Craft love at Art Star Bazaar

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Art Star’s Craft Bazaar at Penn’s Landing May 15-16th was like a tangible shopping trip on Etsy, full of hipster artists and crafters selling their one-of-a-kind masterpieces. It was a perfect sunny weekend to walk around the 128 vendor booths and enjoy the featured music.

One of Horrible Adorables' taxidermy heads

I spent Saturday afternoon moseying around the show. After strolling around the tents, some strong patterns began to arise. Apparently in the crafting world, if you can imagine it you can felt it. There were endless creations made of felt: headbands, jewelry, bowls, even taxidermy-like heads. Truthfully it got a little redundant and it was hard to distinguish one crafter’s work from another. There were a couple that managed to resonate with me including those taxidermy creature heads by Horrible Adorables, maybe just because a felted head is much less creepy than a dead head. Hunt for your head on their Etsy site .

Giand Dwarf, felt headbandI also really liked the felted headbands by Giant Dwarf which have a 1920’s appeal to them. Their Etsy site also has some really beautiful star crowns which would be a great substitute for a wedding veil for a non-traditional bride.

a display of monsters

In addition to felt these artists and crafters seem to really enjoy owls and monsters. They were everywhere: stuffed, printed on tees, appliqued onto pillows and more. Similarly to the felt most all of the monsters and owls looked the same. The owls would look at home in your parent’s basement sitting on a coffee table next to their brown, orange and mustard couch – very vintage. The monsters managed to be cuddly with an edge – if it’s possible for a stuffed toy to have an edge. I am thinking cool hipster parents would want their cute hipster kids to get into both these trends (it’s the same parents that put their babies in skull and bones onesies).

,  foot pot
Shawn Spangler and Sarah Davey, foot pot

Of course it wasn’t all just felt, owls and monsters. There were plenty of prints, accessories, and ceramics including foot pots for your plant friends from Shawn Spangler and Sarah Davey.

Katherine Grandey, nuts

My favorite vendor of the show was Katherine Grandey who makes ceramics from vintage molds she has collected through the years. I went home with a porcelain walnut for only $5. I love affordable art – especially work that includes recycling.  But more than that I love everyday objects — such as nuts — translated into something unexpected.  The new format allows you to reevaluate the object all together and enjoy it out of context.    Check out Grandey’s website on Etsy to find nuts, cats and even owls – how trendy!

Vendor business cards run the gamut

As I walked home from the Craft Bazaar with my porcelain walnut I was tired and inspired. The craft fair was a great compilation of affordable art and crafts. It’s a very accessible way to incorporate art into your everyday life and support local and not so local artists. I love the creativity and detail these vendors put into their craft right down to their price tags and business cards. These crafters bring their personality into their creations and are redefining what it means to be a crafter.  They are Martha Stewart Hipsters.  As for the art, it might lack pretension and a hefty price tag, but that doesn’t make it any less collectable (or enjoyable!).

I think this home-made art/craft trend comes at a perfect time when people are re-evaluating how we should be living as a society.  It’s king of like the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) of the art world.  You can get to know the artist behind the art.  There is more of a connection to community.  What can you (or a local crafter) make to cut costs and resources? How can we live more in unison as a community?

If you missed the show you can visit Art Star gallery and boutique on 2nd Street in Northern Liberties and of course find an array of creativity on etsy.com.  Or check out Art for the Cash Poor June 12-13 at the Crane Arts Building – lots of arts and crafts.  http://www.inliquid.com/features/aftcp11/artists.php

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