Artisan Fair unveils new products, vendors

PO‘IPU — Kristy Maligro and her friends, Leah Brown and Shannan Morgan, brought their keiki clothing line out of their home on Saturday in Po‘ipu.

The trio unveiled The Wren Collection of children’s wear, which they have been creating and selling out of Maligro’s home for about a year.

“They’re one of the new vendors at The Artisan Craft Fair,” said Judy Webb, the coordinator for this summer’s second Po‘ipu craft fair. “We have 44 vendors at the event. I usually try to hold the number of vendors to no more than that.”

Maligro said The Artisan Craft Fair is the first craft fair they’ve participated in after launching their line, described as “art, fashion, decor.”

“Kristy is the artist,” Brown said. Once everything is done, it’s printed by Kristy’s husband, Kyle, who has Doxaprint, described as “more than just a print shop.”

Maligro said they’ve also had some items in Oscar’s Boutique in Kilauea, and people can visit their website at thewrencollection.com for more information.

Lani Lugo, sharing a table next to her son who offered shell carvings of Hawaiian artifacts, brought out her line of preserved lacquered orchids, drawing a steady stream of people captured by the unique floral presentations.

“Those are real orchids which she had laminated,” said Webb, a crafter for more than 11 years.

Lugo said they developed the line featuring live orchid flowers after a chemist worked with them on developing the preservative formula.

“The pieces take about three weeks to complete,” Lugo said. “We inject the preservative into the flower and it needs to sit for a period of time before we finish it with the lacquer coating which brings out the natural coloration of the flowers.”

She is no stranger to large crowds of shoppers, appearing three times a week as a vendor at Lu‘au Kalamaku at the Kilohana Estates in Puhi.

Webb said the fair in August is not the busiest since it’s so close to school starting, but she has her regular vendors who come out including Aunty Lilikoi, the Salty Wahine, Kerry Oda Photography, and The Monkeypod Jam.

Aletha Thomas of The Monkeypod Jam is normally at the Community Market on Saturday, but on this day was handling the Po‘ipu location while her husband Robert anchored the Kaua‘i Community College site.

“Our next one will be in November when crafters will all have their Christmas offerings,” Webb said.

Robbrecht Troost said he was born in Holland and moved to Hawai‘i after discovering clay while in college.

“I’m part of the ‘Made on Kaua‘i’ program,” said Troost, whose previous appearance was at the recent Koloa Plantation Days fair.

His pottery featuring crystalline glazes were the stoppers, each one unique.

“I’ve got traditional patterns which I’ve worked with for more than 40 years,” he said. “But the ones people look at are the crystaline glazes which I’ve worked with for just about 15 years.”

He said these are special glazes formulated to grow crystals on the surface of the pottery.

Once the glaze is applied, the pottery is fired to a high temperature to get the crystals to reach their melting point. During the cooling period, the crystal nuclei start to form and the piece is turned back on and held at a high temperature for a couple of hours, the temperature determining the final outcome of the crystaline pattern.

“My electric bill is super high,” he said, laughing. “But I guess I need my kilns.”

Webb, who also coordinated the craft tent at the Koloa Plantation Days celebration, said the last craft fair she’ll work this year will be the Christmas event in November.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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