Looking for a ceramic revolver that hints of iconic movie Westerns?
How about a handcrafted wool and alpaca fiber footstool in the shape of a chicken?
Those pieces are among works for sale at this year’s Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival. Some 215 artists from across the United States are in downtown Fort Worth for the four-day event, which started Thursday.
“It’s wonderful,” said David Conn, a Fort Worth artist who founded Shaw Street Studio in Fort Worth. “Great weather. Good people. I’m right by one of the wonderful restaurants so I get the full smell of cooking.”
Conn is showing and selling prints at the festival.
Tens of thousands of spectators are expected to visit the free event, which features artists, music and food. Buying food requires coupons, which are $10 for 10.
The booths and stages span 25 blocks in downtown Fort Worth, from the Tarrant County Courthouse to the Fort Worth Convention Center.
Artists and others were working under gray clouds Thursday morning, but the sun soon peeked out.
By afternoon, Sally Linville’s flock of colorful, hand-felted chickens were attracting a crowd.
“We have a corner on the chicken footstool market,” Linville said. “Each one is a creation in and of itself.”
Linville‘s footstools (see more of them at thecitygirlfarm.com) are larger-than-life chickens with bodies made of wool and alpaca fiber. The feet and beaks are bronze. The core of the chicken is a wooden egg, over which the bird/footstool is built and upholstered, Linville said.
She said she sold a flock of them last year. She has two sizes — chicken littles that start at $850 and big chickens that start at about $1,350.
Festival-goers were enjoying the first day, and everyone is hoping the weather holds.
“Main St. is great,” said Carrie Huhtanen of Aledo. “I’ve been coming for a long time. I have bought a couple of things throughout the years. Fingers crossed that the weather cooperates.”
Rain did start to fall about 6:15 p.m. but didn’t last long. Most of the artists just closed a portion of their tents, a spokeswoman said.
Last year, Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival closed early on its final day because winds up to 35-45 mph damaged some of the booths.
Early closing could cut into an artist’s income. They said they want to make several times as much as travel and setup expenses. Costs include about $600 for a booth.
Michael Schwegmann, a ceramic sculptor from Illinois, said he’s prepared for anything because he displays his work all across the country.
“I’ve done this for a long time, so I am prepared — whether it is going to be hot or cold or rainy or not,” he said.
It helps that his work is waterproof. A ceramic sculptor from Illinois, he is displaying ceramic versions of objects such as a wrench, hammer and revolver.
Festival artists also said they have comprehensive insurance coverage.
Diane Smith, 817-390-7675
If you go
The Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival is Thursday through Sunday on Main Street in downtown Fort Worth.
Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. Artists’ booths close at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday.
Admission: Free. Food and beverages require coupons.
Getting there: Parking is available throughout downtown (www.fortworthparking.com). To avoid downtown traffic, ride the Trinity Railway Express (www.trinityrailwayexpress.org) which will have extended service through Sunday. (Park-and-ride bus service is available from Billy Bob’s Texas in the Stockyards and Farrington Field west of downtown, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday. Cost is $3.50 round trip.)
Do: Bring a water bottle, which can be refilled at one of seven water stations. Because there’s a 30 to 40 percent chance of rain through Sunday, an umbrella might come in handy.
Don’t: Bring your pets. They are not permitted.
Information: Find maps, booth locations and entertainment schedules at http://www.mainstreetartsfest.org/