Portrait of an artisan event: festivals, dogs, and silhouettes

A recent event that arranged for silhouettes was the long-running Dover, Delaware’s “Dover Days Festival”, a celebration of this capitol of our first state in the Union. I hope you enjoy a few images of this joyful event in a very nice state.

The silhouette booth was situated in the Early American area of the festival: demonstrating artisans of the early days of Delaware and our country. The booth looked pretty striking, especially in the setting of the Old State House behind. As this was a modern event showing Early American craftmanship, no authentic tent was needed.

(If you are enamored of the wooden “portrait” chair as I am, the chair was made by Period Productions, a craftsman who specializes in supplies for performers, artisans, and living history enthusiasts. He makes all of my woodcraft needs)

Many people enjoyed getting silhouettes, young and old.

As you may be able to see in the photo at left, there is no drawing of the portrait before cutting: this white paper shows that nothing is drawn. The paper is white on one side, and black on the other side. The black side is what is displayed as the final silhouette portrait. Depending on the light around me, I will cut on the white side or the black side of the paper.

Anyone can come watch the rapid and fascinating process, and decide whether she or he would like a silhouette of him/herself or a loved one.

A new discovery in cutting silhouette portraits is that one can never estimate who the next client may be. It may be a cute young child… or even a canine child of happy (dog) parents, as I have now met two in two weeks. This is my second dog silhouette for the month of May. These live silhouette portrait-sitting of dogs were achieved with well-trained animals and very enthusiastic “parents”

The next event for silhouettes is a Colonial Market Fair at the Claude Moore Colonial Farm, on May 21-22, 2011. This is a cute little authentic-style event at a historical farm-park run by the National Park Service. Since this is a history-based educational facility, every artisan can speak about and often demonstrates his or her craft. This Market Fair simulates traditional Market Fairs which were popular in Europe and the New World since medieval days: vendors, craftspeople, and cooked served their specialities for an enthusiastic crowd.

There are activities and games for children, healthy (an inexpensive) food, some goodies, and even some craft ales at very low prices. All the prices are reasonable to make this experience worth your while. If you are near the Washington DC or Northern Virginia area and are looking for a fun afternoon event, come by. You’ll even get to see the authentic Colonial farm during your visit to the Market Fair.