By David Meade
If you are looking for something unique for yourself or someone else, the Spring Water Festival will feature a variety of special handmade items offered by more than 45 craft vendors. Two of those are the Purple Unicorn Pottery of Seneca and Rock Farms of Pelzer.
Lisa and Bart Harris started making pottery in October of 2013 after a trip to Gatlinburg, TN a year earlier.
“We met the owners of Red Owl Pottery and found out they gave lessons. We spent a week with them in October of 2012 and decided to dive in with both feet. We purchased a pottery wheel and not long after a kiln and began our journey into the wonderful world of clay!” Lisa Harris said.
“My husband likes to refer to it as “A hobby out of control.” We enjoy making items that we know will be used by others in their daily lives.”
Harris said, “We have had customers come to us to “Make Their Own” pottery , because they have purchased an item at a festival and they wanted to try their hand at making something. One customer brought her husband to make a mug and bowl as a surprise for his birthday! It is very fulfilling to enable someone to explore their creative side.”
Another vendor at this year’s festival will be Rock Farms of Pelzer. Owned and operated by Jody and Tracy McFarlin, Rock Farms was established in 2010 and offers soaps and other items.
Tracy McFarlin said it started, “with a rabbit and a few chickens because our kids, Rhyne and Jake, were members of Laurens County 4-H. From there it grew to more chickens, bobwhite quail, guineas, ducks, dairy goats, pigs, and sheep. We are trying to become a homestead, where we eat most of what we grow.”
“The soap came about last year when I decided to make some Oatmeal Honey Soap to help my son’s eczema. It worked so well, that I started making other scents and selling them to family and friends.”
Rock Farms has been a regular vendor at Williamston’s new Farmer’s Market.
“I was so excited this Spring when Rebecca McKinney gave me the “ok” to start selling my products at the Palmetto Farmers Market on Thursday evenings. The soaps are goat milk and lye based, with coconut, olive, palm oils, and lard. One of our best selling soaps is our dog soap “Ain’t No Bugs on Me”.
McFarlin said after several requests, she tried making goat milk lotion.
“To my surprise, it was a hit! It is an all natural lotion that does not contain any parabens or formaldehyde (which have been linked to cancer) like store bought lotions. I made the lotion unscented so everyone could use it.”
Rock Farms also has all natural beeswax lip balm. “It does not contain any alcohol like the store lip balms have, which actually dry the lips out.”
A new soap “Original Mineral Springs” soap, made with half goat milk and half spring water from Mineral Spring Park ,will make its debut at the Spring Water Festival.