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50 Craftspeople Show Off Their Creations at Annual Norwich Craft Fair

Nov 09, 2016 03:13PM ● By Kirsten Gehlbach
This year marks the 22nd Annual Pods for the Pulpit Fair on November 25 and 26 from 10am to 4pm, sponsored by Unitarian Universalist Congregation Upper Valley (UUCUV). Tracy Hall on Main Street in Norwich will be filled for two days on two floors with the finest craftspeople from around the area showcasing their handcrafted creations. This year, 50 professional crafters at the level of expertise as those who have been juried into the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen will display artwork, jewelry, pottery, quilting, braided rugs, painted floor cloths, basketry, lamps, wreaths, and more. The level of talent of these artists is unsurpassed and draws hundreds for the opportunity to meet and talk with artists and learn about their creative processes.

The fundraising event is sponsored by UUCUV members and friends. There is no admission fee, but you’re encouraged to purchase raffle tickets. In 2015, over $10,000 was raised and divided evenly between the church and three charities. This year, the funds raised will be shared with WISE, Good Neighbor Clinic, and The Family Place. Revenue comes from booth fees and the raffle. This year’s raffle item is a colored woodblock print donated by Lyme artist Matt Brown. Music will be provided by Chief Noda, a guitarist from Brockton, Massachusetts.

The event started with the making of milkweed pod Christmas ornaments by church members, hence the name, “Pods for the Pulpit.” Members stopped making the ornaments some years ago. The process was too labor intensive, and they felt the market had become saturated over the years. But if you’re interested, instructions on how to make a pod ornament are available.

“We’ve stuck with the name, despite no more ‘pods,’ because it has become so recognizable in the area,” explains Sally Page, organizer of the event. Sally has been joined by about 50 UUCUV church member volunteers to put on the event this year.

“We like to think of this as an alternative to Black Friday. Plus, it’s a community-building and involving event, and earns money for the church and other local worthy causes.”

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