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Claymont candy-makers to debut at Hagley Craft Fair

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Hope's Caramels
Hope’s Caramels

A Claymont candy-making couple are making their debut at the Hagley Craft Fair, among dozens of other food makers, artists and artisans in the 42-year-old tradition. Among the returning favorites is a Hockessin weaver.

The fair is 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 17. To reduce coronavirus exposure, it will be entirely outside and requires $5 timed tickets bought in advance. Fairgoers should use Hagley’s Buck Road entrance.

Hope’s Caramels

Hope and Brady Shuert began making caramels five years ago, and by March Hope’s Caramels had grown enough for them to rent a commercial kitchen and for it to become their full-time jobs.

“We go wild with our flavors,” Brady said.

Their first and by far most popular flavor is sea salt, a blend of brown sugar, corn syrup, heavy cream, butter, vanilla that Hope makes herself, salt and cream of tartar.

The other “everyday” flavors are chocolate salted, spicy, vanilla and coffee. Seasonal and specialty flavors have included coconut lime, blood orange, chai, stout and honey.

 

Flavors are tested out on son Samuel, daughter Carys and “anyone who wants to try.”

Caramels are $10 for a half-pound bag, with three bags $25 and a subscription service available.

Hope said she has also figured out how to make lollipops from those final, overheated bits in a caramel batch. The $1 lollipops come in vanilla, chocolate, coffee and apple.

Scarf by Pamela Horstmann
Scarf by Pam Horstmann.

Pam Horstmann

In her clothing, Pam Horstmann likes to experiment, with yarns, techniques, dyes and accessories.

She’s been weaving since 1982 and felting for 10 years, built on studies in art and textile design at the University of Vermont, a year studying in Denmark and an apprenticeship in Vermont.

She makes coats, jackets and scarves, for $55 to $400, from rayon, chenille, silk, wool and cotton.

 

By painting the loom’s warp with fiber-reactive dyes, she creates “a huge interplay of color.”

She once weaved full time, but motherhood and a job as a preschool assistant led her to going only part-time. Weaving is tough on her legs and back, so she alternates it with cutting and sewing.

Acknowledging there’s a limit on how much longer she has for this craft, she has taught weaving to daughters Sarah McGinty and Catherine Horstmann.

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