CAMDEN — Her creations live in delicate glass jars.

One is a shark, reminiscent of Jaws. “Did you see the little fish down below him?” she asks. I did.

A shark made of fish-netting resides behind glass in a booth at the Camden Windjammer Festival. Photo by Daniel Dunkle

In another jar, what appear to be eyes on stalks, something out of an H.G. Wells novel, await their next victim, but the artist assures me the sculpture represents a real phenomenon, something that grows in fishing gear along the coast.

Another of artist Stephanie Crossman’s creations. Photo by Daniel Dunkle

Her name is Stephanie Crossman and she lives on Vinalhaven. The art, everything from the tiny stalks to the handbags attracting tourists, are made through her given medium, fish-netting. It is also known as traditional knotted netting.

Crossman was caught engaged in this activity in a booth at the Camden Windjammer Festival on Sept. 2. She said she was in the process of doing four shows in five weeks.

She also said her skill, though traditional, is rare. She learned it from her husband’s great grandmother, Gram J (Rena Johnson), who was 92 at the time of the teaching. Gram J worked until she was 96 and Crossman inherited not only her skills, but her specialized tools.

Working with a needle and meshboard, she creates the nets. The fishing industry no longer uses these handmade nets, but the idea of losing a traditional skill like this was of concern.

As a result, Crossman has had opportunities to showcase her craft in a number of places including the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, D.C.

For more about her art and her work, visit