By Amber Hobaugh
On Saturday local artists and crafters gathered at Reel Java and Creamery to show off their talents in an event called The Caffeinated Craft. The event is the second show in a series of events hosted by Russell County native Elizabeth Ackerman.
“I went to college to major in art education, but I felt a calling to come back [to Russell County] and do something to promote local artists in our community. It’s not something that’s really talked about a lot around here and I’d like to do my part to shed some light on it,” Ackerman said.
Allie Weaver had handmade jewelry on display at her booth. When asked about her hobby Weaver said, “I’ve always been kind of crafty and I’m always wearing bracelets that I’ve made.” This was the first time she had put her work out for display and for others to purchase. Allie doesn’t have a website, but you can usually find her pretty close to Reel Java and Creamery as her mother is the owner of the coffee shop.
Adair County High School art teacher, Cassie Davenport had dog bandanas and face masks set up at her booth. “I started making dog bandanas around Christmas last year when we were trying to find a bandana for our dog. Then, I started making more to take to the art and home and garden shows that I go to.” Davenport said. “When the pandemic hit a lot of those shows were canceled and face masks came in demand. I had all this extra fabric lying around for dog bandanas I planned to make and thought I’d start doing that.” Cassie and her husband also own a metal working shop where they make art pieces for gardens.
Russell County junior, Katie Foster was there to show off her artwork. “I’ve always liked to draw and sketch, but I didn’t really develop my own style until I was about 10 or 11,” Katie said. This arts and crafts show was the first time Katie had placed her work on display for sale. “I usually just post my work online and get advice from my peers that way,” Foster went on to say. In the future, Katie would like to get into character design for books or video games. She also hopes to be able to collaborate with her brother, who is a student at UK majoring in computer science, to create a video game.
Cassie Shaffer, a pediatrician from Mount Vernon traveled to show off an abundance of her creations at the show. Shaffer does watercolor paintings, paints throw pillows, and has written and illustrated her own children’s book. “I started doing watercolor paintings about a year and a half ago and noticed I had a real affinity for it. I would bring pieces I had painted into the office and a lot of my patient’s parents would want to buy them.” Shaffer said. “Then when Covid-19 shut everything down, I really wanted to be able to do something for the kids to take home with them.” The fox in Cassie’s book is actually based off of her sister, Callie, who started an arts and crafts fair in their hometown called Noel Night.
Cassie comes from an artistically fluent family. Her mother, Nancy Mullins, was also on hand at the event with some potted plants she had for sale. Mullins, a retired Journalism and English teacher said, “I really got into gardening after I retired from teaching. After recovering from some health issues I had, gardening just makes me feel better metally, physically and emotionally.” Mullins also had some handmade jewelry on display at her booth. When asked about those pieces she said “My grand-daughter, Aden Ambergey, actually made these pieces. She comes by my garden to get clippings off my flowers and other plants to make the pendants for these bracelets and then she sells them on Etsy.”
Clara Overby, from KarMickael Kreations was also on hand at the event to show off some of her creations. Clara makes custom canvas shoes, cakes, stickers, wands and has an assortment of other talents. When asked about how she got into her own business Clara said, “I made some shoes for our youngest children for Christmas in 2018 and we posted the pictures online and it just kind of went from there.” You can find more of Clara’s work on the KarMickael Kreations Facebook page or follow them on Instagram.
When asked if the coffee shop plans to do more events like this one in the future, hostess Elizabeth Ackerman was positive on the prospects. “I’d like to do another event like this around Christmas so everyone stay tuned to the Reel Java and Creamery Facebook page to check out any events that we have coming up.”