With all the glitter of television, Hollywood, fast food, the Internet and computers, it’s easy to forget that every region in the United States, from the fishing villages of Maine to the Indian reservations of the Southwest, has its own distinctive crafts tradition. The rugs, pottery and jewelry of the Navajo and Hopi Indians, the handmade quilts of Appalachia, the quilts and hex signs of the Pennsylvania Dutch, Shaker furniture, traditional toys and dolls, the detailed scrimshaw carvings of maritime New England, glassware, woodworking, textiles, metalwork, and pottery, are but a few examples of a rich and vital culture of American handicrafts.
Throughout the nation, professional crafts-people of all types work actively. Crafts shows and fairs flourish in all seasons. They are so popular that crafts-people often have to book space to sell their wares years in advance. In addition to the thousands of professional crafts-people, amateur crafts hobbyists by the millions carry on American craft traditions. To service and supply these markets, large crafts supply stores, some of them major national chains, can be found in many American communities.
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