Philadelphia Buyer’s Market ~ Part 1
(top-most photo of the Felties booth by Sqrl&BeeStudio – Melissa Frueh)
This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the semi-annual Philadelphia Buyer’s Market as a member of the press for the Handmade Philly blogging community, and what a show! Many of the artisans that I spoke to who had done the show previously remarked that it was a small show, but my mind was blown as it took me 3 hours to walk from one side of the convention hall to the other looking at all of the work.
The Buyer’s Market is a private show, usually only open to those who wish to sell their handmade goods wholesale to industry professionals. It’s not like an art/craft show in that buyers are there to look at and order work in bulk. The investment on the part of artists exhibiting their work is high (usually a booth space costs between $1,500 – $3,500 a show), with the potential for a big return if their work manages to charm a couple of wholesale buyers. The work ranges from jewelry, wood, mixed media, paper goods, fashion, beauty, ceramics, glass, sculpture, fine art, to housewares.
With over 1,500 artists displaying their work, there’s no way I could fairly summarize everything I looked at and loved. So, instead I’ll be highlighting about a dozen sellers that really caught my eye over a 3 part blogging adventure! Let’s get started!
1. Homemade Circus by Tammy Smith
This whimsical little booth delighted me to no end with circus themed wire lamps, wall hangings with attached brooches, standing sculptures and big top flare. “On an abandoned pier in Brighton, England I found my inspiration. The carnival on the pier had burned to the ground. Only the steel frame existed and hundreds of birds had made it their home…this became the basis for a lot of my work,” wrote Tammy Smith on her website. A little sweet, a little dark and completely delightful. For your buying pleasure more Homemade Circus is also on Etsy at homemadecircus.etsy.com.
2. Dovetail by Margaret & Josh Smith
Simple and elegant ceramics with charming hand drawn designs. Each piece is handmade with several illustrations including bicycles, alphabets, chairs, neighborhoods, ocean life, and poppies. Way cooler than white Ikea plates. Pick up some of your own at the Dovetail Etsy shop: dovetail.etsy.com.
3. Revolutionary Designs, Inc.by Rick & Donna Chrisman
These baskets are so finely made that it’s stunning how consistant the craftsmanship is for handmade baskets and boxes. Working in Arizona, the Chrismans base much of their work on Shaker crafts and designs. Not only are they exceptional baskets, but the wood and oils smell so great!
These shadowbox dioramas remind me of travels and beloved classic movies, with scenes set in Paris, New York, Florence, and Venice among others. There are also color dioramas of nursey rhymes and fairy tales, as well as fantastic still lives (some even light up!). Shown just a tad smaller than actual size – amazing, right?!
Part 2 of the Philadelphia Buyer’s Market review on Friday! (Original Post via iartaday.com)