Philadelphia has a long history of creative artists and crafters (don’t think that whole key-tied-to-a-kite thing was all for science). Craft fairs, which are extensions of that creativity, function on two levels—as a supportive forum for artists, and as a community event that brings people together.
Here’s a round-up of highlights from two prominent Philadelphia craft fairs going on this weekend: Go West! Craft Fest in West Philadelphia and South Philadelphia’s Crafty Balboa.
Go West! Craft Fest
Old Blood Jewelry & Wears
Since Morgan Jamison was a child, she’s been taking treasures from the ground and turning them into jewelry. She carried that fascination with found art with her through studies at the University of the Arts Jewelrey/Metals program, and the launch of Old Blood Jewelry & Wears in 2012.
The shop now offers wholesale and retail options, and has since been nominated as Best Indie Jeweler in the Racked Awards. Jamison’s line of necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, brooches and belt buckles is intended to empower the wearer and captivate the viewer: In addition to making lost objects found again, Jamison uses a variety of materials in her pieces, including brass, leather silk and quartz.
She lets the interplay of color, contrast, and texture influence her decisions; her geometric, tactile designs feel both industrial and natural, composed and wild. The Old Blood studio in West Philadelphia houses Jamison and two studio assistants, Caitlyn Phillips and Amanda Sebald, who help bring the designs to life.
Mike & Wilder
As the Crow Flies
The husband-and-wife team at As The Crow Flies and Co., founded Go West! with VIX Emporium’s Emily Dorn. Mike frames discarded vintage china into ceramic jewelry and Wilder makes vintage-inspired dresses and skirts for children and adults.
Flaming Idols began with Markle creating the Luminaries Collection, altar candles featuring portraits of deceased queer activists. After producing the initial six, Markle began making candles of other inspiring queer icons.
Stanley, Chester & Albert
Rusen’s vintage-inspired ceramics line, Stanley Chester & Albert, contains handmade stoneware featuring bicycles and fields, antique perfume bottles and edwardian models. Find it at VIX Emporium and Philadelphia Independents.
Morocco is a country of diverse culture and rich history. It is also a country of artisans—creators who are full of spirit and vision, weaving their heritage in with new ideas and designs. However, these artisans, mostly women, have few opportunities to generate income. They also have little bargaining power in the local market and limited access to international markets.
Sisters Heather and Katie O’Neill are trying to change that with their shop Mushmina. The dream of Mushmina began in 2003 when Katie visited her sister, Heather, who was in the Peace Corps in Morocco. The sisters fell in love with the country and developed a wholesale business plan around Moroccan products before opening their South Street boutique in 2011.
Through selling fair-trade products, Mushmina creates employment opportunities for artisans in developing countries. Their products include mixed-metal jewelry, hand-dyed scarves, textile and leather handbags and boots, and assorted home goods.
Laura K. Murdoch Laura K. Murdoch
Woodcut and linocut prints by Laura K. Murdoch featuring birds and animals.
Betsy Ann Paper
Betsy Ann Paper
Betsy Ann Paper’s line of minimalist watercolor greeting cards with simple images and honest messages.
Amelie’s Bark Shop
Amelie’s Bark Shop
Amelie’s Bark Shop offers human-grade baked dog treats and natural pet accessories.