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Vendors showcase art at annual Craft Fair

Krystle Wagner • Aug 4, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Children ran through the water as the Copper Time Orbital Sprinkler spun on Friday.

While the sprinkler provided entertainment, it also showed the Avery Sales Copper Time’s product in action during the first day of the Coast Guard Festival Craft Fair.

Vendors will continue showcasing their crafts as the event continues from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today (Saturday, Aug. 4) in Grand Haven’s Central Park.

Troy Cook said they started attending the annual Craft Fair in 2000 or 2001 and have almost every year since. Cook’s dad started making and selling the sprinklers about 18 years ago, and Cook got involved about 12 years ago. Since then, they’ve changed the designs slightly and use stainless steel balls in the orbital sprinklers and the eyes of the stationary snail sprinklers.

Four or five years ago, they also started making peacocks, Cook said.

While Cook’s parents usually attend shows in Florida and Illinois, Cook and his wife, Sharra, focus on about a dozen shows of their own, mostly in Michigan and one in Minnesota.

Cook, who works full-time at the Gerber Product Co., and his dad spend the winters building the sprinklers at their workshop in Fremont.

Over the years, Cook’s siblings have also been involved in the craft business.

Although this year is Karin Villaroman’s first time at the Coast Guard Festival Craft Fair, her husband, Leo, participated last year. They drove 22 hours from their home in Port Richey, Florida, to showcase Charlestowne Porcelaine.

The Villaromans usually show their high-fired stoneware in Florida, Virginia and North Carolina. Karin said it is also featured in 16 galleries.

Karin explained that the base of their work is from a basket texture, which is shaped before going onto the wheel.

Although Villaroman and her husband have made the pieces for 26 years, her passion goes back further. She initially started when she was an 11-year-old schoolgirl in Denmark, where the family had a wheel and kiln. She resumed her passion for pottery when she moved to the United States.

Villaroman said her husband does the more technical work while she does the “slapwork.” She said their styles complement each other.

Cook said they appreciate all the sponsors and festival committee who organize the show to make it possible for them to showcase their art.

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