Chatham County Fair 2019 scores a basket

BY DAVID BRADLEY, News + Record Staff
Posted 10/4/19

PITTSBORO — When you think of a county fair, you think of the Ferris wheel, pony rides, midway, fair foods from funnel cakes to kettle popcorn, and ribbons and prizes for local art and culture from …

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Chatham County Fair 2019 scores a basket

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Posted

PITTSBORO — When you think of a county fair, you think of the Ferris wheel, pony rides, midway, fair foods from funnel cakes to kettle popcorn, and ribbons and prizes for local art and culture from the area.

As the 2019 Chatham County Fair came to a close Sunday night, some of the best work by local talented artists was on display in the fairground building. Artists from local elementary through high school levels showed their best work on the walls there, but there was also the exhibition of farm produce such as watermelon, corn and tomatoes.

The art of basket-weaving got a new spin through the fair, with the artistic vision that one local artist brought in a new perspective to the craft.

Basket-weaving is not well known in Chatham County, but Marion Goldston uses a variety of reed materials and dyes to create colorful designs of useful household products. The functionality is combined to making art that can change the perceptions of this field.

She doesn’t harvest her own reeds for the production, but rather purchases them in a warehouse in Vass. Then Goldston goes to work to create baskets of different sizes and shapes and uses. She goes for the hand-crafted look that really stands out, and adds colors to set off the natural colors of the reeds in her various projects.

“I use natural dyeing, any color, all sizes, colors and uses,’ she said. “I do twill patterns, overlays, and braided water.”

The dyes, used to accentuate her work, decorate her products, from large trash baskets, to smaller shelf sized baskets.

When the competition prizes were awarded at the fairgrounds, her baskets did well in the arts and crafts competition, and won two first-place ribbons, a second-place and honorable mention.

Goldston said that she learned how to do this 40 years ago, but put it on the shelf until 10 years ago. She didn’t pursue it when she learned it, she said, but, she was a teachers aide for some time before going back to this.

Now working and selling the products at home in Siler City and events like the Chatham County Fair, she’s doing well in the work, and she’s willing to teach anyone who is interested.

“I teach once a week at the Eastern Senior Center,” she said. “Anyone can come on Tuesdays at 5:30. It’s free, I just charge for materials.”

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