Autumn has officially arrived here in the northern hemisphere as of last Saturday, September 22, which means this upcoming weekend is the end of “Fest,” the Minnesota Renaissance Festival — and this year I will have been lucky (or crazy!) enough to attend every weekend!*
I’ve seen a ton of amazing dragon artwork at the myriad shops all season, so I asked the creators if I could feature them on my site, and many happily agreed! So instead of a Writing Thoughts this month, here is the first of a multi-part series about Fest artists!
First up is Rachel M. Goble of Secret Woodland Guardians. She creates “custom, interesting, and creative pieces” out of weatherproof concrete and UV protected paints, like this amazing blue tealight holder called Crystal Cave (that according to her Facebook post, sold shortly after I took this photo!).
Here’s Rachel at her shop showing off another adorable dragon, this time in a treasure chest! This is her second year out at Fest, and last year she blogged about getting her shop ready for her big debut. It looks like it was a lot of work, but it turned out really great!
Rachel told me she began working on children’s playground equipment at a company called Landscape Structures Inc. more than five years ago, and after crafting in concrete for them, she learned how to make her own concrete for her garden and home designs, like these Dragons on a Stick and the frog, leaf, and acorn pendants behind them.
Then we have these adorable dragon statuettes in a rainbow of colors! I love the way Rachel makes their cute little snoots. About her art, she writes:
I have been learning, and creating, various pieces of art ever since I was a child, and nothing makes me happier than creating beautiful pieces of art that other people can enjoy.
Finally, here’s a larger dragon sculpture piece painted beautifully and ready to guard your garden from gnomes and gophers. 🙂 Check out Rachel’s portfolio for more awesome creations, follow her on Facebook, and find her shop Secret Woodland Guardians at Fest in the Upson Downs area (shop #640), between the giant rocking horse and the Pavilion stage. 🙂
Then up next I’m going to share the brilliant costumes and puppets created by “Krafty Kathy” Goodman, seen here on the left in the earth tones with the gold dragon.
This amazing artist, also called the Dragon Lady, told me she has been coming to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival for forty years! Here’s another shot of they way the dragon rides on her back and drapes over her shoulder. I adore her feather headpiece as well!
Kathy handcrafted her entire outfit (as well as her friend’s) as well as the large dragon puppets that ride each of their backs. The wings are movable, and the blue dragon’s wings are especially neat!
The dragon heads are really detailed as well — check out this bright golden eye surrounded by the deep blue with mottled red, and the brow ridges, frills, teeth, and horns on this guy!
I’m particularly fond of the parti-colored eye of the blue dragon! His horns, teeth and frills are neat as well, and you can see more of the scale detail and neck spines in this picture.
Kathy and her friend can be found out at Fest many times a year, and I highly recommend snapping a picture with them if you get the chance! Based in Redwing, Minnesota, Kathy specializes in “Renaissance costuming, dragon puppets, 3-D pumpkin carving, and much much more,” and you can see some of her other ‘krafty’ work (like these beautiful driftwood gardens) on her Facebook page.
Sadly, my husband doesn’t dress up for Fest, but I’ve had fun perfecting my costume all season, and I just love this photo of us at the end of a long day of music and fun in front of the castle tower climbing wall. Earlier this year I bought new wire elf ears that you can just barely see in this pic, but in my next post I promise to get a better picture of them. 😉
So that’s it for my first Fest post! Next week I’m planning to feature more Fest artists instead of my usual short post, so come back for that, won’t you?
After that, we’ll have the birthstone dragons as scheduled. I’ve already started looking for dragons and October is just overflowing with options, let me tell you! And since it’s my awesome husband’s birth month (and October has three stones!) it might have to be a super-sized post, we’ll see how it goes.
I’m hoping to have enough artist content to make a third and final Fest post week three, and then a real Writing Thoughts post in the fourth week of October. And then there’s an ‘extra’ week at the end of the month that’s just perfect for a Halloween dragons feature, don’t you think?
So that’s it for me! Welcome any new readers, thank you everyone as always for reading and visiting my site, take care, and stay creative!
All the photos in this post were taken by me at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in Shakopee, Minnesota (just south of Minneapolis) on Sunday, September 2, 2018 (Krafty Kathy) or Saturday, September 22, 2018 (Secret Woodland Guardians), and used with the kind permission of each of the creators for this post.
* Okay, I didn’t get there the third weekend because I had a work commitment, but I’m making up for it by going both days, Saturday and Sunday, on this last weekend!