Gems from the Renegade Craft Fair

Gems from the Renegade Craft Fair

By Tiffany Chu
The second annual Renegade Craft Fair swooped into San Francisco's Fort Mason Festival Pavilion last weekend, delighting Bay Area craft enthusiasts with everything under the DIY sun, from owl prints to eco-baby costumes to chalkboard t-shirts to stuffed moustaches. Dwell's creative team compared notes and we had so many favorites, we had to share them all.

Miyoko's picks:

Elizabeth Soule Photography: Portland, Oregon-based photographer Elizabeth Soule takes incredibly beautiful soft images using Polaroid cameras and film. Her collection titled The Little Zoo, and especially the "Elephant on Map," was one of my favorite finds at the show.

Petit Collage: Owls were popular trends at the fair, but the art from Petite Collage stood out from the rest. Printed on wood, the pieces have a graphic whimsy that will please art admires young and old alike.

Wonder Thunder: Reusable bags have gone mainstream but little attention has been paid to the plastic bags many of us still put our produce in. The two creative minds behind Wonder Thunder, based in Seattle, Washington, were at the Renegade Craft Fair showing ware that included a $20 set of four recycled-cotton muslin bags of various sizes perfect for filling with apples or asparagus.

Mateo Ilasco: Artist and craft writer Meg Mateo Ilasco had a luscious array of succulent arrangements on display, though she also produces stationary and home products as well.

Jordan's picks:

Mediums to Masses: I've been a fan of Sarah Hirneisen's glass designs since I picked up some very cool coasters at Maker Faire a few years back. I always love checking out her bright tableware and jewelry, with their rich colors and vintage textile patterns.

Molly M Designs: Molly makes amazing laser cut jewelry, all super delicate designs and patterns in materials like bamboo veneer, felt, suede, wool, and acrylic.

hellomello handspun: Heather at hellomello had beautiful hand spun and dyed yarns. She also told me about a cool social networking site for knitters called, where you can check out user's projects and patterns, and connect with others navigating the kneedles. I've been knitting for a while now and haven't yet developed my skills beyond a pretty basic scarf, but I think it just might be time to give some mittens a go.

Hillary Williams: Walking around the fair is so neat because you're able to actually meet all these makers whose work you've long admired (or are just discovering!). Local San Francisco artist Hilary Williams shows her prints and paintings in galleries around town, and they capture the city's spirit really well.

Dakota's picks:

Tugboat: A print making shop based of out Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Tugboat houses the art and workspace of artists Paul Roden and Valerie Lueth. They had an impressive amount of work with them in San Francisco; I loved their woodland creature print series. They also had a gorgeous woodcut poster for sale titled "America the Beautiful" that they collaborated on for the Manifest Hope DC exhibition, which honored President Obama's inauguration. Composed from five hand carved woodblocks, the print show cased America as a beautiful, unified land. I was so impressed with its vibrant color, detail, and size!

Vaya Bags: Bags are my guilty pleasure—I'm always on the lookout for a new messenger bag. Vaya is a company based in New York which makes handmade messenger bags from vinyl and waterproof canvas. The bags come in a range of sizes and are fully customizable. I loved the feel of the vinyl, bright colors, and the possibility of getting a one-of-a-kind piece!

Tiffany's picks:

The Black Apple: With vendor after vendor of prints and stationery, I was enchanted by the unique series I found at The Black Apple. Titled Oddfellows, these portrait paintings depict an orphanage full of woeful, huggable, precocious-looking children with names like 'Daniel, Dean of Good Deeds' and 'Ollie Onionhead.

KittyBabyLove: It's so refreshing to see a booth with a simple, eye-catching display that makes good use of color. Not that I am anywhere thinking about motherhood, but the rows kitty egg beeswax crayons, army of Boo-Boo stress dolls, and teething toys were especially charming to touch and just admire as part of a well-designed collection for children.

Prologue: Based in Chicago, Shawna Rose handmakes purses from vintage books, carefully selected for their titles and width (books must be at least 1.5" wide, to make a good handbag she says.) With a delicate beaded handle and magnetic snap, I would be proud to carry this in my hand while walking down the street. (Everyone will think I am so well-read!)

And we'll leave you with one last smiling souvenir, thanks to Miyoko and Dakota:

Leading photo by Gwen


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