Monday, February 6, 2012

Totally Texas -- Art Jam on FM 279

FM 279

Ben Wheeler to Edom


What will your sweetheart say if you give her a deadly weapon for Valentine’s Day? “Thanks” -- if it’s a handmade blade from Harrison & Son Knifesmith. Just one of nearly a dozen shops open for the Second Saturday Art Jam running from Ben Wheeler to Edom this Saturday, February 11.

Shops are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the small towns only a few miles apart on FM 279 in East Texas. From Dallas or further west, you can reach FM 279 by taking I-20 east and exiting at either Highway 64 or Highway 19 through Canton. (Highway 19 intersects 64.) A few miles’ drive east on Highway 64 takes you to the fork toward FM 279.

As mentioned in last Monday’s post, you’re nearly there when you see the billboard for Edom’s Blueberry Hill Farms -- but that’s a stop for the summer.

If you’re looking for a more conventional gift than a knife for your valentine or yourself, you can choose from the likes of handmade chocolates from Blue Moon Gardens (a few miles east of Edom), jewelry from Zeke & Marty’s, Studio Metal Jewelry or Ken Carpenter Jewelry. Or a boutique item from WhimZee for her, Edom Ranch Art for him. (Or vice versa.)

Too many choices? Ponder them over pie from Edom Bakery & Grill or The Shed Café, a burger at Moore’s Store in Edom, or panini and a glass of wine at The Forge in Ben Wheeler. Or treat everyone to Blue Bell ice cream cones while drooling over (but not on, please) the vintage racing motorcycles at Scoot’s ’n Scoops in Ben Wheeler.

Special events for Saturday include music by Loretta Callens and the Edom All Star Band on the Edom Jam Stage during the day, and more live music at The Forge and Moore’s Store in the evening. Some shops and art galleries feature demonstrations during the day, including weaving, copper smithing, and raku pottery. Parking and admission are free. No matter which side of the road you park on, FM 279 is easy to cross.

And there’s more, lots more. For a complete list of events and times, see

Although Saturday is the official event date, most shops and galleries are open this time of year Thursday through Sunday. Check individual listings at the 279 Artisans Trail site for specifics, special hours, or to make appointments.

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