The monthly 'All About Arts & Crafts' fair held on the Finikoudes promenade is increasing its frequency to two days a month, on Saturdays and Sundays, starting from next month.
Around 100 artists participate each time, in a rotation of a maximum of 60 per month. They sell an eclectic variety of items such as jewellery, home décor, clothing, clocks and sandals in different mediums ranging from ceramic, glass and metal to fabric and yarn. All items are handmade and original.
The fair was set up by Maria and George Tsiambarta of the 'All Glass' workshop last April in cooperation with the municipality, as a way of supporting local artists at a time when many have lost their regular jobs. As Maria explains, "All European cities have their craft fairs, and following the financial crisis, we realised the need for such a market in Larnaca. A lot of people that participate have lost their daily jobs and have turned to crafts to meet their daily needs. The public have responded very positively to the opportunity to shop directly from the makers at very reasonable prices, so it is a win-win situation for both the artists and the shoppers."
Maria herself specialises in handmade glass art - stained, fused and mosaic - and creates stain glass windows, clocks, signs and other decorative pieces that are sold in her shop and the fair, as well as commissioned by clients.
The criterion for participation in the fair is to be a local artist of the Larnaca region - either Cypriot or a permanent resident of the town. All artists must use their own white tents that conform with the municipality's specifications (as is also the case for stall-holders during the Festival of the Flood). Interest must be pre-registered with Maria who makes the final selection in order to keep the quality of goods high, and the participation fee is €20.
Maria says: "We have artists who participate every month, as well as those who participate three or four times a year. Using the white tents provides uniformity and gives the fair a nice aesthetic and professional appearance, and the location of Finikoudes also enhances the experience."
The March fair was held on Sunday, which coincided with carnival. As such, the fair entered the spirit with many of the stallholders dressing up. Maria says that turnout was good and was a mixture of locals and visitors. "We found that a lot of tourists were delighted with the fair and were able to buy unique pieces made on the island that they could take home as souvenirs of their holiday."
The dates for the fair up until August are: April 5 & 6, May 3 & 4, July 5 & 6 and August 2 & 3. Dates for June are dependant on the Festival of the Flood. From September, the municipality will begin its renovations of the Finikoudes promenade, and as such, the fair's location and dates are still pending.
The fair is held at Europe Square (by the fountain) on some months, and on other months at Kimonas Square (in front of Hobos). It begins at 4pm on Saturdays and 11am on Sundays and can go on until 8pm, depending on the stallholders and how busy it is. During the summer months, it continues until midnight.
You can be kept updated on the fair, and which artists will be participating each month on the Facebook page 'All About Arts and Crafts', or contact Maria on Tel: 99461812.