Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Seattle: Urban Craft Uprising Holiday Gift Show

The Urban Craft Uprising holiday craft show at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall is a creative tease. And I mean that in the best possible way. As a maker myself, I want to jump in each booth and quiz the artists. "How did you do that? Oh, that was a wonderful use of color! What made you try that technique?" I get lost in the design and production of it all and stop shopping all together. Not great for business, but at least I can give you a glimpse into the heart of the show.

The vendors are original and the quality of their products is very high. The show offers "small batch" goods made by individuals who have creativity, skills and access to unusual equipment to create their wares.

What does that mean?

Well at a typical holiday gift show you might find items that are handmade (sewn, crocheted, knit) which means artist + medium; at this event the items are more likely to be made by an artist + medium + a tool requiring skill. 

A loom, a leather tool, a screen print. Laser cut wood and paper items were also popular items for sale.

Where a typical holiday gift show would have a vendor selling cookies, at the Urban Craft Uprising you are more likely to see someone selling French-style macaroons. They require skill to create and the colors and flavors will make you swoon.

There is also an upbeat but cartoon-ish quality to a lot of the items for sale. I saw irreverent phrases on screen printed t-shirts.  Designers used wacky fabrics to add levity to mundane items like eyeglass or pencil cases. 
I took this photo at the Belly of a Whale booth to showcase their work. They had backpacks, lunch totes and a whole host of darling items sewn for everyday use. I highlight them because their sewing (seams, welting, zippers etc) was impeccable.

The Urban Craft Uprising is a large holiday gift show full of terrific products. Put the first weekend in December on your calendar and take note that they also hold a Summer show the last weekend in June! Viva la Makers!

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