Since the first Waterford Homes Tour & Crafts Exhibit in 1943, the number and variety of craft demonstrators has risen steadily. This is a “teaching Fair,” and so we choose artisans who will inform our visitors about traditional crafts through the demonstration of their work and techniques. And as you stroll through the village you may see a furniture maker carving a delicate design for a cabinet, a blacksmith twisting a glowing rod of iron, a potter shaping clay, a frame being painted, candles being dipped, or pewter being hammered into shape–all skills once commonplace in Virginia’s agricultural villages.
We select artisans not only for their mastery of skills and prominence in the field, but for their thorough knowledge of the craft and its significance in years past. Our craftspeople encourage and welcome visitors, both adults and children, to participate in a “hands-on” experience during the demonstrations.
What is a “Juried” Crafts Demonstrator?
As you walk through the village during the Fair, you will see that the artisans we have selected will feature in their booths signs identifying them as juried crafts demonstrators. They have undergone a rigorous jurying process in order to be accepted as an official Waterford Foundation craftsperson. We appreciate their cooperation in helping us present only craftwork and demonstrations of the highest quality. Your support of the official exhibitors acknowledges their excellent work and enables us to continue this fine tradition each year.
Old Mill Consignment Shop
During the Waterford Homes Tour & Crafts Exhibit, the Waterford Foundation also offers to visitors a selection of one-of-a-kind handmade crafts from more than 70 craftspeople–also chosen by a jury for their quality–sold in the Old Mill. These items are attractively displayed in this lovely and historic building, and sold by Foundation volunteers.
Dried Flower Barn
Hundreds of wreaths, floral arrangements, bouquets, nosegays and dried material (for those who like to create their own arrangements) fill the second floor of the Schooley Mill Barn. This is one of the oldest traditions at the Fair, in a structure that has been the location of various mills and other commercial establishments over the village’s long history.
The Country Store
Another one of the oldest Fair traditions is the Country Store. For years it has been located in the building on Second Street called the Chair Factory (one of the several commercial establishments housed in it over time). This year the Country Store moves to the village center, to the Corner Store, which has operated continuously as a store for more than a hundred years. In it this year you’ll find home-made baked goods, baskets, aprons, totebags, our very own Waterford wrapping paper. Be sure to visit!
Some of the Crafts You’ll Find at the Fair
Bride and band boxes
Brooms and walking sticks
Candles and ornaments
Dolls and toys
Dried flowers, wreaths and herbs
Folk art, fractur, theorems
Paper making, cutting, marbling
Pottery and porcelain
Weaving, spinning, knitting, embroidery
Are you an artist or artisan? See our exhibitors’ page for information on how to participate.