Do you have childhood memories of making friendship bracelets, bedazzled jackets and gimp key chains? If you said “yes” or you’re just a creative holiday shopper, then Craftadelphia is right up your alley.
Local artists and crafters have teamed up with etsy.com and South Philly’s Mew Gallery to host Craftadelphia, a trunk show that will be held Nov. 22 to Dec. 6.
Etsy.com is an online marketplace that allows users to buy and sell all things handmade. Its mission is to empower people who independently design and produce items for a living.
“They aim to promote handmade art and wares, encouraging the community to support local Philadelphia artists,” said Sara Selepouchin, founder of girlscantell.etsy.com.
Mew Gallery owners Carolynne McNeel and Lauren Parker and members of the Philadelphia etsy.com team decided to hold the trunk show.
Selepouchin’s screen-printed diagrams will be featured at the show. She prints everyday things on everyday products. For instance, her potholders cater to camera enthusiasts, as they’re decorated with a technical diagram of a camera and its labeled parts.
“Drawing technical diagrams came naturally to me after years of architectural and mechanical drawing classes,” Selepouchin said. “I fell in love with screen printing as a medium several years ago and decided I wanted to print items I found useful in everyday life.”
Deirdre Ryan, who sells at blackbird72.etsy.com, is new to the area. The 36-year-old mother suffers from multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia, and etsy.com allows her to sell prints while working from home.
“I print using archival materials, ink papers, blank note cards [and] bookmarks,” she said. “I got started with [etsy.com] out in L.A. last year. This year, we moved back to New Jersey.”
As for Ryan’s prints, the trip from California to New Jersey inspired her latest collection.
“The sky and how big it was, the vast openness of the land — I found myself just staring off out the window,” she said. “The emptiness was kind of calming. It was wonderful seeing the country that way.”
Her print “Somewhere Looking for America,” which is printed on a bookmark, features a grain field, a wire and wooden fence, a horizon of hills and a cloudy sky.
Allison Huesgen from bijouxbyallison.etsy.com is “beefing up” her stock of jewelry pieces for Craftadelphia.
“I’ve just been trying to keep up with making more, since the holidays are coming up,” she said. “The best part about it is giving gifts that are handmade and helping the local economy. That’s one thing I really enjoyed about being a part of [etsy.com.]”
Huesgen makes rusty pearl necklaces and pale pink rose earrings. She usually brainstorms by just looking around.
“I started in silver and gold and then got into vintage,” Huesgen said. “I’d been going to Clark Park [in University City] and found some vintage beads over the summer. I look to up-cycle things – use stones that I find in online vendors.”
In addition to featuring jewelry, screen-printed items and other crafts, Craftadelphia will also provide entertainment for its participants.
Temple alumnus Brian Dilts, a singer and pianist, will perform two 45-minute sets. Dilts, who has been trained in classical music, sounds like a mix between Ben Folds Five and Coldplay.
Marilyn D’Angelo can be reached at email@example.com.