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Genue Inc.
February 15, 2020

Genue Perspectives: Waldorf Craft Fair on Cape Cod

 

 

On a particularly blustery day in December, I headed to New England’s seacoast town of Falmouth, Cape Cod, to attend my first ever Waldorf craft fair! I wasn’t sure what to expect: some of my cousins had attended a Waldorf school for a short time, so I had heard many stories about their unique take on education. The “Waldorf way” (so to speak) heavily focuses on teaching children in an anti-technology, pro-nature environment: all toys and tools used in the classrooms are made of natural wood and metal, fairytales and folklore myths are used to teach morals, and students are taught traditional arts such as knitting and sword dancing.

 

 

From the very entrance, I could sense the warm, folksy feeling the event had. The hand-painted signs were decorated with dyed wool. Twinkling Christmas lights and paper lanterns lit up the great church hall. Every entrance way was covered with boughs of pine and ribbons. There was a stage in the front of the hall, draped with linen fabrics and stars—this was where the “angel” was hidden, where children could be escorted to meet this costumed angelic figure and get to pick out a present from her. (I guess it’s like the Waldorf version of taking your kids to meet Santa Claus…?)

 

The sheer joy of the kids attending really moved me – I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a large group of children being so…quiet?! Everyone seemed so content. There were so many activities for them to partake in! In the church’s backyard was archery targets, and next to the angel room was candle and snowglobe making. In the very back was a hand-painted display of ocean waves and fish. There was a plastic kiddie pool filled with little bags of goodies that kids could “fish” out using little fishing poles with magnets at the end. It was so sweet!

 

 

There was a wide variety of different handicrafts available for sale and delicious homemade baked goods. I tried kombucha for the first time…and it was pretty good! Knit and crochet hats and scarves made from hand-spun wool were very popular, along with linen smocks and aprons for all ages. There were also plenty of felted ornaments and dolls as fairies, angels, and gnomes, along with the famous Waldorf cloth baby dolls that the schools are known for making. Natural and ethical materials were very important to all of the vendors selling their wares.

 

You could really feel the strong sense of community behind the event. Everyone had a part to play—from the vendors to the “actors” running the events for the children. Families sat around large tables, enjoying handmade cookies and cakes, and watched their kids interact with the “Pocket Lady” (a woman who wore a long cape filled with many pockets that children could pick a little prize from) and the many wooden toys on the floor. The children traveled in groups among the vendors, many giving them free candy and bread, and sat in little circles in the corners of the room. There was a sense of freedom—like there wasn’t any pressure to present yourself a certain way. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly!

 

 

I walked away with two items: a beautiful handmade mug by The Barn Pottery, and seashell earrings by Lucia Moon Designs. The mug is truly a work of art, from the painted illustration on the side to the handle! Everything about it is lovingly made, with layers upon layers of detail. On the side is a painting of a fairy queen with butterfly wings—it reminded me a little of Henry Darger’s characters, so I just had to have it! And the seashell earrings are so unique. The colors are so vibrant and sparkling when they catch the light!

 

At the end of the day, I feel lucky to have seen this quick snapshot into the Waldorf community. It was such a beautiful afternoon, full of warmth and joy. I felt refreshed and inspired after being in the energy of so many kind and creative people. If you ever find a Waldorf craft fair near you, I encourage you to give it a look—because it’s such a unique experience!

 

If you enjoyed this Genue Perspectives article, check out some of our other travel editions: exploring the Glynhir Estate in Wales, England, visiting the beautiful Beauport Sleeper-McCann house in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and the best places to go in Denver, Colorodo!

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