Spring Old Court Days

Pilot Club of Madison is growing its annual event to feature more vendors

Jewelry maker Bunch returns to show in 2016

(May 2016) – Visitors to the Spring Old Court Days may find a little bit of everything, especially more arts and crafts, says Cindy Loveall, of the sponsoring Pilot Club of Madison. “Jewelry, soaps, yard art, home goods, clothing, outdoor furniture, wall art and hangings and food,” she said. Diversity will be a key to this year’s show, set for May 27-29 in downtown Madison, Ind. The spring event is expected to draw 2,500 to 3,000 visitors, organizers say.
Julie Bunch, of Julie Bunch Originals, and Steve Baird, Midwest Trading Goods, are just two of the 115 to 120 vendors who are expected to sell their arts and crafts at booths lining the block around the Jefferson County Courthouse. There also will be booths in the block just south of the courthouse. The fall event will be Sept. 23-25 in the same location.

Photo provided

Julie Bunch of Battle Ground, Ind., will be among the Old Court Days vendors.

Bunch specializes in steel wall art, handcrafted jewelry and enameling. Three years ago, she moved to Battle Ground, Ind., and lives just down the road from Wolf Park, a popular tourist attraction in Tippecanoe County. Her booth will be on the corner of Jefferson and Main streets.
It is clear that Bunch loves her art, which she has been doing for 10 years. She has been “real successful” with her large colorful steel flowers. She has designed one flower that is available in multiple sizes and colors.
“The sizes and colors all go together,” she said, so that a customer can choose several. The largest flowers are 36 inches, and the smallest are four inches. They also are available in the these sizes: 30 inches, 24 inches, 18 inches, 12 inches, eight inches and six inches.
“I make the flowers out of cold rolled steel and then shear them out in the shape of a flower,” she said. “I hammer them out on a stump, clean them, paint them with a primer, and then paint them with eight coats of lacquer.”
In addition to her metal flowers, Bunch is a silversmith. She makes any silver that she needs for her projects, and she is able to take scrap silver, melt it and re-use it. As she described this intricate process, she talked with pleasure about the importance of the rolling mill she obtained, which has enabled her to make her own silver wire or silver sheet metal after melting the silver.
Bunch also is a lapidary artist, cutting gemstones from rocks. Recently, she got into enameling. Last winter, she took a course at Thompson Enamel Co. in Cincinnati. Now she has her own studio at home. So she will have enameled rings and pendants for sale.

Steve Baird

About a decade years ago, she was able to quit a job at Michael’s and engage in art full time. “I love it,” she said. Initially, she had been a hairdresser. Then she did interior design. When her husband was transferred to Cincinnati, she began working in floral design at Michael’s arts and crafts center. Management at Michael’s required employees to take a course, so she opted for jewelry-making. She was hooked. When she sold all the jewelry she had made, she began to wonder, “Maybe I need to do this full-time?” She has been at it ever since.
Steve Baird, Midwest Trading Goods, also works full time making leather bracelets, belts and barrettes. He makes knives and cases, gun holsters and dog collars. His booth will be on the west side of Jefferson Street, in the block with the courthouse.
Baird, who lives in Jeffersonville, Ind., works on leather for shirts and pants and repairs leather. He also does custom work. Ten years ago, he started working in leather, thanks to a friendship that was forged in Friendship, Ind. Before that, he did horseshoe art and welding, but the horseshoes and welding became too heavy to carry around to various shows.
“I have been going to Friendship forever,” he said, referring to the various shows and meets at Friendship, Ind. Ten years ago, a friend asked if he was interested in leather. He gave Baird tips on working with leather and offered to sell his tools. Baird has been engaged with leather ever since.
“It is more artistic than horseshoes,” he said. “A lot of people like it. The guys like it, and the girls like it.” He mainly uses cowhide, buckskin, elk or deer.
This will be his fifth year at Old Court Days. “It goes pretty good,” he said. “I like it.” When he does a show in Madison, he always camps in the recreational vehicle park on the Ohio River close to the Key West Shrimp House.
The Pilot Club has sponsored Old Court Days for many years. Loveall is not sure, but she thinks the event dates to 1973. It is held twice a year. The philanthropic club gives money to charities. A key interest is to help individuals with traumatic brain injuries, she said. Nationally, the organization has grown. Its president is Cookie Lee. Elsie Perry is the club historian. Grace Humes is governor for the district.
During Old Court Days, there always are booths for churches or local groups, which sell food, ice cream or water.

• For more information, call (812) 493-2024 or visit: www.PilotClubofMadison.com.

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