Growing up, Stauffer attended the Kutztown Folk Festival every year. Although it was the highlight of his summer, he hadn't imagined himself on the other side of a vendor's table. Now, Stauffer has found his place as an artist. This year he displays his handmade copper flowers, glass pendants, twisted wire bonsai trees and other items at the festival.
The Boyertown, PA resident began working with copper about a year ago, seeking something therapeutic to help manage depression that caused him to leave his job as a third grade teacher. "I felt useless," he recalled. After taking a four-hour introductory ornament making class, he said, "I was hooked.
"This keeps me occupied. It makes me feel like I am productive." Stauffer said he turns to molding copper as a creative outlet and can spend hours absorbed in a project.
One of his first efforts was a flower. "I thought a rose would be cool." he said.