What you’ve been hearing about me is true. I’m a sucker for craft fairs. They’re a great place to meet fellow artists, get ideas and of course buy stuff. Historically, craft has been denied the title of an art form, but thankfully in more modern times, the line between art and craft has seemingly been blurred. This stuff ain’t your Grandma’s needlepoint toilet bowl covers.
The Renegade Craft Fair in its eleventh year is bigger than ever. Located in one of the art capitals of the world, Chelsea (in Manhattan, NY) its location reasserts its status as a gathering of artists. Not only do thousands attend it, but it is considered one of the top craft fairs in the world.
Meandering through the booths and tables, there were hand-made ceramic goods, live yarn-spinning, apparel, prints, housewares and more. Each product is meticulously designed, as well as the tables they were displayed on. I have to admit, if you’re planning on attending the fair at any of their international locations, bring a money! This craft fair is not for the frugal, but rightfully so because it’s apparent how much care each vendor puts in their work. I’d say the average price range for any singular product at the fair would be $50-$100, with the exception of some cheaper items.
One of my favorite artists at the fair is Shannon Broder, owner and founder of Broderpress. She creates multiple-colour, screen-printed pillows, ornaments and tote bags which she prints, sews and stuffs all by hand. My favorite feature about her shop is the availability of custom-designed pet pillows! Being absolutely obsessed with my dog, this is right up my alley. You, the buyer, submit a full-length shot of your pet, and soon you’ll be cuddling both your real dog, and your stuffed one. Tell me, does anything sound better? She has been in business for five years now and has collaborated with various companies including Pharrell Williams. She’s a dedicated illustrator and print-maker who takes great integrity in her work.
Cactus Club paper was another show-stopper. Melinda Tracy Boyce, with roots in LA creates whimsical, nature-inspired, detailed and colourful illustrations using gouache and ink. As I approached the Cactus Club table, there was one print that immediately caught my eye and I just had to have it. I’m an avid cacti collector, a succulent señora and a plant person. I fell in love with her Crystal Cactus print, and I made it mine! She ran out of that particular print, and offered to send it to me in the mail free of charge. So not only is she a great artist, but she’s got good customer service!
Perhaps the most important feature of the craft fair was, of course, the food. My friend and I decided to treat ourselves with a little sweet potato and kale salad from Chickpea and Olive, and we washed it down with some basil strawberry lemonade from Frittering Away. Phenomenal!art, Craft, craft fair, Handmade, local, new york, renegade craft fair, shop local