Antiquers

ESSEX JUNCTION — On the opening day of the Fall Antique Expo and Craft Show last Friday, the crowd was far from lacking — sellers exhibited their goods while buyers made inquiries. Everywhere, conversation hummed.

Oct. 22-14 marked the show’s official return to Champlain Valley Expo. Last year was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the weekend, craft vendors and antique dealers returned to the floor.

One of these antique dealers, tucked in an island of books, is Ben Koenig. Koenig has been buying and selling used, antique and rare books since 1974. He keeps most of his stock at his bookstore, The Country Bookshop in Plainfield. He’s also the president of Vermont’s Antiquarian Booksellers Association.

“I have over 60,000 books at my shop,” Koenig said. “In a sense, I’m a large recycling operation.”

His finds, usually acquired at estate sales, have ranged from rare Japanese prints to an entire library dedicated to books about ferns. Among his favorite finds was a set of books signed by folk singer Pete Seeger, acquired at a former bandmates’ estate sale.

“Unique items, those kinds of things excite me,” Koenig said. “I’ve got a signed book by Robert Frost in the glass case over there. But the bread and butter is people who like to read. What really makes me happy is finding what other people want.”

In a far corner of the Antiques section, aging road signs lean against the wall. Tools and trinkets rest on an array of tables. The display is managed by Jean Tudhope, owner of Back Door Antiques in Middlebury.

“Those old Vermont signs, I bought 287 of them,” Tudhope said. “Now I’ve only got about 100.”

Tudhope has been antiquing for 45 years. She was first inspired by her mother, who attended antique auctions, and even furnished her entire family home with antiques.

“I was first at an auction when I was seven. From then on, I was hooked,” Tudhope said.

Over the weekend, she often paused to talk with her customers. Nearly all of them knew her. Some were fellow sellers, others were relatives and close friends.

“My favorite part of the expo is the people that come, quite frankly. Not just the buyers. For me, it’s the people,” Tudhope said.

For her and many other antiquers, the work isn’t just a hobby, it’s a means of connecting with the community.

“I know people in their 80s that still do shows,” Tudhope said. “Most people don’t retire from this.”

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Ben Koenig Buy Now

Ben Koenig (right) at his booth. 

  • Noah Lafaso
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41st Annual Fall Antique Expo Buy Now

The Antiques floor during the 41st Annual Fall Antique Expo and Craft Show at the Champlain Valley Expo.

  • Noah Lafaso
signed copy of Robert Frost’s long poem "New Hampshire" Buy Now

In the bottom right corner, Ben Koenig's signed copy of Robert Frost’s long poem "New Hampshire."

  • Noah Lafaso
Joyce Blaisdell Buy Now

Joyce Blaisdell serves a customer at the 41st Annual Fall Antique Expo and Craft Show Oct. 22 in Essex. 

  • Noah Lafaso
Joyce Blaisdell's hand-painted glasses Buy Now

Joyce Blaisdell's hand-painted glasses. 

  • Noah Lafaso
Brad and Joyce Blaisdell bowls Buy Now

Brad and Joyce Blaisdell, from Jeffersonville repurpose wood into bowls. 

  • Noah Lafaso
Fall Craft Show Buy Now

The Crafts floor at the Champlain Valley Expo last weekend. 

  • Noah Lafaso
Jean Tudhope Buy Now

Jean Tudhope, owner of Back Door Antiques in Middlebury.

  • Noah Lafaso
photo_6.jpg Buy Now
photo_5.jpg Buy Now

GALLERY: 41st Annual Fall Antique Expo and Craft Show

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> Ben Koenig Buy Now

Ben Koenig (right) at his booth. 

  • Noah Lafaso
> photo_4.jpg Buy Now
> 41st Annual Fall Antique Expo Buy Now

The Antiques floor during the 41st Annual Fall Antique Expo and Craft Show at the Champlain Valley Expo.

  • Noah Lafaso
> signed copy of Robert Frost’s long poem "New Hampshire" Buy Now

In the bottom right corner, Ben Koenig's signed copy of Robert Frost’s long poem "New Hampshire."

  • Noah Lafaso
> Joyce Blaisdell Buy Now

Joyce Blaisdell serves a customer at the 41st Annual Fall Antique Expo and Craft Show Oct. 22 in Essex. 

  • Noah Lafaso
> Joyce Blaisdell's hand-painted glasses Buy Now

Joyce Blaisdell's hand-painted glasses. 

  • Noah Lafaso
> Brad and Joyce Blaisdell bowls Buy Now

Brad and Joyce Blaisdell, from Jeffersonville repurpose wood into bowls. 

  • Noah Lafaso
> Fall Craft Show Buy Now

The Crafts floor at the Champlain Valley Expo last weekend. 

  • Noah Lafaso
> Jean Tudhope Buy Now

Jean Tudhope, owner of Back Door Antiques in Middlebury.

  • Noah Lafaso
> photo_6.jpg Buy Now
> photo_5.jpg Buy Now

The other section of the show, crafts and artisan shops, was just one hallway away.

Sellers showcased everything from handmade doll accessories to locally distilled liquor. In one booth is Brad and Joyce Blaisdell, a Jeffersonville couple with a passion for custom glassware and woodworking.

Their woodworking is a team effort. Using a lathe, Brad turns salvaged wood into bowls. After turning is completed, Joyce applies a finish.

“This one is actually a repurposed headboard.” Joyce said, pointing to one of their pieces.

Most of their material comes from firewood, old furniture and wood that they find from scrounging. Each piece is unique. Shapes, wood grains and shades all depend on the individual tree. After all, each was once a living, growing being.

“When I go to put a finish on the wood, it’s like the tree comes alive again,” Joyce said.

The couple’s custom glasses, however, are all the work of Joyce. With a delicate hand, she paints intricate flower patterns on their outer surfaces. After painting, she bakes them in the oven to get her paint to stick. It’s difficult work. Each piece requires patience.

“Even the slightest bit of natural oils will cause the paint to not adhere,” she said.

Editor's Note: Noah Lafaso is a student at the University of Vermont and a reporter for the Community News Service, a student-powered partnership with community newspapers. 

Source : https://www.essexreporter.com/things_to_do/arts/gallery-41st-annual-fall-antique-expo-and-craft-show-returns-to-essex/article_e32a3a4c-374b-11ec-a047-43565a19dd32.html

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Junktique Antique Show and Market returns to Florence this weekend

Source:KOAA 5

Junktique Antique Show and Market returns to Florence this weekend