What happens when the weather is perfect for all nine days of The League of New Hampshire Craftsman’s 77th Fair at beautiful Mount Sunapee Resort and you are in the GNHW tent with woodworkers demonstrating their skills, crafty raffle ticket sellers, and 40 items made and donated by members? A wonderful fun time and record setting raffle sales is what happens!

As in the past, fairgoers gathered in front of woodturners, around luthiers, woodcarvers, and hand tool demonstrators. Questions were asked and enthusiastically answered. How many were seeing these skills for the first time? It was good to see many young people and parents linger for extended periods of time. This year we had new member, Hal Liberty, making toys that go to “Toys for Tots,” the Red Cross, and several other organizations where children are in need. Hal will be hosting a Small Meeting this October 27th. He has an interesting story to tell.

Special this year were articles celebrating the Guild’s 20th year, including the first Old Saw and the present Journal. Several founders paid a visit. We also displayed the award winning “Nested Spheres,” turned by the Granite State Woodturners for this year’s AAW Symposium in Hartford, CT. See the June 2010, issue of The Old Saw for the story of this amazing project. Also, as an example of the Guild’s outreach, two stunning bowls made by Katie Durgin, a senior at Salem High School, won the Guild’s award in the New England High School Woodworking Design Competition. She visited the tent with her mother on Friday and received many compliments and much encouragement by our members.

It was fun to watch as people were approached to buy raffle tickets. Some of course knew about us and immediately started filling out tickets as part of their fair ritual. What was fun were those who gave you the skeptical look, or the friendly dismissive smile, or the “maybe later” answer. Then they see the Windsor chair, the Shaker table, the candle stand, and the two Windsor stools. They approach. They look down to see the many and varied shaped bowls, Shaker pegs and oval boxes, cutting boards, Christmas ornaments, pen set, bottle stopper, child’s music box, doll cradle, child’s foot stool. It is further pointed out that the articles go from the music stand at one end to the cherry mirror next to the Shaker wall clock on the other! They were overwhelmed! Pocket books and purses open, hands reach for wallets. They didn’t stand a chance. Every item donated was first rate! Over 1900 people bought tickets!

Thank you Guild members. You responded to work in the tent and your selling skills are obvious. You brought your tools and skills and shared your love of woodworking with the fairgoers. You labored and created work to keep the vital mission of the Guild ongoing. I too am overwhelmed, by your generosity, your kindness and your good humor. I am so fortunate to be part of this fine organization.

Al Hansen

Sunapee