Harper Woods library to host 4th annual artisans market

By: Brendan Losinski | Advertiser Times | Published October 27, 2017

 Ann LaTour’s homemade jewelry will be one of the attractions at the Harper Woods Public Library artisans market.

Ann LaTour’s homemade jewelry will be one of the attractions at the Harper Woods Public Library artisans market.

Photo provided by Ann LaTour

 Handmade products like the “Prop-a-Books” that Harper Woods resident Judith Smith makes to hold books and e-readers will be among the items for sale.

Handmade products like the “Prop-a-Books” that Harper Woods resident Judith Smith makes to hold books and e-readers will be among the items for sale.

Photo provided by Judith Smith

HARPER WOODS — The Harper Woods Public Library is calling all artists and crafters (and art and crafting fans) for its annual artisans market.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, at the library. It will feature artists, crafters and other local creators showing off their homemade products and selling them just in time for the holiday season.

“This is our fourth year,” said Mary Kingston, president of the Friends of the Harper Woods Library. “We are doing something different this year. We have 20 tables, and there’s a one-sized table for all 20 artists, and the artists get to keep whatever funds from what they sell. We have someone who does purses, a woman who makes silver jewelry, we do someone who does birdcages and paintings, another gentleman who makes comic books and children’s books.”

Harper Woods resident Judith Smith will be among the artisans. She’ll be selling “Prop-a-Books,”  which are pillow-covered stands to help people read.

“It’s a pillow-type stand for a book or tablet or e-reader,” said Smith. “I saw the idea in a bookstore maybe 10 years ago and thought, ‘I can make that.’ Eventually, I worked it to a design I liked. I sold it at a few craft shows and started selling it on Ebay and Etsy. I try to do a few craft shows around Christmastime like this.”

One of the other artisans, Ann LaTour, of Grosse Pointe Woods, creates handmade silver jewelry.

“I do silversmithing. I make rings, bracelets, pendants and that sort of thing,” said LaTour. “It’s all handmade. It’s done with a torch, not beading, which is what you usually see. Mine’s all made from scratch.”

LaTour also said that small artisans markets like the one at the Harper Woods library give local creators a place to not only sell their work, but to show it off to people who may return in the future looking to buy more.

“(The Harper Woods library artisans market) is close to home. A lot of people come there, especially if they’re looking for Christmas presents,” she said. “It’s a diverse show with a lot of different things sold there. It’s structural art, photography, paint and a lot of different types of jewelry.”

Kingston said the library staff are happy the market has grown over the past four years. They are also pleased with the variety of items.

“We have some really different artists. We’re getting larger, and the variety seems to get bigger every year,” remarked Kingston. “We’re getting a little more publicity, and I think people are becoming more aware of it. In a lot of the bigger art fairs, people have to be judged on what they make, but we like seeing people get creative. It was sort of a fluke (the artisans market) started, but it’s taken on a life of its own.”

One member of the library staff will be showing off her creative side, and library patrons or artisan market visitors can join a raffle to bring home her creation.

“We’re raffling off a huge indoor-outdoor Christmas wreath that Mary Ann Fortunate, one of our circulation clerks, made,” said Kingston. “The drawing will be at 3:30 p.m. during the artisan’s market.”

Kingston encouraged residents to drop by for the sale and see if they can find something they or a loved one would like to have or just peruse what interesting creations their neighbors have put together.

“We do have a lot of creative people. You would be surprised what people can do with simple things,” she said. “For what they’re making, the prices seem very fair. It’s a very homey atmosphere. It’s a nice, small-scale artisans market with some unusual and classy items for sale. It’s just in time for people to do some early Christmas shopping. It’s interesting some of the impressive ideas these artisans come up with.”