Meet the Maker: James Singewald

I’ve been photographing cities like Philadelphia and Baltimore for the past 20 years. I’m from Providence, RI originally, but moved to Philly in 1998 to get my BFA from The University of the Arts. I lived there for ten years before heading to Baltimore in 2008 to get my MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art. I’ve been in Bmore ever since. Back in 2005, a good friend of mine convinced me to start selling my prints on the streets of New York City outside the Met, Union Square, and Soho. I lost money, but did sell work while learning a lot and having lots of fun doing it! Eventually, I started participating in organized shows and haven’t looked back since. I also show my work in galleries from time to time. When I’m not out shooting, I work on my images at my home studio. I also have access to a professional fine arts studio called Full Circle Fine Art Services, where I work full time as a Digital Imaging Specialist. This will be my 10th year exhibiting with Art Star!

 

When I came to Philly in ’98, all I wanted to do was get on the bike and explore the city. I was attracted to how much abandonment and ruin there was, and wanted to photograph as much of it as possible. I started out shooting with 35mm film, mostly black and white, with a Pentax KX, and then graduated to a Hasselblad and 120 film. I was more adventurous in my younger years, so I would sneak into places like vacant buildings, the piers along the waterfront, railroad tracks, etc., photographing the grit of the city. The unique thing about this body of work is that it captures the time in the city prior to the rapid redevelopment and gentrification that has taken place in the past decade. Much of what I documented doesn’t exist anymore.

I went to grad school to learn more about urban history and gear my work towards telling that story. I didn’t want to just photograph abandoned places anymore. I wanted to know what happened to those places. My graduate work was focused on the failed urban renewal project in East Baltimore known as Old Town Mall, formerly Gay Street, and now a desolate two block pedestrian mall just east of downtown. I photographed each of the buildings on the mall, essentially creating a historical document of what is left of the neighborhood after decades of decline. I researched Old Town’s history, what happened to it, and what was and is being planned for its future. I combined all of the research and photography into a self-published book titled, Old Town, East Baltimore.

For the past eight years I have been working on a project titled, Baltimore: A History, Block by Block, which is a larger continuation of the Old Town project. I’ve been photographing ten main streets in Baltimore. Using a 4×5 view camera and Fujichrome Velvia slide film, I document these streets, building by building, block by block. I find that a combination of good light and the saturated color of the slide film I’m using creates a glimpse of what these buildings once were and could be. So far I’ve documented over 100 city blocks. The long-term goal is to publish a series of books along with several exhibitions, preferably in the neighborhoods I’ve been photographing. I also want to create a comprehensive, interactive website where I can present all of the photographs and research and make it accessible to the public so they can add stories or commentary about a building, street, or neighborhood. My goal is to leave you not only with a sense of the condition of Baltimore City, but also a feeling of urgency to see that it is improved and preserved and that the rich history behind the architecture and the community is not lost, but rather embraced. You can learn more about this project at bmoreblockbyblock.tumblr.com.

I’m looking forward to another weekend at Art Star Craft Bazaar! As usual, I will have prints of various sizes mostly of Philly, and always a small selection of images from Baltimore and a few other places. You can view my full portfolio at www.jsingewald.com. I’ll be over by the Seaport Museum this year, Booth #91. Hope to see you there!

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Meet the Maker: Sokthy Eury of Oweee Baby Hats

Hello, my name is Sokthy Eury, the maker of Oweee Baby Hats. I started crafting reversible infant/toddler hats in 2016 a year after having my first born, Owen. Before we knew it, we were calling him Oweee. While preparing the nursery with a tight budget and being inspired by my need for stylish and unique accessories for my son, I immediately found use of my husband’s well worn button down shirts, transforming into hats, stuffed animals, and pillows. Since then, I’ve sought to thoughtfully repurpose fabrics from a number of sources, giving them second life through the thrill of the hunt – in finding the classic plaids, stripes, quirky, whimsy, or vintage inspired prints. My sourcing is typically via scouring fabric boutiques, Goodwill, flea markets, or donated scraps.

Since the arrival of my second child, I have taken on the role as a stay-at-home mom. “Sewing time” takes place between the kids’ feedings, nap, or bedtime. My home sewing machine has ventured through every area of the house, but mainly resides at our kitchen table – where we like to hangout the most. While trying to meet deadlines, I blend my sewing with their play-time as a way to teach the kids about my work. Thankfully, they’ve shown semi-sporadic interest in attempting to cut, measure, and sew! This journey of motherhood has undoubtedly brought me the most joy and inspiration.

With my background in fashion design as well as being the daughter of a seamstress, I have utilized the skills I’ve learned to pattern-make prototypes of the styles of hats I envision. Although Oweee Baby Hats have always been unisex, I’ve recently extended the line to include styles with a more feminine touch. By simply tweaking the classic caps, I’ve incorporated a strap to be knotted as a bow on the back as well as added wider brims to take advantage of warmer weather. From summer hats to fleece-lined ear flaps, Oweee Baby Hats has every season covered!

We’re beyond ecstatic for our first showing at Art Star Craft Bazaar! Stop by our booth #32 to show some love.

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Meet Rebekah Joy of Flux Bene

Hello! My name is Rebekah and I am the founder and designer behind Flux Bene, a zero-waste line of clothing and accessories handmade in Pittsburgh. Flux Bene was founded in 2017, after many years of fantasizing, planning, and brainstorming about creating a clothing line that was gender neutral, highly functional and creative- without creating a lot of waste.

The Flux Bene design process begins by thinking about the clothing that we need. What do we wish was different about the clothing that we have? What doesn’t seem to exist yet, or is there not enough of? For me, the answer has always been pockets. More of them, and bigger!

We seek out high-quality vintage and second hand garments, specifically looking for items that are unlikely to be worn in their present state. Next, we repair and sometimes dye those base garments before pairing them with second-market fabric (remnants and unused donated fabric) to recreate them into one of our original designs. In this way, we are able to give a second life to garments and fabrics that otherwise were going unworn and unused.

I strive to create work that will be worn day in and day out, and will help people to move confidently through the world. Transforming something unusable into a highly functional and well-designed piece is the most satisfying part of my work. Also, hearing “It has pockets!” when customers first try on my pieces is very rewarding : )

I was incredibly lucky to find an apartment and a separate studio space within the same building, so most of our design work takes place here. Every Flux Bene piece is sewn by myself and a small group of talented independent designers around Pittsburgh- and one who just moved to Philly!

Due to using second market materials, all Flux Bene pieces are one-of-a-kind. This means that each one only exists in one size, and that sometimes it takes a little while to find your ideal Flux Bene piece. Because each one is so individual, it is very clear when someone finds the one that is meant for them. It’s a special moment, and getting to witness that first hand is my favorite part about selling at markets.

This will be my first time vending at the Art Star Craft Bazaar and I am so excited to share my work with all of you! You can find me in booth #79 with my good friend Mary of Vandalia Metal. You will love her jewelry! See you soon = ^ . . ^ =

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Meet the Maker: Cody and Ali of Untitled_Co

Hey there! We are Cody and Ali of Untitled_Co! We recently relocated from Brooklyn to open up shop here in Philadelphia. Untitled_Co is our collaborative passion project that we are hoping to turn into a lifetime of rewarding work. We design through an artist’s lens to create furniture that is the meeting point of utility and art. We are looking forward to meeting you at the Art Star Craft Bazaar on Mother’s Day Weekend at The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing – booth 73.

We met each other at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn: Cody studying sculpture and Ali, Art Direction. When our dreamy school days came to a close, we quickly settled into our full time jobs in the creative workforce. After 10 years of hustling in the city, tired and overwhelmed, we were ready to turn over a new leaf and do something for ourselves. Cody decided to take off work for a few months to live simply and ride his bicycle to California.

Finding a renewed sense of clarity from the bike trip, Cody decided to press pause on sculpture to focus on creating furniture and functional wares. Starting Untitled_Co was a way for us to tangibly fulfill our creative needs. At the time, we started with what was available; working after hours and on weekends using materials that were salvaged or recycled. Bringing materials back to life became a driving factor. We put our creative backgrounds to work by challenging ourselves to develop high quality products using discarded materials: byproducts of the manufacturing world.

The name Untitled is a nod to the artists of the minimalist movement, who didn’t find urgency in naming their work- there is something beautiful about having the desire to create with your hands + heart and not being able to describe it with words.” Each of our products are named after an artist: GUSTAV Klimpt, YAYOI Kusama, JASPER Johns, JUAN Gris, DAMIEN Hirst, THE BECHERS). It is our admiration for art that is at the center of Untitled_Co.

Our workflow and rhythm have changed with our relocation. Cody has taken on Untitled_Co full time, ramping up production, fulfilling orders, and prototyping new designs. These days we work separately, coming together to talk through ideas and troubleshoot designs. Currently we are working on boiling down our product line to introduce more ambitious products. As we grow we are also challenged to find new ways to incorporate and acquire sustainable materials. In the meantime, we are looking forward to a summer that is bright, sunny and full of outdoor markets. You can find our products at Art Star and online at www.untitledco.design and definitely follow along on our journey through Instagram @untitled_co_ .

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Meet the Maker: Rachael Compton of by ren

Hi, my name is Rachael. I love jewelry, dancing, and my dog (not in that order). I started by ren two years ago with absolutely no knowledge of how to make jewelry or what the jewelry industry is all about. This may sound oversimplified and unhelpful, but I started my jewelry brand because one day I simply made the decision. In the beginning there were no long nights considering the risks and rewards, no thought-consumed days wondering about the business side of creativity. All of that came later. In the beginning all I thought was, “I love jewelry. How do you make it? How can I learn?” The University of Google along with trial and error taught me everything I know.

I have always loved jewelry and the power that it can hold. Throw on a necklace and get a boost of confidence. Slip on a statement pair of earrings and feel like you can take on the world. We wear it because we love how it makes us feel. Whether it’s an heirloom piece that has been passed down for generations or a quirky flea market find, jewelry is truly a wearable time capsule capable of storing memories and influencing our mood.

Before I started metalsmithing I never considered myself to be very creative. I thought art was for “artists”. Art is for everyone who is willing to give it a try. When I first turned on my torch, I was terrified, but once the initial nervousness passed it all became fun. My creativity started to appear in the metal I was hammering, sawing, and soldering. I work fulltime in a spare bedroom in my apartment here in Philadelphia. It is littered with tools and metals, but it’s functional and inspiring. My weekends are generally filled with pop-up markets and festivals, but during the weekdays you can find me hunched over my bench with a fist full of silver. I design intuitively and all at once. My pieces never turn out like their sketches anyway, so I save myself the time and just go for it. I often end up with a piece that looks nothing like I imagined in all the best ways. It keeps designing exciting and challenging, and that’s how I like it.

I love that this small business I’ve created has connected me with so many other hardworking, creative people, Erin and Megan being two of them. Their work ethic is inspiring, and they have built something that’s not only impressive, but also works to uplift fellow artists. Art Star Craft Bazaar is one of my favorite markets of the year. I used to go with my mom before I even started making jewelry, so to be able to come back another year is so exciting. You can find me there at booth #61! Come say hi. I’d love to meet you!

byrenjewelry.com
@by.ren
Photos by @joymasi

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Meet the Maker: Sarah Evans of Spiderbite Boutique

Hello there! I am Sarah Evans and I make monsters for a living! Spiderbite Boutique is the name of my creative endeavour, and has been my labor of love and fuzz for 14 years now.

My journey as a maker began while I was still an illustration undergrad at RISD in 2005. That was when I came up with the Nightmare Snatchers, monster journals that eat up whatever nightmare or fear is written on their pages. As the years have gone by, I have branched out into several other toy lines but my goal has always been to design toys that had a use. I don’t want them to be just fluffy whimsical things, but fluffy whimsical things with a purpose! Everything I make is creepy yet cute, fanciful yet functional, and is, in my own small way, how I try to add a little magic, with a dose of practicality, back into the world.

One of my most popular monsters are the Nervous Nellies who help you overcome your nerves, by helping them with theirs.

I am excited to debut my newest toy, the ‘Wishfuls’ at this Spring’s Art Star Bazaar. Whatever wish you place in their pocket, these little stars will hope and dream for right along with you. As you can see here, I’m wishing for a good and sunny day for the show!

Meaning and story-telling are an important part of my creative process. Even when something I make is just a silly little monster doodle, there is a story behind the image. I often collaborate with my resident wordsmith and father, Thomas Evans, who wrote all of the spells and poems that give life to my toys. Currently we are also working on several children’s books together, and some of the creatures in my magnets and stickers are characters from those stories.


All of my creations are handmade, designed, and illustrated in my studio space in Hockessin, DE. Having different spaces to make all of my different creations is paramount. I have a space for sewing and toy design, as well as a space for painting and illustrating. This way I can keep the multicolored faux fur tumble weeds away from my paintings.

I can’t wait for the Spring Art Star Bazaar, one of my favorite shows of the year. Come find me under the giant monster at booth #62 and follow my instagram @spiderbiteboutique to see what else I’ll be debuting at the show!

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Meet The Maker: Melissa Koenig Ceramics


I signed up for my very first ceramics class a month before my 31st birthday. I certainly was not thinking of it as a potential career; just a creative outlet for my somewhat boring professional life.


After the first class, I signed up for another, and then another, and then had what can only be described as a lightbulb moment. I found myself spending all of my free time at The Clay Studio, which had become my happy place, and all of my mental energy on fabrication and inspiration. Suddenly, that switch flipped and I thought, ‘Well, some people do this as a job, right? Why can’t I do it as a job too?’


That is precisely how Melissa Koenig Ceramics was born. (Well technically, and especially to the IRS, it was officially born many months later, but the seed was certainly planted!) I was lucky to have supremely supportive friends and family who lent their talents and encouragement, and now that epiphany is almost a year in the rearview.

As a still-very-new entrepreneur, everything is so exciting. (Scary, but exciting!) I’m hustling, and it’s hard work, but I’m finding my groove and my niche, and am thrilled about the future.

 

I am delighted to be participating in the upcoming Spring Art Star Craft Bazaar, and still can’t believe I’m vending and not just shopping! If you want to see a sneak peak of what I’ll be bringing, check out my Instagram, and please stop by and say hi!

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Art Star at The Bourse


Exciting news! We have opened up a 2nd space at The Bourse! If you work or live near center city, this will be a convenient place to stop for all your  handmade Art Star goodies.

Our shop is a 17ft x 12ft space just to the right of Menagerie Coffee when you enter at 5th and Market. Much like our Northern Liberties shop, we’ll be selling a diverse collection of handmade goods by local and national artists.

Shop Hours: Thursday – Saturday 11-8pm and Sunday 11-6pm

If you haven’t been to the newly renovated Bourse – it is beautiful and filled with new, yummy food vendors like Chaat and Chai, FreeByrd Chicken, Grubhouse, LaLo, Mighty Melt, Rebel Taco, and more! Plus, Bluebird Distillery which makes amazing cocktails. There is also Penzy Spices right on the corner and a bunch more.

Founded in 1891 by George Bartol, The Bourse was the first in the world to house a stock exchange, maritime exchange, and grain-trading exchange simultaneously. Today, the historic space has been repurposed into an internationally inspired food hall with deep local roots.

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2019 Fall Calendar of Events


Art Star Pop Up Market at Spruce Street Harbor Park
Every Weekend, May 11th + 12th, 1-6pm
From May 18th – September 29th
A new mix of 12-20 craft vendors each day!
https://www.artstarcraftbazaar.com/about-spruce-street-harbor-park/
NOW ACCEPTING VENDOR APPLICATIONS

North Front Street Festival
Sunday, September 15th, 10-5pm
under the El at Front and Cecil B Moore in Fishtown
in partnership with Farm To City, Fishtown Co., International Bar, Evil Genius Brewing Co
40 Curated Craft Vendors, Farm To City Farmer’s Market, Booze, Beer, Food, and Live Music
https://www.artstarcraftbazaar.com/north-front-street-festival/

Art Star Pop Up Market at Midtown Village Fall Festival
October 5th, 12-8pm
30 Curated Craft Vendors within this huge Center City Festival
https://www.artstarcraftbazaar.com/about-midtown-village-fall-festival/
NOW ACCEPTING VENDOR APPLICATIONS

Art Star Pop Up Market at Cherry Street Pier
Sunday, October 27th, 11am-5pm
30+ Curated Craft Vendors, Food Vendors, City Planter
https://www.artstarcraftbazaar.com/about-cherryst/
NOW ACCEPTING VENDOR APPLICATIONS

Holiday Art Star Craft Bazaar
November 23rd + 24th, 11-5pm
at the Event Center at Sugarhouse Casino
75 Curated Craft Vendors, Make + Takes, Food, and Bars
https://www.artstarcraftbazaar.com/about-holiday-ascb/
NOW ACCEPTING VENDOR APPLICATIONS









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Janell Wysock Joins Art Star

Exciting news! Janell Wysock Textiles will be moving into our gallery on March 1st! Our shop will remain in the front portion and Janell will be taking over the back space.

Though we loved hosting regular exhibitions in our gallery, we were never able to give them the full attention that they deserved. We have decided to focus fully on our Shop, Bazaars, and Pop Ups. We will continue to carry original art in our shop though, so check in often.

Janell will be displaying and selling her gorgeous line of woven garments and home goods in this space. She will also be hosting regular textile based classes and workshops. We plan to schedule our own regular craft workshops as well, so stay tuned.

We think that this partnership will be greatly beneficial to both our businesses and the craft loving community that we both serve. We are looking forward to what 2019 will bring!

Learn more about Janell Wysock Textiles and sign up for her upcoming workshops

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