Shameless self-promotion alert! The Crafty Bastards craft fair has been a Washington City Paper tradition since 2004. This year’s our largest event ever—we’ve got 146 vendors with all kinds of wares. There all sorts of demonstrations on tap, covering a range of topics like bike repair, composting, and applying Halloween makeup. No fair would be complete without music, so our annual B-Boy Battle fills that need. And if you’re there for any length of time, you know you’re going to get hungry. Cupcakes, Italian ice, and Jamaican snacks are just a few of the eats available at the Young & Hungry Food Court. But the main draw, of course, are the crafts. In no particular order (okay, it’s actually alphabetical), here are the 10 vendors I’m definitely going to check out:
Beth Pohlman Jewelry
Minimal jewelry that’s delicate without being frilly. The Baltimore-based artist draws inspiration from the plants her husband keeps in their house and an organic vibe ties her pieces together.
Brainstorm Print & Design In college I knew this girl who made the most amazing ’50s-style advertising prints. I always though her work would look great on a wall—but I never got around to it. Brainstorm makes bold, vibrant prints that are totally frame-worthy. They’ve got more of ’60s vibe than a ’50s vibe, which is just fine by me.
Woven cuffs and scarves from Baltimore resident Carly Goss, whose marriage of Old World patterns and contemporary silhouettes makes for super wearable and unique accessories. I can just imagine these pieces on uber-cool Swedish girls.
There’s this toy store in Chicago called Uncle Fun. I always thought that was kind of an awesome and terrible name at once. For me, it brings to mind a middle-aged guy in arrested development who probably shouldn’t be trusted alone with children. I think Don Becker’s irresistibly creepy miniature marionettes and bendable dolls would be a perfect fit for Uncle Fun.
My wallet is ink-stained and falling apart at the seams, but I’ve been resisting the purchase of a new one. Maybe now’s the time. Since taking summer classes at Parsons and apprenticing for a leather smith, Eve VanDalsen has been making wallets, handbags, and dog-collars from her Capitol Hill home.
Recently I’ve been craving a mounted animal head for my wall. Seriously. Not a real one, mind you, but perhaps one carved out of wood. Jordan Perme, of the awesomely named Horrible Adorables, creates vegan-friendly taxidermy animals out of foam, real texidermy eyes, and wool felt. There’s a space on my wall that’s crying out for this rabbit head.
What would this list be without a T-shirt vendor? The tees, which feature motifs drawn from a diverse set of inspirations including animals, advertising, and amusement parks, are screen printed by hand in Nashville.
Mean & Wroughten
My boyfriend’s sister got married a few months ago, and I was shocked at the number of picture frames she received as wedding gifts. None of them came close to being as cool as Mean & Wroughten’s heavy-duty steel frames attached to vintage tools and recycled found objects.
Rocks and Salt
I’m not a hat person, but I wish I were. The other day I saw this girl hopping on a bike with her bright blond hair tucked into a navy blue beanie, and she looked effortlessly Parisian cool. In addition to hats, Rocks and Salt makes skirts and “belt bags.” Is that what they’re calling fanny packs nowadays?
The Colony by Jay McCarroll
Yes, there is such a thing as a celebrity craft vendor, and he’s coming to Crafty. Jay McCarroll, winner of season one of Project Runway, is peddling his wares, which include ties, vests, dresses, shirts, and doggy apparel. Even if his stuff isn’t necessarily your thing, you know you want to get a glimpse of the not-so-big guy in person.
Crafty Bastards takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Marie Reed Learning Center at 18th St. & Wyoming Ave. NW. in Adams Morgan.