Published: September 13, 2022
Review & Onsite Photos by Madelia Hickman Ring
STORMVILLE, N.Y. – Six times a year – twice in the spring, twice in summer and twice in the fall, collectors, dealers and craftspeople make a pilgrimage to an old airfield in Stormville, situated on Route 216 in Dutchess Country, conveniently located between the Taconic Parkway and Interstate 84. The late summer edition of the Stormville Antique Show and Flea Market, typically conducted over Labor Day weekend September 3-4, might be considered a warmup to the Brimfield antiques shows and flea markets that begin right after the Labor Day weekend. It is not unfair to call Stormville a warmup for the vendors of antique and vintage objects, collectibles and handmade goods as many we spoke with reported that they participate in Brimfield.
A small chill was in the air the morning of Saturday, September 3, when Antiques and The Arts Weekly took a morning drive, heading due northeast from Newtown, Conn. The vast field had several different parking lots and no designated gate; the show charges for neither parking nor admission and while the show is advertised as opening at 8 am, there were shoppers on the field well before then, perusing what exhibitors were unpacking from vehicles that sported a broad geographical range of license plates. A line of food trucks were firing up their grills and preparing for an onslaught of these hungry shoppers. By 9 am, the chill had burned off, stalls were well set up and aisles were full of people of all ages.
If one started at one end of the show, one of the first booths one came to was that of the Newtown Lions, who were raffling off a candy apple red 2019 Ford Mustang convertible. Bill Brett and Paul Krueger were on hand to sell tickets and were delighted to meet a fellow Newtowner.
Moving on with a raffle ticket (or two) purchased, we met Joyce and Rich Lewis of Port Jervis, N.Y., who make holiday decorations. Joyce said she has been crafting since 1988 and they have been doing Stormville for 20 years. Festively kitted out with largely Halloween-centric pieces, Lewis was quick to say, “Christmas is the biggie.”
Relative newcomers to Stormville were Maureen and Tim Kloek, who with their daughter, Kayla, are Remarkable Redesigns of Rockland, N.Y. The family has been doing Stormville since 2017 and specialize in refinished furniture, or modern furniture reused or created with a new form or purpose.
For reuse, it would be difficult to beat Dan Blaze of Easton, Conn., who takes old steamer trunks, outfits the interiors to hold bottles and glassware and adds a base to complement the trunk. The result are handsome home bars with closeable lids. Each take him 4-5 hours. It was his first time at Stormville, and he said he was “really excited to be here.”
Eric Kunz had a most unique booth, featuring several different forms of Venus flytrap plants, which he grows himself. The Saint James, N.Y., dealer explained that he got hooked on carnivorous plants from his mother, who was into girl scouting. What started as a hobby has turned into a lifelong passion and business. According to Kunz, there is just one true species of Venus flytrap – which is found naturally in just one place – the Green Swamp in Supply, N.C. (40 miles south of Wilmington) – but hundreds of different hybrids and varieties. He is one of very few people licensed to grow and sell the plants. He was even one of four people who were featured in the new movie, Captivated: The Allure Of Carnivorous Plants (2021).
A pandemic hobby that turned into a profitable venture was rehabbing rescued clocks, which is what Terrance and Lisa Wansley do. He restores them cosmetically or mechanically, or both. She feels strongly in restoring and reusing existing objects rather than the creation of new things. Located in Pawling, N.Y., the Wansleys do business under the name “Simple Pleasures & Other Treasures.”
Robin – no last name given – of E&R Designs, got the idea for her line of “snap jewelry” from a concept she saw at the Javits Center in New York City. Working with her cousin, Adeline, she makes a number of forms into which a small stone or decorative element snaps into. Rings, bracelets and pendants are among the options one could chose from; the variety of “stones” is virtually unlimited.
“Everything is negotiable,” Robert from New Jersey, said. He specializes in advertising and painted cast iron and does business as Décor Kings. He has been doing Stormville for ten years and said he has a good following on both eBay and Instagram.
Several vendors at Stormville do The Elephant’s Trunk, the weekly flea market held every Sunday from April to December (weather dependent), in New Milford, Conn. Shelton, Conn., dealer Neil Barry brought reproductions of antique signs that he makes. He said he’s been doing Stormville on and off for a couple of years.
Tenzin Shaurya, Himalayan Crystals, Waterbury, Conn., also does the Elephant’s Trunk. His booth had a wonderful selection of stones of every kind.
Joanne and Norm Brown do both the Elephant’s Trunk and Brimfield, showing later in the week at Brimfield Auction Acres. The Staatsburg, N.Y., couple have been doing both “for years” and bring “anything that will sell,” though she admitted she had a fondness for glass while he said he preferred primitives. Their ample booth was well stocked, with antique and vintage teddy bears and dolls, and baskets of particular prominence.
Also headed to Brimfield – Quaker Acres in this case – was Martin Wadler, who specializes in old postcards.
Mark Yeoman, Moosehead Antiques, keeps a space at the Hyde Park Antiques Center. A primary draw in his booth was unopened model planes, which he would tempt potential buyers by saying “You know you want to build that!” While we were in his booth, the selling spiel worked on two separate shoppers.
Monroe Township, N.J., vendor Laura Davidowitz, Laura’s Dollhouses and Collectibles, has been exhibited at Stormville for nearly 30 years and specializes in Disney collectibles, including figures, animation cells, cookie jars, tea pots and salt and pepper shakers, to name a few. Her booth was popular with shoppers of every vintage, from the very young to the seasoned collector.
“I love it up here,” said Anthony – no last name given – who owns Shabby Shore Sign Design in Bayville, N.J. He frames reproduction and vintage signs into handsome wall décor, perfect for a man-cave or she-shed. He grew up in Pawling but has only recently started showing at Stormville.
The last two Stormville Antiques Show and Flea Markets of the year will take place October 8-9 and November 5. Vendors are always accepted; for information, 845-221-6561, firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.stormvilleairportfleamarket.com.
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