Maker Spotlight: HANK by Henry

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Today we are so excited to feature Portland maker, Hank by Henry. These chopsticks and wooden accessories will be heading to Chicago this weekend for our Chicago Holiday Market at the Bridgeport Art Center! SONY DSC
HANK by Henry is a collaborative effort between designer Allison Henry and chef Edward Ross. After what began as a happy accident during another project in the winter of 2012 Allison launched a small collection of wildly painted chopsticks and began selling them at local craft shows.
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Allison’s mission soon became clear and it wasn’t long before Ed joined in. In the name of culinary culture, the two of them have since been bringing people together one brightly painted chopstick at a time.SONY DSCAllison and Ed are obsessed with creating unique and beautiful chopsticks in their Portland, Oregon studio. HANK by Henry puts a lot of energy into supporting local and sustainable practices, unlike the traditional imported chopsticks which are cheaply made and loaded with chemicals.

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HANK by Henry chopsticks are made to stand the test of time, and although they do look like works of art one shouldn’t use – they are meant to be used daily. Their quality and beauty is what makes them stand out. We can’t get enough of the copper leaf elements and the polished feel of the wood.SONY DSC

HANK by Henry chopsticks are made by hands – not machines. They are crafted in pairs with untreated hard woods, such as Cherry and Walnut, known for their durability and resistance to warping or absorbing liquids. HANK-by-Henry-handmade-chopsticks
They are finished with five grains of sanding to achieve a smooth surface for eating and carefully finished with oil and bee’s wax for protection. We can attest to the smooth surface of these chopsticks, having touched them at our Renegade San Francisco Holiday Market, they are perfectly shaped and formed! Each pair is then meticulously painted with understated details. Unique in their style, they are small objects of usable art.
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 We are so thrilled that HANK by Henry is breaking ground in Chicago for our Holiday Market this weekend! Take a look at their collection to see the assortment of chopsticks, sets, and hair sticks they have to offer – you’ll want them all! Plus, follow HANK by Henry on Instagram to get an inside peek into their lives and how these gorgeous chopsticks are made.  See you all in a couple of days!

 

Maker Spotlight: Shades of Grey

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Happy Monday, everyone! We are so excited to be featuring some makers headed to our Chicago Holiday Market this weekend. A business we have always admired and adored is Shades of Grey and we love sharing these gorgeous creations with you!
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Attalie Dexter is the Chicago designer behind Shades of Grey. She began her collection of one-of-a-kind and limited edition jewelry back in 2009, and in 2013 Attalie developed a new line of stunning wall hangings and home wares we are obsessed with!

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Attalie makes everything individually by hand in her studio located in Logan Square. Almost all of her materials and tools are sourced from other small businesses and all of the pieces, both jewelry and home, are made of vintage and natural materials. Sustainability and supporting local and small independent businesses is a cornerstone of how Attalie conducts business and it is something we always admire about many of our makers who strive to do the same.ShadesOfGrey-9 ShadesOfGrey-10

Attalie finds inspirations for her work through a variety of mediums, such as vintage Japanese ceramics, and the interplay between light and shadow.

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Shades of Grey reimagines beauty in simplified natural forms and creates monotone layered textures, which you can see in many of her wall art forms.

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We love this small vignette of Attalie’s inspiration board and the daily inspirations she’s found and collected.

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 We can’t wait to see Attalie’s latest creations at our Chicago Holiday Market this weekend at the Bridgeport Art Center! Be sure to see some of the Shades of Grey collection online. We also highly encourage you to follow Attalie on Instagram, her feed is so pretty!

 

The Renegade Craft Fair Chicago Eats + Treats Map is here!

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We collected your recommendations (and added a few of our own) and have created our Renegade Craft Fair Chicago Eats + Treats Map! Feel free to peruse the map to find some local places to stop by while you’re visiting Chicago. As you can see, there’s quite a lot of options right on Division St. near our fair. See you all tomorrow!

Maker Spotlight and Studio Visit: Rebe and Specks & Keepings

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We have a treat for you today! We are featuring mother daughter duo Rebe by Debra Weiss and Specks & Keepings by Hillery Sproatt. Debra and Hillery will be bringing their textile artistry to our Chicago Summer Market this weekend in Wicker Park on Division St. and we can’t wait!
Debra Weiss has been working in fabric and textiles since the the 1970’s and has produced some of the most beautiful work we’ve ever seen, from clothing and accessories, to wall weavings, blankets, and more.
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A conversation between pattern, function and form; Debra Weiss wraps the body beautifully in unique yet flattering silhouettes. Everything is handcrafted by Debra herself in her home studio in Los Feliz, CA.
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We absolutely love the intricate details Debra adds into her artwork. From unusual seams and stitching in her dresses, to gorgeous colors and weaving in her textile art, we continue to remain in awe of her skilled hands.
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Debra’s daughter, Hillery continues in her mother’s footsteps, earning a BFA in fine art and creating art prints, drawings, embroidered dolls, and small tapestries in her Grand Rapids, MI home studio.
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Hillery’s work explores the integrity of textiles, pattern as image making, and the narrative of forms. Her tapestries are small soft drawings made with thread and her stitched dolls, which resemble folk dolls, seem to inhabit the landscapes of her drawings.
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Hillery offered us a sneak peek into her home studio and we love the rich tones and simplicity of her space.
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Hillery and Debra run an online shop called Specks & Keeping that specializes in handmade goods and features many of their creations.
During our travels to Renegade Craft Fair in LA we had the pleasure of visiting Debra’s home and studio and marveling at her incredible work over the years. It was such a wonderful experience being able to talk to these two talented women in their home space and learn more about their beginnings as artists and makers. We loved hearing the stories about where all of Debra’s furniture and decorations came from and how she got started in design. Her home was like a museum exploring the history of her craft, her children, and her family heirlooms.
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I started Rebe in 2000. But I have made things all my life. I received my degree in textile design in 1977, but it wasn’t until I watched Hillery’s art talent blossom as a teenager that  I felt it was time for me to begin a business. Rebe began as a wholesale business and I recently transitioned to strictly direct customer sales, which makes me very happy.
 
Hillery launched our online shop Specks & Keepings in 2011 so we could showcase our work along with the work of other artists we admire.
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I have a love of textiles and I start by finding beautiful fabrics from all over the world. The inspiration from these fabrics guides me towards what I then want to make. 

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I begin by sketching and then we create a pattern. There is always revising as well as problem solving, but this is also where the play happens. From there it becomes a functional or wearable product that we bring to market.
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I would encourage others to do what they love and to believe in what they do. 2014-RCF-Rebe Studio Visit-01642014-RCF-Rebe Studio Visit-0181
We hope you enjoyed a sneak peek into Debra and Hillery’s home studio as much as we did! Be sure to browse the Specks and Keepings website, follow Debra and Hillery on Instagram, and come to our Chicago Summer Market this weekend. We suggest you try on a few beautiful Rebe dresses and marvel at all the textile glory while you’re there!

Renegade Craft Fair x Madewell Pop-Up in Chicago Tonight!

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We’re kicking off our Chicago Summer Market weekend with a Renegade Craft Fair Pop-Up at Madewell in Chicago! On Thursday, September 4, join us at 932 N. Rush St. from 6 – 8pm for some sips and treats, while you shop a few of our local RCF makers. Plus, enjoy 20% off on purchases of $125 or more at Madewell! You can RSVP for the event at RSVPRushStreet@Madewell.com. See you all there!

Maker Spotlight: Paper & Clay

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Today we’re featuring the beautiful work of Tennessee ceramicist, Paper & Clay. We are beyond thrilled to have Paper & Clay ceramics showcased at our Chicago Summer Market this weekend!

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Brit McDaniel is the ceramicist behind Paper & Clay. After enrolling in ceramics classes at a community art school in Austin, Texas, Brit immediately fell in love with the art and was determined to make a career of it. After running a successful Kickstarter campaign, Paper & Clay was founded in June 2013 in Memphis, Tennessee.

“I want my work to be beautiful, but also very usable. I’m very influenced by Scandinavian design, and look to a lot of American Mid-Century designers as well. Essentially, I try to create the pieces that I want to have and use in my own home, and it’s so rewarding when someone else wants my work in their house too!”

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Each piece is handmade with careful attention to detail, and with usability in mind. Brit’s ceramic style is the perfect relationship between handmade and the sophistication of modern form. We’ve followed Paper & Clay for awhile now and have loved seeing Brit’s form and aesthetic grow into pieces that stand out and are unlike any other pieces out there. We’re so excited to see Brit’s newest collection of 22K Gold speckled mugs at our fair!

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We love Brit’s color-blocked and gradient aesthetic! We can’t help but think of a beautiful sunset on the horizon, or staring through a foggy horizon line.

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IMG_0689PC IGWe can’t wait to see Brit’s amazing work in person! I think each and every one of us will want to reset our tables with a brand new collection from Paper & Clay. Take a look at the collection on the website, and be sure to follow Paper & Clay on Instagram, her feed in gorgeous! See you all this weekend in Chicago!

Maker Spotlight: Margins

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Hello Everyone! We hope you had an awesome and relaxing Labor Day weekend, we sure did. Our biggest fair of the year, The Chicago Summer Market is coming up this weekend, so to kick the week off we’re featuring print company, Margins.

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Jeremy Rendina is the designer and printer behind Margins, a print company that focuses on the natural world for inspiration, printing processes, and sustainability practices. He produces original and archival serigraphs, letterpress, and Giclée prints. One of his most popular prints and “giftable” items is his beautiful Moon Calendar.

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Drawing on the natural world and numerous spiritual traditions, Margin’s line of calendars, cards, and prints seek to enhance the one’s interior space. It’s Jeremy’s desire as a designer to provide conscious design in an elegant way, which is accessible to all.
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Margins makes every effort to work in accordance with sustainable printing practices that support the well-being of all living creatures and the greater ecological system. Their vibrant inks are water and soy based, and they also work with indigenous communities, using Fair Trade and tree-free papers when possible. 

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The elements play a central part in Jeremy’s printmaking process. He collaborates with the world around him to create unique one of a kind prints. Recently moving his studio to Ojai, within the Los Padres National Forest, Jeremy has been able to apply many unique methods to his work process. His cyanotype prints are exposed in the sun and rinsed with ocean water and some of his silkscreen and lithographic prints use pigments from the earth which are used in color mixing and various open air drying methods are used to achieve the desired texture and color.
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We are big fans of Jeremy’s work and we can’t wait for all of you to see Margins at our Chicago Summer Market this weekend! Take a look at all of the paper good beauty at the Margins website and be sure to stop by Jeremy’s booth on Division St.!


Maker Spotlight: Territory Design

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Today we’re thrilled to be featuring Chicago maker, Territory Design in our Maker Spotlight series. Territory Design will be joining us at our Chicago Summer Market on September 6+7!

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Territory Design is an emerging textile and craft collective founded by Rebecca Crall. Territory Design is deeply inspired by traditional textile culture, the natural dye process, and sustainable and ethical production methods. Through working in developing regions of the world for almost 15 years, Rebecca has been able to observe and connect with inspiring and creative communities that continue to work with their craft in traditional ways.

Currently, Rebecca is working with some of these communities to design textiles which Territory Design uses to create beautiful home products and accessories. You can learn more about their craft collective with these communities here.

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For our Renegade Fair in Chicago, Rebecca will be showcasing home and personal accessories crafted from handwoven and vintage textiles that are sourced from her weaving cooperatives that are then transformed into pillows, bags, and other accessories in her studio.

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All of Territory Design’s collection is entirely handcrafted starting with the natural dye-process, to the weaving of the cloth and the final assembly in their Chicago studio. Only natural fibers including hemp, linen, cotton, wool and silk are used in Rebecca’s collection, which we can’t help but love and appreciate.Batik Pillow on couch

The batik pillow pictured above is crafted from a one of a kind vintage textile from Indonesia. Using a indigo resist-dyed cotton, Rebecca took pieces of a larger textile and made these striking lumbar pillows.

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These fabrics were created in conjunction with Hmong weavers in northern Thailand and then constructed in Rebecca’s Chicago studio. These pieces showcase the back strap loom hemp weaving which the Hmong are famous for in addition to an incredible, embroidered appliqué with indigo dyed tassels as an embellishment. All crafted and put together to tell the story of the Hmong in The Territory Design studio.

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The batik deep indigo pillows use fabrics from one of the last groups in Thailand using this type of resist-dyeing process. The fabrics were designed by Territory, in collaboration with this weaving and dying group and combine traditional and modern patterning.

Office space Sewing machineRebecca workingWe are so thrilled to see the collection of goods Territory Design will be bringing to our Chicago Summer Market in just a couple of weekends! Be sure to browse the current line of products on the Territory Design website as well as follow Rebecca on Instagram to learn more about her work and inspirations.

Maker Spotlight: Natalie Joy

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Happy Monday, everyone! Today we’re featuring the jewelry of Natalie Joy! Natalie will be joining us at our Chicago Summer Market on September 6+7 and we can’t wait to see her work in person!

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Natalie Joy Miller began creating her jewelry collection in 2010 inside her walk-in closet. After spending 5 years managing a large-scale jewelry production company, the desire to create her own jewelry line grew naturally.

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Over the past four years inspiration has been derived from Natalie’s time in the Pacific Northwest as well as the moon, stars, rivers, thunder, highways, mountains, fables, and family traditions.

We are obsessed with Natalie’s crescent moon ring and love how it frames the finger.

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MODEL PIC 1Every piece is handmade in her Portland, OR studio using both unique and traditional metalworking techniques. By mixing clean lines and shapes with melted silver studs and natural materials such as bee’s wings, volcanic ash, and rough-hewn diamonds the Natalie Joy line is both organic and refined. 

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STUDIO 2Natalie was kind enough to give us a sneak peek into her workspace. We love the rustic, dark and magical quality of her studio.SOLDERINGSAWING STUDIO

We’re so thrilled to have Natalie Joy Jewelry join us in our hometown for the Chicago Summer Market September 6+7! You can view Natalie’s entire collection on her website, as well as follow her on Instagram. See you all soon!

Maker Spotlight: The Object Enthusiast

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With our flagship Chicago Summer Market right around the corner, we’re starting up our Maker Spotlight series with Nebraskan ceramicist, The Object Enthusiast.  If you’ve never heard of The Object Enthusiast, or the artist behind these incredible ceramics, then you’re in for a treat!
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Emily Reinhardt is the designer and ceramicist behind The Object Enthusiast. Based in Omaha, Nebraska, Emily strives to channel her love of ceramics to create good and thoughtful work. The Object Enthusiast is a collection of modern heirlooms and treasures, with an air of pricelessness and functionality.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Each little ring dish and small plate carries so much thought and love by its maker. From warm terracotta tones, to dotted and dashed golds on deep forest greens, Emily’s love of color and pattern shows in the variety she produces. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Emily finds that sharing stories is the best way to share her life and passions. It’s through ceramics that these stories often find tangible form and come to life for her. These adorable “sunrise scoops” convey early mornings, and scooping perfect rounds of coffee beans, flax seeds, or sugar. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Emily’s appreciation for fresh flowers, plants, and those who treasure them as much as she does is evident in the vessels she creates. Each pot and vase is charmingly unique and perfectly expresses the right sentiments for what it carries. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset We can’t wait to see (and buy) all of The Object Enthusiast’s ceramic wares at our Chicago Summer Market September 6+7! For those of you who can’t wait till then, check out The Object Enthusiast’s website and make sure you follow her on Instagram. Her feed is stunning!

Maker Spotlight: Harp & Angle

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Here at Renegade Craft, we can’t help but love the new life that is put into some of our makers’ reclaimed goods.  Today in our Maker Spotlight series we’re showcasing the beautiful craftsmanship of Harp & Angle.  John Bross is the owner and crafter of Harp & Angle.

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John started building furniture out of necessity when he moved to a new home.  Since building his first coffee table, he’s moved onto designing and building custom furniture, as well as wooden objects for the home.

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Harp & Angle focuses on making unique furniture and one-of-a-kind spaces that create excitement for their new owners.  John likes the think that furniture harnesses the ability to create memories for the people who own and use them.  All Harp & Angle pieces are designed to last, keeping those treasured memories safe in each one-of-a-kind piece. h&a_feature4

There’s nothing more wonderful than a reclaimed hickory cutting board tied with a leather strap.h&a_feature5

We love this process video documenting John’s craftsmanship and design expertise!

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We are so excited to see all the amazing wood objects Harp & Angle will be bringing to our Chicago Mini Market this weekend!  Feast your eyes on their beautiful website, shop their smaller wooden goods on Etsy, and follow their updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Maker Spotlight: Well Made

 Today we are featuring Chicago maker Well Made, an industrial design and furniture studio of Brandon Knowlden.  Brandon’s experience in industrial design led him to create STiiCKs, a solid wood and magnet system used to frame art.  WhitewashKitchen STiiCKs use 4 thin strips of sustainable American hardwood embedded with strong magnets to sandwich artwork in place. Magnets are just below the surface to leave artwork undamaged and furniture-grade lacquer means an acid-free finish.  stiicks-magnetsThey’re perfect for prints, photos, and even heavier materials such as canvas. BedsideBeing custom furniture designers, Well Made makes every one of these STiiCKS to furniture-grade standards.  These “frames” are created to not only last, but to be a modern, simplified, and affordable way to frame art. BlackCounch_loft With an emphasis on sustainable and responsibly-sourced materials, Brandon’s desire is to interact with the world through simple, thoughtful solutions designed to stand the test of time.  Well Made offered us a small glimpse into their Chicago studio where they create STiiCKs.STiiCKs_magnetic_poster_frame_detail We love seeing behind the scenes of how our makers are able to take objects that were left to waste and reclaim them into something new and exciting!STiiCKs_magnetic_poster_frame_log STiiCKs_magnetic_poster_frame_trimmed We are so thrilled to have Well Made bring STiiCKS to our Chicago Mini Market this upcoming weekend!  Check out their amazing product on their Well Made website, and be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram as well.  See you all this weekend!

Maker Spotlight: Live and Conquer

With our second installation in our Mini Market series on its way, we are so excited to feature some of the incredible talent coming this June to Chicago.  Today we are featuring Chicago jewelry designer, Live and Conquer.

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Cheyenne Raduha is the designer behind Live and Conquer.  Recently, Cheyenne created her Into the Mystic collection, which was inspired by the “reawakening of a spring within the soul and the restless adventures that take place in summer.”  We absolutely love this description and find it fitting for Cheyenne’s beautiful work.

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We love this Taos Southwestern Metal Bangle, inspired by the beautiful landscape of Taos New Mexico.  

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Cheyenne attributes her desire for good craftsmanship from growing up on a farm and learning how to be a diligent worker.  She prides herself in making things well.  Cheyenne hopes that the quality of her craft and the beauty of her work will be handed down to the next generation.  A passion for conversation and ecology also influences how and where she sources her materials, always keeping Live and Conquer’s environmental footprint in mind when designing and constructing her jewelry pieces.

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Peaking into Cheyenne’s studio space it becomes quite clear that she surrounds herself with inspirations from nature. We love the beautiful artwork and little curiosities displayed in her home.

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We are so excited to see Live and Conquer’s hand-forged jewelry in person at our Mini Market in Chicago!  Be sure to check out the Live and Conquer Website, Etsy, and Tumblr.  Plus, keep up with Cheyenne’s daily inspirations on Twitter and Instagram.  See you all next week!

Maker Spotlight: Loft Studios

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Today in our Maker Spotlight series we are featuring Loft Studios. Emma Zwissler is the designer and creator behind Loft Studiosa small design studio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with a love for simple, handcrafted design. We are so excited Emma will be bringing her textiles to our Chicago Mini Market in a couple weeks!
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Loft Studios currently occupies a space in a “charitable art and education incubator” called  Redline.  At Redline, Emma is able to meet other artists, utilize community resources, and work at the environmentally friendly printshop.
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Her products start with patterns she sketches with pen and paper which she then processes digitally.  Although all of her designs begin at the same humble beginnings of her sketchbook, Emma’s initial patterns evolve into a beautiful print.  Her products are then printed differently depending on the complexity of the design.  No matter the method, Emma strives to create a handcrafted and simple product that is “perfectly imperfect.” InTheStudio5 InTheStudio7
Emma works primarily with linen, a renewable resource that is made from flax and 100% biodegradable and free from harmful toxins, as is the water-based ink used to print Loft Studio products. Not only is linen great for the environment but it’s stronger than cotton, highly absorbent, and becomes softer with each wash – perfect for every day use in the home!InTheStudio8
All Loft Studio products are made from 100% linen fabric, which is produced in the USA and loomed through a process that creates zero water or air pollution.  We love companies and makers who’s focus is not only on their product, but also on its environmental impact.
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We can’t get enough of this minimalist hexagon throw!
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We are so thrilled Loft Studios will be joining us on June 21+22 for our Chicago Mini Market!  Be sure to check out the full line of products on the Loft Studio Website, see the inner-workings of the studio on Instagram, and follow Loft Studio on Pinterest.

Maker Spotlight: Beast USA Shirts

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Today we are featuring Beast USA Shirts: American made, beautifully illustrated t-shirts designed by Patrick Smyczek.  Based in Milwaukee, Beast USA Shirts are all hand-illustrated and hand-printed by Patrick himself.

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Patrick studied printmaking at the Tamarind Institute in New Mexico and also worked at Tandem Press.  His rigorous training in printmaking set the foundation for Beast USA.  The quality of his work is clearly evident from the tiniest details in his shirts to the care taken on the printing the containers for the shirts.

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Beast USA designs are inspired by adventure, patriotism, nature and the American spirit.  All the designs are hand drawn and then hand printed on a four-color screen printing press.  Every shirt is signed and numbered, and packaged in a screen-printed tube.

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One cannot help but marvel at the exquisite detail in each Beast USA design.  Each tiny line of ink is perfectly placed and distributed across the illustration.  We love the playfulness and creative storytelling Patrick infuses into his work.  His illustrations are so full of minute details and components, they are truly a marvel to look at.

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We are so excited to have Beast USA join us for our Chicago Mini Market on June 21+22!  You can check out all of Beast USA’s limited designs on their website.

Maker Spotlight: Lindsay Lewis

With the second installation in our Mini Market series on its way, we are so excited to feature some of the incredible talent coming this June to Chicago.  Today we are featuring Chicago jewelry designer, Lindsay Lewis.

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Lindsay Lewis started taking metalsmith classes at the age of 14 and hasn’t stopped since then.  She recently finished her BFA at the Art Institute of Chicago focusing on light metals, sculpture and other mediums.  After spending time working for other artists and jewelers, it became clear for Lindsay that she wanted to have her own collection.  We’re so thrilled that Lindsay is showcasing her new collection at our Chicago Mini Market!

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Lindsay’s interest in sculptural jewelry formed the design of her iconic geometric cone pendants filled with various stones and jewels.  14winter_68

The ornamental features in architecture and buildings during the art deco and art nouveau periods inspired these brass pyramid pieces.  Lindsay fuses this historical art period with the inspiration she draws from working with crystals and other natural materials.

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Her love for raw crystals and the natural geometry and color spectrum they contain drives Lindsay to experiment with different techniques in order to create new designs that capture the beauty of the crystals.

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All of the jewelry is designed in house by Lindsay.  Some pieces are designed step by step: from preliminary sketches on paper, material sourcing, to metal models, until the final piece is completed.  Other pieces are created out of a spontaneous session of experimental metalsmithing.  No matter what form the process takes, each piece is created with skilled hands out of love and care for the medium.

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We cannot wait to see all of Lindsay Lewis‘ jewelry at our Chicago Mini Market on June 21+22!  Visit her website to view her collection, and follow her on Instagram to see behind the scenes of what inspires her.

 

Maker Spotlight: Another Feather

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Today we’re excited to share a glimpse into the studio of jewelry designer Hannah Ferrara, who will be bringing her line of handmade jewelry, Another Feather, to Renegade Craft Fair Winter Market in Chicago this weekend! Her photos are decidedly summery, and transport us back to a moment in the most beautiful week of summer.

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Each piece of Another Feather jewelry is hand crafted by Asheville-based maker and artist Hannah Ferrara. Inspired by her travels, the mountains she lives near, and an appreciation for well made objects and heirlooms, her line includes simple everyday adornments, as well as one of a kind metal made jewelry. She uses traditional metal smithing techniques and tools to craft each item, using recycled metals from sustainable sources, combined with the occasional natural object or repurposed vintage parts.

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Each piece of jewelry is made with care and given special attention to detail, embracing natural imperfections of the hand at work. Hannah lives and works out of her Asheville studio, located in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

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Hannah’s studio is just as beautiful as the jewelry she creates within it. Her artful eye extends into the decor, as you can see from her creative reuse of vintage pieces and natural elements. Take a look at these behind-the-scenes shots of Hannah at work!

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Find Another Feather at this weekend’s Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago, and see this beautiful work in person! In the meantime, follow her on Instagram and check out her blog to get a peek at what Hannah is working on this week, and what she’ll be bringing to the show.

Maker Spotlight: 16 Sparrows and the Letter Writers Alliance

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Today’s Maker Spotlight features a creative Chicago partnership that has been flourishing since 2003! Donovan and Kathy run two successful ventures that are interwoven into one stationery super-business: 16 Sparrows and the Letter Writers Alliance (both will be joining us for our Chicago Winter Market). 16 Sparrows was their original business, and the idea for the Letter Writers Alliance came from their experiences selling their work at Renegade!

“We’d be vending at fairs, and people kept picking up our stationery, stating that they were the only ones who wrote letters anymore. A light bulb just went off for us: what if we could connect these people who participate in this solitary art so they don’t feel like the only ones? That is when we decided to start the L.W.A., creating what we see as a specialized branch of 16 Sparrows. While they both revolve around mail and letters, 16 Sparrows is for the cynical paper lover who needs unique greeting cards and the L.W.A. is geared toward letter writers and mail artists.”

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Membership to the Alliance gets you a fancy badge, member card, and access to the online clubhouse where you gain access to free downloads, new pen pals, and exclusive L.W.A. goods. The L.W.A. uses the Internet to corral letter lovers and inspire them to step away from the computer and sit down with a pen and paper. Their newest letter writing programs, Initiative Response and I.R. Ops, involve completing postal tasks for award badges and honorary titles. They also host letter writing socials and teach workshops, which are free and open to the public, members and non-members alike.

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Kathy and Donovan have been working on the business for ten years now, so they’ve become attuned to the best ways of collaborating on projects. Donovan shares this insight:

“Kathy works on the tech end and I’m more the production end, but we both do a little bit of everything. Both of us create designs for the shops. If one of us has an idea for a product, then the other is the art director. We live in Chicago, Illinois and are lucky enough to live about a 5 minute walk apart. This makes our collaboration and production easier on our schedules.”

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Looking to write more letters this holiday season? Letter Writers Alliance and 16 Sparrows will be bringing their stationery and snail mail supplies to Renegade’s Winter Market in Chicago, December 7th and 8th at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse. You can follow the Letter Writers Alliance on Twitter, and follow both Kathy and Donovan on Instagram to see what they’re creating during the run up to our Chicago fair!

Maker Spotlight: Sarah Mimo

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Today’s maker spotlight features Sarah Mimo, an artist from our Chicago line-up who uses laser-cutting in a creative new way to make beautifully intricate clocks! Sarah Mimo Clocks

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Raised on the outskirts of Chicago, Sarah Mimo has been a Brooklyn-based artist and designer for the past six years. Sarah began designing clock faces after traveling through London and Prague in the Summer of 2010 where she was struck by the ornate beauty of Europe’s public clocks.

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Sarah Mimo in progress

All of Sarah’s clocks are laser cut, hand finished, and assembled with love and care by the artist. We’re excited to have Sarah Mimo as a participating artist in our Chicago Winter Market this weekend! Follow her on Instagram or Facebook to see what she’s creating to bring to Renegade! Visit her booth at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse on Dec. 7 + 8 to see these intricate time pieces in person.

Maker Spotlight: Munie Designs

Three cheers for the handmade excellence of Munie Designs. These meticulously crafted backpacks and totes have a rugged sensibility about them that we absolutely love. Pick one up before your next hike, Munie Designs will be at Renegade Chicago!

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Kid(s) + Play

Why should grown-ups have all the fun? Here’s a little round-up of our favorite wares for cool kids, all of which can be found at Renegade Chicago.

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For the coolest sleepover E V E R . (Handmade huts by hiphuts)

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A handmade ferris wheel that’s built to last (by A Summer Afternoon) kids4Because a baby can’t carry a watermelon. (By The Social Dept.)

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Nothing is cooler than a mermaid puppet show. Nothing. (by Owly Shadow Puppets)

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These bright, whimsical paintings don’t *have* to go in a kid’s room, but look how great they would look in one! (by golacygo)

Renegade Chicago Maker Spotlight: Milled Home Goods Co.

Get ready, today’s Renegade Chicago Maker Spotlight is a good’un. We more or less freaked out when we saw the work of Milled Home Goods Co.  Makers Matt and Hillary Voight are doing just about everything right, from their finely crafted work to their perfectly chosen painted accents. Please, join us in freaking out over just how great their work is.

All photos from the Milled Home Goods Co. website

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