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 Spotlight: Paige Puckett Pottery

Paige Puckett Pottery is the creative home of Paige Puckett. Her specialty is functional, wheel-thrown ceramics. All of Paige’s pieces are food, oven, and dishwasher safe, and her designs balance elegance and strength — art that can withstand the demands of everyday life.

When did you realize that you had a creative calling to fulfill? I’ve been creating as long as I can remember — from the failed projects (doggy flip flops and construction paper wings) to the successes (a fragmented self-portrait in AP art where I made faces in the mirror for several days). Other than writing introspective and severely depressing poetry, I mostly abandoned artistic pursuits in engineering undergrad, but pottery found me in grad school. During that first class, I realized that this was not something I was going to be able to walk away from.

If there were no limits to your creative pursuits, in terms of money, space, time, etc, what projects would you choose and why?
First project — a proper studio space with a wedging and hand building table, spray room, the works. The garage can be a little less than inspiring, especially in the extremes of the seasons. It’s hard to keep steady hands with mosquitoes nipping at my arms and ankles. Next, I’d build a gas kiln. I’d also love to try salt firing. The greenware phase of throwing is my favorite. I find the color and simplicity of the slightly damp clay to be lovely and lament having to glaze the pieces. Salt firing maintains the natural appeal of the clay.

Where do you like to go when you want to get away from it all? I have two boys. There are untold pieces that have been stabbed and smooshed by stolen tools and curious hands. I retreat to the bathtub or the garden — the garden plants tend to be a little more resilient than the pots.

Be sure to stop by Paige’s table at The Handmade Market on Saturday, November 10 — in addition to her beautiful vases, plates, platters, and bowls, she will also have prints and cards featuring some of her nature photography!

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Artist Spotlight: it’s by design

Lois Peterson is the creator it’s by design {and also one of The Handmaidens}. You may recognize Lois’ shimmer earrings — she’ll have plenty of those at The Handmade Market, along with some fresh styles and lots of filigree, chain, ceramic, leather, and the ever-popular etched initial necklaces.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be an artist since I was a little girl. I took every type of art class that I could in high school, including jewelry making! Who knew I would try that again one day! I majored in art in college, had a totally different career for 10 years, then finally I got back to what I love!

Where do you like to go when you want to get away from it all? Our ‘getting away from it all’ is leaving the quiet of our empty nest and visiting our grown children. We have great destinations to choose from — the unhurried stateliness of horse country in Aiken, SC, the endless choices of live music in Nashville, TN, and the majestic sight of those Rocky Mountains in Denver, CO.

What’s one thing that you’ve never done but would love to try? I assisted an artist-in-residence at our elementary school with Batik years ago. I would love to try Wax-resist fabric dyeing for real one day.

The Handmade Market on Saturday, November 10 is coming soon! Be sure to visit The Handmaidens’ area and the it’s by design table. Lois’ initial necklaces make great gifts for friends or loved ones … who’s on your shopping list?

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Shop The Handmade Market, Support Urban Ministries

At every Handmade Market, The Handmaidens partner with a local charity to organize a raffle benefiting their cause. Shoppers who make a donation to the charity are entered in a drawing to win goods and services donated by local and national businesses as well as some of the artists and craftspeople participating in the event.

The Handmade Market on November 10 will host Urban Ministries of Wake County as its charity. This organization’s mission is to alleviate the effects of poverty in Wake County.

About Urban Ministries
Urban Ministries has been serving the citizens of the Wake County for three decades. They are a leader in the private, nonprofit sector and active in addressing poverty, homelessness, and health care for the uninsured. They provide services that promote self-sufficiency as well as build awareness of the many issues of poverty with 94 cents of every dollar going directly to client services.

Their largest program to date is the Open Door Clinic, which provides primary medical care and full pharmacy services to uninsured, low-income adults. Their patient outreach has nearly doubled in just three years! Their Food Pantry is the second largest in Wake County and last year alone they delivered 240 tons of food to needy families. JobLink, the busiest center of its kind in Wake County, provides employment assistance and online job searches and their women-only shelters have helped many women move from homelessness to a stable life. They hold several events each year, including the Crop Walk and Stone Soup, and offer many chances to volunteer. Please visit their website for more information on how you can participate further.

How can you help?
There is never an admission fee to The Handmade Market; however, cash donations are accepted in exchange for tickets for the semi-annual charity raffle. The Handmade Market offers guests the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets to win glorious gift baskets, each full of wonderful items and valued at $100 or more. Your donation of $3 purchases one ticket, and $5 gives you two chances to win a basket.

Come to The Handmade Market and help relieve poverty in our community
Put Saturday, November 10 on your calendar and make The Handmade Market part of your holiday shopping. At Cobblestone Hall you will meet talented artists and purchase beautiful work while supporting one of the most active and successful charities in Wake County. Win win!

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Artist Spotlight: Kim Kirchstein

Kim Kirchstein is an artist specializing in hand-dyed silk scarves. For her business Leopold Designs, she uses the batik technique to create one-of-a-kind hand-dyed scarves, veils, and fabric. Kim enjoys making patterns using all sorts of found objects … from kitchen gadgets and tin cans to car gears.

When did you realize that you had a creative calling to fulfill? Visiting colleges … I walked in to the School of Art building at ECU — the smell of it (paints and clay, etc) won my heart!

If there were no limits to your creative pursuits, in terms of money, space, time, etc, what projects would you choose? I’d love to do photo silk-screen in addition to and conjunction with the batik. I’d also love to do some larger home and gallery pieces.

What do you do when you have artist’s block? I look up microscope images of nature or hit the antique store.

Where do you like to go when you want to get away from it all? I love the beach in winter or the mountains any time, but especially the fall!

Are you ready for The Handmade Market on Saturday, November 10?! Mark your calendars and don’t miss the Leopold Designs table — you’re sure to find something amazing among Kim’s assortment of hand-dyed silk goodness!

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Artist Spotlight: Betsy Browne Pottery

Betsy Browne makes hand-thrown ceramics and decorates them by carving and slip trailing designs on the exterior. Most of her pieces are functional and intended for daily use. Her designs are inspired by the natural world, especially water, but sometimes a scrap of fabric can also spark a new idea.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? As a kid, I really wanted to be an archaeologist. Maybe I just watched too much Indiana Jones, but there was something really fascinating to me about digging up the past and creating a story about what might have happened. Sometimes I think about my pottery and if somebody thousands of years from now might find a shard or two of my work …

When did you realize that you had a creative calling to fulfill? I finished college in the middle of the financial breakdown and had a hard time finding a job. I moved home and remembered how much I’d loved making ceramics in high school. I finished the ceramics program at Montgomery Community College and started my business. This is my silver lining to the recession — if it hadn’t happened, I might never have returned to my artistic pursuits.

Which holiday blockbuster are you most excited to see? I’m a big nerd, so I’m very excited about The Hobbit. Tolkien has always been one of my favorite authors, and I loved the movie adaptations of The Lord of the Rings.

The Handmade Market is on your calendar for Saturday, November 10, right?! Be sure to visit Betsy’s table and check out the beautiful display of colors and textures in her handmade pottery!

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