Hands-on Handmade

About Hands-on Handmade
Situated on-site, our welcoming Hands-on Handmade area features a variety of drop-in, short, and day-long interactive programs ­— including craft demonstrations, mini-tutorials, make-and-take activities, craft competitions, and art installations — all designed to bridge the gap between consumers and creators. Hands-on Handmade provides a wonderful opportunity for partnerships with local artists and nonprofit arts organizations.

This year, Hands-on Handmade will feature projects and performances led by:

Artists Image Resource (AIR): Join Artist Image Resource and explore printmaking through silkscreen and letterpress. AIR has teamed up with artist Bec Young to create a unique letterpress card, see how this process is done and make and take your own card.  Stick around to silkscreen both a take home stuffed “creature” project and “DIY” fabric yardage designed by artist Jennifer Rockage. All day activity (11 am – 7 pm).

CAPA: Students from The CAPA Knitting Club will be holding a knitting circle as they create patches for baby blankets they are sending to Africa. Stop in and learn some new techniques and contribute to the blankets. Activity is all day (11 am – 7 pm).

Next Collar Please: DIY Collars! (ModCloth): Make a DIY collar accessory with ModCloth by re-using thrift shirts and embellishments to create a one of a kind piece. Participants will learn what they can do with reuses of used clothing and how they can up cycle their own garments! All day activity (11 am – 7 pm).

Apothecary of Esoteric Panacea: Artist Maggie Negrete hosts her interactive art installation, Apothecary of Esoteric Panacea. Participants identify intangible problems and crowd source solutions, illustrating our ability to solve our own problems. All day activity (11 am – 7 pm).

Collaborative & Creative Clay Mosaic (Pittsburgh Center for the Arts): Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts (PF/PCA) invites you and your family to join us in creating a collaborative clay tile mosaic that will be installed at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts! Your fingers and your imagination will be engaged as you apply special glue and decide where to place small decorative glazed ceramic tiles on a large group mosaic made up of hundreds of tiles created by other community members, and also recycled from home tiles, to make a beautiful, colorful, and unique piece of art! You and all the other creative collaborators will be invited to PCA for the unveiling and reception sometime in early spring 2014. Activity runs from 11 am to 3 pm.

Crafty Yoga with Natalie Roberson: Knitting and other craft arts can be meditative practices, just like yoga. The arts can be particularly hard on wrists, arms and shoulders. Stop in for a 15 minute session, to learn gentle stretches that focus on the upper body and can help stretch and release the areas that become tight and overused. Activity runs from 1 – 3 pm.

LED Pin Making! (AssembleAssemble’s Saturday Crafternoons youth program volunteers co-facilitate an LED pin-making activity. Participants create unique wearable art utilizing recycled materials while learning about circuits and electricity. Activity runs from 1 – 5 pm.

Fuse-Ball Tournament (Play Parlour): Participate in a Fuse-Ball Tournament, a hybrid of foosball and waterpolo. Get instruction on how to play and game strategy for this handmade arcade game and then sign up to participate in the tournament or stick around and watch while getting play by play commentary.  Activity runs from 3 – 7 pm.

Paper Mosaics (Urban Pathways Charter School): Create your own paper mosaic artwork using a variety of new and recycled papers.  Student volunteers will assist in the creation of designs and the exploration of materials for this make and take project. Activity runs from 5 – 7 pm.

Puppeteer Mike MascaroKeeping the day lively and entertaining will be a 10 ft tall dancing puppet making his way throughout the convention center.

Continuum Dance TheaterEnjoy a live performance by Continuum Dance Theater. (Time to be announced.)


Past participants include:
Alicia Kachmar
Nicole Kurtz
Gabe Felice
Encyclopedia Destructica
Cut & Sew Studio
Artists Image Resource
CAPA High School
Power Up (women’s health advocacy program)
Society for Contemporary Craft
Assemble Gallery
Evolve Productions
ModCloth
Fiberarts Guild Of Pittsburgh & Fiber Art International 2013
Continuum Dance Theater
Carnegie Library Of Pittsburgh
Healthy Artists


Sponsorship opportunities available for this area!
Visit our Sponsor page for more information or contact our Sponsorship Coordinator, Tricia Brancolini, at sponsor@handmadearcade.com for more information.