Make a Vintage button with us at the Pgh Vintage Mixer

CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. Winners will be notified and their names will be on the list for tomorrow morning’s 9 a.m. early bird entrance. Stop by the Handmade Arcade table and make a vintage button with us! See you there.

Handmade Arcade is thrilled to be sponsoring this spring’s Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer! Enter to win 2 Vintage Pittsburgh V.I.P. Preview passes, giving you an exclusive 9 a.m. early bird start to the Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer on Saturday, May 9th.

Find out more about Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer.

Today is the day!

HAshoppersThank you all for love and support. We can’t wait to see everyone today at HANDMADE ARCADE 2014! 

Here is some important information you may need to know: 

  • Admission is FREE!
  • The Vendors are ready for you. You can view a our Vendor Map here to find your favorite vendors or to discover new artists and crafters.
  • Directions to the David L. Convention Center (DLCC) can found on online here.
  • The DLCC has a large parking lot with a low daily of $10 for the day.
  • The garages run by the Pittsburgh Parking Authority will be FREE Saturday, December 6. For the complete list of free garages and information visit
  • Visit for real time parking garage updates!
  • Entrance to Handmade Arcade is through the West Lobby (across the street from the parking garage). View the map here.
  • INBOUND FORT PITT TUNNEL WILL BE CLOSED this weekend. Find the detour directions here. 

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.


Get Ready for the Holidays with HA!

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.


Photo taken by: Audra Azoury

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!

Preview Audra Azoury Jewelry on Etsy

nina ramone

Photo taken by: Dana Valenta

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!

Preview Nina Ramone on Etsy

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Photo taken by: Recollection Photography / Cindy Parker

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.

Preview 1820 House Candle Co. on Twitter


Photo given by: Amber Coppings

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!

Preview XMittens on Etsy

Pittsburgh Themed Goodies Make Great Gifts!

burghthemeThis 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!

Read on to discover the story behind a few of Handmade Arcade’s Pittsburgh themed vendors including Abandoned PittsburghPittsburgh PotterySteel City Cotton Works and John the Craftist.


“Spirits: Overholt Distillery” Taken By: Chuck Beard

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.”

Check out Abandoned Pittsburgh’s Facebook for more information. 


Photo taken by: Pitsburgh Pottery

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.”

Preview Pittsburgh Pottery’s work on Etsy.



Photo taken by: Rachel Norris

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.”

Check out Steel City Cotton Works’ Facebook for more information. 


Photo taken by: Alethea Okonak

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.”

Preview John the Craftist’s products on Etsy.

Browse Handmade Arcade’s 150+ vendors here and prepare your shopping list!


The 2014 Tote Bag is Here!

Take the AMAZING wood, tin and nail art from Worker Bird, give it to Modesto Studios to screen print on tote bags and MAGIC happens. LOOK closely at the totes and you will see the SILVER NAILS!  Only 50 available for sale at Handmade Arcade 2014 on Saturday, December 6, 2014! Get your limited edition tote bag at the welcome table for only $15.



Handmade Arcade Vendors and the Martha Stewart American Made Awards


The Martha Stewart American Made Awards recognize handmade artists and innovators. This year, Handmade Arcade was thrilled to see several of our own skilled vendors become nominees.

American Made features thriving artists who create crafts, design, food and style. They recognize innovative creations and put local makers into the public eye. Through this program, Martha Stewart and the editors of Martha Stewart Living showcase the talent of Americans who are inspiring us with their original products.

Redraven Studios, Unabiologicals, Worker Bird, Gina DeSantis Ceramics and Liza Michelle Jewelry are the Handmade Arcade vendors selected as finalists for this fantastic opportunity.

RedRaven Handmade porcelain keepsakes

Photo taken by: Janelle Bendycki

Redraven Studios is run by dynamic duo Amy and Ryan Hamley. They create a line of beautiful handmade porcelain keepsakes. Amy says she has loved working with clay since she was a teenager, and continues to provide people with one of a kind items. Her expertise has not been overlooked this year.

“Once you submit your nomination, the panel of judges including Martha Stewart selected the finalists, which I was thrilled to be selected for” Hamley says.

Amy says this is her 5th year as a Handmade Arcade vendor, and can’t wait for this year’s event.

“Handmade Arcade has a reputation for being the best attended and well curated craft event in the city” says Hamley. “ I typically have to hold open studio hours for local pick up after the event, it makes up a huge portion of my holiday season sales.”

RedRaven’s work is available online at and ETSY. Read more about her Etsy Wholesale shop which is featured in the NY TIMES


Photo taken by: Kelsey Kradel Photography

Una Biologicals is run by Jessica Graves. They provide pure, organic beauty & wellness products derived straight from nature.

“We keep you healthy & pretty, using only the best plant based ingredients and a healthy helping of love & positivity” Graves says.

This is Una Biological’s 3rd year as a Handmade Arcade vendor, and now has a team of 7 amazing ladies. They love being a part of Handmade Arcade’s reputation, and have proven themselves as a finalist in this year’s awards.

“There are a lot of people out there working hard to create unique and amazing products, ethically and by hand, this competition and events like HA are an essential conduit to bring these people to the population at large and make the whole of the event exciting” says Graves.

Unabiologicals has had a busy year. They were featured in the PITSBURGH POST-GAZETTETRIB, and WHIRL MAGAZINE.  You can purchase their products online at and ETSY.


 Photo taken from

Worker Bird is run by Kim Fox. Kim is a finalist for the wild card category and does “hardcore quilting.” She says that is a pretty accurate joke, since she collects old tins and uses them to make snowy owls, crows, pumpkins and other cute things. She stays busy as a worker bird, and her efforts have paid off.

“A few weeks after being accepted as a nominee I received an email saying that I had been selected as a Wildcard Finalist by Martha and her team of judges. Super exciting!”

This is Kim’s third year with Handmade Arcade. She is the creative mind behind the amazing tin art turned marketing collateral for this year’s Handmade Arcade event. Her artwork was used to create our postcards, poster, Early Birdie tickets, web ads, print ads and more! She says the collaboration and reputation of Handmade Arcade greatly benefits her business.

“It’s a widely respected show and, as such, it lends credibility to the work that I do.”

Worker Bird art is available online at and ETSY.


Photo taken by: Whitney Traylor

Gina DeSantis Ceramics is run by Gina herself. She creates beautiful ceramics and strives to make “functional wares for the home and table.” She combined her love of the studio and the kitchen, and now creates pieces that have made her a finalist in this year’s awards.

“[ I ] was picked for a wildcard slot due to the high volume of social media shares thanks to my fans!” says DeSantis.

This is Gina’s first time as a Handmade Arcade vendor.  Gina found her passion for ceramics in college. She is now a well developed, self employed artist who teaches and inspires others to continue with this craft. Midwest Living Magazine even featured her mugs in their holiday gift guide this year!  Her inspiration comes from the textures and colors in nature.

“I want to make objects that make your home happier” DeSantis says on her website bio.

Find Gina’s products for sale on BIG CARTEL.  



Photo Taken by: Suzanne Price

Liza Michelle Jewelry is run by Liza Rifkin.  Liza makes thoughtfully crafted jewelry by using the world around us.  Her pieces are carefully created by nature’s gifts to ensure that each customer gets a unique, quality piece.  Her inspiration from the environment led her to become a finalist in this year’s awards.

“Each twig, pine cone, thorn or berry is handpicked from nature and cast in solid metal to create one of a kind piece every time.” Rifkin says.

This is her first year as a Handmade Arcade vendor.  She says she always knew she would be an artist, and has been hooked on making jewelry since high school.  This year Liza has launched a new branding and a brand new line of pieces.  Some even include conflict free, black and white diamonds!

“Each piece is unique and an exact representation of the beautiful world around us.”

Shop Liza’s jewelry HERE.

Disclaimer:  These vendors are the nominees that Handmade Arcade found after reviewing the Martha Stewart site.  If any other vendors were selected, we want to know!   Simply send us an email and you will get the recognition you deserve!

Find out more about our vendors HERE.

Written by Madison Krupp

5th annual VIA Music & New Media Festival 10/1 – 10/5

VIAfest The 5th annual VIA Music & New Media Festival ends on Sunday, Oct. 5th. Check out the final days events in before the fun comes to an end!

AV SHOWCASE: Steve Gunn, Circuit Des Yeux, Mary Lattimore/Jeff Zeigler Duo
October 5 @ 7:00 pm
Thunderbird Cafe ,
4023 Butler St , Pittsburgh , PA 15201

AV SHOWCASE: Little People, Yppah, Headphone Activist
October 4 @ 9:00 pm
The Rex Theater ,
1602 E Carson St , Pittsburgh , PA 15203

October 4 @ 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Carnegie Mellon University ,
College of Fine Arts 111, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Ave , Pittsburgh , PA 15213 United States

October 4 @ 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

SHOWCASE: Honcho presents JD Samson
October 4 @ 11:55 am – October 5 @ 7:00 am
Hot Mass


SHOWCASE: Detour presents: HOT MASS w/ Bambounou, Ellie Herring, Paul Fleetwood, Chase Smith
October 3 @ 11:55 pm
Club Pittsburgh ,
1139 Penn Ave , Pittsburgh , PA 15222

DAY 03: CURED w Beautiful Swimmers, more tba
October 3 @ 10:00 pm
Cattivo ,
146 44th St , Pittsburgh , PA 15201

SHOWCASE: Osunlade
October 3 @ 9:00 pm
Round Corner Cantina ,
3720 Butler St , Pittsburgh , PA 15201 United States

AV SHOWCASE: Bee vs Moth, Jeremy Bible, Buffalo Stance, Telequanta
October 3 @ 9:00 pm
Thunderbird Cafe ,
4023 Butler St , Pittsburgh , PA 15201

SHOWCASE: Prof.Logik, Man of the Down, Ivies, Mr. Owl, Theta
October 3 @ 9:00 pm
Belvederes Ultra-Dive ,
4016 Butler St , Pittsburgh , PA 15201  

SCREENING: “She Said Boom: Story of 5th Column”
October 3 @ 7:00 pm
Row House Cinema ,
4115 Butler St , Pittsburgh , PA 15201 United States

SHOWCASE: Code Orange, Angel Dust, Eternal Sleep, Hounds of Hate
October 3 @ 6:00 pm
Cattivo ,  146 44th St , Pittsburgh , PA 15201

October 3 @ 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
School of Art, Carnegie Mellon University ,
College of Fine Arts 300, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Ave , Pittsburgh , PA 15213

October 3 @ 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Carnegie Mellon University ,
College of Fine Arts 111, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Ave , Pittsburgh , PA 15213

AV SHOWCASE/  The Rex Theater ,  1602 E Carson St

  • DEAFHEAVEN (US/San Fran)
    Known for their epic and emotional sound, this post-metal trio from San Francisco sit atop Pitchfork’s “Best New Music” list for their 2013 sophomore album Sunbather. Coming off an international tour that has burst eardrums across Europe and the US, Pittsburgh is next.
  • LITURGY (US/New York City)
    Transcendental black metal. Citing Swans, Glenn Branca, and Lightning Bolt as influences, Liturgy uses every instrument, literal or figurative, to produce meaning and intensity, disregarding the genre boundaries of black metal, hardcore and experimental music. Intensely physical performances. Get tickets here.
  • SLICES (US/Pittsburgh)
    “Aggressive hardcore punk with just enough weirdness” Slices is a Pittsburgh outfit through and through. 

SCREENING: /  Row House Cinema ,  4115 Butler St.
FROM DEEP *Pittsburgh premiere!*
Coming home after a year of racking up awards and praise, Brett Kashmere’s ambitious documentary is part sociological treatise, part audiovisual mix-tape, charting the three-decade love affair between basketball and rap. Drawing its imagery from contemporary pick-up games, movies, music videos, video games, and spectacular sports footage, FROM DEEP is about the game of basketball and its profound role in American life – as an everyday street game played by millions around the country; a force in fashion, music, and mass media; and a platform for broader issues of race and class.


Handmade Arcade Banner by Worker Bird Projected at VIA 2014.