Another thing I love about summer in Boston is the Sunday craft market in the South End, known as the SoWa Open Market. Now, if you’re in it for the antiques, don’t expect any bargains. If you’re in it for the food vendors and farmstands, I’m partial to the Copley Sq. Farmer’s Market on the weekdays, myself. Art and crafts? This is THE place to be. Seriously, there is so much to look at, such wonderful quality craftsmanship, wide variety of vendors… Just thinking about it makes me a little sad that I’m not going again this weekend, but I’ve got bigger fish to fry — namely the Newport Folk Festival! But more on that later.
One of the great parts about SoWa Market is that the vendors change week to week, so you can go repeatedly and still see something new each time. There’s usually some real eclectic things there. For example, you might see something like this:
A few stands over from the trailer was Josephine Plaszewski, a woman selling amazing lamps made from antique silver teapots and platters. I’m still kicking myself for not getting a photo, but you can check out her website. A few booths over was a man from NYC selling gorgeous terrariums and other plant art.
Prefer more traditional craft show wares? There’s plenty of hand-sewn goods, like this gorgeous pillow from Red Staggerwing Designs:
There was also a friendly woman from NH selling beautiful kids’ clothes made with all my favorite designer fabrics under the name little girl Pearl. I had a nice chat with the woman from Venezie Designs, who sells fabric, scrap packs and patterns. Apparently, she started off as a crafter until she realized she enjoyed buying fabric more than using it, and started her online fabric store. Hmmmm… Food for thought.
For all the hipsters out there, several vendors sell quirky silkscreened tees, ironic buttons, and wallets made out of mens ties and the like. For example, who knew until SoWa that I could get my boyfriend a t-shirt of a giant ape riding an ostrich? And more to the point, why would I? Because clearly he needed it.
Or take a look at this lovely, which, yes, did come home with me — a wonderful artist’s representation of the old feminist slogan “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” on a women’s grey v-neck tee. (both t-shirts from www.sharpshirter.com)
And then there’s the straight up visual artists. I was happy to see a couple of encaustic artists, which I think is one of the coolest looking art forms. I’ve been looking for local classes for a while, and was thrilled to find that one of the artists there is actually starting up classes in Boston under Fiddlehead Arts! I was also happy to see Bumble Belly Designs at SoWa again this year (I found some great Christmas presents from her booth last year), and picked up a couple of small cards to frame. Aren’t they adorable? I love the maps in the background.
I also picked up this great print from SepiaLepus, who, I just found out, lives in the same town as I do. I couldn’t resist the magnets as well, which are happily co-habitating on my fridge at the moment:
Want more? Check out the websites of several SoWa vendors:
- www.firewoodfurniture.etsy.com – wood & clay kitchenwares*
- www.queenofgreenart.com – recycled art, teapot lamps
- www.AnneMadeDesigns.etsy.com – sand and glass jewelry
- www.littlegirlpearl.com – children’s clothes
- www.fiddleheadarts.com – art instruction
- www.redstaggerwing.etsy.com – modern quilting and homegoods
- www.stonehouse-studio.com – jewelry, love the black and white Asian inspired pieces
- www.sepialepus.etsy.com – illustration
- www.colliercouture.com – clothing, alterations
- www.veneziedesigns.com – fabric and patterns
- www.camla.etsy.com – jewelry
- www.theutopiancollection.com – hand-painted bags and hand-crafted accessories
- www.beckyoh.com – modern custom handbags
- www.goobeetsa.etsy.com – illustration
- www.gregstones.com “Penguins, Zombies, Nudes”
- www.zooguu.com – plush toys
- www.talltreeguild.com – furniture and housewares**
- www.thomasparkgifts.com – modern sewing
- www.LOOKAjewelry.etsy.com – jewelry***
*bought an awesome wooden spatula from here – my new favorite tool!
**bought the most stunning pottery from them last year: a shallow bowl with a gorgeous dappled purple/pink glaze that looks like the belly of a rainbow trout
***i am DYING for one of her envelope rings. WHY must they be so pricey, WHY?
Wait. Did someone say “Newport Folk Festival”? Oh right. I did. I’m off to Newport! John Prine! Doc Watson! Richie Havens! The real treat for me, though, is one of the very first performers of the day — a young (19 years old?) gal from Texas named Sarah Jarosz. I read an article about her in the Boston Globe last summer, as she had just moved to Boston to attend New England Conservatory. It piqued my interest, so I looked her up, and the rest is history. New favorite artist for the year. She is truly amazing — period. Not just “for her age”. Amazing. If you like banjos and mandolins and guitars, Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch, you should check Sarah out. See you after Newport!