Now Hiring PT Shop Manager

We are look for an outgoing, friendly and reliable person to manage our pop up shop at Winterfest at the Blue Cross River Rink this holiday season.  Applicant must be available to work Thursdays + Fridays 5-9pm, Saturdays 12-8 and Sundays 12-6 (including special preview/press parties on November 24th + 25th).  We are looking for someone with a flexible schedule to be available to stay open later if it is busy.   Position will begin on November 24th and run through February (shorter days in Jan/Feb). The shop will be closed on Christmas, but applicant must be able to work on Dec. 26th and possibly extended days and hours the week before Christmas.

Responsibilities will include:
Opening / Closing Shop
General Sales
Customer Service

Requirements:
Must be reliable and trustworthy
Must be able to get to the shop in a timely manner,  in all weather conditions
Excellent interpersonal skills
Retail experience
Must be okay to work in cold weather (our shop will have space heaters but still might be chilly)

Art + Craft knowledge/background a plus
$12/hr

If interested, please email us at info(at)artstarphilly(dot)com to schedule a day to drop off a resume and cover letter in person, at our shop.  Deadline to apply is November 11th.

Thanks!
Megan + Erin

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Guest Post: Melissa Weiss Pottery


We are thrilled to welcome new Art Star Craft Bazaar Vendor, Melissa Weiss, to our November 8th and 9th show at the 23rd Street Armory and as a guest writer on our blog today!  Melissa is a studio potter from Asheville, NC.  She digs all of her own clay off her land in NW Arkansas and each piece is made entirely by hand.  Enjoy her post about her work and process. Be sure to check out her website and her booth (#47) at our upcoming bazaar!

Melissa Weiss in her studio

About 6 years ago on a visit to my land in NW Arkansas I dug a bucket of clay out of the ground and brought it home.  I made a cup and fired it.  It withstood the firing but had some issues. On my next trip to Arkansas I dug a few hundred pounds.  I brought it back to my studio in Asheville, NC and started adding feldspars, sand and other commercially available dried clays.  I made about 13 variations of clay bodies incorporating my hand dug clay in different percentages.  I tested all of these variations with all of my slips and glazes and after hundreds of tests came up with a working clay body that was what I wanted based on functionality and aesthetics.  The clay I dug from land is 25% of the body and this is the clay I use to make every single pot.  The process is arduous but the reward is grand.

About once a year I drive to the land I bought in 2002 with friends.  I was not a potter then.  We bought 75 acres of wild woods an hour from town.  This land is full of a beautiful iron rich, red clay. I dig about 1000 lbs on a trip and bring it home.  This will enable me to make 4000 lbs of clay.  I make clay at my studio in batches of 1000 lbs.  I put the Arkansas clay in a 55 gallon drum and add water.  I let it sit for a while and drill it up until it’s a slurry.


Then I screen it to remove the big rocks and debris.  This now liquid clay is in a giant metal trough.  I then add all my commercial ingredients and drill it up.  At this point the clay is mixed and is the consistency of yogurt.  I remove this liquid clay by the bucket full into racks lined with old bed sheets.  The racks are basically wood frames with a chicken wire bottom.  These racks get stacked upon each other until they are all filled with the clay.  They will then sit for 2 weeks or more depending on the weather.  At this stage the water slowly drains through the sheets and screen and eventually I am left with a useable clay.

the clay’s water slowly drains through bed sheets

The reason I do this is not to save money on clay.  After all the labor and driving it costs much more than buying clay at the store.  I do this for many reasons.  The most basic is aesthetics.  The clay I make looks different.  It is imperfect and slightly varying.  Small rocks and bits of iron remain, which melt out in the firings and give the pots a raw, wild look. This clay also feels different.  It feels alive.  It has a character and a life of its own.  I also love the process of autonomy.  I like being involved in the making process from the beginning to the end.  The finished pot was made by me every step of the way.  It gives me a connection to my work I don’t think I would have if the clay was more easily come by.

hand formed spoons made from Melissa’s own clay body

I work out of an 8000 square foot warehouse in an industrial section of Asheville, NC between the railroad and the river.  It’s called SouthSide Studios which I founded in 2013. I run the studio which houses about 20 other artists working in a variety of media.  My studio hours are dictated by the fact that I have a 10 year old in public school.  I get to the studio by 8am, Monday through Friday.  I work until 3 most days and later when I have the opportunity.  I spend time there on weekends when I can.  On average I spend about 40-50 hours a week in the studio.


I work in a rhythm. It starts with making clay, slips, glazes and washing ash for glazes.  I then make pots.  I usually have the pots I want to make laid out by weeks.  This is dictated partly by orders and deadlines.  This system seems to give me structure and keep me from becoming overwhelmed with too much to do.  For example, I will lay out the month of making by Week 1: slab pots, Week 2: mugs and drip cones, Week 3: pitchers and animal pots, Week 4 thrown bowls and teacups. This is never rigid and I ALWAYS make or do something new in every cycle.  When the making is complete I bisque fire all the pots. Then I glaze and decorate all the pots.  They are now ready for the final firing.  I fire the pots in a gas reduction kiln at the studio.  The firing lasts about 10 hours.  The kiln cools for a day and then I unload the pots.  All the pots get their bottoms sanded to make them smooth.  They then get washed and priced.

Everyday I am in my studio I feel grateful and lucky.  So grateful that I do what I love for a living.  It takes a strict discipline and sacrifice of certain things but they are all worth it.  I will be making pots in my studio, listening to music with my dog and drinking coffee thinking – “I am at work right now!”  I work hard and it feels easy.

Iron + White “V” Lidded Elephant Jar by Melissa Weiss Pottery

Purchase Melissa’s work at our upcoming bazaar or on her website here

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Guest Post: “Power of Three” by Forge & Finish

The women behind Forge & Finish jewelry collective invite you into their Philadelphia studio to catch a glimpse of their creative process through these fun short films.

You can find their work at Booth #20 at our upcoming Fall Art Star Craft Bazaar on November 8th + 9th! Look out for more Guest Posts by participating vendors in the days leading up to the show.  Enjoy!

Demure de Rigueur’s Little Shaker Necklace from Fo Sho & Tell on Vimeo.

Lace Army’s Fortune Cookie Necklace from Fo Sho & Tell on Vimeo.

Bombita Designs Raw Diamond Ring from Fo Sho & Tell on Vimeo.

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Jen Corace Opening + Our 10 Year Anniversary Party THIS SATURDAY!

We will be celebrating our 10 Year Anniversary and the opening of Jen Corace’s solo exhibition, Within, with a party at Art Star this Saturday from 6-9pm + you are all invited!

There will be beer, booze and food aplenty – including snacks donated by Soy Cafe + Honeygrow!

Nick + Danielle of All Boy / All Girl will be playing an acoustic set throughout the evening.

Cut and Paste Photobooth will be here with her fun props and backdrops. Cram in with all your friends and take some fun pics!

Jen Corace will be exhibiting new, original paintings all done in gouache, ink and pencil on Rives BFK.  Corace states, “Within explores the practice of bringing the outside indoors.  I’m interested in representation of nature through home decor, the restraint, patterning and control that occurs within a space, what it means to internalize the external and the private world of quiet reflection and imagination.”  This will be Jen’s 3rd solo exhibition at Art Star.

Please contact us  if you are interested in being on our collector’s preview list for the show. We will be sending out a email preview of the work on Thursday before the opening.

ABOUT JEN CORACE
Jen Corace was born and raised in the not so wild wilds of suburban South Jersey.  She attended RISD from 1992-1996, graduating with a BFA in Illustration.  For the past few years Jen has been focused on children’s book illustration. She’s worked with Amy Krause Rosenthal on the Little series, with Cynthia Rylant for Hansel and Gretal and The Steadfast Tin Soldier and most recently Mac Barnett for Telephone.

Jen currently resides in Providence, RI.  When she’s not children’s-booking-it-up she’s doing something else in her studio … like drawing for fun or working on projects with her brother.  Or she’s gardening … or wrangling a dog named Leonard … or eating too much toast … or laying on the floor and staring at the ceiling.

Thank you to our Partners:

 

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Off to Renegade!

We are off to Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn this weekend! If you plan to come check out this awesome indie craft explosion, please come say hi!  We will be at booth #167. Our booth will be chock full of handmade goodies by a variety of artists from our shop, including some favorites like Horrible Adorables, New Academy Press, Noosed Kitty, Kristin Tercek, Paper Sparrow, and Julie Moon!

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Crafty Bastards 2014

 We participated in our first ever Crafty Bastards in Washington DC last year and it was such a great experience!  This is one of the best indie craft fairs in the country.  It is extremely well curated and well attended!  We were honored when the organizers invited us to sit on the jury this year.  The talent that applied to this show was top notch and it was so much fun for us to look through all the applications!  We will be set up at the show, selling a selection of goods from our store, so come say hi if you plan to go.

Local philly favorite + Art Star Craft Bazaar regular Diane Koss of Cutesy but not Cutesy will be at the show selling her goods along with over 150 top indie crafters from the east coast and beyond! Check out the full line-up.

And because we love you, here are some little insider bits if you plan to come to the show!

- Living Social is running a ticket deal for a weekend pass + two craft beers that is available for purchase here

- In addition to food trucks and New Belgium’s Beer Garden, they have also added craft food vendors that will be selling locally-made baked goods, chocolate, cold brew coffee, root beer, maple syrup, pickles and more. Full line-up can be found here

- DC Public Library will host several hands-on projects at their booth, including a 3D printer.  And, there will be a special tent dedicated to DIY projects for kids!

- Check out Crafty Bastards’ Pinterest Page for Shopping Guides!

Lastly, I ate one of the best sandwiches of my life at Crafty Bastards last year! It was the Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi from the Lemongrass Food Truck.  I was so excited to see that they would be back again. Get it – you won’t be disappointed.

We hope to see you at Crafty Bastards in DC in a couple weeks!

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Get Crafty with Art Star at The PMA!

claymation with The Clay Studio

We were invited by the Philadelphia Museum of Art to bring you an evening of Crafty Fun! We hope you will join us!

Get crafty with Art Star

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Great Stair Hall
 Free after admission (Wednesdays are Pay What You Wish at the Museum)

Join Art Star founders Erin Waxman and Megan Brewster and leading members of Philly’s craft community for a night of crafty fun! Stations will include screen printing with Candy Coated, paper crafts with Kayte Terry, sculpture with the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, ceramics with the Clay Studio, jewelry making with Maureen Duffy, weaving with Janell Wysock, cross-stitch with chez sucre chez, and heat press with Little Chair Printing. A selection of Art Star’s affordable, handmade goods will be available for purchase and Cut + Paste Photobooth will be on-site offering free prints.

Paper Crafting with Kayte Terry

Guests will be able to try their hands at a bunch of crafting techniques and get to take home what they make!  Below is a full list of the craft projects that we will be hosting:

Chez-sucre-chez
Learn (or practice) the basics of counted cross-stitch while making a quick and easy project that you can wear. Choose from a variety of motifs, stitch it onto fabric, and turn your small stitched masterpiece into a covered button that can be sewn onto clothing or turned into a pin.   http://chezsucrechez.com/

Janell Wysock
Textile Artist and Designer Janell Wysock will demonstrate and invite participants to create their own small broach using remnants from her many processes in her daily studio practice.  http://janellwysock.com/

 Kayte Terry
The shift from summer to fall brings cooler nights, a crispness in the air and the turning of leaves from green to russet, red and orange. It’s a fleeting moment, one that we always wish we could hang onto for just a moment longer. Philadelphia crafter and author Kayte Terry shows you how to preserve the beauty of autumnal leaves with a mixed media project, a Falling Leaves Garland. We’ll use paper, fabric and felt to make a beautiful Autumnal garland that you can display for many years to come!  http://www.thisisloveforever.com/

 Philadelphia Sculpture Gym
The PSG Make + Take will be a plaster casting of press molded objects. Participants will be able to create small medallions by pressing forms into clay to create a negative and casting the finished piece in plaster.
http://philadelphiasculpturegym.com/

 Candy Coated
Make your own thank you note or small art print for the fridge with expert screen printer, Candy Coated.
http://www.candycoated.org/

Little Chair Printing will bring her heat press and huge collection of iron on designs from the 80s. Design and heat press your own T-shirt! Tees will be for sale or bring your own!  http://littlechairprinting.com/home.html 

Maureen Duffy will be demonstrating how to pierce out a pendant using a jeweler’s saw and bench pin.  After the demonstration there will be silhouettes and copper sheet provided for you to create your own piece.  After sawing and sanding your copper pendant there will be letter stamps provided to use for an added personal touch.  When your pendant is complete you will be given a chord to show off your one of a kind work!
www.maureenduffy215.com

Claymation with The Clay Studio
Try your hand at clay and learn how to create stop-motion animation with your ipad!  See your clay creations transformed into animated stories, then upload and share with your friends!  www.theclaystudio.org

Cut + Paste Photo Booth is an open air booth that offers a curated collection of fun props and backdrops – no clown glasses here! This is the perfect excuse to squeeze in with some of your favorite people and take a picture!  http://cutandpastephotobooth.com/

Learn More about the PMA’s Wednesday Night Series HERE

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Announcing Jen Corace Exhibition + Our 10 Year Anniversary Party!

Art Star Gallery + Boutique is turning 10 years old this Fall!  This has been such an incredible, crazy ride!  We are both living our dream and we can’t thank our customers and artists enough for making it all possible.  We have worked so hard to make Art Star a reality and though we’ve seen our share of success, we’ve also encountered our share of stumbling blocks.  But what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger, right? We have learned alot along the way, but the #1 thing that we’ve learned is that our passion for what we do and a little bit of hustle can get us through anything. Now that we have 10 years under our belt, we feel stronger than ever and are looking forward to many more years of bringing you the very best in Art, Craft and Handmade!

“Root” by Jen Corace / 2014 / gouache, ink and pencil on Rives BFK

As a way to say thank you + to celebrate 10 years in business, we’ve decided to host an exhibition with one of our favorite Art Star artists – the incredibly talented, Jen Corace! The show will open on October 11th as part of the DesignPhiladelphia Festival.  We will also be hosting our 10 year anniversary party that evening.  Mark your calendars for a really fun party with the Art Star gang and our exhibiting artist, Jen Corace.  And as a very extra special treat, we will have our INSANELY talented friends, Danielle Lovier + Nicholas Rahn from one of our favorite bands, All Boy/All Girl  playing a live acoustic set during our party! We hope to see you there!  If you are interested in getting first dibs on a Jen Corace original, please email us at info(at)artstarphilly(dot)com and we will add you to our Preview List.

Below is our press release with all the nitty gritty details:

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Megan Brewster
Email: info(at)artstarphilly(dot)com or Call: 215.238.1557

Within
a solo exhibition by Jen Corace
October 11th – November 16th, 2014

Opening Reception + Art Star 10 Year Anniversary Party
as part of the DesignPhiladelphia Festival
October 11th from 6-9PM at Art Star
Live Music by Danielle Lovier + Nicholas Rahn (of All Boy/All Girl)
Food, Drinks, Cut + Paste Photobooth, + more fun TBA
Free To Attend / Open To The Public 

Art Star is pleased to announce a solo exhibition, titled Within, by Rhode Island based illustrator, Jen Corace.  The show will be on view from October 11th through November 16th, 2014 at Art Star Gallery + Boutique.  There will be an opening reception held in conjunction with the 2014 DesignPhiladelphia Festival on Saturday, October 11th from 6-9pm.  Meet the artist, enjoy live music, snacks, drinks and celebrate Art Star’s 10 Year Anniversary!

Jen Corace will be exhibiting new, original paintings all done in gouache, ink and pencil on Rives BFK.  Corace states, “Within explores the practice of bringing the outside indoors.  I’m interested in representation of nature through home decor, the restraint, patterning and control that occurs within a space, what it means to internalize the external and the private world of quiet reflection and imagination.”  This will be Jen’s 3rd solo exhibition at Art Star.

ABOUT JEN CORACE
Jen Corace was born and raised in the not so wild wilds of suburban South Jersey.  She attended RISD from 1992-1996, graduating with a BFA in Illustration.  For the past few years Jen has been focused on children’s book illustration. She’s worked with Amy Krause Rosenthal on the Little series, with Cynthia Rylant for Hansel and Gretal and The Steadfast Tin Soldier and most recently Mac Barnett for Telephone.

Jen currently resides in Providence, RI.  When she’s not children’s-booking-it-up she’s doing something else in her studio … like drawing for fun or working on projects with her brother.  Or she’s gardening … or wrangling a dog named Leonard … or eating too much toast … or laying on the floor and staring at the ceiling.

ABOUT ART STAR
Art Star is a gallery & boutique located in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia. We carry handmade items & products by artists from across the country and many local too. We also work closely with select artists to design & develop limited edition products for our brand and wholesale line. Our goal is to offer quality handcrafted goods at a full range of prices to accommodate all budgets. We currently work w/ 50+ artists & stock everything from one-of-a-kind pieces to housewares, prints, jewelry, greeting cards, baby items, clothing & more. In addition to our brick-and-mortar shop, we also put on Philadelphia’s largest outdoor craft fair – the Art Star Craft Bazaar, which won Philadelphia Magazine’s Best of Philly Award for Best Shopping Event in 2010 + again in 2012. Additionally, our shop won the title for Best Homemade Gift Shop in 2011.

ABOUT DESIGNPHILADELPHIA
DesignPhiladelphia, a signature event of the Philadelphia Center for Architecture, is the oldest and largest design event of its kind in the country and annually showcases the work of over 400 practicing architects, designers, and creative professionals.  Experience design in unexpected ways through more than 120 exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations, tours, talks, and events held in venues across the city.  Learn about wide-ranging topics, including architecture, urban planning, landscape, graphic, multi-media, product, furniture design, fashion, and the like.  This year’s festival kicks off on the evening of October 8 and events run from October 9-17.

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Our first Pop Up Market at SSHP

This past weekend marked the opening of Spruce Street Harbor Park and our first Art Star Pop Up Market of the season!  People came out in droves to check out the park, lay in the hammocks, play the boardwalk games, and shop our market.  The weather was perfect and the energy was amazing!  On market wasn’t the only thing happening at the park. Candy Coated was set up providing hands on screenprinting, there were face painters and craft tables for kids, performers, a DJ, and our friends over at Inliquid brought in knitter Melissa Maddonni Haims to yarn bomb the flagpoles (amongst a handful of artists scheduled to create on site installations throughout the season).  Also on view are murals by 8 Philadelphia artists (more on that soon, we are waiting on final placement of two important murals) It really felt like a celebration of how awesome our city can be!  Please come check out our next Pop Up Market this Saturday from 11-3.  Our full vendor line-up can be found here.

Here are some photos from the day – please check out our Flickr set for more.

Anthropolis Designs at Art Star Pop Up Market

As The Crow Flies and Co at the Art Star Pop Up Market

Bonnie Kaye set up a little picnic to display her hand printed textiles and accessories at our first Art Star Pop Up Market!

Candy Coated busy providing hands on screen printing for SSHP visitors

Kasie Strohm was selling her super cute sterling silver animal “ear” rings

Tadpole Creations – We captured this adorable moment with Renee and her daughter. SO CUTE!

Wear Liberty’s was set up and selling his awesome silkscreened tees

Yarn Bombed poles at SSHP

Our friend + neighbor, John with his pup in the #visitphilly chair

This is why WE LOVE PHILLY!!!

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Art Star Pop Up Market Extended!

EXTENDED THROUGH SEPTEMBER!

The Art Star Pop Up Market is a small, open air market featuring the work of up to 20 of the finest makers from Philadelphia and the surrounding region. (please note: due to just finding out that the pop up market is extended, we will most likely just have a handful of vendors participating each week due to time restraints) The Pop Up Market will be held on Saturdays from June 28th – September 27th along a tree lined walkway within the Spruce Street Harbor Park.  Customers can expect a variety of handmade goods all priced affordably with most items priced under $50.  Come shop our curated group of vendors between 11am-3pm every Saturday, weather permitting.  In case of poor weather, we may cancel.  Please visit this page and we will update it with any cancellations due to weather.

September 6th 11-3

 As the Crow Flies & Co. Old Blood Bret Pendlebury
bebe de botas Doitgal Bee Vintage Redux

 

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