Skip to content

Christmas craft sales this weekend

'Tis the season to embrace the work of local artisans
The University of Alberta gymnasium is the scene of the Butterdome Craft Fair, the largest gathering of artisanal wares during the winter holiday season. It takes place Nov. 30 to Dec. 3. BUTTERDOME CRAFT FAIR

JulieAnne Hage’s artisanal pop-up 

For more than three decades, potter JulieAnne Hage has sold her spellbinding creations to eager holiday shoppers.  

Retired from teaching at City of St. Albert studios and Art Gallery of St. Albert, Hage has focused her vast energy and talent on building a home-based pottery and woodworking business. 

“I’ve bought my husband every tool a man could want over 40 years of marriage, and now I use them all,” said Hage who is launching a large craft sale at her studio Dec. 2-3. 

The St. Albert artisan has a unique take on pottery, preferring to create slab works. Basically, she rolls a slab of clay and carves everything from pendants and lamps to clocks or charcuterie boards. And her wheel-thrown gifts lean towards more functional ware such as mugs, bowls and party platters. 

On the woodworking side, a hobby Hage picked up from her father, the multi-faceted artisan carves jewelry, cedar planks for salmon trays, rustic clocks and cheeseboards. One of her specialities is creating whimsical key chains of doghouses with a puppy’s bum sticking out of it. And for a family that enjoys working on projects together, Hage assembles rustic house kits ready to be painted. 

“All of my woodworks are from upcycled material. I comb beaches. I pick through construction cast-offs, and friends bring me things. You see perfectly good stuff thrown out and I can see another use for it.”  

She constantly hunts for discarded building materials, cutoffs, unwanted books, bits of metal, glass and tile, as well as the occasional pallet of leftover hardwood from shops. As an example, she points to vertical planters made from bed slats and upcycled hardwood flooring. 

“I never know what I’ll get, so I often have to come up with projects to fit the wood.” 

Joining Hage is one of her former pottery students, Amaris Gamache. Also from St. Albert, Gamache designs a combination of functional and decorative ceramics.  

The two-day craft sale takes place at 84 Sunset Boulevard from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Butterdome Craft Sale 

Is it possible to visit 220 craft booths in one day? The Butterdome Craft Sale, taking place Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 at the University of Alberta, would like you to try. 

The craft sale’s signature is diversity, and the variety of talent among artisans swings from traditional to wacky. But the focus is always hand-made, one-of-a-kind items from carvings, paintings and fibre arts to lumberjack socks, goofy puzzles and snowflakes mounted on handmade sterling silverware. 

Seven St. Albert vendors will dare to face the onslaught of crowds. Black Diamond Distillery, Blue Kettle’s Specialty Sauces and Dressing, Endeavour Brewing and Coffee and Untamed Feast’s wild mushrooms will be on hand for gourmet foods and beverages. 

Three additional local vendors offering a broader range of goods are: Grey Shed home and garden materials; LumberJill Apparel for women, and Mad Love’s fashion jewelry. 

Hours are Thursday, Nov. 30 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 general, $8 seniors, U of A students $5 and anyone under 17 free. Tickets are available at door or online at  

Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks