Saturday, February 12, 2011

In The Big City: I Made It! Market

View from Penn Avenue in the
 Friendship area of Pittsburgh
At the beginning of February, I started my photography class.  Each week we get an assignment to do for the upcoming class, and the assignment I was given Tuesday night was to attend a community event and photograph it as a photojournalist would.  I knew just the event to attend.

For a while now, I had been hearing about the I Made It! Market, following them on Twitter, and saw where several of my friends had attended their events in the past.  Labeled as a "nomadic indie crafts marketplace", this is not your typical church hall craft fair.  As an aspiring crafter, this idea of the market really appealed to me.  Basically, it is a place where people can come to showcase handmade wares.  Think etsy in real life.  And it was all kinds of awesome.

First, let's talk about the building.  The Saturday market was being held in an interesting piece of real estate called the Glass Lofts.  These are really lovely pieces of property, and the building is so brightly colored, it would be so easy to give people directions to your home! 
"I am the first loft on the left on floor 3 of the lime green building.
You can't miss it!
 It seems as if a lot of revitalization is going on in this neighborhood, as well as East Liberty (a few streets over), and it really caters to the young, hip, indie crowd.  If you or anyone you know is interested, please contact Stephen Cummings at Howard Hanna.

When I got inside, I was promptly welcomed by one of the market organizers, who warmly showed me around, and was very excited that I wanted to take pictures.  Everyone was so friendly, a trend that would continue the whole time I was there.  

The first vendor I encountered was The Neighborhood Blonde.  She had a whole table full of wares she calles "eco chic".  I just loved the little notecards she had displayed!
Just a small sampling of the really cute merchandise!

Next up, I visited with Candy (yes, that is her real name she assured me!) from Candy's Confections.  She had a whole table full of delicious looking candy, just perfect for giving to your Valentine.  I immediately wanted to eat everything, but I showed some amazing restraint.
Chocolate covered oreo or little piece of
heaven, you decide.

I then met the mother and daughter in law team that makes up Room Threads.  They were showcasing a lot of adorable headbands, as well as lots of other pretties for the home.
They were sweet enough to let me take their picture.
At this point, I meandered into another room of the market (remember, this was all set up inside the lofts) and spotted Amanda Wolf, from Wolf's Den Pottery.
The artist is as lovely as her pottery.

I immediately wanted to chuck all my store bought dishes, and have Amanda become my exclusive dishware provider.  Her pottery and dishes are so gorgeous, and so functional, being that it is all microwave and dishwasher safe.  Beautiful and useful?  Heavenly!

A little while later, some artwork caught my eye, and I asked the artist if I could take her picture with some of her work.

She seemed so shy, yet her work is so bold.

Kassandra Amada has a style that is so unique and haunting, her images really stayed with me.  I really just fell in love with the imagery this woman creates.  I really hope to one day own a piece of her artwork.  It is just... breathtaking.

Next, I visited Garabella.  Amy, the artist, had a lot of different clothing and goods for sale.  I really loved these clocks, and thought the simplicity of them beautiful.
Birds are very in right now.

And then....I spotted what I thought was possibly the greatest baby related item ever.
If I ever have a baby, someone
please buy me this!
Coming from an old school Polish family, and being a Pittsburgh girl at heart, this yellow bib with black lettering stating "p is for pierogi" stole the show, and my heart.  Seriously, this is capital A-dorable.

One of the most popular types of wares being sold was jewelry.  There were so many amazing artisans, but the pieces from Erika Originals really caught my eye.  She had several different styles of jewelry, but the ones I found simply fabulous were these pendants made from vintage maps. 
Have I mentioned that
I love Pittsburgh?

So many different cities were available.  Other pendants with vintage images were available as well, including some adorable doggies (alas, no dachshunds).
Another fantastic jewelry artist was Anne Harrill from Oceanne.  She makes custom bridal jewelry, as well as what she calls "whimsical wearables".  I absolutely fell in love with one of her necklaces, and am kicking myself for not getting it.
My birthday is in April.  This would make a
great gift.  I am just saying.

The last vendor I visited was Stephanie, from September Mornings.  She had a great collection of vintage inspired jewelry, as well as some really adorable headbands.  And her booth was set up so cutely!
A display that would appeal to any
girly booknerd like me!

Trust me when I say that this is just a sampling, a fraction of the amazing artists that were out at the I Made It! Market today.  Every single vendor was incredibly warm and friendly, whether I was asking their permission to take photos, or asking questions about their merchandise.  It reminded me, yet again, why I love Pittsburgh so much, and how many amazingly talented people and exciting events this city has to offer, if you go out and look for them.

So, my advice to you Pittsburghers, whether born and raised, new to town, or a temporary yinzer due to visiting, get out and see the wonders this city has to offer, the amazing people and places.  Buy hand made.  Support local artists and artisans.  And, if you are looking for a loft, I know a guy.

The next time I see this sign, I fully
expect you all to be there.