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Show lets artists get crafty
Annual Fireside event celebrates its 35th year
Yarn keepers by Clarkesville potter Cindy Angliss will be featured at the 35th Annual Fireside Craft/Art Show, going on Saturday and Sunday at Unicoi State Park & Lodge in Helen.
Fireside Craft/Art Show
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: Unicoi State Park & Lodge, 1788 Ga. 356, Helen
How much: Free admission; $5 parking
More info: 800-573-9659, ext. 305

The Fireside Craft/Art Show has brought dozens of artists to the North Georgia mountains for more than three decades.

This weekend marks the 35th anniversary of the show, when Helen’s Unicoi Lodge fills with artists of many mediums, including quilters, potters and painters — even a toy maker.

Two local artists, Jolly Nichols and Cindy Angliss, who both own shops in the North Georgia area, have been attending Fireside for years.

Nichols, a wooden toy maker who owns Jolly’s Toys in Helen, will make her 33rd appearance at the show this weekend.

“It’s just a real cozy arts and crafts show, and you get a lot of people from a lot of different places,” she said.

Nichols will bring folk toys such as old-fashioned tops and “idiot sticks,” a toy designed to trick your friends, and wooden trains and plaques that she will personalize with children’s names.

“We do demonstrate some of the folk toys at the show,” she added. “They have hardwood floors, and I have spun that top for over two minutes on that floor.”

Nichols said big sellers at the show include “weapons,” like cross bows with eraser-tipped arrows, and marshmallow guns.

Nichols creates many of the toys in her Helen shop, using a band saw, a drill press, a radial arm saw and three different sanders.

To prepare for the show, she said, “I just make sure that I have plenty of things for kids to play with.”

Angliss, a Clarkesville potter who owns Hickory Flat Pottery, has been showing at Fireside for more than 20 years. She said she puts in a lot of time to get ready for the show.

“Because I have the shop here, I have to make sure that I’m supplying the gallery here and also have a good showing of pots for the Fireside show, so it’s almost like getting ready for two shows at once,” Angliss said.

Angliss will bring two of her newest creations, yarn keepers and monkey bread pots.

She said the yarn keepers are designed to use while knitting or crocheting.

“They hold a ball of yarn and they have a slot for the yarn to come through and they sit on a table,” Angliss said.

Another new creation for Angliss will show up on many of her pots — her newest glaze color, Ash Red.

Angliss creates Ash Red by applying real ashes from the fireplace, which creates a drippy effect over a red glaze made with copper.

She said people enjoy Fireside because its location makes it fun for visitors, who come from as far as North Carolina and South Carolina.

“There have been years when the jonquils have been blooming, and there have been other years when there has been snow, and that just makes it kind of fun for people coming up to the mountains,” Angliss said.