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They jokingly call themselves two ladies from a sweatshop in Michigan.
But really, Sharon Schadewald and Ginger Goodin are jewelry artists who see beauty in ordinary objects.
They transform antique kitchen utensils into rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings.
PHOTO GALLERY: Art on the Mall at UT
Neighbors from Petersburg, Mich., they took their wares to the 21st annual Art on the Mall, a free art fair Sunday at the University of Toledo.
Ms. Goodin said few realize how labor intensive their work is.
They use a drill press, grinders, benders, and other machinery to shape and shine the utensils they find at estate sales and auctions.
Ms. Schadewald and Ms. Goodin manned just one of the 114 artist booths on UT’s Centennial Mall.
Artists sold works of glass, photography, pottery, basketry, painting, and more, ranging in price from $10 to $1,000s.
Ansley Abrams-Frederick, UT’s director of alumni programming, estimated attendance at more than 12,000. “I know a lot of [alumni] who come back specifically for this show,” she said.
Toledo School for the Arts students played drums and performed Afro-Caribbean dance while fair-goers browsed and bought.
Angie Hyatt of Sylvania bought a ceramic plaque with a pear and the words “You are pear-fect” for her kitchen.
Some had a buying strategy. Rebecca Fahrer, who works in UT admissions, circled the quad and marked the booths with yard art that she liked on a map so she could return.
Three Ann Arbor Arts Center judges awarded prizes to eight artists.
Toledo area jewelry artist Amy Beeler of Oregon won UT Best of Show, a $500 award.
The event drew some new artists this year, such as area resident Bill Watkins of Holland, who runs an auto body shop by day and creates rainbow-colored aluminum art by night.
But it also attracted long-time veterans.
Larry Mack, a UT graduate, has been showing his glass and metal butterfly feeders, wind chimes, and other mixed media art at the event for 20 years.
He calls it his “reunion show” because he runs into old friends, co-workers, and former UT classmates.
“It’s a real high for me to be able to see people again,” he said.
Mr. Mack said he would be at Art on the Mall every year as long as he lived, not only to show his own work but to see other artists’ work.
“I’m amazed by the artists,” he said. “I’m amazed by the creativity that people have.”
Contact Arielle Stambler at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6050.