I went to my first feria yesterday, the XXVII Feria International de Artesanians in Cordoba. Wow! Over 700 artesanos from all over Latin America showing everything from items made with leather, bone, wood or silver to hand-woven fabric to pottery to stained glass to... You get the idea. Not your average junk-in-a-tourist-shop stuff either. From what I understand, this is a juried feria so in order to be accepted you have to pass some basic criteria. I'll be posting a few more photos tomorrow (Project 365) but here's one to whet your appetite. These guys were doing some impromptu jamming at a booth where they sold handcrafted drums. There was also a booth with wooden flutes and wind-type instruments commonly used in music from the Andes Mountains and those artesanos played as well.
We spent hours just doing one pass through the multiple buildings to see all the vendors from Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru... Can you believe I bought NOTHING? Neither can I! The overwhelming array of options paralyzed my ability to do more than just look.
A few things stood out though. The wooden vases, platters and jewelry boxes were gorgeous! Several stained glass artesanos displayed stunning doors, lamps, and decorative pieces that made me wish I had unlimited supplies of money. Or the ability to make them myself.
Seeing all those beautiful handcrafted items was inspiring. My hubby saw pieces he thinks he can duplicate, like a floor lamp for the living room that was part wood, part metal, welded together in a very interesting fashion.
Once again I longed for the ability to knit or crochet because there were vendors selling lovely, lovely, lovely skeins of yarn AND others selling beautiful hand-turned wooden hooks and needles.
I did not see any quilts. Lots of handwoven items made with wool from sheep raised in the mountains or down in Patagonia, but no pieced work. Except in leather. One booth had a sign saying "Patschwork" and the lady had purses, vests and rugs made from pieced leather.
An altogether fun time at the feria! We went with my language tutor and because she'd been there before she knew the most efficient way to conquer the feria. And I don't use that word lightly. It was sorta like going into battle against the hordes of people crowding the aisles and clogging up intersections between rows. Next year we'll try to go earlier in the week when it's not so crowded.