Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

April 29, 2013

Bringing out the Arts

Jackson Adams
Daily News

---- — Area artists gathered on Effingham County courthouse museum lawn Friday and Saturday for the eighth annual Effingham Artisan Fair.

”It’s a good local show,” said Jay Willey, of Willey Pottery in Effingham. “There are lots of local people, and it’s a good opportunity to catch up. It brings the arts to Effingham. It’s something that people normally wouldn’t see.”

More than 35 artists from around the area displayed paintings, woodworking, pottery, jewelry and sculptures alongside auctions, wine tasting, food and live music.

Chad Mayfield made his first appearance at the fair Friday, showing his metalworking. He changes decommissioned propane tanks into intricately cut and meticulously detailed pieces of art.

“It’s new, something people have never seen,” he said of his pieces. “That’s the kind of response I’ve been getting from people.”

Mayfield said he started working on the pieces as a hobby but was quickly overwhelmed by the response he was receiving from friends and family.

“I made one for myself and then my buddies wanted one,” he said with a laugh. “I sold a couple to a winery in Carlyle, and it’s just kind of grown from there.”

Rod Hanner said he was also receiving quite a response for his displays, namely a 22-foot-long wooden Stegosaurus he designed and assembled with his grandsons. Hanner displayed the model outside his booth where he sold other wooden items.

”I thought it’d be something different,” he said. “Just think about how many grandparents and grandkids design birdhouses but then think about how many design dinosaurs.”

Hanner said he planned to put up the Stegosaurus, as well as several other dinosaur models, around his home after the show but wanted to show what he and his family had constructed beforehand.

”I just thought it would be neat,” he said. “I like dinosaurs, and I thought if I like it, then the kids would like it.”

Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or jackson.adams@effinghamdailynews.com.