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.”