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  • Sharron Montgomery Pena

2019 Bristol Renaissance Faire, New Year Familiar Faces

Photo by Denise Bennorth

With the 4th weekend behind us here at the Bristol Renaissance Faire, we've finally had time to catch our breath (not really!). One of the things we look forward to the most while here is visiting with our our old friends we've made throughout the years. It's hard for someone who doesn't attend renaissance festivals to understand how after being away for a year, time always seems to stand still when you see a familiar face and it seems as if we pick up once again right where we left off last year. It's not as though we don't see each other's pictures especially on facebook and instagram and read what's going on in each other's lives, but there's something about that in person meeting that sparks that old sense of belonging and community that we love so much about faire. We affectionately call it summer camp.

The apprentice transfers the falcon to the Master. Photo by Patty Smith

Ray, Greg, and Melissa goof with Kimbelle on steampunk weekend with Ray in 2012

Personally, this is one of the few places that we go that I am more often than not tempted to leave my phone behind, especially when socializing or attending a event here on site. The most often regretful reason that I don't have my phone with me is when I see beautiful flowers I haven't seen so far and I wish to photograph it!

Ivan in front of the lens with Sharron Photo by Patty Smith with Ivan Phillips camera

Speaking of photography, it is one of the most beautifully photographed festival/faire on the circuit for me. Avid photographers, both professional and amateur are drawn to the magical subject matter. There is always some moment, some capture that will never occur again because either the people have moved on, or the content has changed, so there are always fresh opportunities to photograph a unique moment, or perhaps a different perspective on a favorite show.

Sharron with Serendipity Photo by Patty Smith

I am an avid photographer myself, so I can appreciate those moments and the magic reflected in them, but alas I am unable to participate on that level because it is my job to create those moments, so I live vicariously through the lenses of my friends and amazing photographers.

Well I hope I have tantalized and whetted your appetites for some incredible experiences through the eyes of the Bristol Renaissance Faire, but before I go. I'd like to share the most incredible friendship shared by Ray and his long time friend Al Gardner.

Ray and Al at the end of the day at Bristol

For many years, Ray always brings the birds up to the "top of the hill" across from Al's glassblowing shop. Al, an icon in his own right, is the owner of a shop called Creations in Glass along with his wife Carolyn. Al is an artist and masterfully conjures everything from flowers, to animals, to ships and dragons in torch blown glass statuettes. He has been photographed thousands (maybe ten thousands) of times in his concentration on his subjects. Even though Ray no longer performs at the end of the day, he still makes that trek to visit with Al and bring his birds to that familiar spot. So it was only natural that Ray's beadwork was destined to meet up with Al's glasswork.

The coming together of the two masters in art is now available for purchase on our store's page. These pieces are a Bristol exclusive and will only be available for the duration of the Faire. Please visit our store here, and have a look at these fine art pieces available for a short time.

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