Now that I’ve completed my two craft festivals for the season (that’s the max I can handle right now), I wanted to put together a short list of the big takeaways I have from doing craft festivals. Take these with a grain of salt, because everyone has a different experience and I’ve really only done a few. Things may be totally different in different cities or with different organizers, I’m not sure.
The very few I’ve done are Indie Craft Experience (Holiday 2015 and 2016), Root City Market (Holiday 2015), and American Field (Atlanta 2016). I mainly sell art prints of my own artwork so that may also affect my experience as a vendor. But I feel somewhat confident that if you are at all interested in doing shows like this, these things will be useful for you to know before going in.
It took months of working with this woman to find out that she was a ceramist. And when I finally saw her porcelain pieces, it all made perfect sense. As is always the case, an artist’s work is a direct reflection of the person she or he is, whether intentional or not. Charlotte’s work is quiet, elegant, unexpected. Her live-work studio made me a bit jealous; with the sunlight streaming in through the loft, I felt a sense of calm and an overwhelming desire to get to work. My admiration for her diligence only grew.
How did you get here? Why did you choose clay?
It was something to do while I couldn’t find a job, that was a frustrating time.
Do you remember the first time you worked with porcelain?
Yes, it’s because they were out of the stoneware that I normally buy. I’ve not used stoneware since I tried porcelain that day. Well, aside from my black clay.
What does a perfect day in the studio look like to you?
I mostly work in the studio on Thursdays and Fridays along with the time I have off during the weekend. A perfect day in the studio is when I can complete enough things that I feel satisfied when I have to go back to work on Monday. I enjoy sunny days with my big windows. I also enjoy days that start with coffee.
If you could pick one functional item to make for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Well, I’ve enjoyed making cups for the last year, so why not more cups. They’re almost instant gratification, and I enjoy using them as small canvases to do patterns on or experiments with new techniques.
Can you imagine what your life would be like if your job was to make and sell craft marshmallows?… I think it must involve a whole lot of s’mores and smiles (I obviously try to alliterate whenever the opportunity presents itself)! Aside from that though, Malvi Marshmallow Confections adds finesse to a treat we’ve always known to come out of a huge plastic bag. For the better portion of our lives, marshmallows have been a throwaway food relegated to act as a sugar filler, just a topping. Malvi, on the other hand, takes them to a level we’ve never been able to dream of.
Inspired by the wonderful simplicity of their flavor origins, I decided to doodle and paint around these little confections. I only wish the quality of these pictures was a little better! We’ve got chocolate mint, vanilla, and raspberry hibiscus…
If you haven’t gotten the chance to try this pillowy goodness.. get you some!
A Dopp kit is a small toilet bag, made of leather, vinyl, or cloth, that is used for storing men’s grooming tools for travel. The name derives from early 20th century leather craftsman Charles Doppelt, a German immigrant to the United States, who invented his toiletry case in 1919. The kits became widely known during the Second World War when they were issued to GIs. Dopp kits were once a common gift given to adolescent males as they ascended from boyhood to adulthood.
While ours is not an official dopp kit, the traditional shape served as our inspiration to create these multi-use travel pouches. They are all unique and hand-painted, a great size for makeup, pens, jewelry… whatever daily tools you need to get by. These are currently available at Crafted Westside’s holiday pop-up shop at Westside Provisions, as well as available for custom order. If you’re interested in ordering one, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!What would you use yours for?
I feel so cheesy when I use the word “synergy”, but that is what comes to mind when I think about this collaboration. Rachael‘s handbags are beautifully crafted, with great attention and care to every detail. Her authenticity comes from the core of her being; she’s one of those girls who just instantly lights up the mood of any room. I’m absolutely humbled by her willingness to share a byline with me, especially when it comes to something as close to her heart as her bags. Together, we present to you a collection of canvas bags that are simple and modern, with a touch of whimsy. We’ve chosen Crafted Westside‘s holiday pop-up shop – and the internet – as the venue for the premiere of this line. Bag shapes include the tote (pictured here), the clutch, and the dopp kit. Our color palette is grounded in earth tones with flourishes of gold, and the designs are meant to be as functional as they are fun. We hope you’ll be as excited as we are! If you don’t live in Atlanta or would like to have a custom hand-painted bag for yourself, get in touch with us and email me at email@example.com. We’re crossing our fingers that this will be a partnership to last – evolving alongside our own individual craft practices. More product pictures to come very soon…
In case you haven’t read between the lines, I’ve been working on a seriously exciting collaboration with my lovely and inspiring friend, Rachael of Neva Opet! Her bags are some of the best in town and it’s no secret that I’ve been a big admirer of hers for a while now. She was one of the first artisans I interviewed for this blog and her positive outlook and support has made a wonderful impact in my life’s work. It felt super natural for us to fuse our crafts; our mutual respect and adoration for each other’s sense of design made this a no-brainer. What is this going to look like, you ask? Well, here’s a sneak peek from my instagram…
I’ve never done product design like this before and it was definitely a good challenge. With the amount of bags I had to do and the lack of free time I had, it forced me to create more efficiently. This mostly meant leaving things be and accepting the beauty of simplicity. I have the tendency to over-create because I always want to add more and more subtle layers. But for this project, it was important to step back and force myself to provide breathing room. I had to remind myself that they were all going to be transforming into something else, something useful, and that a simple statement is much more impactful than a busy chaotic mess.
I have no idea what the end product is going to look like! I just passed off all the materials to Rachael for her to do her magic and by this time next week, we will finally have a finished line.
What I do know is that there will be a variety of colors, patterns, and bag shapes for you to choose from and it’s just in time for the holiday season! Some of these will be living in Crafted Westside‘s Holiday Pop-Up Shop and others will be available for custom order. We’ll be premiering our products in the next two weeks with more information to come. Hope you’re half as excited as we are!!
I stumbled into Take Heart with no idea or expectation of what would be inside. The sign outside said “modern, handmade, vintage” which are obviously three of the buzziest buzz words for crafty hipsters like me. Well, it turned out to be one of the cutest little shops I’ve ever been in Austin, or anywhere really.
You can find an assortment of lovely items in this shop, from beauty products to decor, stationary, art and more… the creative energy in this place is like a magnet for lovers of beautifully crafted objects (like me). The space was open and airy, with tons of sunlight flooding in.