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The big crafts fair in San Francisco.

Need a stuffed bulldog in a tux? Or an austere gold bangle? Whether your tastes are outlandish or restrained, the Pacific States Craft Fair is bound to please.

The show, which runs August 12 through 14 at San Francisco's Fort Mason Center, is the only Western show sponsored by the nonprofit American Craft Council. Displays include works in leather, gold, silver, wool, paper, and glass; all reflect a refreshingly high quality, A jury of experts in the crafts field culled the 300 artists from about 1,600 applicants.

You can spend $5,000 on a desk, $50 on a stoneware bowl, perhaps $5 on a scarf or roam the booths studying the application of your favorite medium. Last year, silver entered the arena as traditional flatware, then as a domino mask bedecked with festive braids. Around the corner, lace-like necklaces seemed to test the limits of the metal, as did an objet d'art with sides as smooth as glass.

With the tremendous interest in crafts, crowds can be overwhelming (27,000 attended last summer). Booths and shoppers fill the cavernous piers, giving the impression of a bustling mercado.

Walking into a booth, however, is like stepping into a quiet alley filled with fascinating objects. In one, ceramics with traditional contours epitomize the maxim that form follows function. In another, teapots assume such recalcitrant shapes that their spouts and handles seem to be afterthoughts. Artists who tend the booths themselves are happy to explain their work. An art history lesson can be an unexpected bonus.

The fair, held in piers 2 and 3, opens at 11 each day and runs until 8 Em. Friday, 6 Saturday, 5 Sunday. Admission is $5, free for ages under 12. Early birds may find a parking spot on Marina Boulevard (the Fort Mason Center parking lot is usually full); otherwise, park at Crissy Field and take a free shuttle bus over.

When you go, plan on spending at least a half-day Refreshments will be available for sale in both piers.
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Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Pacific States Craft Fair 1988
Publication:Sunset
Date:Aug 1, 1988
Words:335
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