Monday, December 17, 2012

A Maui Tradition: The Waldorf School Holiday Faire

Quainte Waldorf Holiday Faire sign.

The Waldorf School Holiday Faire in Kula enjoys the reputation for being the creme de la creme of holiday craft fairs on Maui.  So they can get away with any perceived snobberie in calling their event a "faire," which also has the advantage of sounding a bit old-fashioned and quainte, in a Dickensian kind of way. Also, they can charge a $3 admission fee per adult; kids get in free. For the first time ever, I trekked up there  to satisfy my elfish curiousity.  

Joy Webster with her Bags of Joy booth of recycled and upcycled fabrics turned into bags. She said the fabrics include manufacturers' samples and other new fabrics that were not intended to be re-purposed.  

While I did not encounter any elves, there may have been people dressed in antiquated garb that I totally missed while doing a gallop through the craft booths. I didn't have a lot of time to enjoy the holiday ambience, but did get to meet some people who I knew from elsewhere. As is typical of my experience on Maui, casual acquaintances pop up in unexpected places, and often with surprising talents that one would have never known otherwise. I ran into a friend who I discovered is also making jewelry, one of the #1 side professions on Maui besides massage therapy.  

Crowded parking along Kula Highway at the Waldorf Faire. 

Parking was meager and difficult, as I had been forewarned, but it didn't keep people away, unless they were guys and avoid craft fairs like the plague. I also got a chance to meet Tania Ginoza of Maui Shop Girl, who I had been wanting to meet in real life, since I only knew her in a digital way. For me, it's nice to put a face on an online persona. We had a nice chat before I needed to do a mad dash. 

I don't recommend going to the Waldorf Faire on a time crunch, but it is possible, especially if one doesn't have to park. I didn't get the full experience, but I got to see children making gnome still life crafts, like "gnome on a rock" or "gnome on a log" or "gnome on a ring of tree trunk" and people dipping holiday candles. Candle making isn't a hot hobby these days for people other than Martha Stewart types or artisan crafters, but there were plenty of Waldorf School families doing the candle thing. It's good quaint family time. The other surprising thing was the entire booth with wool fluff, there's a real word for this, ah yes, roving... wool roving, to make wool felted bunnies and gnomes and needle felting types of things, which may be part of the Waldorf educational philosophy.  A Waldorf education is considered a good thing these days, and the side benefit is that the children know how to make gnomes out of all sorts of things. 

Craft booths were plentiful and mostly interesting, although I felt a bit overwhelmed, but it was not as intense as the Seabury Craft Fair which happens before Mother's Day.  Most crafts were clearly handmade, but there were a couple of booths which stood out for clearly having imported items - the jewelry was simply too inexpensive for the labor and materials involved. There was also musical entertainment and plenty of food booths as well as a silent auction, bake sale, farm stand, and wreath booth, plus lots of children's activities. I think the only full way of getting the Waldorf Holiday Faire experience is to bring a child and make some gnomes.   

Christmas ornaments, woven from lauhala (leaves from the hala tree), 
a traditional Hawaiian craft. 

Ane Takaha's Bhakti Rocks

Pascaline Laloux, a trained textile designer, with her exquisite
hand-painted leather pouches. 

Affirmative plaques by artist Katie Freeman

Waldorf Holiday Faire 2012

1 comment:

  1. I didn't buy much this year at Waldorf. Primarily the pottery I picked up from Peahi while you were with me. Very nice meeting you btw! I felt a feeling of sameness this year and I was longing for something new. The private home craft party I went to before Waldorf had many of the same vendors as last year but they all did different things this year so I enjoyed that a bit more. I enjoyed the live music the most this year. I don't know if I'll return next year, I may choose to go to Oahu's Okinawan Cultural Center fair instead. My gift list is short and sweet so one or two fairs a year are good for me.


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