Kraftucky draws crowd on opening day

Photo by Greg Eans, Messenger-Inquirer | Karen Hines with Dogwood Loom N’ Needle out of Henderson uses a loom to weave kitchen towels Friday as a vendor at the 6th Annual Kraftucky Arts and Crafts Expo at the Owensboro Convention Center.

This weekend’s sixth annual Kraftucky Arts & Crafts Expo at the Owensboro Convention Center will be a first for Louisville artist Jerome Mikesell.

Mikesell, with his Yardbird creations, was among the 150 vendors that filled the main exhibition hall Friday on opening day.

His original productions are made from metal and various car parts — some recognizable such as bumblebees and birds, and others creatures formed from his imagination.

He places his creations on metal rods for sticking into the ground as lawn decorations or affixes them to a spring to hang from porches and trees.

“We go to junkyards and we get our parts from an engine place in Jasper, Indiana,” said Mikesell, who was being helped by his 12-year-old daughter Alyssa. “It’s working every day just to get enough pieces to go to a show like this."

Much of the large crowd was drawn by the local and regional artisans and craftspeople who brought a wide assortment of woodcrafts, furniture, holiday decorations, quilts, jewelry, floral arrangements, painting, candles, pottery and embroidery.

Becky Moseley of Owensboro was lured by the chance of finding a unique gift.

“I have a granddaughter who just got her driver’s license, and I’m looking for an unusual keychain for her,” Moseley said.

Charlotte Harlan of Bremen found a handmade yard flag with the image of a Scottie canine, which happens to be her favorite breed.

“It was something I didn’t have; it was something different,” said Charlotte, who was joined by her husband, Tim, and daughter, Chelsea.

Chelsea Harlan said she was excited after finding a T-shirt that she purchased there.

“I like seeing the local artists,” she said. “It’s always fun to see what the locals have produced for the year. All of the handmade stuff is the best.”

Alan Hedgespeth, a woodcarver from Henderson, passed the time by carving new pieces to sell as he waited for customers.

His tables were filled with hand-carved toys shaped into trains, airplanes and trucks.

Hedgespeth said this was his second year as a vendor, and he decided to return after having success last year.

“I don’t go to as many craft shows anymore, but I like this one because it’s indoors and it’s close,” said Hedgespeth, who’s been a woodcarver for 25 years.

Kraftucky will continue from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $3 for adults.

Children 12 and under are admitted free with a paying adult.

Tickets will be available at the door.

For more information, check or call 270-687-8800.

Don Wilkins,, 270-691-7299

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