What: Handmade Market

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: La Plata Water Users Building, junction of Highway 170 and Highway 574.

FARMINGTON — La Plata ceramic artist Cindy McDowell says the artists in her community support each other.

"Our little community is basically a lot of ranchers and hardworking people," McDowell said.

When community members need to buy eggs, they will go ask other community members who have chickens, McDowell said.

On Saturday, La Plata community members will come together to support each other and to showcase their talents at the annual spring handmade market.

The market offers a variety of different crafts created by La Plata residents. For instance, Skein Train, a La Plata family run business run, will be selling ready-to-spin fibers, handspun and commercial yarns, knits and finished products.

Lynn Brown, the owner of Skein Train, rents out the La Plata Water Users Building, also known as the La Plata Community Center or the Old Schoolhouse, for the market. She said renting the building is worth the money because it provides her an opportunity to talk to people and for people to learn about what Skein Train does. Often, people will stop by the farm after seeing her at the market, Brown said.

Skein Train raises three endangered breeds of sheep — California Reds, Barbados Black Bellies and Tunis. For each of these breeds, fewer than 2,000 sheep are registered each year.

Each breed has its own purpose. The Barbados Black Bellies are a meat sheep while the California Reds can be used for meat, wool and milk and the Tunis provide wool and meat.


Brown said she initially got into sheep farming when her kids were in 4H about 24 years ago.

"The kids are all gone," Brown said. "The sheep remain."

Brown uses the wool from the Tunis and the California Reds to produce yarn, which she sells as well as uses for crocheting, knitting and some weaving. She said the yarn will be on sale at the market as well as products she has made, such as hats, scarves and shawls.

The market will also feature various forms of jewelry, such as glass bead jewelry made by Pierre Thompson, another La Plata resident.

Other residents, like McDowell, will be selling their pottery.

"Living in this area is so inspiring to me," McDowell said.

She said the rich history, especially in relation to pottery, and the landscapes are two aspects of the Four Corners area that really inspire her.

In the community of La Plata, everyone does what they like to do, McDowell said. People farm and ranch and create art. McDowell often digs for her own clay in the La Plata area.

The market provides La Plata residents with another opportunity to sell and showcase what they make.

McDowell said she was first introduced to ceramics while studying at Colorado State University in the 1990s. Since then, she has opened a ceramics business called Earthfired.

"It's what I do everyday," McDowell said. "It's a lifelong journey through clay."

Hannah Grover can be reached at hgrover@daily-times.com; 505-564-4652. Follow her on Twitter @hmgrover