“We shear them ourselves, and we have them processed,” said Depp. “We dye the wool and spin it, weave it, knit it. We do the whole thing.”
Depp’s booth at the fair in Ridge Ferry Park was filled with a variety of woolen scarves, knitted jewelry and colorful woolen dog leashes. Today at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., she will be hosting spinning demonstrations.
“Surprisingly, the most interested people in the spinning are men. They’re fascinated. Absolutely fascinated,” said Depp. “Women, I think, look at it and realize it’s too much work, but men are like ‘Oh it’s a piece of equipment, let’s watch it!’”
More than 5,000 people came out to the 48th annual fair to browse approximately 150 booths and enjoy the sights, sounds, food and home-grown crafts that the event is known for, according to Monica Sheppard, co-director of the event.
“It’s been great this year so far,” said Sheppard. “The weather has turned out fantastically.”
Chiaha serves to provide a platform for local artists but also works to raise money to support arts and education in area schools. This year, more than $1,600 was divided between Armuchee High, Johnson Elementary, Garden Lakes Elementary, Cave Spring Elementary and Providence Preparatory Academy in order to fund art projects.
Old-time twangs of unique guitars rang out from the booth of Adam Sikes, who resides in Rome. For the last six months, Sikes has been crafting guitars out of cigar boxes, and it was his first time exhibiting his art at Chiaha.
It all started when he came across an Internet video of a man playing a guitar from the 1920s. With an ear for resonance, Sikes showcased 15 of his guitars for sale that were crafted from cigar boxes, gasoline cans and even a bed pan, which he calls a “panjo.”
“This is how they made them back in the day when they didn’t have any money,” said Sikes. “It’s just super simple.”
The Chiaha Harvest Fair continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Ridge Ferry Park. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for students and seniors, and $1 for children younger than 12.