When world gives traffic, smile

KILAUEA — Thursday was the only day that all the ladies and vendors had time.Thursday was also the start of the weekend and traditionally, traffic through Kilauea seems to pick up as people make their way to the shopping areas and the Kilauea Lighthouse.

This provided a win-win situation for a small group of crafters and vendors who set up shop every Thursday at a busy street corner.

Five vendors set up shop in an area across the busy Menehune Mart, their presence marked by blue Quik Tents and a handmade sign pointing them out to passing motorists.

“We can’t have the event too big,” said Mary Felcher of North Shore Creations, one of the vendors. “We try to make sure every one has Kaua‘i-Made products.”

Felcher’s primary offerings include shell jewelry as well as offerings of shell mirrors, picture frames and jewelry boxes.

“A portion of the table fees go to the building fund of the Christ Memorial Episcopal Church across the street,” said Kirsten Westrip who was manning a table for Laurel Lemons, the event coordinator. “Right now the church is trying to raise money to fix its roof, so this is where the funds are going to.”

Lemons, as the event coordinator, had the largest variety of offerings that spanned a spectrum covering sewn goods like the foot mops and Christmas stockings to jewelry that incorporated glass beads, crystals and semi-precious stones.

“We have a brand-new vendor, today,” said Becky Rogers, another vendor who had a variety of sewn pareau dresses and sarongs with a sprinkling of ribbon bookmarks. “The pareau dresses are new and so are the bookmarks,” Rogers said from behind a table containing various cosmetic products. “There are different lengths of bookmarks, too, so people can use the shorter ones for their cell phones.”

Peter Nelson, a photographer for more than eight years, was the new vendor Rogers was referring to.

“This is my first time,” Nelson said. “Usually I am at the Saturday Market in Hanalei, and since I learned about this fair, I thought I’d give it a try.”

Nelson’s work includes numerous Kaua‘i scenes that he photographed using slide and negative films.

However, his special touch includes frames he designed himself and the photos that are incorporated with the frames using a “shellac” technique, he said. For people who prefer to frame their own, Nelson offers matted photos in various sizes.

“There are a lot of photos in a lot of homes here,” he said. “But the best was when this lady came from Florida to buy prints to add to her original one she bought three years ago.”

Nelson said he also sells on the Mainland, and has Mainland views, but for Kaua‘i, he prefers to stay with Kaua‘i scenes.

Felcher said they’ve been meeting every Thursday for about two years, and selected Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. because it was the day most of the ladies could make it.

“Sometimes we leave at 3, but it depends on the traffic,” Rogers said. “But most of the time, we’re here until 4 p.m., and sometimes longer.”

Elaine Pesnell rounded out the crafters offering their unique products from the shade of the towering Norfolk pines where customers parked.

Pesnell’s offerings included glass jewelry and hangings she created using dichroic or beach glass.

“The beach glass is real old glass,” Pesnell said. “Both the dichroic and beach glass are set in sterling silver.”

She noted that while growing up in Japan, she discovered that glass floaters that people collect are recycled from glass bottles. When the floats crack, it becomes part of the beach glass that washes up on the beaches.

Because her offerings are the old glass, she believes many of the pieces are “third generation glass,” starting out as bottles before being turned into floaters and finally, jewelry.

Among her offerings are wall hangings featuring glass squares she makes at home using the technique she learned from Kathy Cowan and the Recycling for the Arts program in Ahukini.

“I am actually a painter,” Pesnell said. “But you need to do something to pay the bills.”

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