Sugar Loaf Artisans Welcome Spring

Memorial weekend springfest showcases vendors' handcrafted items
By Yvonne Marcotte, Epoch Times
May 30, 2016 9:32 pm Last Updated: May 31, 2016 6:37 pm

SUGAR LOAF—The Sugar Loaf Art and Craft Village Spring Festival brought a light crowd on a somewhat humid Memorial Day.

Those who came could find handcrafted items like unique stationery, herbal soaps and remedies, original jewelry, and gourd birdhouses.

As the day went on, the yard in front of Alicia Frosini’s herbal store, Sugar Loaf Mountain Herbs, drew visitors who were interested in the many potted herbs.

Entrance to Sugar Loaf Mountain Herbs at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Entrance to Sugar Loaf Mountain Herbs at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

Frosini says she grows all her herbs in Sugar Loaf.

“I have a very big following and they come because they know that we grow them without a lot of chemicals. They are very strong plants. We harden them off.”

Potted herbs at Sugar Loaf Mountain Herbs at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Potted herbs at Sugar Loaf Mountain Herbs at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

Her shop sells potpourris, blended teas, and at this time of year, organic bug sprays made of essential oils. She adds geranium to ward off ticks.

Her customers like her natural blends. “They like the fact that they are safe for children and are good for people with a lot of sensitivities.”

Storefront of merrily paper boutique at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Storefront of merrily paper boutique at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

Kat Parrella’s designs and those of other independent designers are on display at Merrily Paper, situated in a 200-year-old cottage in the middle of the hamlet. Parrella says her paper products are not sold anywhere else.

Kat Parella, proprietor of merrily paper boutique at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Kat Parrella, proprietor of Merrily Paper Boutique at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

She hand-picks the invitations, gifts, and stationery sold in the store. A consultation room in the back of the store is set up to plan celebrations such as weddings or anniversaries.  

Consultation room at merrily paper boutique at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Consultation room at Merrily Paper Boutique at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

At Rosner Soaps, Keren Rosner was busily packaging her lemon grass soap in bright yellow paper. She said all the herbal bars are made with olive oil. “It’s wonderful because it both balances and moisturizes skin which no other oil can really say.” The soap exfoliates and also repels insects, she said.

Keren Rosner packages lemon grass soap at her shop at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Keren Rosner packages lemon grass soap at her shop during the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

Handcrafted soap dishes at Rosner Soaps at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Handcrafted soap dishes at Rosner Soap at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

At his store Collage, Bruce Roberts displays handcrafted silver, copper, and brass jewelry. A jewelry designer since 1975, Roberts says he creates jewelry for major retailers throughout the U.S.: Macy’s, Chico’s, Coldwater Creek, “and probably a few hundred other stores.”  

Bruce Roberts at his shop Collage at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Bruce Roberts at his shop Collage at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

Large gourds have been crafted into birdhouses at Luft Gardens, Aaron Luft’s store. Luft said he also makes lanterns and jack o’ lanterns. For indoor use, the gourds are sealed with a clear acrylic and the birdhouses are finished with an outdoor wood finish. “It’s just like working with a piece of wood. The Lufts grow about two acres of gourds of all sizes.

Birdhouse gourds at Lufts Gardens at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Birdhouse gourds at Luft Gardens at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

Independent Artisans

The hamlet of Sugar Loaf is a community of artisans and boutique shops in the Warwick valley. The village was transformed into a thriving crafts center in the 1970s, according to the hamlet’s website.

Vendors at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Vendors at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

Vendors and businesses at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Vendors and businesses at the Sugar Loaf Spring Festival in Sugar Loaf on May 30, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

“Many of these artisans live and work in the original barns and buildings which date back to the 1700’s.”

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