CANFIELD – Canfield Fair Week Janice Graham of Farrell, Pa. Spends 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. filming on the porch of a wooden building near the sheep just so passing visitors can see what it’s about.
“People don’t know that’s something you can do now – that’s why I’m not wearing the (historical) costume”, Graham said, pointing to his regular 21st century clothes.
Graham’s personal motto is “Take the past into the future”. She wants people to know that the “old business” like spinning, knitting and weaving are not dead. At the fair, kids come to see Graham spinning, she said.
“It means that the interest is there, and it will continue”, Graham said of the spinning.
Graham spins all kinds of fibers into yarn. She is allergic to wool, so when she spins it, she wears gloves.
Graham said spinning is helping him “de-stress” and she would do it all day if she was left on her own.
“Here they make me stop. At home, I have no reason to stop. Graham joked.
At the Canfield Fair, attendees can see how many things are being done, including unusual, forgotten or underestimated trades. The hums and sounds of the ancient farmhouse and other amenities can be heard in the northeast corner of the land. On the southern cattle complex, the cows are milked. Behind the fine arts building, artists practice their profession.
On Friday, Susan Dexter of New Castle, Pa., Was working on a pastel drawing of a friend’s dog and chatting with passers-by. She and members of the Trumbull Area Artists paint, draw and make miniatures every day of the fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We like that people come to see us” Dexter said. “We especially like it when the kids are passing by.”
She said that by being there she wants to remind people that “Art is for everyone”.
“It’s not just for a few – everyone can have an inner artist,” Dexter said.
Two tables away, Lynn Provance of West Farmington was working hard to assemble stained glass. She cut her glass on Wednesday and will solder her parts on Monday.
“There are a lot of things in the art of glass that people are not aware of” said Provence. She said individual artists like her cut each piece of glass by hand. She said that although it is a time consuming process, all art takes time.
“This is just a different way of working. “ said Provence.
Joann Claycomb of Boardman, who carves wood with the Austintown Senior Center’s “Cutting edge” club, visited other woodcarvers who presented their work at the fair.
“We have discovered that more women are carving on wood” said Claycomb, who added that woodcarving has in the past been considered a man’s hobby. She said last week that there were eight women sculpting at the Austintown club.
Walter Finger from Austintown said not many people sculpt, but it’s relaxing. He started practicing this hobby after his retirement and has been sculpting for about 30 years, he said.
Woodcarvers use all kinds of wood – some even cutting down their own trees for materials.
Claycomb said while demonstrating the woodcarving at the fair, she wants people “know that they can have fun and relax and have something to show for it.”
The Canfield Fair continues today with the 8am to 11am Draft Pony Cast Iron Derby in the Grandstand, followed by the Sausage Dog Derby Race. The traction of trucks and tractors begins at 7 p.m. at the grandstand.