It wasn’t that many generations ago that adults knew how to do stuff. You know, fix a radio, bake a week’s worth of bread, sew a dress, tend a garden, make candles. Think of our grandparents, or their parents before them. They used what they had and knew how to wring the most out of it.
Local + Handmade = Meaningful
In today’s world of Amazon, Costco, and the ubiquitous “Made in China” tag — to say nothing of the internet in general — we seem to be getting farther and farther away from the concept of meaningful keepsakes and quality handmade goods.
As tempting as it is, I’m not going to go off on the “When I was your age” rant. I’ll just note that it’s interesting how, more and more, we seem to be turning with a certain amount of longing toward those old ways.
Gathering Steam with the Maker Movement
That could explain the advent of the Maker Movement, which has been gathering steam over the last couple of years and has a focus on handmade, innovative, and connected. It’s a way to support personal, close to home, and real.
Adweek explains the cachet like this: “For brands, ‘it’s all about the emotional tug of the maker movement,’ says Tom Bernthal, CEO of Kelton, a brand strategy consultancy. ‘Even if a maker product is not better than a mass-produced version, people have a more positive feeling about it because the makers’ stories are personal.’ ”
Way Cool Arts and Crafts
Maker Faires are now held all over the country — and the world — and are an eclectic combination of designers, tinkerers, artists, and mad geniuses. In San Francisco, the first brick-and-mortar Maker’s Market opened last month, selling products as diverse as Douglas Fir tea, cowhide backpacks, white sage campfire incense, slate menu boards, and vegan double-wrap bracelets. All the artists make all the goods — and all of them come with pretty compelling back stories.
Closer to home, in the Denver-Boulder area, there’s still time to shop local and make meaningful purchases in the lead up to the holiday madness.
Share Denver Fairfax Market
2829 Fairfax St, Denver, CO 80207
Sat., December 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Share Denver is in a 1600-square-foot craft space in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood. Monthly classes in the three workshop spaces focus on crafts from embroidery and cross stitch to soap making, kombucha brewing, cos play, and jewelry. All the instructors, including Becky, are members of the community eager to share their talents. Becky plans to continue adding more teachers with diverse talents and passions to teach the community. Enjoy free admission at Share Denver’s market this Saturday and hot apple cider while shopping local and handmade.
It’s Not Too Late! Two More Quality Markets
Annual Fine Art Market Show and Sale
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
Fri. and Sat., 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., Sun. and Mon. 1 – 5 p.m., Tues., Wed., Thurs. 12 – 7:30 p.m.
This is the 29th fine art market hosted by the Arvada Center and this year it’s showcasing art by 93 Colorado artists featuring jewelry, ceramics, woodworking, glass, printmaking, mosaic, and mixed media. In addition, the ACES show offers more artwork in the upstairs gallery, all created by Arvada Center studio art class instructors and students. Admission is free and proceeds benefit the artists and the center.
Celebrate the Mysteries of the Season
Downtown Aurora Visual Arts
December 4 through January 22, opens 10 a.m.
From their website: “DAVA is proud to be part of a national movement known as creative youth development, offering out-of-school programming based on the core principles of artistic excellence, sustained programming, and a focus on social justice.” DAVA pairs local artists with kids for educational art experiences that foster life and career skills. Celebrate, this year’s show, includes clay works, bug houses made from scrap wood , soaps and prints, as well as artwork from DAVA mentor artists like Naomi Scheck, Meredith Nemirov, and Uriel Pelaez.
Support makers. Shop local. And give meaningful.