Jennifer Baron can’t pick just one favorite thing about Handmade Arcade. That’s because she loves everything about it, the Dormont designer said.
Handmade Arcade will be held this Saturday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. The crafting event will feature the work of dozens of local artists, including Baron.
“It’s a great experience,” she said. “You meet the people who made the objects with their hands. You’re not going to a chain store or a mall where you know all the items will be exactly the same.”
Handmade Arcade features the handmade goods of crafters, designers and artists. Every vendor and every piece is unique, Baron said, and most items cost les than $40.
Baron participated in the event when it started in 2004 and became a coordinator the next year. Her business - Fresh Popcorn Productions – specializes in greeting cards, screen-printed t-shirts, and other items.
This is the biggest event so far – 156 vendors from across the nation are registered. More than half of those vendors are from the Pittsburgh area, Baron said.
Brookline jewelry designer Niffer Desmond said the event is a great way for local artists and crafters to get their merchandise – and their message – to the public. She is the owner of 19 Moons Jewelry and Accessories and will be a vendor on Saturday.
“It’s on such a scale that it’s really visible to not only the press, but people across all demographics,” she said. “It emphasizes handmade, so it gets into the public consciousness that handmade creations are really valuable.”
Lisa Krowinski of Brookline also will be at Saturday’s event to promote her business, the letter press and printing shop Sapling Press, located in Pittsburgh’s South Side neighborhood. Her items range from greeting cards to stationary, she said.
“There is so much good work out there and handmade arcade has definitely become that show to watch,” Krowinski said. “It’s a great way to showcase indie designers who might not have a way to be seen without it.”
In addition to shopping, a new event this year is Hands-on Handmade. It is funded in part by a Sprout Seed Award from The Sprout Fund and will provide activities and opportunities for attendees to try their hand at crafting.
“We think this is going to be a great hands-on opportunity for people to think about the role of crafts and making things in their own lives,” Baron said.
If you’re going:
What: Handmade Arcade
When: Saturday, Nov. 12 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: David L. Lawrence Convention Center
General Admission: Free
Specials: Early Birdie Passes are $15 and can be bought at Wildcard (4209 Butler St. in Lawrenceville, 412-224-2651) until 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11. Passes also be bought online at Handmade Arcade and can be picked up at the door. You must present your pass at Handmade Arcade on Saturday for 10 a.m. entry.