Meet The Maker: Leah Rosenwasser of ID/SW

LeahPicHello! My name is Leah, and I have a little business in formation called Independence Day. I have been toying around with making jewelry and messing with wood tools for the last decade—when I wasn’t too busy being a storytime lady/studying criminology/teaching nature/working on a paddleboat on the mighty Mississippi. This latest collaboration is with my very talented father, Bruce Rosenwasser of Shenandoah Wildwood Design. That’s where I got ID/SW.

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To be honest, the stark beauty of the wooden creations that become our jewelry is the true art of the work. I simply do my best to honor the organic and strikingly modern patterns that are present in the laminatons using sterling silver and brass, and at times incorporating gemstones.

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What makes my father’s work particularly unique is his use of reclaimed materials, literally pulled from the dumpsters of cabinet shops and furniture makers (with permission). He turns these odd scraps from the trash into precise and intricate designs, evolving into sculpture and, through this collaboration, ornament. Check out his incredible creations here.

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For my part, I simply design the jewelry pieces and solder, hammer, shape the sterling silver as necessary. I use the itty-bittiest drill bit to maintain the integrity of the woodwork as I construct earrings and necklaces. Most of the time I do this work from the porch of my little cabin in the Shenandoah Valley or in the vintage garage turned studio at Spitzer Art Center in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Recently I had the privilege of studying silversmithing and lapidary work at Ghost Ranch, in beautiful New Mexico, and I am thrilled to take this collaboration to the next level! Stay tuned for the next generation of ID/SW that will incorporate these developing skills in silverwork and lapidary.

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This is my first time showing at the Art Star Craft Bazaar –and my first major craft show EVER. I could not be more excited! Please come and visit ID/SW in booth #18.

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Meet The Maker: Maris Hare of Naturalists Cabinet

Hi! I’m Maris, and I’m the creator of Naturalists Cabinet. I make nature inspired necklaces, earrings, cuff links, and tie tacks from basswood. I use wood burning pens to draw each piece by hand, and paint them with inks and liquid acrylics.

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The name Naturalists Cabinet was inspired by what’s known as a cabinet of curiosities, which are showcases for nature specimens. They were very popular in the Victorian era, when people of all backgrounds were fascinated by the natural world, and would build collections to display in their homes. Most of my jewelry depicts plants, small animals, insects, reminiscent of the types of things found in a naturalist’s cabinet. I really enjoy creating pieces featuring things that a lot of people may overlook or wouldn’t think of as beautiful, like seed pods or mating slugs, to hopefully make people reconsider them from a new perspective.

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I spent my childhood playing in the woods, wading in ponds, and digging for fossils in the back yard. (We hit a layer of concrete about four feet down once, and were convinced we hit the next layer of the earth’s crust.) I went to the University of the Arts for illustration and design after considering studying biology, and most of what I make still tends to be centered around my interest in science. I’ve frequently had a hard time sticking with a specific medium or project long enough to get a good body of work started or a book finished. A changing moment for me was learning to work with this trait rather than try to force myself to be more disciplined. I realized I needed to have many different components to one piece, which led me, somehow, to the idea of making jewelry using a variety of materials and tools. After trying a number of other directions, I remembered the scroll saw and a wood burner I had as a kid, and thought it may be the perfect way to bring more drawing into the process. Also, I’ve come to the conclusion that I gravitate towards things that can permanently damage my fingers…

So a few years ago, I dug my saw out of my parents tool garage, bought a fancy adult level wood burning system, and slowly figured out the rest of the pieces. I’ve been building the collection I have today for about a year, and started showing craft events last summer. Now, I get to come up with new designs all the time, sand wood, saw, draw with hot things, paint, drill, and I actually have a reason to buy fancy papers and beads, so I haven’t gotten bored yet!

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My studio space is in the apartment I share with my husband and our bird, Turnip, in West Philly. I absolutely love having my workspace at home. I strive to run my business as earth friendly as possible. Our whole apartment is run on wind energy through a third party supplier, and all the materials I use are recycled or sustainable, including the packaging, and I use cruelty-free animal parts, a lot of which I prepare myself. (People love bringing me dead things.) And a piece of paper containing wildflower seeds is included with each box!

Since I was young, I’ve felt a responsibility to do at least my small part to contribute to wildlife protection. Part of the motivation for starting this business was to be able to donate part of my profits to environmental conservation. 10% of everything I sell is donated to an organization that corresponds to each piece. These are the Nature Conservancy, the Arbor Day Foundation, Ocean Conservancy, The Xerces Society, and Bat Conservation International. I’ve chosen these groups because they use their donations honestly and effectively, are committed to using methods based in science and research, and they work to educate and engage the communities surrounding their projects in a sensitive manner. I hope people will be inspired to learn more about conservation, and think about how they can use their own skills to help the environment, even if it doesn’t seem to be connected at first, like making jewelry.

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I’m really excited to be a part of one of my favorite craft shows in Philly! Come visit me at booth #49 and geek out with me over science!

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Meet Our Sponsor: Butcher’s Sew Shop

We are so thrilled to welcome Butcher’s Sew Shop as one our Art Star Craft Bazaar sponsors this year! The ladies behind this sewing studio in the Italian Market are here to tell you all about what they offer. I can’t wait to take a class with them myself. They will be set up at our bazaar, demonstrating sewing techniques and I also hear you can enter a raffle at their booth to win a class. I’m in!! ~ Megan

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Words and Photos by Amalia Petherbridge and Andrea Brown of Butcher’s Sew Shop.

Kristine Eng PhotographyA handmade garment has a story to tell. Each step of the process is its own feat, from sourcing the perfect fabric, to painstakingly laying out and measuring your pattern pieces, to stitching and restitching until the seam is finally straight, to getting that hem nice and even. Then, there’s the fact that there’s no better feeling than getting a compliment on one of your handmade duds and having the chance to reply, “Hey, I made this!” That’s the experience we hope to pass onto others by teaching the art of sewing at Butcher’s Sew Shop.

Kristine Eng Photography

Butcher’s Sew Shop hosts classes for adults and kids on a quiet corner (in a former butcher shop) in the Italian Market neighborhood at 800 S. 8th Street. The majority of our workshops focus on garment making using modern patterns and professional techniques, but we also love teaching things like quilting and bag making. Our goal is to foster a non-intimidating environment for learning and problem solving, and to inspire people to build a handmade everyday wardrobe that rivals the fit and finish of any store-bought clothing. Our sister program, Sew Philly, runs after-school and summer camp programs for children ages 5 through 14 in the same space.

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We have workshops for women and men, from the novice to the experienced sewer. There are ongoing courses that teach foundational skills, such as the Sewing 101 class that teaches students how to thread and operate a sewing machine, how to cut fabric on-grain, and how to sew a two-toned bag with a zipper, lining, hardware and topstitching. Our upper level classes focus on dressmaking, fitting, patternmaking, casual menswear and more. We also host workshops focused on seasonal specific items–like swimwear in the summer (coming up!) and wool coats in winter.

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At the start of our beginner-level Sewing 101 class, we ask students why they want to learn to sew. For many, it is a sentimental reason; they grew up with family members who sewed or they learned long ago as a child, and they feel inspired to pick up the lost craft. Many want to learn for more practical reasons, such as altering store-bought clothing to fit their bodies. Others have stressful careers and are looking for a creative outlet. Whatever the reason, our goal is for students to leave our classes feeling productive, proud and accomplished.

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For us, learning to sew is one way that we can feel more connected to the production process of our clothing. As a culture, many of us spend most of our days consuming physical things or consuming media, and spend very little time creating anything tangible or thinking about the origin of the items we wear and use. We’re proud to be building a community of people in Philly who can appreciate and understand first-hand the craftsmanship that goes into creating handmade pieces.

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We’d love for you to join us for a class! If you’d like to learn more about Butcher’s Sew Shop and the classes we offer, visit butcherssewshop.com, follow us on Instagram at @butcherssewshop, or come stop by booth #70 at the 2016 Art Star Craft Bazaar. Our children’s sewing programs can also be found at sewphilly.com. Thanks for reading!

Butcher’s Sew Shop
800 S. 8th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147

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Meet the Maker: Esther Yaloz of Planetarium

Hi I’m Esther – My business is called PLANETARIUM and I make hand crafted textiles. I screen print my botanical inspired patterns and craft them into different items, reflecting the natural beauty of wildflowers. Everything is made by hand with detail that aspire to capture the essence of the various plants I illustrate.

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I’m enchanted by the vitality of wildflowers. They often struggle to survive in inclement weather and neglected spaces, yet return year after year. This resilience, and the fact that they are often ignored, drew me to use them as a central motif in my prints. My flower patterns are sometimes jumbled as in nature, sometimes arranged, and sometimes fashioned into shapes of birds or hearts.

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While growing up in a farming village in northern Israel, I loved to walk in the surrounding fields among the wildflowers, collecting samples along the way. Later, as a young design student, majoring in textile design, these wildflowers became the inspiration for many of my textile prints. After graduating I went on to work for a large textile company which sourced out all of its production. Longing to print my own pieces, I took a leap of faith, and with my husband, Ofir, an industrial designer and Sam our dog, we moved to my mother’s childhood home in Elmira, NY. Here, we started Planetarium Design, Ofir building the studio and display furniture and me printing away.

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The business is ecologically oriented. The dyes are water based I hand print all of my designs on 100% natural fabrics, either cotton or silk. I really enjoy making functional art. Among my designs you can find dish towels, tank tops, bags of all sorts – from makeup to elegant evening clutches, cotton and silk scarves, pillows, and wall hangings. A great deal of importance is placed on the uniqueness of each and every item (having a different pattern for each piece). I print, dye, and sew everything by hand. Transforming raw materials into a unique final product is a magical process.

7 8We’re excited to be participating at the upcoming Art Star Craft Bazaar – it will be our first time in the show and visiting Philadelphia! Booth # 106 see ya soon :)

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Meet the Maker: Kelly Killagain

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Hello! My name is Kelly Colligan, but I’m known as Kelly Killagain. I am a tattoo artist at 777 Tattoos in Manahawkin, NJ, but I identify as a maker of all sorts. Born and raised in South Jersey, I was always chomping at the bit to make art and spread it like wild fire. I studied Fine Arts at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia where I produced a breadth of work that revolved around a common theme of anthrozoology, or the study of the interactions and relationships between humans and animals. My choice of medium is constantly changing depending on what I want to accomplish or what materials I have at my disposal.

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After a week of commissioned drawings that I tattoo onto trusting clients, it’s nice taking a break from gloves and getting my hands dirty. I’ve always found clay to be intuitive. I usually dive into sculptures with only a loose plan because the clay likes to inform my decisions. Sculpting is no different from sketching with pencil and paper; every mark helps explore new possibilities.

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I’ve had to become resourceful in my kiln-less suburbia after college, so I currently sculpt small with Polymer Clay and then make a silicone mold for resin casting (which I ironically have to put my gloves back on for). These multiples are best described as designer/art toys. I typically do limited runs of colors/variants, so they are very much like three dimensional prints.

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I work out of my home studio alongside my partner in crime, Michael Lamezec. He’s been incredibly supportive of me and my work, especially when he agrees to help pour resin at all hours of the night, or when he works on digital files because I’m still trying to remember how to copy and paste. (Exaggeration of course, Mike is just really talented).

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Although I am known for my small sculptures, I also oil paint and make pen and ink drawings. Animal skulls have always been my favorite muse. The challenge of articulating each piece is exciting, but I really enjoy the areas where I can exaggerate different hues or textures. After spending hours on a painting the bones no longer are dead animals, but they become mysterious landscapes with twists and turns. Mike and I recently turned an old bedroom into an office where we are lucky enough make our own prints using a wide format printer.

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Over the years I’ve been able absorb the advice of all my mentors and realize that anything is possible as long as you have the drive to do it. I am extremly excited to be a part of this year’s Spring Art Star Craft Bazaar for the very first time. Be sure to visit me at booth #102!

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Meet the Maker: Nicole and Luke of vestige HOME

vestige HOME a creative brother and sister duo
words and photos by vestige HOME

We moved around quite a bit growing up and learned to rely on our own ingenuity and creativity for entertainment. Tinkering, exploring, and creating with our hands was a daily activity.  We both joined the service after high school, Luke enlisted in the Coast Guard and Nicole joined the Navy through ROTC.  Many different jobs and years later, we find ourselves tapping into the strengths of one another and building a small business.  It’s a bit of a unique setup and thanks to the Internet, FaceTime, and modern shipping services, we make it work.  Luke works out of his studio in Oakland, California and Nicole works out of her studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with each of us visiting every few months to share time in the studio together and participate in shows.

We create functional pieces that we hope will encourage people to cook, gather, and make their homes a more beautiful sanctuary.  We believe that handmade goods offer a deeper connection than those that are mass-produced.  The special care taken in creating unique pieces and supporting a local, creative community adds a richness to our lives.

3 copy 4 copyWe work in a wide variety of mediums and we both enjoy exploring and continually learning new things.  Every day is different as we juggle the administrative activities of running a business as well as designing, prototyping, testing and producing our pieces. Wood, metal, and a bit of textiles are the mediums that we are currently working in.

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We strive to give our customers the best experience possible.  Thoughtful touches like gift wrapping our shipments and including a handwritten note are a standard part of how we do business.  We are always grateful when a customer decides to purchase a piece from us that they will either give as a special gift to someone or cherish in their own homes.

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For more sneak-peeks and behind the scenes content follow vestige HOME on Instagram @vestigehome, and for more info, check out www.vestige-home.com We look forward to seeing you at the vestige HOME booth #79 this Mother’s Day weekend!

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Meet the Maker: Heidi Shenk/Row House 14

Words and Photos by Heidi Shenk

I’m Heidi, the owner and designer of Row House 14, an indie stationery and paper goods company. I’m a small town Indiana girl that made her way to Baltimore somehow and became a teacher. On the days I felt burned out in the classroom, I turned to art as a creative outlet. The final products– cards and stationery.

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Six years later, I moved on from the classroom to design and make cards full time from my home studio in my historic Baltimore row house. I never thought that something I did to keep a creative energy going would turn into my job, but I am always excited for a new adventure in life and haven’t looked back since.

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My inspiration comes from daily life, so many of my cards embrace the humor in every day life. I enjoy writing the cards just as much as I like to design them. I pair bold and bright colors with recognizable images to create designs that are relatable. If I can make someone laugh or smile or just make someone’s day a little better, then I think my ultimate goal has been accomplished.

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I love experimenting with the final product as well. Some of my cards are bolder and brighter in design and finished digitally. Others, I print myself using a letterpress printing press. Each medium offers its own creative challenges and pushes me to hone my craft and think outside the box.

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Aside from greeting cards, I offer other stationery goods such as note cards, notepads, and pencils. The pencils are all individually hand imprinted with a vintage Kingsley press– a piece of history in itself. The process is one that I enjoy immensely and is truly a labor of love.

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Working with my hands is incredibly fulfilling for me. I also find importance in using recycled and sustainable paper and products for the end results in my shop. I want my business to not only bring happiness to others, but to be an extension of my own lifestyle from the day to day, so that includes being environmentally conscious while still providing an incredibly high quality product, as well as finding joy in what I do in the day to day.

Through Row House 14, I hope to offer witty, stylish, and ridiculously hilarious stationery goods.
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Thanks for sharing Heidi! Visit Row House 14 at our May 7th + 8th Art Star Craft Bazaar at Penn’s Landing Great Plaza, Booth #86 (along the Walnut Plaza).
http://www.rowhouse14.com/

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Meet The Maker: Jedediah Morfit

Words and Images by Jedediah Morfit
http://jedediahmorfit.com/

The problem with sculpture (at least the kind of sculpture I make) is that is extremely time consuming, labor intensive, and expensive to produce, which obviously makes it expensive to buy.

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I started working with laser cuts last year, as a way to a) make work my friends and family could actually afford, and b) hopefully fund my ever-expanding studio expenses. This new work challenged me to keep thinking like a sculptor, while using my background as a commercial illustrator and designer to create an accessible series that (crucially) retained its conceptual and visual integrity.

The first laser cuts I made directly re-imagined some of the imagery found in my sculpture. The woman on the left (seen here in “The Price Of Doing Business, Second State”, 2011) was among the first bas relief sculptures I made in this series. She was also the subject of the first laser cut I ever made, “Daughter Of The Revolution”, 2015.

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The woman on the right in this image is taken from Brueghel’s Painting,”The Dulle Griet”. She is seen here in my 2011 sculpture “Paved With Good Intentions”, and in the 2015 laser cut “Mad Meg”.

Mad MegThis one is a little harder to see, but the image on the right is a detail of my life-sized sculpture “Mama’s In The Arbor”. The image on the left is an adaptation of that same figure, is also called “Mama’s In The Arbor (Second State)”. I have found that working with laser cuts provides a fascinating opportunity to re-imagine the subject through a new lens, where the rules of 3D generally do not apply, and the graphic relationship between color and shape are everything.

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As I gained a better understanding of the process, and the possibilities of the medium, the pieces naturally began to take their own shape, while still very much reflecting my usual aesthetic and conceptual concerns (jumbled imagery, the flotsam and jetsam of consumer culture, the casual violence of daily life, etc.). In this case, the image on the left is from a suite of sculptural furniture that was commissioned to by Atlantic City, called “Flood Suite”, 2013. The image on the right is from one of the later, larger laser cuts, entitled “Privateer”, 2015.

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At this point, Illustrator has established itself as my preferred drawing method. Some of the work I will be bringing to the Art Star Craft Bazaar began as sketches for a new body of dimensional sculpture, which is still in the early stages. For me, it’s interesting to see the process starting to work in reverse; starting to imagine three dimensional work through a series of works on paper. As I think about it, working that way is probably the norm, but it’s new to me, and incredibly exciting.

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Find Jedediah Morfit’s work at our May 7th + 8th Art Star Craft Bazaar at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing

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Meet The Maker: Tara Vaughan Ceramics

Hey friends! I am starting up our Meet the Makers series again. We will be featuring posts by a selection of our new Art Star Craft Bazaar Vendors every Tuesday and Thursday each week, leading up to the show on May 7th + 8th. We hope you enjoy these profiles as much as we do. First up is new Art Star Craft Bazaar, Tara Vaughan. – Megan

My name is Tara Vaughan and I make pottery here in Philadelphia.

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I was first introduced to clay in freshman year of college at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. I took the class as an elective, but quickly fell in love with it. I immediately changed my major from Insurance to Ceramics and continued to work in pottery and sculpture throughout my time in undergrad. After graduating in 2014, my friend Morgan and I decided to get a studio together in the Crane Arts building. We were very fortunate to have such amazing friends and mentors that were willing to donate a lot to help us get on our feet. We were given hundreds of pounds of clay, tables, molds, tools, and the best of all, even a 35 year old kiln. (Which after being refurbished, works like a charm!)

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I hand build all of my work. Pinching and coiling are my most used methods, while I do slab work for more geometric pieces. Almost all of my work is made using the same technique, but usually with different results. Bottles are my favorite piece of pottery to make, because they never turn out the same. I always have an idea of how I would like it to look, but the result is always very different, sometimes better. Each form is new and unique to the one made before it.

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I love plants, and decided to make a planter for every type of plant lover. Small to large, indoor to outdoor, hanging or sitting, I have got one for you.

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I am very excited to be a part of ASCB this year. Please come and say hi! I would love to meet you.

www.taravaughanceramics.com
Find a selection of Tara’s work year round in our Shop

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Giving Back: Help us, Help Black Hound Studio!

A couple of years ago someone told Erin and I that there was a rumor going around that we are Electric Factory heiresses and that is how we were able to start Art Star. I thought that was so funny. It couldn’t have been farther from the truth.

a very old photo of Erin + I in our gallery!

an old photo of Erin + I in our gallery! Photo by Angie Mason

We opened Art Star in our mid 20s on a shoe string budget. We were both right out of art school and struggling to make ends meet. We wanted to be able to do what we loved and also pay the bills. Being young and naive was a good thing for us. I don’t know if we’d have had the courage to start Art Star if we had this idea now that we are both getting close to 40.

Since we aren’t Electric Factory heiresses (do they exist?!) and really had no money to speak of, we had to be creative about how we could afford to start our business. We found a space in a new development that was offering free rent for the first few months and we jumped on it. We priced every single thing out, down to the staples. We told people what we were going to do and though many thought we were crazy, others were so supportive and offered their services for super cheap (or free) to help us get started! A woman who i was friendly with at The Clay Studio (where I worked at the time) gave me a Home Depot Gift Card which ended up having $800 on it. I didn’t even know her that well, she just believed in what we were trying to do. One family friend who was a lawyer looked over our lease for free, another family friend did all of our construction work at cost, and the list goes on.

We also came up with the idea to host a Raffle party to raise money. Friends donated art work and we hosted the party at a friend’s house in an old gymnassium turned apartment. We made $1,000. It came together pretty magically and we are so grateful to all the people that helped us get started. We’ve been in business now for over 12 years!

The future home of Black Hound Clay Studio

The future home of Black Hound Clay Studio

When Bethany Rusen of Stanley Chester and Albert came to us with her idea to open a co-working ceramic space in West Philly, we wanted to do whatever we could do to help her achieve her dream! We told her about our raffle and offered to host one for her in our space. Small business is important to us and we want to see more women start them!

Please help us, help Bethany, achieve her goals of opening up Black Hound Clay Studio (click that link to learn more about it). We will be hosting the raffle at Art Star this Saturday from 6-8pm in conjunction with the Closing Reception for our Pop Ups, which features Bethany’s line Stanley Chester + Albert, Le Puppet Regime, Wild Hart Paper Company, and West Oak Design. There will be a slew of ridiculously awesome raffle prizes, donated by some really amazing artists and local businesses. Bethany is posting many of them on our Facebook event invite HERE. Raffle Tickets are just $5 each and if you buy 10, you get 2 FREE! We will be announcing the winners at the end of the night! All money raised will go towards Black Hound Clay Studios opening expenses. It is NOT CHEAP to start a business, especially one that requires pricey equipment like kilns.

We hope you will join us! Oh and there will be free beer. It’s the least we can do as rumored Electric Factory heiresses.

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