Archive for July, 2009

28
Jul
09

Another Day at Rogers!

 

Rogers Flea Market has a slow start after an early morning rain.

Rogers Flea Market has a slow start after an early morning rain.

   Yeah, it’s back to Rogers! I skipped Rogers the previous Friday due to rain, and actually it looked like I might have to stay home again this past week. I checked the weather patterns on the internet and found that Rogers would have early morning rain, but then chances of rain would be zero from about 6 AM till about 3 PM. After that more  rain showers were to move into the area. I figured that gave me plenty of time to scout around for tin and fun junk.

 

As the sun came out the crowd size increased quickly.

As the sun came out the crowd size increased quickly.

    Besides the shear joy of the search for art materials, you meet some interesting people at Rogers. This day I met Vince when I stopped by his hot dog wagon to purchase a can of soda. “The pop is cold, not ice cold,” says Vince as he pulls a can out of a cooler stuffed full of ice. “It’s iced cold! Just like it says on my sign.” I loved the look of his wagon with all the hand-written signs, and I asked if I could take a few photos. “These are the best!”, exclaims Vince as he pulls some jumbo dogs out of the steamer, “Come on back later when you are hungry.” Vince is so proud of his product that I did not have the heart to tell him I was a vegetarian.

 

Vince and his hot dog wagon at Rogers Flea Market.

Vince and his hot dog wagon at Rogers Flea Market.

   Another gentleman I met this week was Michael Markley, who plays the violin. It’s neat to walk through the flea market and you start to hear music…. and it’s live! Michael plays gospel music and it really adds a nice backdrop to the usual rumblings at Rogers. Michael keeps his violin case open for tips and holding his CDs. He and his wife, Gerda, travel to flea markets all over the midwest and south selling CDs and as he puts it, “planting seeds”.

 

Michael Markley plays his violin.

Michael Markley plays his violin.

 

 

"No pets" reads this sign at the entrance to the flea market.....

"No pets" reads this sign at the entrance to the flea market.....

 

....but I think this little guy is just plain ignoring it.

....but I think this little guy is just plain ignoring it.

 

You never know what you'll see for sale at Rogers!

You never know what you'll see for sale at Rogers!

 

And here was an opportunity for someone to really clean up, even in this current economic downturn.

And here was an opportunity for someone to really clean up, even in this current economic downturn.

    No doll houses this trip. Funny how those things seem to come in bunches or not at all. I did find a few cans, plus a boot sign, a black David (which is being painted white), and a suitcase of old postage stamps. Oh…. and a CD: Gospel Violin, Vol. 1, by Michael Markley. Somehow I figure that CD, along with Regina Spektor and Gogol Bordello makes for great studio music.

 

A few of the days finds.

A few of the days finds.

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21
Jul
09

Glendale Drive-In

 

The Glendale Drive-In marque, Glendale, WV

The Glendale Drive-In sign, Glendale, WV

    I started this blog a year ago after reading an article about artist websites in an art magazine. The article stated that statistics show those artists websites connected to an active blog tend to have higher traffic numbers. So my intention is for this bog to be about art and art making, and yes, mainly my art. However, my blog dashboard (which gives my stats) shows that my highest number of hits are on the posts about flea markets! Go figure! So much for my art career. 

    During the warm weather months I do make it a point to hit a flea market whenever time will allow. Flea markets are my primary source of art materials. Plus, I just like the feel of most outdoor markets….. the market grounds, the stuff, the overheard conversations, the items in peoples arms, and the people themselves. I believe I have yet to discover an indoor flea market that I like. They are usually a greenish florescent hell filled where the merchandise rarely turns over and many of the vendors have this zombie-like stare. 

    Recently I drove to the Glendale Drive-In Flea Market in Glendale, WV, home of country music star Brad Paisley,  (who probably does not go to flea markets). Now the Glendale Drive-In is only about twenty minutes south from where I live, but I only seem to get down there about twice a summer. For whatever reason, I do not seem to find as much of the type of stuff there that I search for. On a warm, dry Sunday morning I would estimate that the Glendale Drive-In gets a couple hundred dealers. However, on this morning it was a bit cloudy and I believe some would-be dealers stayed home do to possible showers.

 

View of the flea market from the parking area.

View of the flea market from the parking area.

 

A few early buyers

Some vendors spaces look like mini-Walmarts.

 

                               A few early buyers trying to get a look before the stuff even comes out of the trunk.

 

A few early buyers trying to get a look before the stuff even comes out of the trunk.

 

A vendor puts out merchandise as the unlit screen looms in the background. Some wheeling and dealing goes on as the unlit screen looms in the background.

 

No table

Got tools?

     The Glendale Drive-In Flea Market seems to be heavy in hunting and fishing equipment, tools, nuts & bolts, baby clothes, used toys, and home decorating stuff. One thing I can say, if you do find something here you can use, it is usually priced right. On this day I did pick up a bag containing a few walls from two different, mismatched doll house-type structures; an old  apothecary jar (to put on Ebay); a stack of Victorian reward cards; and a couple of cans to cut up. Now let’s make some art!

19
Jul
09

Bull Creek

 

A couple of well worn badges

A couple of well worn badges await a buyer at Bull Creek.

    Chris and I have been trying to clean out a storage building for some time and had discussed taking a load of unwanted items to the flea market. We enjoy shopping the markets a lot more than setting up, so we have managed to talk ourselves out of the selling idea for a long time. However, our friends Paul and Mark, who live in Pittsburgh, had emailed us saying that they were going to set up at a flea market. We decided to load up the truck and join Paul, Mark, their friend Bill, and some of Bill’s family at Flea-Tique at Bull Creek. The Flea-Tique is put on by the Allegheny Kiski Valley Historical Society and is located at the Tour-Ed Mine near Tarentum, PA (Route 28, Exit 14). The market is held the third Sunday of each month, May through October. It’s a pleasant, grassy, tree lined location with a very relaxed feel to it.

Chris begins setting out our stuff on one of the tarps

Chris begins setting out our stuff on one of the tarps

    Chris and I had no room in the truck for tables, so we brought along three tarps upon which to show our merchandise. One tarp displayed “any item for one dollar; another tarp had mixed items at various prices, and the last tarp was full of Christian iconography, mostly crucifixes. I had been using them in some work about ten years back, and had planned to use the remainder in an installation which never got off the proverbial drawing board.

 

Someone looks over our crucifixes

Someone looks over our crucifixes

 

Chris wraps up our first sale of the day!

Chris wraps up our first sale of the day!

 

I show off the first dollar of the day!

I show off the first dollar of the day!

Mark is excited about his crucifix purchase as Paul looks on.

Mark is excited about his crucifix purchase as Paul looks on.

 

Our merchandise!

Our merchandise!

 

Chris and Paul observe Bill's sales technique.

Chris and Paul observe Bill's sales technique.

 

"This will double the size of my collection!" said this happy customer.

"This will double the size of my collection!" said this happy customer.

Of course, I had to go check out some of the other vendors wares.

Of course, I had to go check out some of the other vendors wares.

 

I spot a dollhouse!

I spot a dollhouse!

 

And it will be going back home to the studio.

And it will be going back home to the studio.

 

Mark counts up his sales!

Mark counts up his sales!

 

Mark and Paul's set-up looks so professional!

Mark and Paul's set-up looks so professional!

 

And so it goes.... another day at Bull Creek.

And so it goes.... another day at Bull Creek.

       Chris and I agreed that this was a lot of time and energy invested (and very little sleep) for a low return. However, it was a beautiful day, we did find new homes for some of our stuff, and it was fun to have Paul, Mark, and Bill as flea market neighbors. Plus, I did find a doll house and a few tins to cut up and use in some new work. Next month, though, I think we’ll just go looking!

15
Jul
09

On the Road Again!

 

 

Yours truly, with "glasses" by basket maker Sylvia Lehman

Yours truly, with "glasses" by basket maker Sylvia Lehman

    This past week, July 8 through 12, Chris and I were in State College, PA for the Central PA Festival of the Arts. We have been participating in this festival for 13 of the past 14 years, and it has become somewhat of a reunion as we reunite with our “art friends”. Less than 24 hours after returning home to Wheeling we attended a concert featuring Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Bob Dylan. Willie sang his signature song, On the Road Again, and the lyrics reminded me of how much I enjoy getting together with fellow artists at the CPFA:

On the road again
Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
We’re the best of friends
Insisting that the world be turnin’ our way

 

Me, Laura Barletta, Don Barletta, and Chris

Me, Laura Barletta, Don Barletta, and Chris

    For nine years, Laura and Don Barletta have been putting us up (and putting up with us). They, along with Bunny the Wonder Dog, provide us with a home away from home. 

    At the top of this blog you saw a picture of me wearing “basket glasses” by artist Sylvia Lehman. Several of us had a good time trying the spectacles on as you can see below:

 

My wife, Chris, with some of Sylvia's baskets in the background

My wife, Chris, with some of Sylvia's baskets in the background

 

Clay print ninja Mitch Lyons said the glasses made him feel like a super hero

Clay print ninja Mitch Lyons said the glasses made him feel like a super hero

 

It's me again, along with artist and glasses creator Sylvia Lehman

It's me again, along with artist and glasses creator Sylvia Lehman

    During the festival, Mitch Lyons (clay printing), and myself (assemblage) demonstrated how we create our craft. We were, however, just the opening act for fiber artist Susan Levi-Goerlich. Even Mitch, who is famous for throwing an onion ring (left over from lunch) onto his printing plate, could not bring in the huge crowd pulled in by Susan.

 

Fiber artist and worm queen Susan Levi-Goerlich mezmarizes the crowd

Fiber artist, Master Gardner, and worm queen Susan Levi-Goerlich mezmerizes the crowd

 

Susan making art on the Sears Ultra Art Creator 6000

Susan making art on the Sears Kenmore Ultra Art Creator 6000

  Susan has been our longest neighbor on Burrowes, and Chris and I look forward to our annual dinner with her on Friday night at Faccia Luna. (But we did miss our good friend and artist Kim Young of Richmond, VA, who is healing from a broken wrist.) And if you wonder how Susan got the title of Worm Queen you will need to ask her.

 Jewelry artist Loretta Fehling (who says all my work is about sex and that I need to change type fonts on my collage cards) brings her entire booth and contents to the show in a VW Bug! She somehow is able to convince people from a local church to put up her booth while she directs the crew like Martin Scorsese. Loretta is a fun addition to the Burrowes Street neighborhood, but we wish we could get her to come out of her shell. She is so quiet and reserved.

 

Loretta packed and ready to hit the endless black ribbon

Loretta packed and ready to hit the endless black ribbon

 

Loretta and some of the Burrowes Street gang

Loretta, her loaded bug, and some of the Burrowes Street gang

    My sales were at an all time low for this festival, barely covering expenses and with any real profit looming off some where in the distance. I did win a merit award, which always an honor and indeed helps in the financial department. Not much return for the amount of work involved, and yet Chris and I so much enjoy seeing our friends and being a part of such a well run event. Could we just drive to the festival and visit our friends? Sure, but it just wouldn’t be the same. Besides, loading and unloading a van, putting up and tearing down a booth, and filling it with art is a good workout!

 

My booth at the CPFA

My booth at the CPFA

    The weather at State College was beautiful all four days! Unseasonably low temperatures and low humidity made for very pleasant “booth sitting”. We did have a storm which came in early Saturday evening, and there was a prediction of 60 to 70 mile-an-hour winds. However, we only received a 20 minute downpour and the winds somehow missed us!

 

Furniture designers/artists Evy Rogers and Joe Jacobs peek out during the rain storm

Furniture designers/artists Evy Rogers and Joe Jacobs peek out during the rain storm

    Evy Rogers and Joe Jacobs have been our neighbors on Burrowes Street for the past four years. Joe helped us secure our booth a bit better when we received word of the approaching storm. 

 

Artist Mike Albin in his booth

Artist Mike Albin in his booth

    I was only able to see about half of the show this year, but one artist I met was Mike Albin. His booth made me stop for a second look. Mike is a photographer and his wife, Patty, is a talented painter. Patty paints the frames that surround Mike’s photographs and as a team they create some very interesting work. They do a great job of showing their process on their website. Check it out here: Mike and Patty Albin.

 

Some of Mike and Patty Albin's work

Some of Mike and Patty Albin's work

 

 

Breakfast at the Diner

Breakfast at the Diner

       On Sunday morning, the last day of the festival, fellow artists and friends met for breakfast at the Ye Olde College Diner. Clockwise from left is Mitch Lyons, Greg Lyons, a fat bald guy, Kate Snyder, Chris Snyder (Kate and Chris own the wonderful Natural Food and Garden Store in Lewisburg, PA), Chris Villamagna, Susan Levi-Goerlich, and Sylvia Lehman.