November 4, 2018
by The Handmade Market
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The Handmade Market Spotlight: The Pepper Mill Shop

Kelly Sweitzer from The Pepper Mill Shop

The Pepper Mill Shop
raffle donor
[indoor]

Describe your style, influences, inspiration, and what you plan to bring:

To say that my brain is always in pun-making-mode would be an understatement. I can’t talk to my husband without one slipping into the conversation somewhere. When they hit, I write them down, and let them simmer. And when I get around to bringing them to life through my simple, expressive, colorfully styled characters, it’s the thought of hearing someone laugh that makes me proudest of my work. 

Some of the newer items I’ve been carrying are the themed 8 piece magnet packs. My BRAND NEW one is full of puns for folks with a sweet tooth. I’ve very excited to bring it out!

How did you learn your craft?:

The puns? It’s how I’m wired. The physicality of bringing them to life? I have to thank the theatre program at UNCW, which led me to a job in the film industry as a scenic artist. Learning your way around a shop setting, how to use the tools, how to make a color, just how to use your hands – it was invaluable.

Which artist at The Handmade Market are you excited to see/meet?:

Excited that my fellow Wilmington babes, Cabin Girl Designs and River Organics joined for this last market. Always love to see what Liz Kelly’s brain came up with, and hand-bound books from Plum Umbrella are just too dang cute. Also, always dig what Gretchin Quinn and geekchic are doing.

What is your favorite way to put yourself in the mood for creativity?:

I just moved into a huuuge studio space, straight outta my basement, and I’ve never been more productive. Stepping into the studio puts me in the mood. Uh, to be creative. By myself. Ha.

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out and/or what is the best advice you have received for your art & business?:

Your first market’s set up is going to be terrible. You will look back at photos of it (TAKE PHOTOS EVERY TIME!) and cringe. Trial and error are your best friends. And also, Murphys law is real.

Same advice I received when I was planning my wedding is something I still constantly say to myself….one thing at a time.

We all have those people that love you tell us what we “should” make. What’s the worst “best tip” you’ve ever gotten?:

I should create an illustration that says “Lettuce turnip the beet” because it was JUUUUUST the funniest thing they’ve ever seen! As they stand in my booth. Surrounded by my work. That is full of funny things. Hmph. 

Also, I’m not drawing Kale just on principal at this point.

If you have sold or attended before, what’s your favorite Handmade Market memory or purchase?:

This will be my third time! The first Handmade Market I did, I was outside and it was cold. I was across the aisle from Rachel with Windblown Jewelry and, you know, ya chat with your neighbors. We got on the subject of having to wake up early for markets, and she suggested the BEST alarm app ever. I still use it every single day. And, of course, I also got a really fantastic ring from her.

Follow The Pepper Mill Shop:

Website
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter

For the full artist gallery, and all the details you’ll ever need about The Handmade Market, go here! See you November 10th!

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November 3, 2018
by The Handmade Market
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The Handmade Market Spotlight: S. Tector Metals

Sarah Tector from S. Tector Metals

S. Tector Metals
raffle donor
[indoor]

Describe your style, influences, inspiration, and what you plan to bring:

Working with my hands has always been a natural fit and source of fulfillment. While deciding where to go in life and what to study I was fortunate enough to have parents that said to pick a field that would make me happy. Metalsmithing satisfied many parts of my creative brain; designing and making in 3D, using mixed materials, and fantastic tools. And while I have made silverware, bowls, and pendant lights amongst other things, jewelry is the most recognized form of what I can do. Treating it as small-scale sculpture, my pieces catch the eye when on the body or not. I create clean, geometric, and architecturally influenced pieces in sterling silver, cast bronze, powder coating, and other mixed materials. These are mainly one-of-a-kind, limited edition, and production pieces of jewelry and most recently collaborations, allowing me to push myself out of my creative comfort zone and the opportunity and challenge of artistic evolution. 

My most popular pieces depend on who is at the table in that moment, which is why I like to bring a variety of shapes, sizes, and color. There will be a mix of sterling and gold filled linear work along with powder coated pops of color.

How did you learn your craft?:

College provide my studio practice with a foundation of information and skills. From there workshops, play dates with other artists, books, and experimenting over the years on my own have taken my work, both wearable and installations, into different directions.

Which artist at The Handmade Market are you excited to see/meet?:

Honestly everyone. It’s a chance to catch up with vendor friends from years past and make new ones.

What is your favorite way to put yourself in the mood for creativity?:

When I hunker down at my bench I’m usually cycling through multiple podcasts. My faves lately are Perceived Value, Armchair Expert, and My Dad Wrote A Porno. They’re insightful with a side of humor that’s always needed after hours of work.

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out and/or what is the best advice you have received for your art & business?:

Pick something that makes you happy.

If you have sold or attended before, what’s your favorite Handmade Market memory or purchase?:

I was asked to make a custom wedding set by a customer from a market years ago that has remained a good friend to this day : )

Follow S. Tector Metals:

Website
Instagram
Facebook

For the full artist gallery, and all the details you’ll ever need about The Handmade Market, go here! See you November 10th!

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November 2, 2018
by The Handmade Market
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The Handmade Market Spotlight: Gretchen Quinn Pottery

Gretchen from Gretchen Quinn Pottery

Gretchen Quinn Pottery
raffle donor
[indoor]

Describe your style, influences, inspiration, and what you plan to bring:

I make functional ceramics with a clean modern feel. The inspiration for my work comes mainly from what I want to have and use in my own home. I’m definitely under the spell of well-made crafts and much of what I make spins out from my love of Danish Modern and Shaker designs where simplicity, utility, and honesty are among the guiding principles in their work.
My pottery is handmade out of a beautiful dark brown stoneware clay and glazed in glossy white. The pattern details are hand painted with gold luster or carved freehand. I never use pre-made patterns, templates or textures. To me, it’s the freehand markings that makes my pots feel fresh and modern and what tells the user that every piece is handmade.
All of my pottery is handmade in my Raleigh, NC studio and durably designed for everyday use.

How did you learn your craft?:

Clay has been a constant in my life. I was lucky to always have opportunities throughout school to make and explore the medium and I just knew it would always be there. It’s really hard to quit clay. I actually tried, but I just kept coming back to it again and again. After receiving my fine art degree, I have taken tons of clay classes in lots of different studios around the country. All of these clay instructors are somewhere in the pots I make today. I never walked away from a class where I didn’t take away a few new techniques that improved my making. Now as a clay instructor at The NCSU Crafts Center I’m sharing all of these skills with new eager potters and learning even more from watching how they make.

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out and/or what is the best advice you have received for your art & business?:

My advice is to make what you love and what you want to have and use in your daily life. You also need to be committed to working really hard and to be open to opportunities even if they are out of your comfort zone.

We all have those people that love you tell us what we “should” make. What’s the worst “best tip” you’ve ever gotten?:

Make what YOU love and believe in it. If it isn’t a hit the first time out, give it time, maybe revisit and tweak, but don’t give up on it. Making what you love will show in your product.

If you have sold or attended before, what’s your favorite Handmade Market memory or purchase?:

Handmade Market is just the best! Being in this show has led to meeting and learning from so many great makers. It’s really nice to know you are not the only one working away in your studio at odd hours and that there are others pushing towards similar goals. The Handmaiden’s have brought together an amazing community of makers and lovers of handmade.

Follow Gretchen Quinn Pottery:

Website
Instagram
Facebook

For the full artist gallery, and all the details you’ll ever need about The Handmade Market, go here! See you November 10th!

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November 1, 2018
by The Handmade Market
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The Handmade Market Spotlight: Shade Metals

 Sara Borey & Cesar Sertzen from Shade Metals

Shade Metals
new artist
raffle donor
[outdoor]

Describe your style, influences, inspiration, and what you plan to bring:

We take all our inspiration from the genius of plants, and try to recreate their natural shapes, twists, patterns, and their perfect imperfections. Sometimes we mold our jewelry directly from succulents, branches and other organic material. While other pieces we sculpt or 3D print to imitate the plants.

We are as botanically accurate as possible- each piece mimics a specific species and we have over 50 in our collection. Our most popular piece is probably the Field of Clover Ring, which features a single four-leaf clover surrounded by a mosaic of three-leaved beauties. Another favorite is the Magic Dogwood pendants that are sculpted to look like a species of dogwood that’s native to Mexico. We have several succulent castings of sedums and crassula that are also gaining attention.

How did you learn your craft?:

Five years ago I was looking to buy leaf earrings and could only find generic oblong leaf shapes. I am a tree steward for the city of Richmond, and my partner Cesar is a big outdoor enthusiast. We were both surprised at this lack of botanically accurate jewelry, so we started taking metal smithing classes at our local visual arts center. After several classes and a few pieces we were proud of we invested in our own equipment and began experimenting in our garage. We mainly learn through trail and error and youtube videos, but we have also continued to take classes to improve our skills.

Which artist at The Handmade Market are you excited to see/meet?:

We have seen Topaz from Bicycle Trash at a few events, and we are always impressed with how she upcycles old bike parts. Both of us are active cyclists, so her work is even more meaningful.

What is your favorite way to put yourself in the mood for creativity?:

We are big believers in work, we work nearly everyday, and sometimes the creativity flows naturally and sometimes it doesn’t, but for us it’s through action that the ideas come. Even when we’re tired or not in the mood we try to work, and if the inspiration really isn’t there we tend to go outside for a hike or a bike ride to clear our minds. Then it’s back to work!

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out and/or what is the best advice you have received for your art & business?:

I was very shy about showing our work public when we first began. Cesar is the brazen type who has no fear or shame in front of an audience. While I was uncomfortable at first, I will say that we learned a great deal by exhibiting our work. Often times we encounter artists who feel that their work isn’t good enough to sell. While I understand the feeling, I now agree with Cesar that exhibiting your work really pushes you to improve your craft. Having strangers view your work allows you to see what is resonating and what isn’t. 

We all have those people that love you tell us what we “should” make. What’s the worst “best tip” you’ve ever gotten?:

We are casters, so we melt and pour the silver or gold into our sculptural molds. Many people who like our work tell us we should fabricate our pieces in aluminum or steel and then plate them in silver and gold. It’s true that this might lower our costs, but it would also take away from the simplicity and purity of our style.

If you have sold or attended before, what’s your favorite Handmade Market memory or purchase?:

This will be our first time at the Handmade Market, and our first show in North Carolina!

Follow Shade Metals:

Website
Instagram
Facebook

For the full artist gallery, and all the details you’ll ever need about The Handmade Market, go here! See you November 10th!

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October 31, 2018
by The Handmade Market
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The Handmade Market Spotlight: Cabin Girl Designs

Cabin Girl Designs
[indoor]

Describe your style, influences, inspiration, and what you plan to bring:

CGD bags are one of a kind and for all kinds from out door adventure to trendy travel there is a CGD just for you. We are conscious about our influence on the world both by environmental impact and role we play as kind humans; that is why our designs are created from up-cycled remnant fabrics that we get from our local boat canvas shops and you can only buy our bags directly from us This helps stimulate our community as well as save useful items from excess landfill waste. We feel is it all our responsibility to create and operate in the most eco conscious setting to bring you useful and creative designs.

How did you learn your craft?:

Lara and I lived on a 33 foot cabin cruiser “Cabin Girl” and were submerged in the marine field. Having been around sewing machines my entire life it was natural for me to gravitate towards the canvas shop a fellow boating neighbor owned. Seeing all the vibrant colors and pieces of fabric remnants on the floor I began to design all kinds of useful items for the dock. Lara then challenged me to make her a bag. First time was a big success in what not to do but after we sat down together and worked the kinks out the Throwback was born. We take pride in the fact that it is just us two creating every design and pattern as well as collecting supplies and selling our one of a kind bags across the nation

Which artist at The Handmade Market are you excited to see/meet?:

We are so excited to be among so many amazing local artists like:
Liz Kelly Pottery
The Peppermill Shop
Art by Sarah Savage
River Organics

What is your favorite way to put yourself in the mood for creativity?:

The best way to get our creative juices going is with some classical or up beat music and a little smell good candle or diffuser, then lay out the favorite fabrics with fiends and see what happens.

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out and/or what is the best advice you have received for your art & business?:

We are our own creators, masters of our minds, we offer our designs so you can become consciously connected at anytime.

We all have those people that love you tell us what we “should” make. What’s the worst “best tip” you’ve ever gotten?:

The worst best tip we ever got was when someone asked us to make bags that could be used as weapons in self defense. In my opinion bags should hold defense mechanisms not mimic them.

If you have sold or attended before, what’s your favorite Handmade Market memory or purchase?:

My absolute favorite would have to be a piece I accursed from the Peppermill Shop – it is the cutest wall hanging that says “Every Day Im Brussel’n” with a Brussel sprout painted on it.

Follow Cabin Girl Designs:

Website
Instagram
Facebook

For the full artist gallery, and all the details you’ll ever need about The Handmade Market, go here! See you November 10th!

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