Demonstrations & Vendors

Plein Air Artists

This year, we’re proud to have Plein Air artists on the farm painting the landscape, Native American and early French American sugar encampments. Below, we have bios for three of the artists that will be at the festival. Their paintings will be available for purchase.

Roy Boswell

Roy BoswellRoy Boswell was born in 1985 and was raised in southeastern Indiana on a family farm. At an early age he took interest in architecture and went on to study landscape architecture and design at Purdue University. While there, two professors had a profound impact on where he is today. Kent Schuette taught Roy perspective drawing and design theory, and Greg Pierceall taught graphic design and mentored. It wasn’t until after graduating that Roy took up fine art. Currently Roy practices in pastel, oil and acrylic. He credits Donna Shortt with turning him from a line maker to a painter. He works primarily in plein air, but also works from field studies in the studio and still life. Roy does his best to paint everything he sees, from a beautiful view of the countryside down to a drainage ditch. He credits painting all manners of subject matter regardless of visual beauty to his continual learning of the different mediums. Watching over the shoulders of some of Indiana’s best plein air artist at IPAPA events has also been a great learning experience for Roy. Storytelling is a large part of his process, and is something he does his best to incorporate into every painting.

Pamela C. Newell

Pam PamportraitimagePamela C. Newell is an award-winning artist, whose pastel and oil paintings have been recognized in many national and regional juried competitions including the Hoosier Salon, Indiana Heritage Arts, the Richmond Art Museum, Chicago Pastel Painters and Cincinnati Viewpoint. Specializing in impressionistic style paintings of landscapes, gardens, and still life, her expressive work reflects a love of nature. She uses rich color to describe light and mood of the moment in her plein air and studio created work. The Fishers artist is a workshop instructor throughout the region and a faculty member of the Indianapolis Art Center.  Her oils and pastels have earned the Indiana Artisan designation.  In 2011 her pastel painting “In The Heartland” was presented to Lt. Governor Becky Skillman on behalf of Indiana Artisan and was displayed in the Lt. Governors’ statehouse office.

Donna Shortt

Donna ShorttDonna Shortt is a life-long Indiana resident and skilled in the use of oils, watercolors, pastels and acrylics. She is now concentrating on perfecting her skills in the pastel and oil mediums. She enjoys painting plein air landscapes and light-filled still life sets in her studio. She is part of a group that meets weekly for life drawing as it is her continuing desire to improve her drawing and painting skills. Recent accomplishments include a Purchase Award from the Indiana State Museum in 2008 and a Best of Show in the fine arts professional division at the Indiana State Fair in 2007.

Historical Re-enactors

March 2-3:

  • French habitant sugar camp with the Tharp and Wojcinski families. Demos all day Sat. and Sun.
  • Salt boiling demos with Fred Lucas and the Red Legging Mess. Demos all day Sat. and Sun.
  • 18th century French cooking demos with Brian Popiela and Terry Sargent. Demos Sat. and Sun.
  • 18th century Native American Sugar camp with the Turner family, Jason Jones, Marilyn McClelland, Levi Randoll, David Bender, and Jim Jacobs. Demos all day Sat. and Sun.

Also, There will be a Native American social dance demo from 12-1pm in the sugar house on Sat. and Sun.

March 9-10th:

  • French habitant sugar camp with the Tharp and Wojcinski families. Demos all day Sat. and Sun.
  • Salt boiling demos with Fred Lucas and the Red Legging Mess. Demos all day Sat. and Sun.
  • 18th century coffee house by the Widow Black. Widow Black will discuss coffee use and distribution in 18th century colonial America. Demos all day Sat. and Sun.
  • 18th century French cooking demos with Brian Popiela and Terry Sargent. Demos Sat. and Sun.
  • 18th century Native American Sugar camp with the Turner family. Demos all day Sat. and Sun.
  • Traditional Native American storytelling with Jeremy Turner in the Sugar house from 12-1pm on Sat. and Sun.

American Indian Artifacts

Examine one of the largest collections of Indian Hunting & War weapon artifacts. This broad collection is accompanied by collectors and enthusiasts alike. Take a trip back in time and pick up or share a few interesting facts of your own.

Needle Art

Old books and stories tell of neighbors all being invited to a quilting. The women would quilt all day, perhaps taking turns around the frame while others cooked up the grand meal that would be served to the menfolk working long hard hours on the sugarbush farm that evening. Then it was a time for singing, dancing and courting among the young people. Enjoy spending some time around the quilting circle by the fire while the stories of yesteryear are told. Or lean back with an open ear to catch up on the latest gossip at the Sugarhouse.

Candle & Soap Making

It would be almost impossible to attempt to date the origin of candles. The existing evidence is inconclusive as to the candle’s history. Ancient words that translated as candle could have actually meant, “Torch” or “Lamp”. The word “Candlestick” actually meant a rack or stand to hold one of these lights. Initially, candles were made from Tallow. Tallow is the solid fat extracted from animals, especially from cattle or sheep. We do know that remains of candles were found in excavations in Greece and Egypt. These remains were closely dated at around 3000 B.C. It was not until the emergence of the Roman Empire that scientists began to see evidence of the development of candles as we know them today.

Pottery Barn

At the National Maple Syrup Festival Pottery & Brick Barn you’ll learn about the prehistoric pottery found in Peru, Mexico, and the SW United States which revealed a high degree of skill in color, form, and decorative motifs. Observe how baked-clay works by colonists in North America beginning in 1612 with the making of bricks and tiles in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Indiana which helped industrialize a nation. Get an inside look at a local historical landmark, the Medora Brick Plant, established in 1904 and placed on the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana’s 10 Most Endangered sites. Initially Medora produced mostly brick for paving streets. In 1924 the Medora plant was purchased by the Jackson Brick & Hollow Ware Company, who also operated in northeast Brownstown – making predominately hollow drainage tile. Under the new owners the Medora plant moved from street pavers to producing primarily wall brick for facing commercial buildings including college campus buildings at Purdue Univ., Univ. of Kentucky, and Univ. of Louisville and beyond. Learn more about this rich history and see regional artisans at work hand sculpting raw pieces of clay into true works of art.

Wood Carving

Wood Carving is an artisan’s craft that customizes a rooms décor. Wood Carvings have played a significant role in great rooms around the world in staircases, moldings, and mantles. Wood carving traditionally played a more practical role where wood pieces were used for hinges, floor pieces, and rafters. Current day trends have moved to wood carvings being of detailed objects such as birds, fish, and holiday figurines. To create unique individualized pieces artisans use handheld tools that are made for the craft.

Butter Churning

Butter is essentially the fat or cream of milk which is separated by churning or shaking up whole milk. Throughout the centuries there have been various forms of butter churns to aid in the process. Until the Industrial Revolution a churn generally consisted of barrel being put on rockers which was manually rocked. However after the revolution mechanical means often were substituted. Modern day butter is the product of knowledge and experience that has been gained over the years.


Blacksmithing began with the Iron Age, when primitive man first began making tools from iron. The Iron Age began when some primitive person noticed that a certain type of rock yielded iron when heated by the coals of a very hot campfire. In short, we can say that blacksmithing, the art of crafting that crude metal into a useable implement, has been around for a long, long time. Visit our Blacksmith shop and see first hand how Early Americans used Blacksmith goods and services as part of their everyday lives, learn about the art of Blacksmithing.

Maple Syrup Harvesting & Sugarbush Guided Tour

Take a tour of a working sugarbush operation. At Burton’s Maplewood farm, you’ll get an up-close look into the history and how the golden syrup is produced. This is a working farm, where you’ll experience the entire operation from collecting the sap to evaporating and processing the syrup. Stay as long as you want and sample the maple goodies as they are made, because tours last all day from 9am to 5pm.