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Holiday Fair and Uncommon Crafts

’Tis the season to hit up Harvard Square

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The images above represent a selection of crafts from the Harvard Square Holiday Craft Fair, including pottery, tin can lights, drawings, and sock monkeys. Photos courtesy of James Guggina, Lennie Kaumzha, Craig Swanson, and Deb Hickey

This time of year the basement of First Parish Unitarian Church in Cambridge is transformed into the lively Harvard Square Holiday Craft Fair, an opportunity to do last-minute shopping and to support artists.

“When it started in the mid 1980s, there weren’t many crafts fairs around,” says cofounder Leslie Gray. “It was a way for artisans to gain exposure and make a living. A few of the first artists still participate, but new ones come too, making it a fresh experience every year.”

Many artists are local, such as Peter Grams, a stoneware potter from Somerville, whose pottery “feels just right,” says Gray, “not heavy-bottomed or thin-topped.”

Some artists incorporate recycled materials into their crafts.  Lennie  Kaumzha  transforms old tin cans into candle fixtures, and Deva Skydancer makes wind chimes, clocks, and jewelry from vintage cutlery and kitchen accessories.

More than 70 vendors participate in the fair during its 13 days. “Why shop online or at the mall when you can talk directly to the artists about their work?” Gray asks. “The vendors have great energy. And with a 1960s and world music soundtrack, the fair feels like a party where you can buy stuff.”

The Harvard Square Holiday Craft Fair at the First Parish Unitarian Church, 3 Church St., Cambridge, Mass., runs through December 23, from noon to 7:30 p.m. More information, such as a complete list of vendors, is available here.

Robin Berghaus can be reached at berghaus@bu.edu.

3 Comments

3 Comments on Holiday Fair and Uncommon Crafts

  • Anonymous on 12.21.2009 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks for the info. Another great insight Robin!

  • Anonymous on 12.21.2009 at 9:31 pm

    Checked it out today, good but a small fair

  • Cori Couture on 12.23.2009 at 4:36 am

    Fair is bigger than you think, perhaps?

    Hi there,

    As a vendor at this show, I wanted to make sure that folks know there’s more to this fair than the 5 or 6 (wonderful) outdoor vendors. Be sure to enter the church basement, where you’ll find another 35 to 40 equally wonderful artists selling their wares.

    Today is the last day for this year. We’ll be open from 11:30 to 7:30, so come on by!

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