Saturday, June 16, 2007

Greenjeans Review: Renegade Craft Fair

Today I went to the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn's McCarren Park Pool.

Overall, this year's fair was stronger than last year's (which I also reviewed), offering a greater diversity of work and and a higher level of quality. I loved the venue -- so much better than the dusty park where it has been held the past 2 years.

The fair offers a great opportunity to meet makers under 40, some of whom are fully committed artists and artisans representing the next generation of craft in America.

It's on again tomorrow (Sunday) from 11-6, and I can't recommend it more highly.

While, like last year, there was an overabundance of funky/clever screenprinted tee shirts, cute letterpressed cards, and more bird and deer silhouettes than you could shake a stick at, I found plenty of unusual, beautiful, interesting, and well-made fare and was not disappointed.

Here are some of my picks (in no particular order).

Tiny handbound books made into pendants by If'n Books + Marks.

Rad wooden swords and masks painted like tattoos from some storybook tribe by Wolf-e.

Adorable jackets and outfits for kids made from reclaimed fabrics by Twice Sewn.

Big hilarious scary-cute dolls looking all drunk and stoned by Pachy Sarmiento (Pinky Punk).

Lovely tees by Nam Kim Chikabird adorned with leaves and tendrils cut from diaphanous fabric.

Gorgeous handspun and handpainted yarn by Traveling Rhinos.

Melissa of Year of the Goat spinning yarn to make...
... these bunches of knitted cashmere pussy willows! (The skirts are made of vintage linens.)

I revisited the belt buckles and jewelry by Kurt van Maarth (Swear Jar Design) made from a mix of resin and enamel set into nickel hardware. (He stopped using silver because the market price is so crazy these days.) Sorry for the lousy photo, but his work rocks.

Tradition-inspired ceramics by Christine Abelman (no website)...

... mixed with very contemporary designs by White Bike Ceramics.

In between, pottery by Linda Johnson (Little Flower Designs) offered a nice 70s-meets-today feeling. And... much as I'm dead tired of the whole bird thing, her little bluebird design charmed me.

In the 2-D category, I loved Mandy Gerth's sewn fabric collages inspired by quilt blocks (and if I remember right, they're even made from pieces of her grandmother's old quilts). I couldn't resist buying one for myself.

Posters by Alison aka Strawberry Luna tickled my feathers again this year...

... as did ones by Mat Daly, who designs the official posters for the Renegade Craft Fair, as shown at top.

More sewing for the wall: "original reconstructed wool creations" by Jenna Roberston (Woolies)...

And last but not least, my Yummiest-in-Show award goes to Brooklyn's own Wheelhouse Pickles whose Irma's Pear Pickles (yes, pear!) totally made my day. Sadly I forgot to buy myself a jar before I left the fair!

* * *


After the fair I went to Midtown to cover the Knitting Nation event at the Museum of Arts and Design (that I mentioned on the blog here 2 days ago), but it had been canceled (which annoyingly the museum didn't mention on its website).

There along 53rd Street, this man had a table set up with these incredible origami animals made from some sort of reed. Grasshoppers, butterflies, and frogs dangled from long bending stems. I chose a dragonfly, and then he chose another dragonfly for me. "Is this one better?" I asked. "Yes, see?" he replied, running his finger over the better articulated wings. So much attention and skill and beauty for my $7.


Mad said...

Thanks for the review, Amy! I wish I could have been there. Sounds so great...

Deb said...

So many artists - you captured some that I didn't get to meet. Thanks. DIYthing