Live auctions are common in the art world, but Florida Craftsmen has one that doesn’t require a paddle or your presence. • Today, and through April 4, 12 excellent examples of fine crafts are offered in an online auction, the 21st century version of the traditional silent auction. These enviable works are in traditional handcrafted mediums – fiber, wood, ceramic, glass, and jewelry – created by stellar Florida artisans.

The artists are Susan Banks, Rocky Bridges, John Mascoll, Sang Roberson, William Kidd, Pam Fox, Duncan McClellan, Akiko Sugiyama, Sarah Butz, Brice Dyer and Robin Pelszynski. In its evolution, craftsmanship has broadened its definition as a functional object. Today, they occupy a hybrid space between traditional crafts and fine arts. Vases, for example, are sometimes better called vases.

Florida Craftsmen Executive Director Diane Shelly said each artist created one piece specifically for this event (and jeweler Sarah Butz created two), “not something they pulled from their inventory.”

They were first going to be silently auctioned off at a gala that Shelly says was reduced to an intimate gathering of donors, too small for an auction. And besides, why not give the crowd not attending the gala an equal chance to own one of these beauties?

So they went online. You can see them on or live at the gallery, 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The bidding process is also straightforward. When you scroll through the online gallery, you will see the current highest retail value and bid. (Often in these auctions, the bids exceed the estimated value.) Then you can register to bid. The coin’s value determines the increments you make in auctions and ranges from $ 25 to $ 150.

The gallery is hosting a free reception and closing, with raffles for more crafts, on April 4 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Online auctions end at 7:20 p.m. until 7:30 p.m .: (727) 821-7391.

Lennie Bennett can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8293.

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