It wasn’t all garlic
Recorder file photo/Michael Phillips
Garlic & Arts Festival
The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival returns to Orange Saturday and Sunday with a mind-boggling array of things to do, from family activities, to learning about agriculture, to live music. And, of course, there are lots of garlic-related activities. You can read more about it under “Potpourri.” Pictured is Joaquim Rubio mastering a whole lot of hula-hoops during a previous festival.
Students ages 9 to 14 from the Inside Out Dance Studio in Orange perform at the 15th annual North Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival on Saturday.
Wood shavings fly as Sandy Renna, of Warwick, demonstrates how wooden bowls are carved Saturday at the Garlic and Arts Festival in Orange.
ORANGE — Garlic, of course, was a featured ingredient in everything from curried vegetables and “hobo stew” to ice cream and cupcakes at the Garlic and Arts Festival, but there was much more to the fair than simply food.
Dozens of area artists and artisans set up shop, selling their handiworks and putting on demos all weekend long.
Long curls of wood shavings flew from one end of the field Saturday, as Dick Williams of Leverett and Sandy Renna of Warwick showed people how to make beautiful wooden bowls.
“I never make two the same,” said Williams from behind his lathe — and a full-face plastic shield.
Williams has been carving bowls by lathe for a little more than three years. Though the tools weren’t cheap, his materials are nearly free and he doesn’t have to go farther than his own backyard.
“I use found wood,” he said. “If I mess one up, I can just throw it right back on the woodpile.”
Though he wouldn’t be out a dime in wood, he could lose up to three hours of work if a mistake comes toward the end of the process.
When Renna saw Williams and others turning bowls at last year’s Garlic and Arts Festival, he asked how he could pick up the craft.
“They said they’d teach me,” said Renna.
Now, he and Williams, Pete Diemand of Wendell and Sam Scherer of Orange get together every Friday for guys’ night in the wood shop.
Scherer was elsewhere at the festival, selling his own bowls. Diemand also sells some of his at Diemand Farm in Wendell, which also had a booth for the weekend. For Renna and Williams, it’s more of a hobby, and they agreed it’s a lot of fun.
While the group worked with wood, others bent metal to their will.
At the Spoon River Designs booth, Deva Skydancer used a mallet and mandrel to pound spoons into rings. She also had wind chimes, pendants, earrings and more made from old cutlery.
The sights of the season were as breathtaking as the art on display. The fall foliage began to peak just in time for the weekend festival, and people had the chance to take a North Quabbin autumn home with them.
Photographer Patrick Zephyr has been capturing western Massachusetts’ scenery for about 15 years.
“A lot of days, I’ll get up at four in the morning, and watch for that magical light,” he said. “It’s gone before most people get out of bed.”
That light works wonders in all seasons, but Zephyr said it’s especially brilliant when caught by the colors of autumn leaves. His work reflected this, with a wide variety of fall scenes in places like Montague, Sunderland and Wendell, where Zephyr lived for a decade before moving to Pelham.
Zephyr bought his first camera when he graduated from college, and took it on a canoeing expedition in Northwestern Canada, and fell in love with nature photography. Once he got back home, he began capturing the Quabbin on film.
“I could spend a lifetime exploring the Quabbin and never see it all,” he said.
Zephyr had his first showing about 15 years ago, and six months later, he left his job and has been supporting himself with his photography ever since, setting up at 25 shows every year. He also sells cards at stores all over New England. He said he’s never had to do paying gigs like weddings or portraits to make ends meet.
His first love, he said, is nature, and photography is merely a way to preserve what he sees, from panoramic landscapes down to macro shots of insects.
The weekend festival also hosted a variety of crafting and cooking workshops, music and poetry, dance performances, educational presentations on sustainable living, and plenty of kids’ activities.
David Rainville can be reached at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279