Details about Vendor applications, Hands-on Handmade applications, up-coming events and more coming soon!
Details about Vendor applications, Hands-on Handmade applications, up-coming events and more coming soon!
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) for Marketing and Branding Art for Handmade Arcade 2015
Handmade Arcade is currently soliciting proposals for marketing and branding art for Handmade Arcade 2015. Artwork will be submitted to Handmade Arcade to be used as the branding imagery for the 2015 event. Handmade Arcade will use the artwork in promotional materials such as posters, postcards, web elements, advertisements and more as needed.
We are filled with love & admiration for the wildly talented makers who participated in HA:14, our passionate & dedicated volunteers & sponsors who help make the day happen, AND the enthusiastic support from the Pittsburgh community over the past decade. Many more photos to come soon & cheers to 2015, but for now:
WE LOVE YOU PITTSBURGH!
Here is some important information you may need to know:
The Organizers of Handmade Arcade want to thank everyone in Pittsburgh and beyond for your support. We work all year long to bring you this event and seeing it come to fruition with the fanfare and excitement makes the long hours well worth it.
ENJOY! AND THANK YOU!
MAJOR ROAD CLOSURE THAT WILL AFFECT YOUR DRIVE!
The garages run by the Pittsburgh Parking Authority will be FREE Saturday, December 6. (This does NOT include the parking garage at the Convention Center.)
The three closest garages (within 2-3 blocks) of the Convention Center are:
For the complete list of free garage and information visit www.pittsburghparking.com.
Visit ParkPGH.org for real time parking garage updates!
Be near the front doors at 1:30 p.m. to enjoy a FESTIVE LIVE performance by Continuum Dance Theater.
Handmade Arcade is grateful for the outpouring of support we received from the Pittsburgh Community this year. A HUGE thank you to:
The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Sprout Fund for your support of our Hands-on Handmade area. Your generous gift allows Handmade Arcade to again bring consumers and creators together for a captivating and educational craft experience.
2014 Partners in Craft:
Our Partners in Green:
This year Handmade Arcade is thrilled to welcome Green Mountain Energy to our event. Having found a permanent home in Pittsburgh’s eco-friendly Convention Center, we welcome vendors and shoppers alike who are are environmentally and socially conscious. A sponsor such as Green Mountain energy is a natural fit. Thank you for your support!
2014 Pin Cushion Sponsors:
2014 Thimble Sponsors:
The winter season is here, and we all need ways to cozy up and stay warm! Handmade Arcade has several vendors that add a personal touch, and make this holiday season one to remember. Whether you are looking for a gift or a treat for yourself, these vendors have unique gifts and wares perfect for this holiday season.
Audra Azoury Jewelry creates handmade pieces inspired by architecture and natural surroundings. Her ornaments and cards have arrived just in time for the holiday season!
“It gets busier every year. I was working on holiday designs in May” Azoury tells us.
This is her third year as a HA vendor. She says she has gained retail shops and friends who share her love of being crafty! Her collection blossomed from her trip to Fallingwater. Since then, she has built a wonderful collection with a Pittsburgh touch.
“I am a designer working mainly with steel. Steel is in the blood of all of us Pittsburgher’s.”
This year she was accepted as an Emerging Artists for Three Rivers Arts Festival, and also has custom designs in The Warhol and The Frick.
Give your family and friends a thoughtful gift with a handmade ornament or card this year!
Nina Ramone will keep you warm this winter with her cozy knits. She creates original and chic neckwear and hats. She crochets year round to ensure she has enough items for everyone this fall and winter!
“I am always extra busy as soon as Thanksgiving ends and the holiday shopping frenzy begins” creator Dana says.
Dana Valenta is the owner, and named her business after her beloved german shepherd. Her shepherd is a “fancy lady” she says.
This will be Dana’s fourth year as a HA vendor. She looks forward to shopping the event almost as much as she enjoys working it!
“I personally make everything by hand, from the pom pom balls on the top of the caps, the faux fur poofs on the straps right down to the wooden tree branch buttons I use on the neck warmers.”
Each year Dana offers a few new items so that there is always something fresh for customers to see. She thanks her husband PJ and her assistant Erica for helping her prepare for this years show!
1820 House Candle Co. will set the holiday mood in everyone’s home this season. With scents like “winter sweater”, balsam citrus, and “elemental winter” their holiday collection is perfect.
“This year you will see on our letterpress candle caps a red stamp. This stamp is applied lovingly by hand to each and every holiday candle. The 10 | 14 Holiday Batch represents our 10th holiday season of candle making in 2014” creator Melissa Smith says.
This is their third year as a HA vendor. Melissa wanted to create a business of her own that would satisfy her creative mind as well as benefit farmers by using natural plant based waxes. As soon as Halloween ends, her life “goes into overdrive.”
“I’m making candles, packing shipping, filling stocklist orders and working up to 13 hours a day at least 6 days a week. We are literally…insane busy in a good way through the holiday.”
This year, two of their lines have received ADDY awards for packaging and design, they became a product pick in Refueled Magazine, and have more retailers interested in their line.
1820’s design, sustainable resources, and creative blends of fragrance set them apart in the candle making business.
XMittens creates fingerless mittens that help you stay warm for the winter, and still be practical. This way, the mittens do not get in the way of your daily activities. Owner and creator Amber Coppings had both practical and artistic inspiration.
“My practical inspiration was a distinct need to be warmer while I worked in my studio… My artistic inspiration to include textural sewing elements and colorful sewn details came from traveling to Japan… I translated this design aesthetic into Xmittens.”
This is Amber’s 6th year as a HA vendor. She has always felt that the vendors show themselves as artists first. She knows she is supported when she reveals new items and new directions. Her typical holiday season begins in August when people start buying her jackets and hoodie vests for the fall season.
“I’ve always been excited by the idea of the human body as an exhibition space, so most of my work…whether hand-dyed, sewn, avant-grade, practical, or fashionable…uses the idea of wearable art to propel itself in the world.”
This year Amber has begun working with the Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts to teach fabric dyeing and digital surface pattern design classes for adults. She is also invited to be a rostered artist with the Artist Residency Program, and works in a local school teaching fifth graders.
You can only find her XMittens in person this holiday season at Handmade Arcade!
Each year Handmade Arcade carefully reviews our applicants for new and original vendors to bring their unique wares to sell. This year is no different. Handmade Arcade is excited to welcome NEW vendors House of Pingting, Woollow, theBird+theBeard, Funkbaby Vintage, and Arsenal Handicraft.
House of Pingting, run by David Pohl, creates limited edition prints, cards and clothing that feature Pohl’s illustration work. He pulls inspiration from one of his favorite artists Andy Warhol. As a Pittsburgh native, he is incredibly influenced by the textures of the city.
“I work with textures that I scan in from a variety of sources like paper, fabric, wood and various painted surfaces” Pohl says.
Pohl was HA’s DJ in 2012. This year we are lucky enough to have him vend his products! He also works as a self-employed freelance illustrator, and an editorial illustrator for magazines and newspapers. One successful image he has created is the Tomato image.
“I live in Spring Hill, right up the hill from the Heinz Factory. When they used to make ketchup there, I could smell the tomatoes cooking from my house in August.”
This year he has an impressive resume including creating illustrations for Reader’s Digest, Harvard Law Bulletin, and the Humane Society of the United States. He is also working with Pittsburgh yoga teacher Richard Gartner to develop his logo for a new yoga app. The app will be available for download in the iPhone in early 2015!
Woollow, run by Leslee Schwirian, is committed to providing their customers with high quality, all natural wool socks. Leslee quit her job as a nurse to spend more time on her 80 acre farm.
“We spend most of our time outside in the winter and discovered merino wool and alpaca socks are the warmest so we decided to start knitting socks also.” she says.
Her business in southwestern Pennsylvania uses the natural fibers animals give us instead of man-made petroleum byproducts.
“We are trying to show others that you can use natural fibers animals provide for us to help us sleep better at night, and use the fiber to make socks that can be worn all year round because of the special qualities of wool.”
This year, Leslee was a vendor at the Mother Earth Festival at Seven Springs, she will be at the Maryland Christmas show, and also at the Pennsylvania Farm show in January.
theBird+theBeard creates custom invitations and stationary goods. Jessica Schaefer (the bird) and husband Karl (the beard) began by designing their own wedding invitations and stationary at The Library in the Southside.
“The company name comes, obviously, from Karl’s manly, rugged beard, and I chose the Bird moniker as an alliterative nod to the British slang for woman.” Jessica says.
This year they are hoping to get their names out there as Pittsburgh makers, show off their products and sell their cards. They describe their craft as “a little nerdy” because of their periodic-table based greeting cards.
“Our goal, as we launch new designs, is to always have some sort of scientific or educational undertones to what we make.”
This year they have been involved with I Made It!, the inaugural CLEVER inDeed trunk show, and have been welcomed into Hitchburgh- a community of artisan wedding vendors in Pittsburgh.
Jessica says they have shopped Handmade Arcade the past several years and are excited to meet the people who support the local crafting scene.
Funkbaby Vintage, run by Karen Stipetich, paints a story with each wreath they create. Their one of a kind holiday wreaths use vintage elements such as delicate glass bulbs and other hand selected ornaments.
“In my designs, I contrast an elegant vintage vibe with a little bit of funk and a dash of sparkle…Each wreath is one-of-a-kind and tells its own story” Stipetich says.
Funkbaby Vintage was born after Karen presented her first batch at her annual cookie exchange. Friends and family couldn’t get enough of them, and now she has a successful business doing what she loves. This year she looks forward to being a part of HA.
“Since I have just started selling my wreaths, I am excited to share them with a broader audience. I’m looking forward to seeing people’s reaction to them. I also hope I have some time to look at what other beautiful crafts are there this year.”
This past year Karen has began making yarn bombed antique chairs, using vintage tins, toys and dolls to make visual art, and collaborating with her husband on this new project. Handicrafts have been a big part of Karen’s life and family traditions.
Arsenal Handicraft, run by Dennis and Christina Jacobs, creates prints and paper goods. Their products are all printed in their home studio. All their work is illustrated form scratch, and they are most inspired by good storytelling.
“We try to have every piece that we make tell a story that is open for the viewer’s interpretation” Dennis says.
Dennis and Christina feel very lucky to join HA this year. They are excited to be able to sell their products among so many talented vendors. They say they never know what to expect at a new show, so they try to come ready for anything!
“We love meeting other artists and shoppers at these events and hearing their reactions to our work for the first time.”
This year they have branched out to shows farther away from home, including Washington DC and now Pittsburgh.
This year we have many vendors from the ‘Burgh who use our beautiful city as their inspiration to create their own handmade treasures. You can find paper craft, T-shirts, ceramics and artwork illustrations that reflect our cities’ unique “yinzer” culture!
Abandoned Pittsburgh is run by Chuck Beard. He combined his interest of photography and wandering Pittsburgh’s forgotten places to create his artwork.
“Most of these sites are inherently photogenic in all their gritty glory” says Beard.
This is Abandoned Pittsburgh’s first year as a HA vendor. He says his craft is 80% curiosity and 20% photography. His day job is being the Art Director at Pittsburgh Magazine and freelancing. This year he published his third “Abandoned Pittsburgh” book and participated in several markets including the Three Rivers Arts Festival.
“After living in Florida and Vermont, I fell in love with a Pittsburgher and moved here in 2008.”
Pittsburgh Pottery is run by Blake Anthony. Anthony and his girlfriend Laura manufacture handmade ceramics from start to finish in their home. They create everything from hand painted, glazed and decaled pieces.
“Our first show in Pittsburgh was in November 2012 where we decided to test a few ‘Pittsburgh’ themed pieces which sold within the first hour” said Anthony.
This will be Pittsburgh Pottery’s second year as a HA vendor. Anthony and Laura are in love with the city and are proud to have lived here for 31 years. They transform our ‘Pittsburghese’ language into it’s own charming art.
This year they have buried themselves in many projects such as Three Rivers Arts Festival, I Made It!, the Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership duck bridge party and night markets, Pittsburgh Public Market, and Market with South Side Works Exposed.
“We feel at home with the HA culture and very much appreciate the ‘true to its roots’ indie craft vibe.”
Steel City Cotton Works is run by Carly Grbach. They print T-shirts you can only get here in Pittsburgh! Their graphic tees are inspired by sports, pop culture, and “general nostalgia” that surrounds Pittsburgh.
“We pride ourselves on selling the softest most unique tees. Tees that only true Pittsburgh fans will understand and love” says Grbach.
This is their fourth year as a HA vendor, and Carly has lived here for 15 years. Carly’s husband Brandon is the designer who’s freelance work blossomed into Steel City Cotton Works. Their zombie themed Pirates logo was a success, and now their business is booming.
This year they have expanded into over 11 boutiques and museums around the city. They are so proud to create the exclusive Roberto Clemente tees for the Roberto Clemente museum. They are very excited about their custom kiosk at Ross Park Mall and being a part of HA this year.
“Handmade Arcade give us the crucial exposure that we need to get in front of the customers who best appreciate our work.”
John the Craftist is run by Alethea Okonak. Her greeting cards celebrate local food, language and culture. She says her phrases are things learned as a lifelong Pittsburgher.
“Sometimes I slip into heavy Pittsburghese with my husband or my brother or my Mom, and more than a few cards have found their way out of those conversations” Okonak says.
This is John the Craftist’s second year as a HA vendor. In 2012, she shared a table with the Steel Town Etsy team of vendors and did so well she applied for her own table in 2013. Alethea was born and bred in the ‘Burgh and raised in a family of handmade creators. She began making cards for friends about 3 years ago, and because she did so well it is now her full-time gig!
“I think that having a unique regional dialect is something to celebrate! I also think it’s important to always have a sense of humor about yourself — and the place you call home.”