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Fall Marketplace to showcase local artwork

Mavis and Harley Waltjer show some of their handmade artwork including pottery, Byzantine-style necklaces, precious metal clay pendants and decorated wine bottles at their home in Worthington.1 / 2
A large fused glass artwork created by Mavis Waltjer is mounted on a metal frame.2 / 2

WORTHINGTON -- Since it was fully restored a few years back, the Historic Dayton House has been the site of many unique events -- weddings, graduation parties, luncheons, club meetings, open houses.

But each fall, the doors of the historic landmark are thrown wide open for probably the biggest and most unusual event -- the Fall Marketplace. This marks the fifth year for the Dayton House fundraiser, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

"This is the first time we're trying it on a Saturday," said Judi Hoevet, who shares event organization duties with Jan Lowe. "We try to find the best date for the public, and we'd never tried a Saturday, so we'll see if that better suits their needs."

Seventeen vendors have committed to be part of the Marketplace, which will feature a wide variety of goods, from the handmade -- pottery, for instance -- to the nature made -- pumpkins and gourds. There will be all kinds of artistic works, home décor and things to wear, such as mittens, jewelry and purses.

Also on hand will be some "house party" vendors, such as Tastefully Simple, Pampered Chef and Simply Said, as well as Schwans.

"We had some requests for those," said Hoevet. "It really will be one-stop shopping."

One of the newcomers showing her wares this year is Cheri Oleske of Worthington, who makes mittens out of recycled wool sweaters.

"It helps out the local charities, because I buy the sweaters at the Bibles for Missions thrift store or Recycled Treasures," explained Oleske, referring to two downtown secondhand stores that benefit charitable organizations.

The sweaters are washed to shrink and felt the material, then cut out and sewed together with a fleece lining. Buttons are used as embellishments.

"Some of the sweaters shrink up so much that you can't make one pair of mittens out of a sweater. They turn into little doll sweaters," Oleske noted with a laugh. "The fun part is designing them, putting together the different patterns."

Although the designs mostly appeal to women, some of the more masculine motifs have been worn by men. For the Dayton House show, Oleske will have a few smaller pair of mittens that would fit older children.

"Frankly, they're the warmest mittens you'll ever have," Oleske said. "And they're green -- we're recycling."

Also making a first appearance in the marketplace will be Junk With Purpose -- a collaboration between three Walnut Grove-area women, Amy Koblegard, Pam Steffen and Gayle Erickson -- which also specializes in recycled goods.

"It's some recycled stuff, some is just unique home décor," explained Koblegard. "Some is things we've repurposed. I wouldn't say it's trash to treasure, but more taking an item and finding a new purpose to use it again."

Junk With Purpose is located on Minnesota 14 in Walnut Grove, in the same location as Koblegard's studio, Jossie's Photography.

"I've had my photography studio for about five years, but we just started Junk With Purpose last May," Koblegard said. "Some of the things we find at auctions or sales and basically clean them, fix them, paint them. Some is new items -- not everything is repurposed and antiqued -- and some things we find out in our own garages."

The Junk With Purpose gals are looking forward to sharing their decorating ideas with the Fall Marketplace attendees.

"This is the first event like this we've done," Koblegard noted. "We just thought we'd try it out and let some people know we're here because we're new."

There will also be a number of returning vendors, such as Marcy Costello from Lakefield, with her handmade Peruvian goods and silver; Bonnie Jensen, a former Worthington resident who comes from the Twin Cities area to show her watercolor paintings; and Lori Rosenberg, who will have a selection of pumpkins and gourds for sale on the Dayton House porch.

The husband-and-wife duo of Harley and Mavis Waltjer will share the fruits of their retirement labors.

"I'm bringing a few of Harley's pottery pieces," explained Mavis. "He took up pottery in Arizona after we retired. We'll also have some of our jewelry, and I'm also bringing some knitted pieces. I've had purses in the past -- felted purses -- but this year I wanted to do something different, so I did some wraps."

Mavis knitted "off and on for years," when she owned and operated a hair salon in Worthington, but retirement has afforded her more time to pursue such interests.

"It's wonderful being retired, doing what I want to do," she said. "We spend six months here and six months in Arizona, and down there they have classes on everything from computers to watercolor and pottery. The possibilities are just endless, and we took advantage of that when we retired."

The jewelry, which Mavis describes as Byzantine jewelry out of sterling silver, is truly a collaborative effort.

"I do most of the designing, and Harley is so good at the mechanics that he puts them together," Mavis detailed. "We work on that together and do several shows in Arizona, too. We have a lot of fun doing it, and with a little golf on the side, we don't sit still."

The fifth annual Fall Marketplace Fundraiser will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Historic Dayton House, 1311 Fourth Ave., Worthington. An entry fee will be charged at the door.

Beth Rickers

Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at  

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