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April 1, 2014

Indiana artisans finding ways to showcase goods

(Continued)

The time to craft each item depends on the detail required.

"Anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours," he said.

There's something nostalgic about holding a wooden cooking instrument, Dickinson's customers tell him.

The marketplace features two categories of art - foods and crafts - ensuring visitors a chance not only to see great work but to try samples from those whose art is edible.

"It is the highest-quality food and art in the state," director Eric Freeman said.

Aside from offering booths with items for sale, the marketplace also brought in artists this year who demonstrated how their masterpieces come about. Weavers, painters, chocolate-makers and more shared their secrets with visitors during live demonstrations.

Freeman said the Indiana Artisan mission is to provide exposure for artists who are always doing exceptional work in their own shops and studios. Helping the artists build their businesses, in turn, benefits local communities.

"Then, when they need more Hancock County help, the Greenfield economy benefits from this," Freeman cited by way of example.

Becoming a designated Indiana Artisan isn't easy, marketplace volunteer Ros Demaree said. The organization is reserved for the best of the best.

Fewer than 17 percent of those who submit their work make the cut, Demaree said.

And visitors to the marketplace certainly appreciated the quality.

Melanie Hegerfeld of Fishers made her way from booth to booth, trying samples and hunting down unique art items.

"It's fabulous," she said. "I mean, where can you sample things, look at great art and drink wine at the same time?"

When Suzanne Litteral attended the event in 2013, she set her sights on participating this year.

Litteral, owner of Litterally Divine Chocolates in Greenfield, submitted a sampling of her homemade candies and found out in February that her sweets fit the bill.

At the weekend event, Litteral said it was an honor to have received the Indiana Artisan designation.

"I think it's a feeling of prestige and knowing all my hard work has paid off," she said.

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