Spring Old Court Days

Glass artist Wilberding joins others at annual spring arts and crafts show

Old Court Days helps to kick off
the summer festival season

(May 2019) – Michele Wilberding was inspired by the glass art sparkling in a client’s yard. Energized, she returned to her shop to try creating her own glass yard art. She improved on the design by adding solar lights so that the artwork glows at night. Her initial creations sold out before Christmas that year. Just that quickly, she was hooked on designing outdoor glass creations.
Wilberding is one of many vendors participating the Spring Old Court Days, set for May 25-26 at the Jefferson County Court-house Square in Madison, Ind. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. The arts and crafts fundraiser is especially significant this year because it marks 45 years of the Pilot Club of Madison, the sponsor of Old Court Days.

Photo by Sharyn Whitman

Michelle Wilberding displays some of her glass work that she sells at Old Court Days in Madison, Ind.

“I joined because I liked what they do,” said Elsie Payne Perry, club president.
Brain Related Disorders is the focus of the parent organization, Pilot Club International. Payne investigated joining the Pilot Club during a visit to Old Court Days. She encouraged shoppers this spring to visit the Pilot Club tent to explore becoming a Pilot Club member. 
Working with glass became Wilberding’s new hobby after she discovered that first beautiful glass yard art six years ago. Bird feeders, bird baths, angels, totems of all shapes, sizes and colors, and “key-keepers” to hide a key outside, are some Wilberding’s unique creations.
She repurposes old glass dishes – “anything shiny, anything that sparkles.” Yard sales, Goodwill and thrift stores are all places for treasure-hunting and where she finds just the right pretty glass. Wilberding also creates custom glass art using a client’s own glassware. Her motto is, “Off the shelf, into the yard. Enjoy it.” 
While her booth at Old Court Days features mostly glass yard art, she also brings fabric and trim samples for shoppers looking for new window treatment ideas. Her full-time business is Michele’s Curtains & Drapes. She has a fully outfitted van with fabric and trim samples. Clients can see how the actual fabrics and trim colors work in their own homes.
Wilberding does it all: working with the client to design just the right window treatment, measuring the windows, fabricating the window treatments and completing the installation. “I enjoy working with nice people, and meeting new people.”
Another vendor, Jaime Gaines, displays custom painted rustic wooden signs and art pieces in her booth, Willow Ridge Wood Products. Gaines is a home-schooling mom of four active boys. They live in Orleans, Ind., on a mini-farm. The boys help with gardening and raising beef and pork. Gaines also works as an independent court reporter in southern Indiana.

Photo provided

Jaime Gaines displays her painted rustic wooden signs and art pieces. She is wearing one of her “upcycled” creations.

Her husband, J.D., operates a lumber business. He used to burn leftover wood scraps.
Jaime salvaged some cutoffs and started painting for fun about five years ago. “I paint what I love. You can tell I love woodland creatures like raccoons.”
And she described her style as “farmhouse, primitive.” Gaines also sells unique clothing items. She calls the process, “upcycling.” She cuts pieces of shirts, skirts, blankets, fabric, jeans – anything she likes. Those cuttings are pieced together to make new wearables that she described as “fun and funky.”
Last spring was her first time as a vendor at Old Court Days. She said it was a good show. She is looking forward to returning this spring. 
Not all vendors sell arts and crafts. Michael Black is the owner of “Dipper’s Delights,” a business that sells dip mixes for many tasty creations. He has participated in both spring and fall Old Court Days for the past eight years. He said he has a good following of people who use these mixes. His mixes are produced and packaged in Louisville. He uses his graphic design background to create labels and marketing materials for his products. Black said the top selling mixes for dips or cooking are Loaded Potato, Garlic Butter and Tomato Bacon. For cheesecakes, the top flavors are New York Cheesecake and his personal favorite, pineapple.
For milkshakes, the top flavors are strawberry and chocolate. Black also sells his “Dipper’s Delight” mixes through fundraisers for schools, clubs and charities. “It is a great fundraiser,” he said. Black described himself as a “self-employed workaholic who travels a lot.” 

Photo provided

Above is a sample of Jaime Gaines’ wood sign creations.

These three vendors are just a small sample of the many interesting custom-made items available at Old Court Days. The Pilot Club uses the money generated to support many local projects. Recently, they purchased tablet computers, a three-wheeled bicycle and Christmas gifts for the residents at the Madison State Hospital. They also provide Christmas gifts for local nursing homes, support for “All Kids Can,” and for Sandstone Industries DSI.
A special treat was preparing “goody bags” for the caregivers of special-needs children. Payne said, “The caregivers were so surprised to be recognized for the important work they do with the children.”
This volunteer service organization also provides three scholarships each year for students interested in a service career. The motto of the Pilot Club is, “Do more, Care More, Be More.”  Payne said, “We do a lot; people have no idea.”

• For more information, visit: www.PilotClubofMadison.com. Or call Elsie Perry Payne at (812) 265-6860.

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