Monday, September 27, 2010

Meet Ferne Olson

A few days ago I met with Ferne Olson to preview what she will be selling at Winterfaire.  As I walked up to her front steps, I was greeted by bird baths and garden stepping stones in a large array of designs.  Ferne explained how during a craft guild workshop she got so enthused about making them she just couldn't stop at one.  The original bird baths use a large organic leaf as the basis for their design.  Ferne has tried many local leaves and plants to make her garden art individual and unique, so you will find oak leaves, rosemary, maple leaves and many more. 
Note the detail in this lovely piece.  I'm not sure what kind of leaf it is (maybe our readers will know), but to me it has a prehistoric feel of a fossil pattern embedded in rock. 

This piece isn't for sale because it was Ferne's first piece at the workshop.  It makes a really striking accent in her garden.

Ferne also has a large collection of "adult" bibs - each one different and reversible.  She says she was inspired to make something cheerful for elder folks to wear at a special holiday meal, or to make an everyday meal a special dress up occasion.  There are lots of holiday designs, and some that will be just plain fun to wear.

Ferne and her husband moved to Grass Valley about 6 years ago.  She had been owner of a shop that sold crafts and was worried about how she could manage a shop in Watsonville and still live here in the foothills.  Then something happened to the lease and Ferne took it as a sign that she could move on from her shop running days to a new life  She fondly remembers the good days when she and her mother sold jewelry at craft shows in and around Santa Cruz where she lived.  She did beaded jewelry, but also worked in gold and silver.  Then, the prices of gold and silver skyrocketed and beads from China became cheap to buy.  Her inventory of expensive beads no longer allowed her to make money in the new marketplace.  It was time for something new and today she is eagerly exploring new opportunities for selling crafts.

When you come to Winterfaire in October, please keep Ferne's booth in mind for a great gift for your favorite senior - or maybe something special for the gardener in your life.