Historic Bonebrake Center hosting Pumpkin Fest featuring local soap maker – The Salem News

Posted: Tuesday, October 24, 2017



Several artists will be at The Spring Creek Artisans annual Pumpkin Fest. The event is to be held 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday at the historic Bonebrake Center of Nature and History. The Pumpkin Fest is one of three shows the artisans host throughout the year. The other shows are held at Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

A wide variety of handmade items, including original paintings, wood carvings and turnings, pottery, baskets, fiber art, quilts, stained glass, and wire-wrapped jewelry made by this exclusive group of juried artists, will be available for purchase by the public. Gift cards will be available, and customers will now have the choice to use credit cards for their purchases.

Artists of all ages will be represented. Salem High School art students will be set up to sell printmaking cards among other works. There will be an art show featuring works by Salem R-80 Elementary and Upper Elementary art students.

The ‘art’ will also be available in the form of free face painting during the event. Best of Missouri Hands Artist Russ Biros will have a hand-carved pumpkin that will be a door prize.

Soap maker Susan Biunno is the featured artist this year. Her extensive collection of handmade, all organic soaps started as a hobby thirteen years ago, while still living in California.

She and her husband moved to Salem in 2013, and Biunno sold her organic produce and canned goods at the farmers market; she then added her soaps. They sold well, so the hobby expanded into a home-based business.

“I added supplies and increased my production,” said Biunno. “I have a lot of repeat customers, and Flemings and Laura’s Place here in Salem also sell my products.”

She markets her soaps with the artisans, continues at the farmer’s market, as well as at craft shows, fairs, festivals and bazaars.

Biunno uses only the highest quality ingredients. She starts with a base of glycerin soap and primarily goat or coconut milk. She does sometimes use olive oil, shay butter or honey.

“These ingredients make the soap so moisturizing, and they are so good for your skin. It’s pure soap with no fillers or additives. Because there are no fillers, the soap will last a really long time.” said Biunno.

When making scented bars, she adds essential oils and often utilizes spices for coloring.

She has 50 – 60 molds to choose from and over 40 scents, with which she is continually experimenting to create new combinations. She is always expanding her inventory as she creates.

In addition to her beautiful and aromatic pure soap, she also offers scented bath salts and during the summer carries lye and chamomile soap, reportedly good to thwart the effects of poison ivy.

“I do not have a website, because I am very passionate about my quality soaps, I like to talk to people about them and explain how they are good for you,” added Biunno. “I like the personal one-on-one aspect. It helps me learn what my customers want, and I am able to broaden by customer base.

“This past year I was thrilled to become a member of The Spring Creek Artisans,” added the soap maker. “It’s such a fun group; I’ve learned so much, and I was honored to be asked to join them.”

The Bonebrake Center of Nature and History is located at 601 North Hickory St. and Rolla Road.

For more information, contact Russ Biros at (417) 458-9894 or call the Bonebrake Center at 729-3400.



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