This is the fourth interview in our "Behind the Scenes of Handmade Arcade" series, in which you learn more about the talented and prolific artists vending at Handmade Arcade 2014. This is your opportunity to dig deeper into the working habits of the folks that make beautiful handcrafted objects that you should purchase and gift to loved ones this holiday season!
Rebecca Morris and Jennifer Baron are accomplished women in the their own right. Morris owns Wildcard on Butler Street and Baron is a musician, working part-time at both NEXTpittsburgh.com and SLB Radio, as well as a seasoned DIY crafter—having been an original HA vendor. They have been involved in Handmade Arcade since its early years in Construction Junction and have seen it through to its latest and greatest home in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh.
It's clear when speaking with them that Handmade Arcade is many things to many people. For ten years, independent artists and crafters have connected with an ever growing audience of consumers, allowing sole proprietors to flourish into brick and mortar retailers. Fine artists have made the transition into building commercial product lines without losing their "art cred." The terms "homemade" and "craft" are now chic with an air of rarity. The opportunity to connect with the person that created the item you're purchasing is becoming (thankfully) more commonplace and expected. Consumers are increasingly more knowledgable about the products they are buying and aware that the money they are spending goes back into the community in which they live and work.
Handmade Arcade isn't just a place to shop. It's a place to connect with, support, and participate in Pittsburgh's creative community. In this chat we discuss the vendors—new and old—as well as the Hands-On Handmade events happening throughout the day. As Jennifer mentions, these activities aren't "busy work" crafts but real opportunities to make works of art, including a chance to be a part of the latest yarn bomb being led by the Fiberart's Build of Pittsburgh, (you know, the Knit the Bridge peeps).
Enjoy this chat, then get an Early Birdie Ticket!