Big Saturday planned for Main Street in Broken Arrow
BY ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer
Saturday, September 22, 2012
9/22/12 at 5:51 AM
Broken Arrow: Read previous stories related to Broken Arrow and get contact information for Broken Arrow officials.
BROKEN ARROW - Every wooden trinket Tom Votaw builds has been carved from a tree that would have been lost to a storm.
"Stuff that would normally be put on a burn pile and burned, I use," he said.
At his Inola workshop, downed trees and branches donated by local farmers are chopped, carved and sanded into jewelry boxes, sculptures, birdhouses and the like.
What began as a hobby after Votaw was laid off from a telephone company in April 2011 has become an established business as he, his 16-year-old son, Keith, and partner Carol King churn out dozens of items a week.
"It turned into where all year round we're making something - in the hot, cold, wet," Votaw said. "It's been an all-out run to keep up with people who want to get them."
Votaw is one of about 25 vendors who will set up shop along Broken Arrow's Main Street for the inaugural Art on Main festival Saturday.
It's part of a busy weekend for downtown that includes the 19th annual Heart of Broken Arrow Arts and Crafts Fair, where about 65 vendors are expected.
Larann Farris, an organizer with the Broken Arrow Main Street Merchants Association, said the scheduling was intentional.
"In the last couple years, the merchants said it'd be nice to start having stuff like that downtown," she said. "People can come downtown and do their shopping at the unique shops we have down here, eat at our restaurants."
The two events - along with the opening of a historical quilt exhibit at the Broken Arrow Historical Society and Museum and the city's regularly scheduled farmer's market - create a kind of super-size festival, she said.
Area musicians will play during Art on Main as arts and crafts are displayed and sold, organizers said.
The Heart of Broken Arrow fair will feature artists who aren't comfortable with showing their work outside, Farris said.
"There will be a diverse mix of different types of arts" at both events, she said. "It'd be nice if people are looking for something that's totally off the wall. We do have some really funky stuff."
Vendors include a man who makes toys for birds, an artist who prints designs on shoes, an insect photographer, quilters, muralists and jewelry-makers, she said.
Organizers hope to schedule the events alongside each other again next year.
Votaw said his business, Twisted Family Crafts, has appeared at the Rogers County Fair and Claremore's Bluegrass and Chili Festival.
His creations include candle-holders and sculptures of angels and crosses.
Everything is original, and everything is made with storm-toppled trees from the Inola area, he said. They include pecan, cedar, elm and red oak.
"No matter how much we try, we cannot make the same piece twice," he said. "We use a big band saw, glue, sanding and a lot of patience."
Broken Arrow Main Street Saturday
Art on Main: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., between Broadway Avenue and Dallas Street
Heart of Broken Arrow Arts and Crafts Fair: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Central Park Community Center, 1500 S. Main St.
Quilt exhibit: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Broken Arrow Historical Society and Museum, 400 S. Main St. Admission $2 for adults, free for children.
Farmers market: 8 a.m.-noon, 418 S. Main St.
Original Print Headline: Busy Saturday in Broken Arrow
Zack Stoycoff 918-581-8486
Larann Farris shows off some of the items that will be for sale on an event-packed Saturday in downtown Broken Arrow. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World