Find hand-turned bowls by Alna’s Dick Picard will be at Wiscasset Holiday Marketfest’ Gift Shop in the Nickels-Sortwell House barn on Federal Street Dec. 2–4. The bowl shown in the photo is maple with a live edge; coloration is a result of Ambrosia beetles. (Sheepscotturnings photo)

Browse the Marketfest POP-UP for holiday treasures Dec. 2-4

WISCASSET – The Marketfest’s Holiday Gift Shop, a pop-up in the Nickels-Sortwell House barn on Federal Street., has become a Christmas season tradition in Wiscasset. For several years now, the old barn has been transformed into a cheery and inviting shop full of artisan wares, antique items for ambiance like old skis discovered in the loft, and a happy place to find unique, useful, and one-of-a-kind gifts. The Holiday Gift Shop will be opened during Wiscasset Holiday Marketfest from Friday, Dec. 2 through Sunday, Dec. 4 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

More than 20 vendors – most very local and all from Maine – will be represented in the Holiday Gift Shop. According to Christine Hopf-Lovette, the pop-up’s coordinator, “shoppers will find very special wreaths and baskets, jackets and jewelry, home accessories and honey, syrups and signs, and even small batch chocolates — all at reasonable prices.”

Yes, chocolates! The Chocolate Pan, new to the Gift Shop, is a small artisan chocolate shop based in Belfast. For the Holiday Gift Shop, owners Jeannette Sedgwick and Robert Pilper will be bringing boxes of chocolates “fresh and handcrafted for the Market.” And from the website we learn that the family-run business “prides itself on working with the finest ingredients, traditional confectionary techniques and innovative ideas. The result: exceptional hand-crafted chocolates perfect for any occasion.” The owners will be on site during Marketfest weekend to introduce their confections with swoon-worthy samples!

Woodturner Richard Picard has become known in his Alna neighborhood for creating remarkably beautiful bowls from found wood. “Neighbors, friends, and other local people are used to giving me a call if a tree needs knocking down or removal from their property,” he says, because they know he enjoys working with local hardwoods like maple and oak, walnut, willow, and others. “Even though it is a bit more tricky, I love working with fruit tree wood.  I love all the colors and swirls in these woods.”

Picard has been bowl turning since 2015 and by his count, “900 or so pieces of wood have been converted to something; sometimes a bowl or goblet and even sometimes – a woops!” For the first time, he will be displaying his skillfully made bowls for sale during Holiday Gift Shop, but leaving his “woops” at home. 

Misty Isle Cottage. Even the name is transporting and, indeed, owner and knitter Ariana Haddy explains that her “earth-friendly, feminine knitwear is inspired by folklore and cottage life.”  Her knitted pieces – cowls, bonnets, mittens, cloches, and berets – reflect the awe she feels when walking the wild areas around her home on Westport Island. They are unique, sometimes whimsical, and always skillfully handcrafted using 100 percent wool, which Haddy describes as “a natural biodegradable fiber sourced from certified humane vendors.” Misty Isle Cottage knitwear is new to the Holiday Gift Shop and brings a glimmer, a memory, a response to Haddy’s magical island homestead.

For Wiscasset Holiday Marketfest details and calendar, www.wiscassetholidaymarketfest.com.  The major sponsors to-date who are supporting Marketfest’s many community activities are Carriage House Gardens, First National Bank, IndustrialME, J. Edward Knight Insurance, Midcoast Federal Credit Union, Red’s Eats, and Wiscasset Ford with additional support from BIRCH Home Furnishings & Gifts and Old and Everlasting.

Wiscasset Holiday Marketfest is a partnership between Wiscasset Creative Alliance and Wiscasset Area Chamber of Alliance.