Two weekends ago I did one of my favorite relaxing Sunday morning activities. I went to a craft fair. The Renegade Craft Fair in the Marina District happens only once during the summer, over one weekend in July. Its a very large market, indoors in an old warehouse right on the water near the marina. I highly suggest it to anyone who is around San Francisco in November. Attending this past weekend with my friend was fantastic, and it had me thinking about the real reasons that craft fairs are so much fun.
First, because everything there is normally locally made and supporting a local business. Beyond the economical importance, its also just incredible to realize that people have the ability to make and craft something to the point that they can sell it. When I walk up to a table the first thing people usually say is “everything you see I made myself”. That’s an amazing accomplishment that I try to keep in mind everywhere I go.
I am also just a large fan of art. And their is a lot of different kinds of art at craft markets. From jewelry, pottery, costume production, wood working, metal bending, glass blowing, cooking, baking, gardening, painting, photography, or just some good old fashioned scissors and glue crafts. Their always seems to be something for everyone. Like my good friend described it “its like Etsy but in person”.
While I’m there I’m always searching for the best deals, but I also love just seeing the sheer amount of ideas. To get inspired and amazed by what people have the ability to make. My normal rule at craft fairs is to not buy it if I can make it myself, which normally keeps me from spending too much of my money. But I still spend my time looking through every booth because I love getting ideas about what my next art project should be.
There are always a small handful of booths that I am blown away by because of the shear beauty that they are able to create. Sometimes its clever idea, a specialized niche, or just a piece of art that is so beautiful and well made that I have no hope of ever doing it myself. This past weekend there were two booths called “glass cathedrals” & “Fernworks” that did some absolutely astounded 3-D art that was witty and beautiful and their art speaks for themselves. “.
If you’re like me you’re a crafts person. I first got into arts and crafts when I was little because of my grandma. I learned to sew, draw, paint, photograph, model, cut and paste because of her. She is the original reason I am a designer today, the only difference is that now I can use bigger tools. I went from using crayons to using Photoshop. From cutting with scissors to cutting with a table saw and laser cutter. From gluing with elmers glue to… well no one actually outgrows elmers glue. My grandma had me doing arts and crafts before I could spell my name, and its grown with me as Ive gotten older. But even if your not a creative, arts and crafts type of person, I’m sure there will be something that catches your eye at the craft market. There’s such a large range and variety of items that people are able to make and design, its nothing less than brilliant.