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 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.
We’re busily preparing for the 2020 Florida Folk Festival. This is a sampling of traditional craft demonstrations at previous festivals.
- Ethel McDonald, Marie's Home Canning: home canning: jams, jellies, pickles, relishes; handwoven jelly baskets; handmade aprons
- George Robinson has handcrafted balsa wood products, including surf boards and key chains – located in the Folklife Area
- Lita Swindle demonstrates hand weaving and spinning
- Mike Usina, Menorcan Magic creates hand-knotted cast nets – located near the Folklife Area
Florida's Finest Crafters
Amphitheater and Old Marble Crafts showcase the great variety of Florida’s artists and natural resources. Inspired or handed down by traditional ways of the past, or styled with the designs of studio art, Florida’s craftsmen pursue the creative expression of their history and culture. 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. Craftsmen demonstrate their skills throughout the craft areas, so take a leisurely stroll and visit with the artists whose work helps to 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.
We’re busily preparing for the 2020 Florida Folk Festival. This is a sampling of craft vendors and demonstrations at previous festivals.
- 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: hand crafted art jewelry featuring nature and sea life themes.
- Matt Brabham, Our Pottery: functional wheel-thrown pottery with decorative clay accents.
- Tom Brown, Ozello Islands Peppers: crafted original pepper sauces, pepper glazes, jellies and hot sauces.
- Diane Buz, Intertribal Spirit Designs: Native American dream catchers, gourd-arts, bone-arts, and wood-arts, organic soaps and body products.
- Angela Cardinal, Get Marbled: Unique body paint experience and poured paint designs.
- Bharati Chaudhuri, Creative Arts Studio: showcases her cultural heritage through hand painted pottery, hand printed silk scarves, original designed and printed cards, henna paintings on hands, feet and some body art.
- Ibiyemi Efuntosin, Ibiyemi’s Afrikan Arts & Crafts: Afrikan styled handmade arts and crafts items: 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: handcrafted newsboy style hats, purses and jewelry made from vintage and recycled materials, sewn items featuring Florida photos.
- Otis and Rosalee Fouraker have grits, cornmeal and hand crocheted items, handcrafted wood items, candle holders, small cedar boxes – located in the Florida Remembered Area.
- Harriett Heywood: Earthwares: retro-styled handmade aprons, clothing, hats and accessories.
- Patricia Lynne Hutchins of Suwannee Songs Designs has necklaces, bracelets and earrings jewelry made of natural stone and inspired by the natural environment of the Suwannee River Valley created by the traditional skill of hand-knotting on silk, forging and soldering metals (particularly copper), hand working wire to set stones, along with other handcrafting techniques.
- Eric Larson, Winter Park Soap: handmade organic skin care products: 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: original paintings matted prints and notecards of country living, and waterways
- Mary Maloy, The Cypress Corner: one of a kind 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 – located in the Florida Remembered Area.
- Ethel McDonald, Marie's Home Canning: home canning: jams, jellies, pickles, relishes; handwoven jelly baskets; handmade aprons.
- Miss Ruby’s Peanut Brittle: legendary homemade peanut brittle.
- Kathie Moehler: Thomas Honey: honey, beeswax.
- Greg Nason, Earthwares: 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: stained glass panels, sun catchers, bugs, and pendants influenced by Florida nature.
- Rebecca Nipper Art: 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 fire wood 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. Our newest addition to the Festival, Florida Remembered 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. With ingenuity and perseverance, our predecessors have conquered the hardships they encountered to cultivate Florida’s cultural landscape.
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. Listed is a sampling from previous festivals:
- John Anderson portrays historic figure, Frederick Douglas.
- Mark Carpenter demonstrates Cracker Cow Camp living.
- Mary Fears portrays an African American Seamstress and quilting.
- Ethan Forbes demonstrates shingle making and log hewing.
- Otis Fourakre demonstrates corngrinding.
- Mary and Ruthanne Mason display and sell tie-dye creations.
- Angie and Maria Minno demostrates 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.