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16th annual Fine Craft Expo set for Saturday

By Staff | Feb 10, 2016

The 16th annual Fine Craft Expo is taking registrations for about a dozen different workshops.

Hosted by the Southwest Florida Fine Craft Guild, the event will take place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cape Coral Arts Studio. It features three-hour workshops in a variety of mediums, and no prior experience is necessary to participate; all participants will bring home a finished piece of artwork.

“It’s a day of learning,” Angela Aradia, a member of the Southwest Florida Fine Craft Guild, said.

“From start to finish, you actually create a project,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Some of the workshops are Viking knit jewelry, eggshell art, fused glass, wire wrapped jewelry, mixed media, Nantucket baskets and weaving a spirit mask. The cost is $35 for a workshop or $60 for two.

“They have everything from silk painting to raku firing,” Aradia said.

As of Tuesday, three workshops – mosaics, pine needle baskets and silk painting – were full.

The more popular ones include bead weaving, metalsmithing for jewelry and basketry.

“And stained glass,” she said. “A lot of people love that.”

From noon to 1 p.m., complimentary stone sculpture and lamp working demonstrations will be held.

This year, the guild added more workshops and changed the event date.

“We’re hoping to get a lot more attendees and raise more money,” Aradia said.

The event serves as an annual fundraiser for the Cape Coral Arts Studio, where many of the guild’s members are instructors. All of Saturday’s workshops will be taught by members who have exhibited.

“This is how we help out,” she said. “It’s also part of our mission to educate the public.”

Last year, the event raised an estimated $3,000 for the studio.

“I think we had roughly 60 to 65 attendees,” she said.

At 2 p.m., a raffle will be held for artwork that has been created and donated by guild members.

“The money we raise from the raffle goes to our educational scholarships,” Aradia said.

The scholarship funds previously have been awarded to students at Florida Gulf Coast University, Cypress Lake High School’s Center for the Arts and Florida SouthWestern State College, as well as to children attending the summer programs at the Cape facility, Alliance for the Arts and BIG ARTS.

Raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5.

On Friday, a reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. at the Cape Coral Arts Studio for the guild’s Elemental: Earth, Air, Water and Fire exhibit. Open to the public, attendees can meet the instructors, fine craftsmen and artisans showcased in the newest exhibit. Light refreshments will be provided.

Aradia encouraged the public to check out the available expo workshops.

“This is just like a little taste that you can learn,” she said.

“There’s so much more you can expand on afterward if you choose to,” Aradia said.

For more information on the 16th annual Fine Craft Expo, or to register for a workshop, contact the Cape Coral Arts Studio at 239-574-0802. Tools will be provided but supply kits, if needed, are extra.

Facility students and guild members are eligible for a $5 discount.

Event participants interested in joining the guild are eligible for a discounted membership.

For details on the Southwest Florida Fine Craft Guild, visit: www.swflfinecraftguild.org.

The Arts Studio is at 4533 Coronado Parkway.