51st Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair returns to Historic Folsom Sunday

By: Dahlynn McKowen
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9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Dec. 2

Historic Folsom and Plaza

Artistry runs in the family, according to Folsom resident Hal Malmquist.

“My great grandfather and my uncles were silversmiths, including my great uncle Olaf, who created numerousart exhibitions in the 1920s and 1930s and also did many of the statutes at the 1939 World’s Fair Expo on Treasure Island,” said Malmquist, who is the founder and owner of Yankee Glass Art. “But his most regarded work is on the backside of the California State Capital; he made the large iron plates—which have many images from that that era – that adorn the wall.”

Malmquist is one of 200 vendors showcasing their handcrafted items at Historic Folsom’s upcoming 51st annual Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair, to be held rain or shine on Sunday, Dec. 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Historic District, including the Plaza area next to the ice rink.

Glass is Malmquist’s calling when it comes to his artistry – he, along with his wife, Toni, handcraft bird feeders and artwork made from wonderfully dated antique and vintage glass.

“Birds have been special in our family. I grew up in Ohio and we had bird feeders hanging outside all over the place, even from our bedroom windows,” he said. “When I was growing up, my siblings and I were plain old naturalists and couldn’t wait to fill the feeders in the snow. It was entertaining on a school snow day or a weekend to lie in bed and watch the birds feed event and fight over the food.”

Several years ago, Malmquist began making totems with colorful glass combinations of stacked plates, cups and vases. This work evolved into making bird feeders and glass flowers.

“Our items are madeusing early 1900s to 1970s glass, including a lot of Depression glass,” Malmquist said. “Through trial and error, I came up with a product that is designed to withstand extreme temperatures and is squirrel- and wind-proof. And did I ever break a lot of glass!”

Malmquist is always on the lookout for antique and vintage glass, especially when he travels for his job as salesman in the towing industry. He has spent the last 10 years as a salesman in the northwestern region of the U.S. for the CURT Group, selling trailer hitches, fifth-wheel and towing equipment for the automotive aftermarket.

“Since I travel a lot, I’m able to scour the Northwest after-hours for deals on antique glass,” he said.

Now with hundreds of birdfeeders and glass flowers found throughout the nation, Malmquist stated that his work is being recognized all over the country.

“My product is fun!” he said. “Customers enjoy the artwork, and I’ve noticed that birds will stare at the colors in the glass for the longest time.”

Check out Malmquist’s Yankee Glass Art’s booth, along with the many other artistic vendors during the Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair to see for yourself that art can truly have a purpose.

Two vendors in this year’s fair were impacted by the Camp Fire, both losing their homes and businesses. One of those vendors – Dawn Hixson, Hearts Desire, of Paradise – is still participating, along with the North Valley Animal Disaster Group (, a non-profit collecting monetary donations for Camp Fire families. To make a donation, look for Hixson, a dozen family members and the non-profit in space 903, located in front of Central Valley Community Bank on Sutter Street.

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