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Handmade haven: The Artisan Table at Geist celebrates third year of local crafters while giving back

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By Sadie Hunter

Early next month, Geist Christian Church will be giving back to the community for its third year in a row while also celebrating local artists and crafters at The Artisan Table at Geist.

The all-day event, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Nov. 5 will welcome nearly 40 vendors to the church’s 86th and Mud Creek Road campus, raising money for Fair Haven Foundation.

“I’ve been going to the church for about 15 years, and I am an artisan and crafter myself, so we want to have quality goods,” said event organizer Mary Ann Lucas, who makes jewelry using all-natural stone, freshwater pearls, leather and more and also sells clothing. “One of the reasons we started this event is we wanted to be able to give to outreach programs. So, every year, we keep a little bit of what we make back for the church so we can have an operating fund, but the majority of it goes to different organization. Some years we pick one, and some years we pick two or three. We’ve given to food pantries, refugee services, all kinds of different things like that. This year, Fair Haven Foundation is our No. 1 organization that we’re giving money to.”

The foundation provides free and temporary housing to patients who travel to Indianapolis and IU Health Centers and some St. Francis hospitals.

Fair Haven was chosen as the event’s beneficiary after one of the vendors, Tricia Trick-Eckert, who makes handmade cards, ornaments and more, donated part of the proceeds of what she made in previous years’ events to Fair Haven, catching the eye of one of the church’s pastors, who later suggested the event benefit the foundation.

“When I have my booth set up at (The Artisan Table), I always donate a portion of what I make to Fair Haven,” Trick-Eckert said. “It’s totally a hobby. I don’t work for Fair Haven, but I am on their board of directors. I’m just really involved and have been for about four years. My sister stayed at (Fair Haven), which is what got me to know the name and involved. Right before she died (2012), she really had a desire to give back to Fair Haven. So now, I’m continuing that on.

“A lot of people are coming for cancer treatments, kidney transplants or different sorts of transplants, high-risk pregnancy – big stuff where they’re going to need to stay near the hospital, but not necessarily in the hospital, or if they want to bring their family with them to care for them. So, Fair Haven has apartments, fully furnished, that they provide, and then they also provide compassionate support, like if you need a ride or need food or if you want someone to sit and pray with you.”

Lucas said the first year, the event brought in approximately 35 vendors. The second year about 54, and this year, the number is back down between 30 and 40.

“We try really hard for it to be all handcrafted if we can. We have a lot of talented people in the church. Maybe five or six vendors are members of the church,” Lucas said. New this year, Lucas said the event also will host raffles.

Lucas said in some ways, the event, in line with other craft shows, is typical in what it offers. However, the uniqueness of some vendors’ products is what Lucas said makes the show stand out.

“One vendor makes handmade fishing lures. They’re absolutely beautiful,” Lucas said. “Some people use them as Christmas ornaments or decoration. We also have a booth where everything is made from goat’s milk, soaps and lotions. It’s really fun to see what people do. We try really hard to be sure each booth doesn’t offer the same things.

In addition, Lucas said guests can expect jewelry, pottery, paper goods, gluten-free food, art, home décor, crocheted pieces and more.

THE ARTISAN TABLE AT GEIST

What: A large, handmade art and craft show benefitting Fair Haven Foundation.

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 5.

Where: 8550 Mud Creek Rd., Indianapolis.

Cost: The event is free to attend. Approximately 300 and 400 people attend each year.

Vendors: The event is hosting nearly 40 local artisans. Vendor applications are still being accepted. For more, email theartistantableatgeist@gmail.com.

Donate: If you can’t attend The Artisan Table at Geist but would still like to help Fair Haven Foundation, visit fairhavenfoundation.org.

More: Visit The Artisan Table at Geist Christian Church on Facebook or geistchurch.org.

BENEFICIARIES

Since 2014, The Artisan Table at Geist has benefitted the following organizations: Still Waters Adult Day Care Center, Lawrence North Food Pantry, The Sharing Place Food Pantry and Geist Christian Church Outreach Programs. This year, the event will benefit Fair Haven Foundation in Indianapolis.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

“I really wanted ‘artisan’ in our event name because our vendors really are artisans,” said event director Mary Ann Lucas. “They are creative and bring their visions to life with a lot of hard work and thoughtfulness. We take communion every week, and the communion table is central to welcoming all to partake in Christ’s gift to us as he broke bread and passed the wine to his disciples. Thus, The Artisan Table was born as our artisans offer their talents on their tables.”


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