Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Not Your Mother's Craft Fair part 5

Well summer is winding down and with it the memory of the Renegade is slowly fading away.  Is it the aging brain or the brain that was compromised a bit too much during high school?  Either way I am glad to have my blog posts to remind me of the awesomeness that is The Renegade Craft Fair...

This is the final segment of my posts on my favorite artists from the fair, and it isn't just that Ryan Hansen is a total cutie that I picked him to feature, he also had really fun and clever goods.  Ryan's business is called  Magic Industrie and it is based in Santa Monica.  Ryan has been making art all his life, but has actively pursuing making a living from it for the past 2 years.  So what does Ryan make?  Well he takes vintage hardback books and uses the covers to make wallets, pins, cuff bracelets and more.

Ryan with his cuff bracelets, his wallets, and his cute glasses!

The coolest part of Ryan's collection, the magical part, are his wallets that make your dough magically disappear.  Is it a commentary on our current state of economic decline, or is it just clean fun...?

A wallet closed...

One interior view...


Then you close and reopen and somehow the money is now under these straps...

...and then you close and re-open and the money is hidden!  I lost my picture of that phase however, sigh...but I can tell you it is an experience not to be missed....it's spellbinding...

Buttons from book spines!

Ryan has been doing the Renegade since 2010 and when not at this fair he peddles his wares at local farmers markets where he has created quite a following.  In fact, in the past couple of years he has been able to make a living off of his art.  To fellow artists starting out, he advises to get a good website as a number one priority.  Ryan is always busy making his book products, but he loves what he's doing, especially the traveling he gets to do and all the great people he gets to meet along the way.    I for one am glad to have met him and hope to see him again at  next years show.

If you want to check out Ryan's work, his website is:http://www.magicindustrie.com/
and his facebook fan page is:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Industrie/185873524790788?ref=ts

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

School, Show, Shocked

Well, maybe not shocked, but I wanted a clever title...Anchored down in Anchorage anyone?

Ok, well I have been crazy busy with the start of the school year which means lots of opening faculty meetings and lots of prep!  In addition I have been invited to exhibit in a really cool boutique/gallery called Red Square Boutique and Design Collective.  I have been preparing for that show which I install on Sunday.  The curator, Agent Peach, aka Kellie Peach, came by the laboratory the other day to pick the work she wanted for the show.

Kellie wanted alot of work, I think I get a big wall to myself!

Typically for installations I like to paint directly onto the wall around the pieces. For this install however I only have one day so I am going to skip the painting and instead pin up paper and found objects. I did some paper cutting which is so fun and relaxing.   I needed it after the hectic-ness I have been experiencing lately!


Gathering up found objects and collage-y bits to pin to the wall. 

The show is in San Mateo, and opens on Thursday the 1st at 6 oclock, so if you are in the area come check it out.
You can visit the website at: http://www.redsquareboutique.com
And for more info on the gallery, check out Agent Peach's website: http://www.agentpeach.com

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Not Your Mother's Craft Fair- Part 4

 So far I have shown you lots of very girlie and very "cute" (said with love)  work from the artists I have featured here, but there are indeed many other sides to the Renegade Craft Fair.  Today I will show you artists who work with found objects, mixed media and lots of vintage materials.   Zelma Rose and and her "vintage inspired curiosities" really took my breath away with the design and look of her booth.  She had fantastic objects and props she was using as displays such as old dress forms, vintage fabrics and crates, and just an overall beautifully done, cohesive display.

Everything about the way the booth looked created an overall experience, including the artist herself.
 Zelma Rose is actually San Francisco based artist Lisa Anderson Shaffer.  Exactly one year ago Lisa started Zelma Rose and she is already making quite an impact with her original and fun products.  Lisa has been making art her whole life, studied fine art in college, has taught, exhibited, and been involved in artist residencies all over the country.  After so many years of making amazing and marketable objects, she decided to go for it, and to make living off of her art a goal, and started Zelma Rose.  "This was my first time at Renegade.  When I started Zelma Rose last year, it was a goal of mine to get into Renegade this year.  It was great to be a part of it!"

A picket fence!

Cool old distressed crates!

 Besides these bow ties and earrings made from vintage fabrics, one of Lisa's best selling and most unique products are her lockets.  The outside of the locket is made from vintage fabric and they are like puffed up buttons.  The interior contains a chalkboard on one side, and a magnetic chalkboard on the other.  So you can write little messages, and stick on little mementos.

The locket closed...

The locket open!

I asked Lisa if she had any advice to other artists interested in pursuing craft shows with their potential for highs and lows, as well as advice on starting your own art business:
"Believe in your product.  Not every show has an immediate yield.  People remember what they like and sometimes a show might seem slow, or a bad match for your art, but often times down the road, people who saw your work here or there will seek you out and make a purchase online or from you at a different show.  When the going gets rough, I continue on and forge ahead because I have to.  I've come to learn that no matter what other pursuits I might delve into, I always come back to art.  Moving ahead and above is a necessity."

Check out these awesome lockets at:

Hoot hoot!

Another booth that caught my eye and really stood out was that of Gold Fools, a joint venture between artists Hillary Webb and David Figeuroa.  These 2 artists are from Halifax Canada and this year they began touring the US doing Renegade shows.

The artists with their wares. 

To me, their booth and art really stood out.   There was an immediacy to their work, a spontaneity that can at times be lost at a craft show where everything is typically tight and emphasis is placed on craftsmanship.  Their booth was like a breath of fresh air, maybe not FRESH air, but atmospheric air. Their art and jewelry was all mixed media, that included collage, embroidery, drawing, painting, old frames, buttons, felt and lots of vintage, distressed ephemera.

A chalkboard wall that displays their pieces.

David does the collage work, Hillary does the embroidery work.

Gold Fools has recently opened an Etsy store and they hope to keep building up their business, including continuing to travel and collecting goodies along the way that they will incorporate into future pieces.  When not on the road, Hillary, a lover of vintage books, has just finished her masters in Library Sciences and is becoming a librarian.  David has a successful vintage clothing business called Vagabond Vintage.  I asked them about how life on the road has treated them, and how their experiences have been so far doing craft shows.
"We've both had good and bad luck at shows, but the trick is to find the city and show that works for you, then keep going back so that the customers can expect to see you there in the future. Renegade was a great time for us!"

Hillary and David also have a series of amazing pieces in which Hillary has embroidered on some of Davids wonderful vintage shirts.  And you can see them at:
And you can see one here...

Thanks to Lisa, Hillary and David for talking to me.  See you next year!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cuff the Magic Dragon

This post has nothing to due with dragons or hobbits or smoking pot, or even handcuffing someone to a head board.  Instead this post is about something even more awesome than all those things...
If you have read my prior posts, you know I LOVE CUFF BRACELETS!  What exactly is it about cuffs I adore? Well to tell you the truth, I have no idea...
If you have thoughts on why cuff bracelets are so great, please share them with us below...

My cuff collection.

I have made lots of cuffs, and of course, I have bought lots of cuffs.  I have been lucky to have traveled quite a bit (thanks Grama!) and I consider shopping for local handicrafts to be, well, is it horribly shallow for me to admit, that it's the best part about traveling!  There, I said it...

Cuffs from Canada.

I had know idea that leather working is like the predominent Canadian craft, but sure enough, everywhere I went in Montreal and Quebec I saw amazing stamped leather goods.  As you can imagine, this made me quite happy...

These 2 cuffs I purchased from a street vender.  To me these are super special, for he used vintage French stamps to make them.  They were the only leather goods I found during my whole trip that had such beautiful stamps.  The blue one is perhaps my favorite cuff of all time.  It's over 2 inches wide, and really thick and sturdy.

Felt, buttons,grommets and ric rac.

I went through a felt cuff making frenzy a few years ago, and these are a few examples.  I love these cuffs and I think I may list them on my Etsy store soon.  The big mother of pearl button I got from the first Sunday Alameda flea market.  It's the MOST AMAZING flea, huge and all antiques and vintage.  I actually can't go anymore because I am busting at the seams with stuff as it is, and simply have no self control...

This piece I found in a little crafty housewares and accessories store in a walled city outside of Lucca, Italy.  This store was simply amazing with work from artists from Italy and the rest of Europe.  This cuff is made from old kimonos.

Felt, denim, ric rac, buttons, beads.

A few months prior to my felt cuff making frenzy I made these cuffs, which must have lead to the felt cuffs.  I don't wear these too often, they may be a little insane even for me.  Hmmm, now that I am thinking about, they are pretty darn cute, I will wear one this week, I promise...

And finally...my new cuffs are here and ready to go!  I am very excited about these, I made them from my original surface design patterns.  I will be adding the cuffs to my Etsy store for the next week in kid and adult sizes.

Get in touch with YOUR inner Power Cuff Girl.

Now that I am looking at this post, it seems that I have made most of my cuffs, so I may have to go buy a few more to balance things out...  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Not Your Mother's Craft Fair- Part 3

Meet Belta...
                                                and Rondo...

                                                    and Effel...


These little cutie pies and are born from the wacky and wonderful brain of Joelle Medici.  Joelle's line of creatures is called Mr. Sogs, named after her very plump cat, Soggy.  Joelle is the youngest Renegade artist I met, she is merely 25 years old and makes a living off of her art.  This was her 3rd time doing the fair, and she also sells her creatures in boutiques across the country and in her Etsy store.

Mama and babies.

The creatures are all made of fleece and come in pairs, so they are all twins.  They are all sewn by Joelle and some months she can barely keep up with the demand she has for new creatures.  Joelle runs her business, and is currently in school getting her masters degree in Fine Art.  I asked her if she had any advice for aspiring Renegade Crafters, "Be willing to travel, but make sure to factor in your expenses to make sure it's worth your time."  Joelle says she loves her lifestyle and running her business, and she hopes to have her own store front within a few years.  I suspect with the energy and focus Joelle has, that that store front will be sooner than later.

To see more of Joelle's creatures, check out her facebook page: www.facebook.com/MrSogs
And to adopt one of your own creatures, visit her Etsy store: mrsogs.etsy.com

Another young textile artist whose work I adore is Eling Chang.  She is in her 4th year as a Renegade artist and her felt hair accessories and jewelry had a crowd of ladies hogging the mirror and in a frenzy at her booth!  

Ha ha, that's me in the mirror...

Eling lives outside of Boston and works in a old renovated mill that has been converted into artist studio spaces.  Her company is called Migration Goods, named after her love of travel and for the semi annual destinations she visits, which become temporary homes away from home for her.   Eling has been making art for as long as she can remember and began selling her work back in 2005.  She too makes a living off of her art!

Toast with butter and jam.  Some happy toast, some kinda sad, all delicious...

It's Eling's multi layered felt hair accessories that I think are the show stoppers.  She cuts all her felt by hand with a mere scissors, creating all different flower, petal and leaf shapes.

Petal shapes, pre sewing...

an array of brooches and hair clips...

scalloped head bands...

and the motherlode...a hydrangea head band...

Eling runs her business, making all of her own pieces, keeping the books, traveling around the country doing fairs and maintains her Etsy store.
"I would love to keep doing what I'm doing, with steady growth to my business.  I don't want to expand too much, as I still take care of every aspect of my business myself.  While I'm not so attached to micromanaging, accounting & paperwork, I love that I make every single piece myself, and I want to keep doing that."

To purchase one of Elings hair accessories, check out her Etsy store,  http://migrationjewelry.etsy.com and to keep up with her and her process,  her blog is,  http://elingeling.typepad.com

Thanks Joelle and Eling for talking to me, and for creating such wonderful art!!