By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
Mary Faye Templeton doesn’t sell her glass bead jewelry at many shows, but she’s been a faithful exhibitor at Art on the Avenue, the annual Christmastime show in Sharon organized by Donna J. Little.
The building, the former Christian Science Church at 80 S. Irvine Ave., is “perfect,” the setup is intimate and there is a spirit of camaraderie among the artists, said Templeton, of Jefferson Township.
It doesn’t hurt that people come in the mood to shop for unique, handmade items for Christmas gifts, she said.
“Last year, I did a lot of Christmas shopping there,” she said.
“I’m glad that Donna does this,” Templeton said of the show that starts a two-weekend run today. “I know it’s a big undertaking.”
The show includes the work of fine artists and craftspeople and runs 4 to 9 p.m. Friday and Dec. 20, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 21 and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 22.
Templeton, who will display for the first weekend, has exhibited at Art on the Avenue for almost every year Little has held it, although she sold watercolor paintings most of that time.
For someone who never wore jewelry until she started making it about two years ago, it’s quite a turnabout.
A green beaded necklace that a friend, Betty Stephan of West Valley, N.Y., had made got her thinking about jewelry.
“I don’t know what it was about this one,” she said, wearing the piece. “I just got hooked. Once I got going, it was addictive.”
Stephan gave her some lessons and to get Templeton started. Templeton showed a friend, Patty Brady, and the pair display together under the name of the Black Dog Bead Weavers.
“Our styles are very similar,” Templeton said. “I’m more earthy tones. Her colors are more vibrant.”
Templeton also makes necklaces based around cabochons – agate, jasper or polymer stones – and will incorporate vintage jewelry such, as her mother-in-law’s earring.
The Czechoslovakian beads can be tiny, strung together with a needle, but Templeton said she tends to get into a rhythm while working.
“The beads almost fly on the needle,” she said.
Because of the use of a needle, the work requires a lot of concentration.
“You have to pay attention,” she said. “The needle will remind you.”
The work produces something more than just the finished piece, Templeton said.
“It’s therapeutic,” she said. “My husband will come back and get me at, like, 10:30, and say, ‘It’s time to put the beads away.’ You just get lost into it.”
The work is more involved than just stringing beads. Depending on how elaborate her design is, “Some of it is close to embroidery,” she said.
While people tend to think her pieces are delicate, she assures it’s durable. She said she and Brady put up a sign at last year’s Art on the Avenue that told viewers, “Pick me up. Try me on.”
“I won’t say I won’t ever take that (watercolors) up again but, currently, this has my interest,” Templeton said.