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 redravenshop.com 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 unabiologicals.com and ETSY.


 Photo taken from workerbird.com

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 workerbird.com 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 kruppmadison@gmail.com and you will get the recognition you deserve!

Find out more about our vendors HERE.

Written by Madison Krupp

Early Birdies get the craft and free Handmade Arcade coffee mug!

2014_EarlyBirdieWant to avoid the crowds and get first dibs on one-of-a-kind products at Handmade Arcade? Purchase an Early Birdie Pass and enjoy the exclusive opportunity to shop one hour before the event opens to the public. Get your pass here!

Early Birdie pass-holders will get a first look at all of the unique wares, receive 2 tickets for our crafty raffle and a swag bag stuffed with an exclusive Handmade Arcade coffee mug, crafty goodies, coupons and more. 

The Early Birdie preview takes place from 10 to 11 a.m. on December 6th.  Passes may be purchased for $15 online or at Wildcard boutique, 4209 Butler Street in Lawrenceville.

Only 250 Early Birdie passes will be sold.

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.