout the Festival grounds or in the Traditional Crafts Demonstration Tent at the top of the hill at the Amphitheater Stage.  The following is a sampling of traditional drafts demonstrators appearing at previous festivals past.

 Michael Berg makes hand-carved working duck decoys

 Margaret Horvath is a master at making Hungarian embroidery and needlework and an expert on regional designs and history.  Margaret will be demonstrating in the Folklife Area.

 Lita Swindle demonstrates hand weaving and spinning

 Nancy Traver demonstrate hand knitting, lace tatting and hand woven items

 Willie the Losen, located in the new Florida Remembered demonstration area demonstrates pioneer crafts such as split rail fence making, shingle making, hewing logs to construct a log cabin and palm frond weaving for making baskets and other items.


At the Luthiers Exhibit you'll meet some of the state's makers of handcrafted stringed instruments who use both raw materials and commercially available supplies to construct one-of-a-kind guitars, banjos, dulcimers and other musical instruments.   The following is a sampling of the Luthiers that have appeared at previous festivals.

 Gary Hopkins makes handcrafted guitars.

Ken Miller makes high quality, hand-crafted musical instruments - guitar, mandolin, ukele, Hawaiian guitars.

Chuck Willer makes handcrafted guitars, mandolins and other mandolin family instruments of solid wood construction and bindings with mother of pearl and abalone inlays.