by Marilyn Steeg
“If I’m not making sawdust, I am not happy,” said Brad Smith, who will be exhibiting his unique Farm Fresh Furniture at the Highlands Craft Show in the Germantown Academy Field House on Oct. 6 and 7.
His farm-related creations are made using pitchforks for chair and bench backs and axe handles as stool legs, for example. His High Post Bed, seen in the accompanying photo, has a cherry headboard and posts topped with cast steel bird finials. The solid cherry posts are whitewashed and then lightly sanded.
Bradford Woodworking (email@example.com) is on a Worcester farm, where Brad grew up. His fascination with wood, first on the farm and then in high school, led to a career in woodworking. With their degrees from RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) in 1980, he and his wife Sandy started the business creating kitchen tools and accessories.
Six years later, Brad developed a line of distinctive furniture, beginning with his popular axe handle stool. He is now in the third decade of creating furniture in a “rusticated, post-agricultural-contemporary country” style. “I’ve been blessed with a good eye and solid hand skills, and I pour them into my furniture every day. I use salvaged materials because it has more character than new stuff, and the fact that it saves something from going into a landfill is a bonus,” he added.
Another most unusual participant in this year’s craft fair will undoubtedly please puzzle solvers of all ages. They will enjoy brain teasers designed by Allison Romig of Fort Washington, who likes to make kids think “before the days of Nintendo.” The puzzles are made of a variety of woods and come in all sizes and themes. They can be seen in some local restaurants (when the service is slow), in math classes and now at the Highlands Craft Show.
The 30-year-old craft show has a new venue this year, at Germantown Academy’s Field House, but it will continue to feature unique jewelry, decorative fibers, ceramics, handbags, sculpture, even tepees, and more.
The Field House, at 340 Morris Rd. in Fort Washington, is one mile down the road from The Highlands Mansion and Gardens. It may be accessed from Lafayette Avenue off of Old Bethlehem Pike. This move will allow the booths of all 70+ exhibitors to be in one area, in the comfort of the heated field house. There is ground-level access to the exhibit area; there will be a café selling light luncheon fare, and ample paved parking is immediately adjacent to the field house.
Hours of the show are 10 to 5 on Saturday, Oct. 6, and 10-4 on Sunday, Oct. 7; parking is free, and admission is $8. The show is a major fundraiser for maintenance of the 18th century Fort Washington estate.
For more information: 215-641-2687 or www.highlandshistorical.org/craft.