Thursday, October 31, 2013

Crafts & Drafts: cool goods and cool beer

Posted By on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 at 8:44 AM

click to enlarge Crafts & Drafts hearts Foldedpigs.
  • Crafts & Drafts hearts Foldedpigs.

When beer brings on a shopping craving - or shopping makes you thirsty - The Pitch's first Crafts & Drafts has you covered.

Saturday's event features close to 60 arts-and-crafts vendors ready to complement the local and national beers on tap. The vendor list for this free event makes drinking and browsing your weekend's one-two punch.

You'll find handmade jewelry, such as Wildfire's penny pendants; niche items, including guitar straps by Jaykco and vibrant bow ties from Haberdash: Wit + Style; and food, such as vegan and gluten-free cookies from Rawxies.

Many of the vendors squeeze in their crafting as a day job allows. But ceramics artist Meredith Host has been able to devote herself full time to Foldedpigs, her quirky dinnerware line. Thanks to what she calls the accidental success of her venture (the name comes from what she once called her version of ponytails), she ditched all three of her regular jobs a few years back.

The first unintentional break came in 2007, when she was attending Ohio State University and working on a master's degree in ceramics. For the student clay club's Valentine's Day sale, she screen-printed some witty puns and simple decals on restaurant ware. "I love you more than zombies love brains" read a bowl that pictured an anatomical brain. Another piece pictured an anatomical heart with the words "Eat your heart out."

A blizzard canceled the sale, so she created an online shop on Etsy to offload the items.

"They sold really fast, and then, shockingly, I had all these requests for more," Host says.

She wound up as a featured vendor on the popular online marketplace. Next, national magazines, including Country Living and EveryDay With Rachael Ray, highlighted her line, and she struck wholesale deals with boutiques in California and New York.

Today, she works full time from her Kansas City studio, fulfilling Foldedpigs orders and making her own thrown-porcelain dinnerware for a line bearing her name. "I've lucked out - big time," she says.

Other vendors have also tasted national success. Tad Carpenter and Dan Padavic, of indie printer Vahalla Studios, made concert posters for more than 164 Myspace Secret Shows in a three-year period. In their Kansas City, Kansas, space, they focus on fine-art screen- and letterpress prints for artists and designers - a fulfilling experience.

"Everything coming through here is going to be cherished by someone at some point," Carpenter says.

The Pitch's Crafts & Drafts: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, November 2, at the Uptown Shopping Center, 36th Street and Broadway, free

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