We’re busily preparing for the 2022 Florida Folk Festival. This is a sampling of traditional craft demonstrations at previous festivals.
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. All of the traditional craftspeople listed below demonstrate 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.
- Ethel McDonald, Marie's Home Canning, jams, jellies, pickles, relishes; handwoven jelly baskets; handmade aprons.
- George Robinson has handcrafted balsa wood products, including surf boards and key chains.
- Lita Swindle demonstrates hand weaving and spinning.
- Mike Usina, Menorcan Magic, creates hand-knotted cast nets.
Florida's Finest Crafters
Florida craftspeople pursue the creative expression of their history and culture whether inspired by traditional ways of the past or styled with the designs of studio art. Handcrafted furniture, detailed reproductions of Native American shell carvings, rich Hungarian embroidery and handmade musical instruments are sold alongside fine jewelry, functional studio pottery, handwoven apparel, and home-made jams and jellies. Craftspeople demonstrate their skills throughout the craft areas, so take a leisurely stroll and visit with the artists whose work helps support the Florida Folk Festival (All craft vendors contribute a percentage of their sales to the festival). When you patronize these artists you are supporting both the creativity of Florida crafts and the continuation of the Florida Folk Festival.
Craft vendors and demonstrators from previous festivals include:
- Kathryn Basham, Medicine Song Crafts, has handmade items using natural, gathered and recycled materials including shells, fossils, coral, pine needles, wild grapevine and bamboo.
- Katherine Beck of Kat’s Korner offers canned jellies, pickles, hot sauces, raw honey and pound cakes using traditional food preservation techniques that provide healthy food alternatives from local sources.
- Terry and Carol Bodeker, TC Bodeker Expressions, offer hand-crafted art jewelry featuring nature and sea life themes.
- Matt Brabham, Our Pottery, offers functional wheel-thrown pottery with decorative clay accents.
- Tom Brown, Ozello Islands Peppers, offers crafted original pepper sauces, pepper glazes, jellies and hot sauces.
- Diane Buz, Intertribal Spirit Designs, offers Native American dream catchers; gourd arts, bone arts and wood arts; and organic soaps and body products.
- Angela Cardinal, Get Marbled, offers unique body paint experience and poured paint designs.
- Bharati Chaudhuri, Creative Arts Studio, continues her cultural heritage through hand-painted pottery, hand-printed silk scarves, original designed and printed cards, henna paintings on hands and feet, and body art.
- Ibiyemi Efuntosin, Ibiyemi’s Afrikan Arts & Crafts, offers Afrikan styled handmade arts and crafts items including musical instruments; Shakeray - beaded hand drums; Owari – Afrikan chess: dolls, wallets, handbags, scarves, jewelry; Afrikan attire – Shokoto (pants); Buba (shirt); Lapa (skirt); and Gele (head attire).
- Juanita L. Flagler, The Magic Hat Box, offers handcrafted newsboy style hats, purses and jewelry made from vintage and recycled materials, sewn items featuring Florida photos.
- Harriett Heywood: Earthwares has retro-style handmade aprons, clothing, hats and accessories.
- Patricia Lynne Hutchins of Suwannee Songs Designs has necklaces, bracelets and earrings made of natural stone and inspired by the natural environment of the Suwannee River Valley. They are created by the traditional skill of hand-knotting on silk, forging and soldering metals (particularly copper), and hand working wire to set stones along with other handcrafting techniques.
- Eric Larson, Winter Park Soap, offers handmade organic skin care products including soaps, lotions and lip balms.
- Tom Levine, Defiant Worm Books, is a Florida writer with four books celebrating natural Florida and collections of his best fishing stories.
- Jolene MacFadden, Southern Women Crafts, offers handcrafted, beaded and crochet clothing accessories, hats, gloves, scarves and purses.
- Ernest Lee, EM Lee Gallery, has original paintings matted prints and notecards of country living and waterways.
- Mary Maloy, The Cypress Corner, offers unique bracelets and necklaces crafted from vintage jewelry.
- Ruthanne Mason, Mary & Mom, apprentices of longtime festival tie-dye artist Mark Wright, have tie-dye arts including T-shirts, dresses, socks, shoelaces and hats.
- Ethel McDonald, Marie's Home Canning, offers canning: jams, jellies, pickles, relishes; handwoven jelly baskets; and handmade aprons.
- Miss Ruby’s Peanut Brittle offers legendary homemade peanut brittle.
- Kathie Moehler, Thomas Honey, offers honey and beeswax.
- Greg Nason, Earthwares, offers scroll saw woodwork made on a foot-powered antique scroll saw of pictures, earrings, bookmarks, ornaments, folk instruments made from cigar boxes, tins and other found objects.
- Nina Raymond demonstrates and applies active isolated stretching and strengthening and massage techniques to help musicians, crafters and others release tight muscles and improve flexibility and posture.
- Robin Sapp of Peace of Glass offers stained glass panels, sun catchers, bugs, and pendants in crafts influenced by Florida nature.
- Rebecca Nipper Art offers original watercolor paintings and prints focused on our flora and fauna.
- Marvin Sawyer of Early Country Furniture has 1800s primitive and country hand-crafted reproduction of household furniture and crafts including wooden totes, benches, wooden foot stools, jelly cabinets, coat racks, craft ducks, chimney cabinets and wooden firewood boxes.
- Lita Swindle & Eva Claytor, Claytor & Swindle, demonstrate the spinning and the making of rag rugs using a rigid heddle loom. Demonstrations and sale of rag rugs, cloth and fiber items, handmade looms and belt looms, spinning wheels and drop spindles.
Experience Old Florida’s history, traditions and folkways at Florida Remembered, which is dedicated to the robust spirit of Floridians and those from around the globe who have built the foundation of the Florida we know and love.
Meet characters from Florida’s past. See traditional crafts, tools and skills faithfully reproduced by experts. Visit an authentic cracker cow camp. Through workshops, demonstrations and characterizations, tradition-bearers and interpreters will share their expertise as you explore Florida’s unique history.
Don’t miss the folks who make history come to life at Florida Remembered. Participants in previous festivals include:
- John Anderson portrays historic figure Frederick Douglas.
- Mark Carpenter demonstrates cracker cow camp living.
- Mary Fears portrays an African-American seamstress and quilter.
- Ethan Forbes demonstrates shingle making and log hewing.
- Mary and Ruthanne Mason display and sell tie-dye creations.
- Angie and Maria Minno demonstrate open-fire cooking and fiber arts.
- Azell Nail demonstrates cracker cow camp living.
- Kevin Patton portrays a soldier in the Second Seminole War.
- Gabby Paxton demonstrates cracker cow camp living.
- Allan Ritchie discusses soap making.
- Ben Rogers demonstrates the art of blacksmithing.
- Robert Steele displays cracker horse culture.
- Nancy Traver demonstrates the use of indigo dye.
- Willy the Losen coordinates First Skills Florida traditional skill-bearers.
- Robert Wilson discusses fur trapping and trading.