Faire Play

Faire Play: Four Markets in Four Weeks

renegade handmade holiday craft fair chicago

Did you take advantage of all the craft fairs before the holidays and buy handmade gifts? We sure did! And what’s that? You want to hear about all the fun we had on our holiday market marathon? Well, if you insist…

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Out & About

Renegade Craft Fair: Heavy Hitters

Renegade Craft Fair 2010: Up in the Air Somewhere

{ up in the air somewhere }

We couldn’t finish our Renegade Craft Fair coverage without a nod to the big boys (mostly girls, actually) — those especially talented artists whose work you may have seen on many blogs or in different shops (at least around Chicago). But if you haven’t heard of them yet, get familiar! These are a few of the talented, crafty ladies who’ve been feeding my wishlists for quite some time…

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Renegade Craft Fair: Little Friends & Creatures

Renegade Craft Fair 2010: Mimi Kirchner

{ Mimi Kirchner }

Authenticity is pretty big right now, right? It’s popping up everywhere. Take Mad Men for instance. Don Draper’s not eating a sandwich, he’s eating a 1962 sandwich (literally, Matthew Weiner probably had someone track down a cellophane-wrapped sandwich from 1962, airbrushed the mold out, and had Jon Hamm eat it on camera.) But wait! He’s not drinking a cocktail either, he’s drinking a 1963 Manhattan heavy on the 1963 Canadian Club with vintage labels and 1963 tax labels recreated by a crack team of archival-oriented graphic designers. Is it too much to ask of the viewer to just imagine that this bottle of vodka is really a 1963 bottle of vodka? Can’t I use my imagination? Please?

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Renegade Craft Fair: Romance & Durango

Renegade Craft Fair 2010: Little Ocean

{ Little Ocean }

I hope you’ve been enjoying our coverage of Renegade and don’t mind that we’ve spread the posts out a bit. We’ve got just a few more features left, and next up are some craftsters who were workin’ one of my favorite trends: the southwestern motif! Now, I realize that referring to the traditional designs of an entire culture (or in many recent cases, an amalgamation of different cultures) as “trendy” is a bit asinine, but I’m referring more to it’s somewhat recent resurgence in popular culture (I’m looking at you, Urban Outfitters, with your suede fringe moccasin booties). All the absurdity of popular culture aside, I’d like to introduce you to a few southwestern-themed booths that really caught my attention. I’m buying into this trend quicker than a tourist in an Arizona hotel gift shop!

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Renegade Craft Fair: And some gentlemen, too!

Lest you think that the Renegade Craft Fair only featured women, here are a few noteworthy guys that we spotted hawking their wares.

Renegade Craft Fair 2010: Labrabbit Optics

First up, Coyote of Labrabbit Optics. Yeah, his name is Coyote. Coyote DeGroot. He’s a certified optician. He eats cool for breakfast. Sprinkles it on his Wheaties. Labrabbit Optics carries some really unique, American-made frames, like Shuron (what?! we’re just throwing out eyewear brands like we know what we’re talking about…), along with refurbished vintages specs. Sarah and I will be dropping by his newly opened West Chicago shop soon for our eyewear needs.

Renegade Craft Fair 2010: Ethically Engineered

Another favorite from the fair was the Ethically Engineered booth, which was manned by Jack Nugent. Jack’s not only the nicest guy on the planet, he’s also nice to the planet. I walked away with some peppermint scented shave soap made with organic, vegan ingredients that lathers, smells, and feels great!

Out & About

Renegade Craft Fair: And the winners are…

And now… for the moment I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for! Westervin’s coverage of the Chicago Renegade Craft Fair 2010!!! (humor me.) It’s like the Olympics of craft, as far as I’m concerned. And we’re covering this year’s turnout like Joan Rivers on the Red Carpet. Well, maybe with a little less snark. So, who were my favorite artsy and crafty participants, you ask? Oh it was too hard to choose! And while I was perfectly willing to risk dehydration and exhaustion to see every one of the 300+ artists at the sunny, outdoor fair, Brian was a little more practical and was able to usher me down the seemingly endless row of vendors at a more efficient pace. I wasn’t able to thoroughly immerse myself in every booth, but at least I stayed conscious for the entire three hours we spent browsing. So of the artists I was able to see and speak with, I narrowed them down to a handful of favorites that we’ll be sharing with you over the next week or so. First up on the blogging docket? My favorite favorites–the vendors that were not only talented, but also incredibly sweet and charming.  So without further ado, I present to you a few darlings that you should definitely know.

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