The Handmade Market … Because "mall" is a four-letter word.

The Handmade Market … Because "mall" is a four-letter word.

A showcase of independent designers, artists, and crafters in Raleigh, NC.

Artist Spotlights

All of the posts under the "Artist Spotlights" category.

Artist Spotlight: Salty Oat

Say hello to Caitlin Topham, a new artist at The Handmade Market on May 3. Caitlin is the modern quilter behind Salty Oat, as well as a Spoonflower employee and owner of an online fabric shop specializing in independent, organic, and screen-printed fabrics. Caitlin’s quilts mix colors and shapes in a masterful way, and her design aesthetic is clean and simple.

How do you define and measure success for yourself and your business? For me, success is seeing others using and enjoying the things I’ve made, whether that be wrapping themselves up in one of my quilts or using one of my zipper pouches when they travel.

When work gets really intense, do you lean in or step back? Tell us how and why that approach works for you and your biz. When work gets intense, I definitely do my best to lean in and take the time to get projects finished. Salty Oat is something I do when I’m not at my day job, so I try to maximize every minute I have available. There are times though, usually late at night, when I know it’s best to step back and unpick the wonky seam in the morning.

How do you connect with other creative types? Does this happen online, in person, or some of both? I connect with a lot of other crafty people through Instagram, my blog, and the online charity quilting group, do. Good Stitches. I’m also lucky to have a quilting friend nearby, and we often get together for sewing sessions and coffee, to talk about fabric and patterns.

Is there a new item that you’d like to share? I’ll be bringing along some quilted coasters that I’ve been working on — they’re basically miniature quilts that give me the chance to try out new quilting designs and use up my batting and binding scraps!

salty oat - coasters

What’s your favorite tv show to binge-watch? Parenthood and Nashville are two of my favorites!

Stop by Caitlin’s Salty Oat table at The Handmade Market on May 3 and check out her pretty selection of quilts — and new coaster designs!

Artist Spotlight: Sperlazza Pottery

Today’s artist spotlight is on Beth Sperlazza Pottery. Beth’s earthenware pieces are both feminine and utilitarian. Each piece is hand-thrown on Beth’s potter’s wheel and decorated with layers of colored slips — the results are unique and playful. We think you’ll love how Beth’s designs incorporate traditional printmaking techniques like linocut printing and masking.

How do you define and measure success for yourself and your business? I aim to measure success for myself on if I am being true to my principals and making work that I would love to own and use. If I can look back at the end of a week of working and say that I really tried to accomplish both of these things, then I say it was a success.

When work gets really intense, do you lean in or step back? Tell us how and why that approach works for you and your biz. When work gets really intense, first I tend to make a massive list thinking that I can take on the world … then I generally come to my senses and go for a run or grab a cup of coffee. This helps me get my head back on straight enough to realize what I am actually in control of or what is out of my hands. Once I have stepped away for a little while, I feel like I can take a second look at that sloppily made to do list and re-prioritize in a more concentrated and realistic manner. So do I lean in or step back? Both, I guess!

How do you connect with other creative types? Does this happen online, in person, or some of both? I’ve been blessed the past three years to be Arist in Residence at a community art center in Fredericksburg, VA called LibertyTown Arts. This opportunity has allowed me time to work on my craft and to also develop and invest in friendships and connections with lots of local artists. Some do pottery like I do, but many others paint, weave, do printmaking, or metal work. This has been challenging in the best way possible — it has made me stretch as an artist as well as pull me out of the introverted little bubble I sometimes put myself into.

Is there a new item that you’d like to share on our blog? This spring I have been focusing on items which remind me that warm weather is truly just around the corner. The best examples of this are some small pocket vases I made. They are inspired by a little vase that sits on my counter year-round, just waiting for the first time that my husband stops and picks some small wild flowers from in the yard while out checking the mail. I just love this small sign that spring has come!

What city should you really live in? I should really live in Bozeman Montana … if it were by the beach! I loved every single thing about Bozeman when I visited a few years ago, except that the closest large body of water was oh … 700 miles away.

We’re excited that spring is truly here and even more excited to check out some of Beth’s beautiful new pieces at The Handmade Market on Saturday, May 3!

artist spotlight: tiny peepers

Returning to the Handmade Market is a local favorite (and ours, too), Tiny Peepers by the talented Kelly Smith. She screen prints everything by hand in her small home studio to create nostalgic and thoughtful gifts.

How do you define and measure success for yourself and your business? I think a successful business is one that works on all levels–it’s creative and enjoyable to have, it’s engaging but doesn’t take over your personal life, and it generates income. I started tiny peepers mostly as creative outlet, but now, four years later, it’s become an important part of my family’s financial support. Just by the nature of the business, sometimes it takes over my personal life, but usually it fits in really well with my family’s schedule.

When work gets really intense, do you lean in or step back? Tell us how and why that approach works for you and your biz. When work starts to get intense, I step back–I lay around and procrastinate for a while, eat potato chips, and read Tiny Buddha posts on Facebook. For some reason, this helps me refocus when the real crunch times come. I like managing the business side during the week, and the creative side when I have longer stretches of time on the weekends.

How do you connect with other creative types? Does this happen online, in person, or some of both? I connect with others mostly through other makers who live here, but I also love meeting other artists at craft shows. There’s a WHOLE WORLD of fantastic artists and warm-hearted people out there. The added bonus of taking trips to new cities for work is the best!

Is there a new item that you’d like to share on our blog? I’m *hoping* to have a new North Carolina design finished in time for the Handmade Market. It’s still in the early creative stages, so no sneak peeks yet!

What’s your favorite tv show to binge-watch? Lately I’ve been catching up on New Girl on Netflix and Hulu. I actually don’t watch much tv.

What city should you really live in? For now, I’m completely happy living in Raleigh, but it’s not yet able to support something I’m totally obsessed with–Tiny Houses. If I didn’t have two growing boys, I’d sell my fairly small house and build a tiny one. I can see myself doing this one day. Maybe I can rent out my current house, and put my Tiny House behind it and live in my own back yard! I think it’a growing movement that will continue to be more and more realistic as people yearn for a low/no mortgage lifestyle, free of excess clutter and full of doing what you love. Sounds divine to me.

We love to see Kelly’s beautiful smile all day at the Handmade Market and we think you will, too. Hopefully she’ll have that new North Carolina design ready to make its debut!

artist spotlight: ashley brodie jewelry

Ashley Brodie, of Ashley Brodie Jewelry, returns to the Handmade Market in a few weeks and we’re glad to have her back! Her unique, eco-friendly, modern designs are always a delight.

How do you define and measure success for yourself and your business? Success, for me, is a very personal journey defined by the progress I have made along the way. I make daily, weekly and long term goals for myself and focus on completing each task, while also keeping the big picture in mind.

When work gets really intense, do you lean in or step back? Tell us how and why that approach works for you and your biz. When work gets really intense, I set the headphones to good tunes, close the door and submerge myself in my work. In moments like these, I have intense focus and determination to finish the tasks at hand.

How do you connect with other creative types? Does this happen online, in person, or some of both? I have many creative friends in all areas of the world. The easiest way to connect and stay in touch with everyone is through Facebook, Pinterest and through their blogs. At the same time, I find it’s incredibly important to immerse myself in the arts scene. Face to face interaction is the best way to meet new artists and expand my experience.

Is there a new item that you’d like to share on our blog? Yes! I just finished a custom engagement ring for a friend. It is made of 14k white and rose gold. It has a .5ct diamond with 2 little green sapphires- one on the front and one sweetly hidden on the back.

What’s your favorite tv show to binge-watch? My rare guilty pleasure is, at the end of a busy day, to snuggle up next to my sweetie and indulge in a good crime show, such as Sherlock or True Detective.

What city should you really live in? While Asheville is a great city to live in, I would love to live somewhere that was full of warm sunshine and flowers year round. Which city would that be- I’m there!

Swing by and see Ashley and her wonderful work on Saturday, May 3rd! The Market will be here before you know it!

Artist Spotlight: My Invisible Ink

With today’s artist spotlight we welcome Bethany Hadden of My Invisible Ink. Bethany is making her maiden voyage to The Handmade Market from Charlotte and bringing with her a whole slew of original, hand-painted artwork. From acrylic on tin to mixed media on wood, Bethany’s pieces are unique, vibrant, and thought-provoking.

How do you define and measure success for yourself and your business? Success for me is seeing the connection between my artwork and a customer. Success for my business would be to be financially comfortable creating what I love. I’m not there yet and it’s a constant challenge, but there are goals in place!

When work gets really intense, do you lean in or step back? Tell us how and why that approach works for you and your biz. I work well under pressure and with deadlines, so I would say I lean in when work gets tough. I suppose that comes from years of working as a graphic designer. A long walk with my favorite pup helps take the edge off, too.

How do you connect with other creative types? Does this happen online, in person, or some of both? Meeting other creatives at art shows and festivals is definitely my favorite way to connect. It’s inspiring to see what others are making and to buy a little souvenir to treasure.

Is there a new item that you’d like to share on our blog? This set is a sample of the baby room prints I just started making. I hand draw the animals and background designs and edit them in Photoshop so the color choices and combos are really endless. The prints are attached to a wooden panel board which I stain to give it an aged look. Being a mommy-to-be, I was inspired to create something that fit my home design and wasn’t, well, cheesy-baby-looking. I’m excited to release this new product!

Which wine should you actually be drinking? Well, I’m 9 months pregnant at the moment — so a bottle of Little Penguin Cabernet is screaming my name!

Swing by the My Invisible Ink table at The Handmade Market on May 3 and say hello to Bethany — you’re sure to find a souvenir treasure among her stunning work!

 

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