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‘Work of Our Hands’ show in Delmont to feature variety of crafts |

‘Work of Our Hands’ show in Delmont to feature variety of crafts

Submitted photo
Raggz Fiber Art in Salem Township held a late-October workshop on creating felted acorns, above. Shop owner Toni Ritchey is one of the organizers for the 'Work of Our Hands' art show, which will take place Nov. 7 at the Lamplighter in Delmont.
Lillian DeDomenic | For Trib Total Media
Ardis Mock works on original scherenschnitte, German style artistic paper cutting, she will enter in the upcoming 'Work of Our Hands' Art and Craft Show this Friday. The show will feature unique creations by local artisans including juried and award winning artists at The Lamplighter in Delmont from 10 am to 7 pm November 7.

The popularity and number of artists involved in the “Work of Our Hands” craft show has forced a move to a new location.

After spending its first two years at the Export home of scherenschnitte artist Ardis Mock, the show will move to the Lamplighter restaurant in Delmont for its show tomorrow, Friday, where about 25 artists will have their works on display.

The idea for the show started with organizer Toni Ritchey, owner of Raggz Fiber Art in Salem Township.

“I knit and felt, and I teach both as well,” Ritchey said. “I started teaching knitting at Franklin (Regional’s adult-education classes) in the evening. One day, we were talking about all the work we’d done, and thought it would be a great idea for other people to see it.”

All of the show vendors make their own products, and nearly all come from the greater Murrysville, Greensburg and Latrobe areas.

One of those artists is Kay Farabaugh of Harrison City, who will bring a collection of wool sculptures to the show.

Farabaugh was a student in one of Ritchey’s classes, and although the felting didn’t really appeal to her, when Ritchey had the class needle-sculpt designs onto the felting projects, “that really got me,” she said.

“I started doing it more and more, and then they started to sell, so I started to think this was something I could do,” Farabaugh said.

Farabaugh is in the final stages of renal failure, she said, and can’t work outside of her home.

“But I like to move around. I started (with wool sculpting) and really got addicted to it,” she said.

The process, called roving, is done with a felting needle.

“You work on a piece of foam, and the needles have barbs on their ends,” Farabaugh said. “When you keep poking at it, it intertwines and compacts the fibers. You keep poking and poking until you get a base, and then you start working on your shapes using different types of needles.”

Most of Farabaugh’s sculptures are between six and 12 inches tall, and include both animals and people. She will bring her “Curmudgeon” series of sculptures to exhibit at the “Work Of Our Hands” show.

“They’re caricatures with fairly large heads, and they’re about the size of a Barbie doll,” she said.

Depending on the sculpture, the full process can take two days or up to a week, Farabaugh said, adding that she cannot stress enough how sharp the felting needles are.

“One of the best books I read includes a line that really turned out to be true when it comes to working with these needles: ‘You will bleed,’” she said. “Boy, is that ever true. I have it on in the background, but I don’t watch TV anymore when I’m needling.”

Ritchey said she is excited for the show and hopeful that the new venue will bring in some new attendees.

“There are so many talented people around here, we thought the area needed to know about it,” Ritchey said.

“Work of Our Hands” will take place Nov. 7, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Lamplighter, 6566 William Penn Highway, Delmont.

For more, contact Ritchey at 724-600-5550.

Patrick Varine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-871-2365

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