Fresh on the Scene: Youth Makers at Handmade Arcade 2017


– By Jolene Miklas Schneider

This year, we are extremely proud to debut our new Youth Maker Scholarship Program and present our 2017 scholarship recipients —  eight young artists with passion, talent, creativity and outstanding handmade products — who will be showcased in our new Youth Maker Alley at Handmade Arcade! As part of the new pilot program, each student is provided with free booth space and ongoing mentoring.

We’re so sure that you’ll love their work, and we are excited to share this sneak peek of what some of our youngest vendors will sell at Handmade Arcade:

Meet Jeramaya Gramby of Against the Odds Clothing Co. Jeramaya has big ambitions to pursue investment banking and start his own private equity firm. A junior at Shadyside Academy, he’s passionate about crafts and the maker community. He says, “I attended the Three Rivers Arts Festival earlier this year, and to see that the maker community follows their passion by producing high-quality products and takes the risk and responsibility to do so, amazed me.”

Kimari Young is excited to take her business, Allaure Textiles, to Atlanta, GA after graduating from Penn Hills High School in spring 2018. Kimari uses multiple techniques such as shibori and ashari dyeing, as well weaving, to create unique and beautiful textile pieces. For Kimari, ALLAURE symbolizes love, care and an artistic way for everyone to join together in unity to teach respect and appreciation to our neighbors and their cultures. From scarves, wall hangings and pillows, to matching skirt and top outfits, you’ll be proud to own a piece from ALLAURE!

B.Bourgeois is the creation of Angeleia Hall, a senior at the Pittsburgh Science & Technology Academy. Whether it be a tiny backpack or a colorful zippered pouch, Angeleia loves the satisfaction of creating something of her very own. Stop by and see what amazing things Angeleia has created for Handmade Arcade.

Christina Miller of The Beauty Within Company is motivated. This dance major at Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts High School (CAPA) plans to study nursing and become a neonatal nurse one day. She’s already started her own business and sells clocks, wall decor and jewelry boxes containing motivational messages. Come see her laser-cut wooden pieces and take home a little inspiration!

Arianna Allen, a senior at Oakland Catholic, is passionate about the environment. She hopes to study Marine and Environmental Sciences and dedicate her life to preserving the planet for all living things. Nature plays a big role in her art. Arianna created Persephone Jewelry Co. when she couldn’t find affordable jewelry that she actually wanted to wear. Now, you can enjoy her one-of-a-kind pieces made from gemstones, bamboo, resin and more. Gaze into a moonstone pendant or ponder the calming properties of pink aventurine in a bamboo necklace.

Arianna shares a booth with her friend and fellow jewelry maker, Handuo Chen, of Chenamboo. Handuo, an 11th grade student at Montour High School, came to America from China two years ago. She’s proud to share a cultural influence via her work: bamboo jewelry laser-cut with Chinese patterns and greeting cards with drawings rich in cultural meaning. Minimalists will appreciate her simple bamboo stud earrings cut into geometric shapes. Flashier fashionistas can make an entrance wearing dangly bamboo earrings that make sweet, tinkling sounds!

Aaron Evangelista returns to Handmade Arcade with his company DuraNotebook. In 2016, Aaron was one of two youth makers selling at Handmade Arcade. Aaron graduated from Baldwin High School in June and is the 2017 regional Young Entrepreneur of the Year award winner from Ernst & Young. Since graduation, Aaron has been busy growing his DuraNotebook business into a 3D printing company. Aaron is the recipient of a special Youth Maker Alley table sponsored by Modesto Studios. His notebooks feature “a living hinge” a solid piece of wood with staggered cuts that allows the wood to be flexible and strong. His covers feature designs from sacred geometry to lively doodles.  

Justine Szurley, a senior at Seneca Valley Senior High School, has something to say. So she created HMR (Hear Me Roar) Apparel a handmade clothing line that promotes gender equality and female empowerment. She says, “I grew up with hearing the word ‘girl’ used as an insult … ‘Girl’ should be used to mean strong, confident and capable.” Justine hopes to reach girls and young women who have faced discrimination and harassment to empower them with t-shirts emblazoned with messages like “Girl is Not an Insult,” “Alpha Female” and more.

All of this year’s Youth Maker Scholarship winners are graduates of Startable Pittsburgh’s summer program.

If you would like to receive updates about Handmade Arcade’s Youth Maker Scholarship Program, join our email list.


You’ll Love Hands-On Handmade If … 5 Kinds of People Who Will Love Our (Free!) Activity Area


– By Jolene Miklas Schneider

Don’t just stand there! Let’s get creative! One of the most exciting parts of Handmade Arcade is the Hands-On Handmade Activity Area, adjacent to the vendor marketplace and chock-full of drop-in projects, make-and-take activities, demonstrations, games, workshops, community art projects, and more.

We can think of at least five kinds of people who will absolutely love it. Which kind(s) are you?

You’ll love Hands-On Handmade if …

… you like giving gifts from the heart.

Contemporary Craft (3 – 6 P.M.) will bring stamping tools so you can hammer names, messages and textures onto copper pendants. Make one for yourself or create a personalized gift for a loved one. BatCat Press will be with us all day (11 A.M. – 7 P.M.) with a vast variety of papers and art supplies so you can make pins — the perfect pop of personalized art for a friend’s jacket or backpack.

… you’re an artist.

Ready to get swept up in a surge of creative energy? Groups like Pop Craft will provide the perfect outlet for your artsy impulses. Join them from 11 A.M. – 3 P.M. to print one-of-a-kind holiday cards from hand-carved linoleum blocks and ink. Or, sit down with the Union Project (11 A.M. – 7 P.M.) to make a unique blossom out of clay. They’ll fire it in a kiln and “plant” it in an outdoor community art garden, where it will bloom all year long for the public to enjoy!

… you’re not an artist.

Think you’re not the creative type? Bring your left brain and surprise yourself, especially when art, science and tech converge! Learn about simple circuits with Assemble (11 A.M. – 3 P.M.) while you create wearable flowers that light up and glow. Prototype PGH (3 – 7 P.M.) will show you how to design in Adobe Illustrator, then will send your original images to a computer numerical control (CNC) vinyl cutter to be turned into stickers! And Sarah Heinz House (3 – 7 P.M.) will be on hand to show you that anyone can engineer, and use wire, tools and LEDs to create spectacular holiday decorations.

… you care about the planet.

Sit down with Earth Girl (3 – 7 P.M.) to learn the art of recycling and reuse. She’ll show you how to turn plastic bottles into decorative flowers and vines that are far too lovely for a landfill. Join Pittsburgh Public Schools, Gifted Center (11 A.M. – 3 P.M.) for Reuse-a-Palooza. These talented students will share what they learned about upcycling, and will help you try your hand at designing and creating your own uniquely repurposed items.

… you like FREE stuff!

All of the Hands-on Handmade activities are free and fun for all ages!

Hands-on Handmade is sponsored by The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh, a 10,000-square-foot arts and cultural center featuring local art, classes, exhibits and more. Its mission is to promote and strengthen art appreciation in the South Hills of Pittsburgh through education of the public and mentorship of its artists.

The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh supports the creativity of Greater Pittsburgh’s artists and the public to further the understanding of a wide variety of art processes, media and concepts; inspire individuals to explore and deepen their own creativity; encourage people to get to know their neighbors and community; foster collaboration among between the city’s artists, art organizations and businesses; and support the magnitude of amazing things happening right here in the Pittsburgh region.

Handmade Arcade is grateful for the generous support of The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh!

New to You! Introducing the Craft Corridor at Handmade Arcade 2017


– By Jolene Miklas Schneider

Looking for something different? You got it. This year, we’re debuting the brand new, Handmade Arcade Craft Corridor, featuring 19 emerging makers and first-time craft fair vendors, as well as makers returning after a career hiatus. Get ready for one-of-a-kind, never-before-seen products, designs, gifts and more! Craft Corridor is generously sponsored by NEXTpittsburgh.

Ashley Olinger of YEAHYELHSA is a graphic designer and illustrator who creates buttons, stickers, cards and colorful artwork right here in Pittsburgh. Where do we even start? With the Seinfeld-inspired sticker packs (“Serenity now!”), the girl-power conversation hearts (with phrases like “LOL NO” and “Not Yours”) or the pins featuring a single can of La Croix? With YEAHYELHSA, there’s so much to see and so much to love, so be sure to stop by and browse!

Cöbra Cakes rocks. This Pittsburgh maker is bringing punk, metal, goth and ‘80s threads. Like it loud? Then you’ll love perusing their vests, jackets, skirts and more — bedecked with studs, leopard prints, patches and pins. Cöbra Cakes will be joined by Manifesto Moto, which operates a DIY workspace for motorcycle enthusiasts and peddles motorcycle-themed clothing and accessories.

Margaret from Midnight Hour Stitchery stays up late cross-stitching the perfect gifts. Her work is honest, cheeky and beautiful! Go for an inspirational piece, like “Stay afraid but do it anyway” or “She persisted.” Or, go for the proud confessional: “I read past my bedtime.” Bring home an embroidered Clemente Bridge or “jeet jet?” for your favorite jagoff.

Henbit Hill grows chemical-free flowers and herbs for skin care products, wreaths and more. Slather your cracked winter skin in their Remedy Cream, a whipped balm made from tallow, olive oil of calendula, comfrey and chamomile. Little bitty bottoms love their beeswax Baby Balm, and we can’t wait to try the lip balm made from peppermint, olive oil and mango butter!

Hooray for clay! Pressed flowers + clay + gorgeous glazes = beautiful, one-of-a-kind pottery by Kennedy Craftworks. We love the mugs featuring pressed dried flowers and fancy handles, perfect for curling up with steaming coffee or hot soup. You’ll also find wind chimes and ornaments paired with sweet little snails and birds.

HA:2017 Craft Corridor is generously sponsored by NEXTpittsburgh.

NEXTpittsburgh is THE go-to resource online for all the innovative and cool things happening in Pittsburgh. Sign up to get two e-blasts weekly to keep up on who’s advancing change in our city and all the events going on throughout the region. From the latest restaurant openings to the most recent news, NEXTpittsburgh’s got you covered.