A Journey Down Under

Welcome to a land Down Under!
Welcome to a land Down Under!

Pike Place Market is a community with vibrant and unique sub-communities. My business and sub-community as a Daystaller/Artist keeps me on the street level and North Arcade for most of my market day. I often walk from my table, south down Pike Place, to grab lunch or my produce for dinner. My walks also take me “Down Under” where I discover a treasured tumble of shops and personalities. Oh yes, and heat. It is warm there. And on a brusque northwest day a lovely way to relax your muscles and see all manner of opportunities to find a special something from around the world, around the block or from back in time. Darryl Beckmann from the Market Magic and Novelty Shop introduces us to the “Down Under” of Pike Place Market.

The Magic Shop
The Magic Shop

“The Down Under has been an important part of the Pike Place Market since it first opened in 1907. Originally farmers brought their produce by horse drawn cart which they stabled in an area directly beneath the market, hence “down under”. After a series of renovations over the market’s 100+ year history, the Down Under is accessible by a veritable labyrinth of ramps and stairs, all of them highways and byways leading to unique and interesting shops, among them, “The Giant Shoe Museum” attached to Old Seattle Paperworks, world famous comic book store Golden Age Collectables, and handcrafted artworks from all over the globe at Hands Of The World. There are shops for collectors of coins, gems, books, records, beads, clothes, and knick-knacks of all sorts, not to mention Chinese food. In the middle of it all is Market Magic & Novelty, one of the longest running magic shops in the U.S. For almost forty years it has attracted four generations of pranksters, amateur and professional magicians, and visitors from every discipline of the performing arts, including singer Kurt Elling, magician David Blaine, Princess Bubble Gum (a costumed visitor to Seattle’s annual anime convention SakuraCon) and, most recently, Oscar-winning high-wire artist Philippe Petit, the man who walked a wire stretched between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. These and many others make the Down Under one the most lively parts of the Pike Place Market.”

To view Magic Shop comings and goings-on, check out their blog at marketmagicshop.com/blog/ and to learn more about the Magic Shop, contact:

Sheila Lyon and Darryl Beckmann
206 713-8506/206-842-7248
See the shop in action at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J3q9zFdZVw

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Introductory Text by Kat Allen www.sumon.com
Photography by Kristeena Sabando www.sabando.com

Change Is the Only Constant …

I’ve heard the phrase “evolve or stagnate and perish” over the years.  As I mature, both mentally and physically, I have to agree. Change really is the only constant in our lives.

Thirty-five years ago I began my career at the Pike Place Market. That was 1978.  I joined the market community as a photographer.  Over those many years I made and sold photographs of flying fish, Seattle skylines, mountains, rainbows, sunsets, fishing and ferryboats, and all manner of other images.

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Light and shadow, form, color, texture, and gesture were all translated from the three-dimensional world into my two-dimensional art prints.

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Deception Pass

One of the things I loved in my early days making my living at the market was working with my hands making wooden frames for my photos. Oak was my wood of choice, but over the years my customers began to prefer the more austere look of metal frames.  So, my product evolved. Change. Adaptation.

Clean laundry hangs out to dry on clothesline above doorway and shuttered windows of bright yellow painted house in Burano, Italy

My growth, change, adaptation and personal interests have also morphed over the last 35 years. The colorful laundry photo above is a good example of these changes, combining all those elements of light, shadow, form, color, texture and gesture.  Geographical change was also part of my personal experience, as the photo above was made on the island of Burano near Venice, Italy, and lead indirectly to a major change for me.

A little over two years ago I decided to explore my long-time interest in glass and enrolled in a lamp work bead-making class at Pratt Art Center here in Seattle. I honestly didn’t know if I had the physical dexterity to work with molten glass. However, I soon discovered that, like learning to play a musical instrument with lots of practice, I could make respectably roundish glass beads.

2nd anniversary bead making.

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Today, because I was willing to welcome change and learn new skills, I’ve re-invented and re-invigorated myself.  Glass is an amazing medium!

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Embracing change has allowed me to once again work with my hands creating one-of-a-kind original art.  I’m still working with light, shadow, form, color, texture, symmetry, and gesture in my art.  And I’m still at the Pike Place Market!

You can find me in the North Arcade of the Pike Place Market a few days each week.

If you can’t get to the market, you can also find my glass art online at www.etsy.com/shop/CPArtistic .

fountain pen

In Search of Carol

photoI have set up next to Carol Chen Lord – Artist – many times here at Pike Place Market. I listened  to her enthusiastically explain her process to visitors who don’t quite know what the medium is that they are looking at. They do know that the colors flow, flocks of birds fly, flowers and grass bend in a soft breeze, dark clouds build up over the mountains, fog lingers over a marsh, sun glimmers on water and bursts into flame as it sets. “I tear paper” she says. “I create a collage.” I wanted to know more about her heart as an artist and introduce her to you through this blog post.

I asked her one question – What is the one thing that you want people to know about you and your art?

“I am here (at Pike Place Market) to be an artist. I mean a real artist. Making art for myself. Not for money. Not for anybody else. And I am glad some people like it enough to pay for it because I don’t like to go hungry.”

Ahh. The simple business plan of many of us here at the market. I also found that Carol has a wonderful sense of humor.

Starlings are doing the dusk dance in the high sky of Washington.  Lights coming our from the houses, so is Mount Rainier, reflecting the last of the sun.
Carol: Starlings are doing the dusk dance in the high sky of Washington. Lights coming out from the houses, so is Mount Rainier, reflecting the last of the sun.

“My art is a way to express myself, my feelings, my philosophy, my religions, my soul, my everything – instead of language.  I use colors, shapes and images.”

Carol: I always love red poppy flowers for it's unapologetic rich color. They seem hotter htan the sun they are bathing under.
Sun Bathing
Carol: I always love red poppy flowers for it’s unapologetic rich color. They seem hotter than the sun they are bathing under.

On my Google trail of Carol I discovered that she also eloquently expresses the poetry within each of her “paper paintings”. From an early work titled “Longing” a snowman carrying a suitcase stands on a hill and looks back at a warmly lit house.  That she can achieve this depth of expression with paper torn from magazines is a wonder and a delight.

Snowman is coming home, sweet home, loving home, a home melts him to his bone. Can't stay long. Got to to. Leaving his longing heart home.
Carol: Snowman is coming home, sweet home, loving home, a home melts him to his bone. Can’t stay long. Got to go.  Leaving his longing heart – home.

When the question is asked “Who are you?” most of us rattle off a list of jobs, accomplishments, relationships.  When this question is asked of most artists it is the time shared with their craft that will reveal at least a part of the answer.

“My tears as a mother, my sentiments about the changing seasons, my humor for life, my love for living, my longing for peace, all this, I hope comes out freely for viewers to respond to.”

Carol speaks of a recent encounter with Robyn Chance, painter and published author of “C is for China”. Ms. Chance stopped by Carol’s table at the market and after some conversation, purchased several of the prints. A connection was made.

“The biggest compliment I have received is when people tell me they feel that they know me after looking through my work.  And when they feel the connection, they invite me into their homes (through their purchase of my art).  So it is not about something “beautiful”. It is about myself, my true self.”

Carol: Two days later she (Robyn Chance)  sent me this picture showing my framed works in her living room. Hooray!
Carol: Two days later she (Robyn Chance) sent me this picture showing my framed works in her living room. Hooray!

I went in  search of Carol and I found her in her art.  My favorite picture is this next one. A playground full of children. A little girl with long black hair streaming behind, swinging as high as she can, legs pumped out as far and straight as she can get them, her face turned up to the sky and laughing in sheer delight.

It's me on my favorite spot - Can you find me? Childhood was never so colorful or carefree, but when I look back, that's how I wanted it to be.
Once Upon a Time
It’s me on my favorite spot – Can you find me? Childhood was never so colorful or carefree, but when I look back, that’s how I wanted it to be.

You can see Carol and her art at Pike Place Market or online at http://www.cclord.com / FaceBook CCLordStudio / Twitter @cclordstudio

All images are Copyright Carol Chen Lord

Kat Allen
Symbols in Art
Handcrafted display art tiles of awareness and inspiration

Old World Style at Pike Place Market

There was a time in the not too distant past when all clothing was handmade. Cloth was handwoven, knit or crocheted from handspun thread and yarn, then stitched into garments entirely by hand. Artisans with these valuable skills were esteemed and held positions of economic and political power for centuries until the industrial revolution brought technology allowing for mass production. This lead to a decline in these ancient arts, which today are considered leisure crafts and hobbies by many. At the Pike Place Market textile artists are working to keep the age-old traditions of the professional artisan alive.

PPPSheila_2Weaving is the oldest of the textile crafts; samples of cloth woven from flax have been found in Egypt dating back to 5000 BC. Today’s handweavers have a broader variety of fibers available to create their cloth, but the basic concepts of production on the loom have not changed much since those ancient times.

Pike Place Market master crafter Sheila Mead has been weaving for 45 years. She studied Textiles at the University of Michigan and has been a Market vendor since 1989. Her scarves and shawls are created using cotton and silk chenille yarns in color palettes inspired by art, architecture and nature from a lifetime of traveling. Sheila tells a story with each piece, of a painting by Gustav Klimt or Emily Carr, a view of the sea, a terraced garden or a rolling landscape


Each is a unique work of wearable art created on a handloom that takes up most of her living room, Sheila says, “It’s not just a job, it’s my life!”


Visit Sheila’s website http://www.gypsywingstextiles.com to see more examples of her beautiful work.

Early examples of knitted fabrics date back to the 1100’s, when only one single type of stitch was used, knitted on several needles “in the round” to a create tube of finished fabric. Knitting is now the second most popular needlecraft hobby in America, and today’s knitters create intricate lace, textured cable stitches and colorwork pattern techniques which are the result of generations of shared knowledge from artisans around the world.

PPPAnn_2Ann Dunlap Brown has been knitting since she was a teenager, when her innate sense of color drew her to the craft which she studied in college,earning her Masters Degree in Textiles at Iowa State before pursuing her career as an independent fiber artist. “I love the challenge of coming up with something new and different” she says. Ann’s distinctive designs are inspired by the materials she uses, combining luxury yarns, ribbons and lace in unexpected combinations of color and texture.


Her unique accessories must be seen in person to be fully appreciated. Ann’s work can be found on display at the Joe Desimone Bridge Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

People have worn hats throughout history. A functional accessory intended to provide warmth and protection from the elements, and in the past hats were also worn to indicate rank or social status. The Milliner is a professional artisan who elevates hatmaking to an art form which allows the wearer to express his or her individual style and fashion sense while enhancing natural features.

PPPGoldie_1Goldie Goldenberg has been making hats since 1992. The daughter of a professional seamstress, Goldie learned to sew when she was seven years old. She chose to focus on creating headwear when she realized that because they require so much less fabric than other garments, hats allowed her to afford using higher quality fabrics like velvets, rare silks and fine woolens. Goldie designs hats for both men and women, traveling the country to source fabrics and trim, she finds most of her inspiration in the characters she meets. Visiting New Orleans yearly, her designs reflect the colorful and dynamic culture of her favorite city. goldie

Goldie says, “It’s my job to make you look good!” and shares many wonderful photos of her customers wearing her designs on her FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/fb.Lidwear

Blog Post by:
Laura Killoran
Croshay Design
Follow Laura on Twitter @croshay