Haute Event: Wearable Fashion Reigns at Palm Beach Fine Craft Show

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Paper and pearl necklaces by Myung Urso

Miles away from the world of outdoor art fairs, the Palm Beach Fine Craft Show is an upscale shopping experience with more than 115 fine craftsmen from across the country. With highly-skilled jewelers, textile artists and leatherworkers, the fashion offerings alone are well worth a visit. Add to that artwork in nearly every other imaginable form, and the Palm Beach Fine Craft Show becomes the must-see daytime event of the weekend. Here are a few picks for the artisans you just can’t miss:

Jewelry by Judith Kauffman
Jewelry by Judith Kauffman

As predicted, Judith Kaufman was one of the standouts among jewelers. According to the artist, her pieces are inspired by both organic and architectural forms. “I love to work in colored gold,” she says, pointing out a yellow, green and rose gold cuff that is among her favorite pieces. With infusions of the ancient and futuristic (as well as sparkling diamonds and colorful gems), Kaufman’s jewels are appropriate for day or eveningwear.

Yellow, green and rose gold cuff by Judith Kauffman
Petal-like paper holds pearls in a necklace by Myung Urso

While Kaufman’s pieces occasionally embrace architectural, solid forms, Myung Urso’s work is completely natural. Her pieces are unique in that they are truly wearable art, created from unusual combinations of metals, stones, pearls and paper. One grouping of necklaces showcases clusters of blossom-like paper forms, each holding a tiny pearl. Urso also shows striking black and gold pendants made from sterling silver and gold leaf, and necklaces with lava rock beads.

Palm Beach Fine Craft Show 2
Nina Gelardi's leather sandals with interchangeable charms

One of few local artists in the show, Nina Gelardi of Juno Beach creates beautiful hand-dyed and painted leather sandals. With styles similar to Jack Rogers and Stephen Bonnano, Gelardi makes the shoes her own by adding interchangeable decorative charms. With everything from understated to show-stopping, Gelardi is sure to have a style to please every shopper.

Painted leather sandals by Nina Gelardi

Representing the textile artisans is Elyse Allen. With a plethora of wrap and shawl options from dozens of designers at the show, Allen stands out for her combination of cashmere and Swarovski crystals. Her products include hats, fingerless gloves, headbands and scarves.

Mixed media art by Beverly Hayden
Mixed media art by Beverly Hayden

Of course, no art show would be complete without decorative artists, and one favorite is Beverly Hayden. Hayden’s work is mixed media, with works that are cheery, unusual and interesting. Where the work of many mixed media artists is too strange for display in your own home, Hayden’s work is just the right blend of fun and beautiful. “I love working in layers,” the artist says, explaining that each piece is created from layers of paint, paper, found or created objects, and some also include a layer of beeswax (a technique known as “encaustic”).  A favorite among her clients are the prize-wheel-esque wall hangings, which can be personalized according to your preferences. Works on display include a variety of drink choices, board game options and vacation destinations. Spin the wheel to decide what ice cold beverage is on the menu.

Spin this wheel by Beverly Hayden to choose a drink
Spin this wheel by Beverly Hayden to choose a drink

Visit the show to see all of these artists and many more on Saturday, March 5 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, March 6 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information visit CraftsAmericaShows.com.

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