by guest contributor Jill Brown
Yumi Yumi in the foreground.
Craftin’ Outlaws, in Columbus Ohio, was bigger and better than ever this year! On August 16th, sixty crafty independent artists and crafters gathered at BoMA, the Bar of Modern Art in downtown Columbus. Craftin’ Outlaws, started by Lucky Kat’s Liz Rosino, has brought unique and fun handmade art and crafts to the Columbus public for four years. Each year, the show attracts increasing numbers of people with its ever expanding attractions. In fact, 2008 was its first year at BoMA after outgrowing its previous venue. BoMA, having previously been a Baptist church, provided an interesting backdrop for the show, with its stained glass windows and loft overlooking the main floor, as well as original paintings and other works of art showcased at the bar.
As always, Liz chose an eclectic and exciting array of vendors. Lori Brown and Moogan Creations brought a sense of curious whimsy to the show with their imaginative cryptozoological stuffed and sculpted creatures. Jewels of Luxury added a steampunk quality, with their nod to superb old-world craftsmanship, by selling necklaces created from antique watch parts and rings fashioned with vintage coins. The vintage feel was also sustained by Beautiful Era who featured pins and necklaces crafted from a combination of new and vintage ephemera. You could decorate your home with striking artwork by JCobb’s Folklore and the very popular work of Yumi Yumi. Fashion was well-represented with the addition of Basho Apparel with their bird-centric t-shirts, as well as Lucky Kat’s own rockabilly-inspired attire. To compliment the clothing choices, a wide range of accessories were on display, including hand-dyed silk scarves by Miss Megan Mac and fabulous handbags by Mary Moon Designs and Flamestitch. Plus, with the sudden boom of babies in my social circle, I can’t forget the kiddies! Kunklebaby and Long Mountain Designs offered unique clothing and accessories for kids of all ages.
Heather from What the Rock and customer.
The introduction of handmade items from local vendors fills a very important niche within the Columbus community. In the words of Emily-Kitturah Westenhouser of Umbrella Girl Productions, “People treasure things that have a story. I’ve had many of my customers come back to tell me where the things I’ve made have traveled or what special events they were part of. It’s a very rewarding experience and shows like Craftin’ Outlaws help make that happen.”
Emily of Umbrella Girl Productions.
The event was further set apart from more conventional craft shows by the addition of a myriad of stage events presented by Olivia from Wholly Craft! There were yarn spinning and gocco demonstrations, knitting and needle felting workshops, but humor was plentiful with the addition of Craft Corner Deathmatch, a contest, based on the short-lived TV show, in which teams of contestants battle to complete the best project in 10 minutes. Trash talk and supply theft encouraged! Vegan bakery, Pattycake, vegetarian café, Benevolence, and Gyros and More offered many food choices. All of this was complimented by a mix of rock, pop, and country tunes from the 1950s to the 1980s and a combination of animation and clips from classic movies projected on the huge stage screen as well as the televisions throughout the venue. Heather of What the Rock appreciates the extra touches, “I think making it a more well-rounded event is better, it draws more people and gives them reasons to stick around and browse more.”
This year’s Craftin’ Outlaws, while an overall success, was made bittersweet by the impending cross-country move of the show’s creator, Liz Rosino, to Seattle to attend graduate school. While a committee of long-time vendors and attendees has been assembled to continue the annual event, and Liz plans to remain peripherally involved, her presence in Columbus will be missed!
About the contributor: Jill Brown is a jewelry artist who resides in Columbus Ohio and sells her jewelry on her Etsy shop, Out of the Pink Sky Designs. You can see more about her, her pug, Xander, her cat, Sushi, and the dayjob she wishes she could quit on her blog as well as her flickr space.