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: Leopold Designs

Kim Kirchstein of Leopold Designs is a fabulous Raleigh-based textile artist who has never failed to make us swoon over her fabrics and very thoughtful designs. She specializes in hand-dyed Batik and Shibori silk fabrics. Each creation is unique, using sustainable soy wax and low-impact dyes on natural fabric.

Leopold Designs
raffle donor

How did you come up with your business name? I named my business after a very cool, big, orange tabby cat I had for 16 years. His name was “Leopold.” No, not “Designs.”

Tell us about your newest style, design, or creation. I typically make scarves of various sizes, and big sarongs … but I’ve made some bow ties and headbands, too.

Are there any new skills or techniques that you’d like to learn? How might this new craft fit with your current methods? I would love to get better at my sewing skills. Being more confident in making a wider variety of pieces … like simple blouses or swingy trousers!! It would be fun and likely draw a broader audience!

Is there a new item that you’d like to share? Bow ties!

Which artists are you most excited to see at The Handmade Market? I’ve been admiring Amy Draws for a couple years now, and I’m a sucker for amazing & creative pottery and Trista’s is both!

What was your first concert and/or all-time favorite concert? First concert: The Motels with The Producers (as the opening act) at West Point Military Academy.
My all-time favorite??!!! Depeche Mode at Carowinds in 1994! The singer picked me to come up on stage and held my hand and had me sing with him and … and … omg!!!

What’s your favorite Halloween costume? My brother and I were dressed as a puppy and a kitty, with the old-style plastic masks and pull-on jumpers.

Be sure to visit Kim and see her incredibly beautiful work and get more details about singing with Dave Gahan. Trust us, she’ll regress to her teen self with a quickness! See you at The Handmade Market on Saturday, November 8.

Artist Spotlight: Juniper Bay Metals

Stacy Sawyer Phebus of Raleigh-based Juniper Bay Metals got hooked on metalworking while attending East Carolina University.  We think she owes a bouquet of flowers to the friend who encouraged her to take a metals class that ultimately changed her path.

Juniper Bay Metals
new artist
raffle donor

How did you come up with your business name? I decided on my business name for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the name represents my family’s coastal history. I felt it was important for me to give a nod to my past because it’s a huge part of who I am. Having grown up the daughter of a fisherman in eastern North Carolina, I often heard my dad and his buddies speaking of the best fishing spots. Juniper Bay was one such spot and the name always resonated. I like the way it feels, the imagery it conjures. It’s a beautiful coastal area along the “Inner Banks” where the Pamlico Sound meets the marshlands of Swan Quarter, NC. And since a lot of my work, for years, has been influenced by treasures of the sea, it just made sense.

The juniper branch logo ties the place, the name, and my aesthetic together: raw, simply refined, nature-derived designs.

Tell us about your newest style, design, or creation.  Sea creatures – their shapes, textures and forms – have been an inspiration of mine for years. I’ve been focusing on developing my Urchin line this year. Some pieces in the series are raw silver or copper. Others are enameled in a kiln or by using a torch. This method allows me to achieve rich, colorful surfaces that compliment the forms and their textures really nicely.

Are there any new skills or techniques that you’d like to learn? How might this new craft fit with your current method(s)? One technique I’d like to explore more deeply is lost-wax casting. I’ve done this type of casting in the past, but it’s been several years since I’ve had access to the special tools and equipment needed. While I love fabricating work and would continue to do so, it would be really awesome to incorporate cast elements into my work.

Is there a new item that you’d like to share?  Wax Yellow Urchin Necklace

Which artist(s) are you most excited to see at The Handmade Market? I’m super excited Tara Locklear will be at The Handmade Market this year! I just adore her work. She and I came up through the same Metal Design program at East Carolina University School of Art & Design, but were were there at different times. I haven’t actually met her yet, but I’ve been a big fan of her work for a while. Hoping to finally meet her (and buy a piece!) at the market.

What was your first concert and/or all-time favorite concert? My first real concert was DEF LEPPARD at the Norfolk Scope in VA. Ha! I’m showing my age, right?! I was in 7th grade and a friend’s dad took us. Bless his heart, he was not into it at all. When they played their hit ballad “Love Bites” thousands of lighters waved back and forth in the crowd. Classic.

My all-time favorite concert? Gosh, that’s so tough. I think it would have to be Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings at Cat’s Cradle several years ago, 2006 maybe? The band, Sharon, the vocals, the sheer energy of the show – everything was amazing. And I danced all night with really good friends. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Be sure to visit Staci and sing something from Pyromania while shopping for your new Urchin necklace at The Handmade Market on Saturday, November 8.

Artist Spotlight: Fillaree

Fillaree was born in Durham, North Carolina from the mind and heart of owner/maker Alyssa Cherry. As part of developing her truly earth-friendly bath & body products and cleaning solutions, Alyssa created a feasible means of refilling her brand of luscious, organic and vegan products. All Fillaree products are free of harmful ingredients found in commercially manufactured products such as dyes, preservatives, synthetic fragrances, sulfates, surfactants, and parabens. Fillaree products are handcrafted with care, in small batches. Fillaree’s mission is not only to create and produce sustainable, healthy soaps and cleaners but, in Alyssa’s words, ‘enable, promote and support conscious consumerism in hopes of significantly reducing waste while keeping the planet and its people a little cleaner.’

Fillaree
new artist
raffle donor

How did you come up with your business name? The concept of Fillaree is for patrons to refill their bottles and containers with our handmade products. I wanted  the name to make that clear but not be too literal. The name went through a few changes, got edited down and one day while swimming laps in the pool it came to me; Fillaree. I thought it was a beautiful name with a nice flow;the fact that, with a slightly different spelling, it is a pretty flower, made it all the more appealing.

Tell us about your newest style, design, or creation. My newest creation is liquid beer soaps. For the latest I partnered with Aviator brewing, using their Pumpkin Beast seasonal beer to make a pumpkin beer soap. I’ve ‘spiced’ it up the scent with cinnamon, clove and nutmeg essential oils. Its perfect for this time of year and also makes a great gift for anyone who loves pumpkin, beer or both! I always plan to have a beer soap “on tap.” They are all limited small batches so get them while you can.

Are there any new skills or techniques that you’d like to learn? How might this new craft fit with your current methods? I would love to use dried or preserved ingredients in liquid soap to make the soap more visually exciting. I am going to look into fermentation and natural options for preservation to see what possibilities there might be to help me complete this crazy vision I have. People are always asking for hair and skin products too so I am exploring these options as well.  The more products that you can refill the less waste we create and happier the planet is!

Is there a new item that you’d like to share? I’m almost ready to take a photo of the beer soap in its new bottle…so excited! But in the meantime here is a link to my first limited beer soap. What do you think?

Which artists are you most excited to see at The Handmade Market? I just love all things beautiful and one-of-a-kind so I am excited to see everyone! I particularly love a good collab[oration], pottery and ceramics so I am excited to see the artists Casey Seawell and Trista Hudzick. If either of these amazing artists were inspired by Fillaree, it would be fantastic to create a custom soap dish or unique container that people would love to refill again and again.

What was your all-time favorite concert? Gotta say my all time fave was Fleet Foxes — saw them in Chapel Hill at Local 506 in 2007. This was before they were super big. I was right up front and it was pretty magical.

What’s your favorite Halloween costume and/or memory? Well, this question definitely has two answers. My favorite costume was being Jessica Rabbit. My favorite Halloween memories are winning 1st place in a costume contest as Cher to my BFF’s Sonny and having a blast as The Golden Girls another year.

Be sure to visit Fillaree’s table and check out her pumpkin brew soap at The Handmade Market on Saturday, November 8.

Artist Spotlight: Clara Works

Clara Cline is coming to The Handmade Market from Richmond, Virginia and bringing all kinds of hand-lettered, illustrated eye candy from her shop Clara Works. Her wares include art prints, cards for all occasions, stationery sets, and one exciting new product that Clara will tell you about in a minute. Her motto for business and life: “make nice things that make people happy.”

Clara Works
new artist
raffle donor

How did you come up with your business name? I’m not a trained artist or designer, and being able to create things full time was always just a twinkle in my eye. The past few years I worked full time but was spending all of my free time teaching myself how to design, letter, and run a business. Earlier this year I decided to take the chance and go full time with it, and I spent a while trying to think of a name that would cover what my business did. I realized I didn’t really know for sure what my business would be, I just knew I wanted to do my own work. I ended up with the name Clara Works as a little bit of a catch-all, and the stubborn little mule seemed like the perfect symbol — nothing fancy, but they work hard and get the job done.

Tell us about your newest style, design, or creation. I love calendars but haven’t made one before, so I’m pretty excited about finally having one. It’s kind of daunting to make something people are dedicating a year to, so I wanted it to be something you could take to heart each day. The quote is from my favorite poem by Emerson — it always seems like such a relevant reminder.

Are there any new skills or techniques that you’d like to learn? My husband and I are in the process of building a screenprinting and woodworking studio in our backyard that will be complete around the holidays, and I’m looking forward to printing more large format textiles. I love paper, but recently I’ve found myself drawn to patterns. What I’d really love to do is create a line of children’s furnishings and textiles.

Which artist are you most excited to see at The Handmade Market? Liz Kelly‘s pottery is aces — I’ll take two of everything.

What was your first concert and/or all-time favorite concert? This was back in my bad attitude and combat boot days, so my first concert was an old school punk band, Bad Religion. It was awesome.

What’s your favorite Halloween costume? I get any and all craftiness from my mom, who is an incredible seamstress and made us Halloween costumes every year that would put Martha Stewart to shame. When I was six or seven she made me a Glinda costume that was unreal — the crown, the wand, everything. I’m pretty sure I was carrying around my weight in pink tulle and rhinestones.

Be sure to visit the Clara Works table at The Handmade Market on November 8. Clara’s prints and stationery sets would make lovely gifts, and her delightful thank you notes will come in handy this holiday season.

Artist Spotlight: Amy Draws

Amy Friend is the local illustrator, graphic designer, and mixed media artist behind Amy Draws. She prints and embroiders her designs on pillows, totes, t-shirts, canvases, and more. This will be Amy’s first time at The Handmade Market — help us give her a warm welcome.

Amy Draws
new artist
raffle donor

How did you come up with your business name? I consider myself a draftsman first when it comes to making art. Regardless of the end product I create, it has always begun with a pencil.

Tell us about your newest style, design, or creation. My favorite design right now is my heartstrings print. It illustrates the balance of a relationship. It’s a delicate balance of push and pull, give and take.

Are there any new skills or techniques that you’d like to learn? I’d like to explore a quicker, less meditated form of printing … maybe mono prints. I spend so much time refining drawings that sometimes I need a more instant-gratification type of outlet.

Which artist are you most excited to see at The Handmade Market? Elena Caron — I recently discovered her work, and the embroidery is incredible … balanced with a great sense of color and composition, you just can’t help but love them all!

What was your first concert and/or all-time favorite concert? Wow, my very first concert was the Steve Miller Band. It was also the first time I spent over $25 on a concert tee. My favorite concert of all time would be Jack Johnson and Ben Harper at Koka Booth. It rained at every outdoor concert I went to that summer, but they powered through and played mud football through the downpour.

What’s your favorite Halloween costume? In college, two of my friends dressed as Hispaniola. They were really rough costumes — one was Haiti and the other the Dominican Republic. They provided fun facts about the island all evening.

Stop by the Amy Draws booth at The Handmade Market on November 8 and score some instant gratification for yourself or a friend!

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