Each year Handmade Arcade carefully reviews our applicants for new and original vendors to bring their unique wares to sell. This year is no different. Handmade Arcade is excited to welcome NEW vendors House of Pingting, Woollow, theBird+theBeard, Funkbaby Vintage, and Arsenal Handicraft.
House of Pingting, run by David Pohl, creates limited edition prints, cards and clothing that feature Pohl’s illustration work. He pulls inspiration from one of his favorite artists Andy Warhol. As a Pittsburgh native, he is incredibly influenced by the textures of the city.
“I work with textures that I scan in from a variety of sources like paper, fabric, wood and various painted surfaces” Pohl says.
Pohl was HA’s DJ in 2012. This year we are lucky enough to have him vend his products! He also works as a self-employed freelance illustrator, and an editorial illustrator for magazines and newspapers. One successful image he has created is the Tomato image.
“I live in Spring Hill, right up the hill from the Heinz Factory. When they used to make ketchup there, I could smell the tomatoes cooking from my house in August.”
This year he has an impressive resume including creating illustrations for Reader’s Digest, Harvard Law Bulletin, and the Humane Society of the United States. He is also working with Pittsburgh yoga teacher Richard Gartner to develop his logo for a new yoga app. The app will be available for download in the iPhone in early 2015!
Woollow, run by Leslee Schwirian, is committed to providing their customers with high quality, all natural wool socks. Leslee quit her job as a nurse to spend more time on her 80 acre farm.
“We spend most of our time outside in the winter and discovered merino wool and alpaca socks are the warmest so we decided to start knitting socks also.” she says.
Her business in southwestern Pennsylvania uses the natural fibers animals give us instead of man-made petroleum byproducts.
“We are trying to show others that you can use natural fibers animals provide for us to help us sleep better at night, and use the fiber to make socks that can be worn all year round because of the special qualities of wool.”
This year, Leslee was a vendor at the Mother Earth Festival at Seven Springs, she will be at the Maryland Christmas show, and also at the Pennsylvania Farm show in January.
theBird+theBeard creates custom invitations and stationary goods. Jessica Schaefer (the bird) and husband Karl (the beard) began by designing their own wedding invitations and stationary at The Library in the Southside.
“The company name comes, obviously, from Karl’s manly, rugged beard, and I chose the Bird moniker as an alliterative nod to the British slang for woman.” Jessica says.
This year they are hoping to get their names out there as Pittsburgh makers, show off their products and sell their cards. They describe their craft as “a little nerdy” because of their periodic-table based greeting cards.
“Our goal, as we launch new designs, is to always have some sort of scientific or educational undertones to what we make.”
This year they have been involved with I Made It!, the inaugural CLEVER inDeed trunk show, and have been welcomed into Hitchburgh- a community of artisan wedding vendors in Pittsburgh.
Jessica says they have shopped Handmade Arcade the past several years and are excited to meet the people who support the local crafting scene.
Funkbaby Vintage, run by Karen Stipetich, paints a story with each wreath they create. Their one of a kind holiday wreaths use vintage elements such as delicate glass bulbs and other hand selected ornaments.
“In my designs, I contrast an elegant vintage vibe with a little bit of funk and a dash of sparkle…Each wreath is one-of-a-kind and tells its own story” Stipetich says.
Funkbaby Vintage was born after Karen presented her first batch at her annual cookie exchange. Friends and family couldn’t get enough of them, and now she has a successful business doing what she loves. This year she looks forward to being a part of HA.
“Since I have just started selling my wreaths, I am excited to share them with a broader audience. I’m looking forward to seeing people’s reaction to them. I also hope I have some time to look at what other beautiful crafts are there this year.”
This past year Karen has began making yarn bombed antique chairs, using vintage tins, toys and dolls to make visual art, and collaborating with her husband on this new project. Handicrafts have been a big part of Karen’s life and family traditions.
Arsenal Handicraft, run by Dennis and Christina Jacobs, creates prints and paper goods. Their products are all printed in their home studio. All their work is illustrated form scratch, and they are most inspired by good storytelling.
“We try to have every piece that we make tell a story that is open for the viewer’s interpretation” Dennis says.
Dennis and Christina feel very lucky to join HA this year. They are excited to be able to sell their products among so many talented vendors. They say they never know what to expect at a new show, so they try to come ready for anything!
“We love meeting other artists and shoppers at these events and hearing their reactions to our work for the first time.”
This year they have branched out to shows farther away from home, including Washington DC and now Pittsburgh.