Mountain Makins Festival a success
Showcase of Crafts judge David Underwood presents the Best of Show award to Bo Bradford for his watercolor landscape during the preview celebration of the 2013 Mountain Makins festival held Oct. 25 at Rose Center in Morristown.
The air may have been crisp, but the sun was shining on the crowd at the 38th Mountain Makins Festival Saturday.
Live bluegrass music in front of Rose Center on West Second North Street got the crowd tapping their feet with one elderly man in clogging shoes dancing to the rhythms.
Leather works, homemade honey, handmade furs, basket weavers, a bow and arrow maker, handmade rocking chairs and pumpkin painting were among the plethora of vendors and activities available to the crowd.
As the weather warmed, the crowd grew thicker and the group of youngsters offering pumpkin painting had plenty of visitors to duck under their tent and get crafty.
Food vendors offered up scrumptious options from chicken fajitas to bratwurst and kettle corn to funnel cakes.
In an herb garden a grandmother gently rubbed her hands between a sprig of rosemary and her granddaughter squealed with delight as she took in the earthy scent.
Jim Bordwine drew curious visitors by simply sitting beside an unassuming kettle over a wood fire.
“I’m a salt maker,” Bordwine said. “This is how they got their salt in the mountains back in the old days. They would go out and find a thing called a salt lick. A salt lick just a place where salt occurs in the ground. Wild animals would sniff it out and dig and dig in the dirt to get to the salt crystal. Well, the hunters would go in after them and dig a hole down in their and the ground water would go in and soak up the salt and it was salty water. They’d dip it out and put it in their kettles.”
Bordwine explained they would evaporate the water until most of it was gone and then pull the salt out.
He said the salt comes out different colors ranging from gray to white and sometimes brown, depending on the weather.
On the other side of the ‘Old County Store which was serving up good eats and hot coffee, a quiet couple nimbly moved their hands, creating intricate baskets.
Patsy and Larry Maulk traveled from Surgoinsville to attend Mountain Makins.
She said she had been weaving baskets for 30 years, and the decades of practice were evident in her completed pieces of work.
Situated on the lawn in front of the Rose Center was Noe’s Chapel United Methodist Church churning away at homemade apple and peach butter.
Tawana Bradley explained how they made their apple and peach butter and said they make about 1,700 pints.
She said after peeling, slicing and decoring bushels of apples, they boil the mash for several hours. What was attracting visitors to their tent though, aside from the tempting sweet smell emanating from their location, was a long wooden contraption Bradley was using to stir the apple mash in a large kettle.
Bradley was using a gentle back and forth motion to keep the mixture constantly moving.
“You have to, if you stop, in 30 seconds it can scorch and you can lose the whole batch,” she said.
She said one kettle will yield about 60 pints of apple butter.
Mountain Makins will continue Sunday, Oct. 27 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
-By Aletheia Davidson, Tribune Staff Writer