A Do-It-Yourselfer’s Dream Weekend

The Renegade Craft Fair is finally coming to Ausitn!

In my experience, every weekend is a DIYer’s dream weekend in Austin, Texas.  There’s always some workshop, art show, plant sale, volunteer opportunity, or countless other tempting event that competes for my love, attention, and attendance.  But this weekend’s big DIY happening is a long time coming – finally, the Renegade Craft Fair is coming to Austin! Renegade started in Chicago in 2003 and has been one of the premier indie craft shows ever since.  I never made it to San Francisco Renegade Craft Fair but was luck enough to attend Austin’s own Stitch craft bazaar until the event organizers parted ways in 2007.  Since then, the hometown of Austin Craft Mafia and a key player in the neo-craft movement, has suffered a significant craft-extravaganza-deficit.  I have enjoyed the occasional local craft sale, and of course won’t miss an East Austin Studio Tour or Flatstock as long as I live here, but for me it’s all about the shows with a national pull.  Luckily, I have plenty of opportunities to see and purchase the work that’s being made locally by Austin crafters.  I want to see new stuff.  I want to be inspired by things I’ve never seen.  I’m super excited for all the local makers who will show this weekend – Austin crafters and artists are some of the best around and will no doubt represent our fair city impressively.

The show takes place on Saturday and Sunday, May 16th and 16th, at the Palmer Events Center.  Admission is FREE and the show features over 200 vendors.  There will be workshops and demos taking place throughout the weekend – also, some live music from Minor Mishap Marching Band, Shotgun Party, and others.

Briefly, here are a few of the participating artists whose tables I’m particularly excited about drooling over:

Berkely Illustration – Portland, OR – Inexplicably charming portraits of animals in old timey garb.  Because everyone needs a framed likeness of an otter in a bowler and a suit.  Seriously, I love their work.

Krank Press – Los Angeles, CA – A letterpress shop that makes, among other things, a perpetual calendar that features planting and harvesting info.  They also have great bird prints, and I have a weakness for bird art.

Mat Daly – Chicago, IL – An artist and printer who plays right into my bird art addiction.  He routinely makes owl posters, often to promote Renegade Craft Fair itself.  This print, minus the text, is hung in our bedroom – don’t tell the other art in our house, but it’s one of my favorite pieces.

Letterpress Delicacies – Austin, TX – So, apparently these folks are from Austin, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen them at any other craft fair.  I’m looking forward to chattin’ ‘em up about printmaking in our fair city.  Also, I’ll definitely come home with one of these cards.

Circa Ceramics – Chicago, IL – This couple screenprints on ceramics, before glazing.  I have a few questions for them regarding process, and like the retro look of their work.  Maybe we need a chicken spoon rest.

Mehoi – Toronto, Canada – I think the Japanese side of me is drawn to these sickly cute (or more accurately cutely sick) enamel pins, charms, etc.  Everyone needs rice cooker cuff links!

Year of the Milliner – Oakland, CA – I may not be hip enough to wear any of these carefully crafted stylized Robin Hood hats, but I’m definitely going to try some on.  I’m a big hat fan and am always happy to see more people practicing the fine art of millinery.

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