We can all appreciate that making something beautiful, useful, decorative, intricate and challenging is an accomplishment in itself; and that artisans and craftsmen, male and female, adults or young people, spend many hours perfecting their techniques and finding just the right materials to create a masterpiece. Decades ago—at the 1862 State Fair—Mary Frances Hopkins, wife of future railroad mogul Mark Hopkins, won first prize for Embroidery in Cotton. Despite spectacular advances in technology, artistic talent lives on, often passed from one generation to the next. Competition in Hand Crafts in the 2019 California State Fair includes ceramics, dolls & toys, glass, gourds, jewelry & bead art, leather, models, paper craft, porcelain painting, straw art, wood art, and other handcrafts, displayed for public appreciation and enjoyment. The State Fair exhibits the finest examples of crafts being done in the state, which adds value to the craft itself and might even inspire visitors to learn a new skill— or perfect one that they’ve been working on for a while. Awards include cash prizes and ribbons.