Joan Betzold grew up in a family of craftsmen/women and attributes much of her success to her “crafty” genes. Healthcare was another part of Joan’s family background; so loving both, she got her B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation so she could share her love of crafting/recreation with many special populations. After pursuing her Master’s degree, she founded a healthcare consulting firm to assist troubled healthcare providers to survive and thrive. In 1998, after the sudden death of her husband from Agent Orange from Vietnam service, Joan decided life really was too short. After her two children were on their own, Joan began her second career as a crafter. Joan has won many awards in local and state fairs, as well as art shows. She has been featured in Maryland Life Magazine and participates in as many as 45 art/craft shows annually in the mid-Atlantic area. Joan’s passion is basket weaving and she is very humbled by the fact that she has won “Basket of the Year”, Recycling Project of the Year and People’s Choice Award all at the Maryland State Fair and many other awards at prestigious art shows. For the last several years she has been honored to be the Basket weaving Judge at the Maryland State Fair.
Joan weaves very traditionally, using age old techniques with no molds, nails, glue or staples. Another passion of Joan is repurposing. She combines these two interests in what are becoming her signature unique baskets incorporating vintage kitchen items, gardening and other tools. Joan loves to do custom work and coming up with just the right thing for a customer. Joan loves to teach and demonstrate, especially to children as a way for them to be introduced to weaving and handcrafts of the past. This passion has recently expanded into demonstrating and teaching weaving at colonial era marketplaces and museums. Joan’s customers include stores, gift shops, art galleries, individuals, companies, political figures, municipalities and other government entities.
Each year the PA Herb & Garden Festival selects one vendor to be the FEATURED VENDOR for the Festival that year.