Thursday, July 08, 2010

Cleveland Furniture and Millwork Fair Puts Spotlight On Local Amish Woodcraft

Really overwhelmed with things I should be posting about which almost always results in depression and a brain freeze. The Lebron (oh, I mean LEBRON!!!) and Mellon Arena stuff is making me ill.

I don't think either Cleveland or Pittsburgh have done a very good job at filling the traditional role of cities as convenient places to see and exchange regionally made or grown goods. Yet this is a function that's desperately needed. Trade is the killer Ap of cities and in spite of the convention centers we still seem pretty ambivalent about it.

Pittsburgh is know as The Paris of Appalachia, but have we ever hosted a real big Appalachian music or craft festival playing on the regional wealth so close by?

Likewise, the region to the north and west is filled with many skilled fine Amish crafts. Wouldn't it be easier to show them off in a larger city like Cleveland? Trade is for girly, cities like New York, seems to be the attitude, but in reality, manufacturing can't really happen without it.

People have been batting around the idea of a Downtown Cleveland design district for several years, but the failing economy but it on ice. Now, new energy has been found in the nearby Amish communities of North East Ohio.

"At the proposed District of Design, Amish furniture makers could be a key tenant. They offer a distinctive, regional product that could catch the eye of big buyers, officials said.

The guild likes the idea and considers the furniture fair a test of the concept, said Shasta Mast, director of the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau.

"It's a great opportunity for them to really test the waters as far as exhibiting in an urban setting," Mast said Monday. "It will be the first time many have done that."

Furniture makers and artisan woodworkers will attend seminars July 14 and 15 on the latest designs and color trends, Hill said.

Architects and furniture buyers, including those for college dormitories in Ohio, will attend. Some will lead a seminar for furniture makers to learn how to do business with buyers, Hill said.

"It's a professional show but we also want to celebrate the hardwood furniture industry, because people don't realize how big it is," Hill said."

Really sounds like a killer ap here, if done right, playing on local resources and advantages.

From Cool Cleveland

The activities will kick off Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. with a catered V.I.P. reception to be held at the Halle Building. Fair hours will be held from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Public viewing hours will be from 3 to 7 p.m. both Wednesday and Thursday. The hours between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. will be reserved for furniture wholesalers and other large buyers. Display models will be available for sale to the general public after 5 p.m. on Thursday the 15th.

Halle Building – 1212 Huron Rd.

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