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

Why Pike Place Market? A reflection by Leo Schmidt


There is incredible diversity behind the vendors at Pike Place Market. Some have been around the market since they were children, others are escapees from the corporate world, lifelong artists, or retirees looking for a way to express their creativity. What they all have in common is the market itself, one of the few places in the country where artists and artisans can truly make a living for themselves. Each make their own products, plan their own time, manage their own business, and take on for themselves the risks and rewards of being an entrepreneur.

LampcycleBlue Bike Fork Lamp_1

My story begins with a bicycle, a beat up 15 year old mountain bike I used to commute to my corporate engineering position. A day came when it was tired, worn down, and needed replaced. But I just couldn’t bring myself to throw it away. It sat on my porch looking sad and lonely and unwanted. Every day I walked past that bike, observing the interesting shapes and beautifully machined parts that had gone into its construction. As time passed I became obsessed with turning it into functional art, and after 6 months, I built my first bicycle fork based lamp. It wasn’t my first piece of art, or even my first lamp, but it was this lamp that would change the course of my life and lead me to Pike Place Market.


Within days of making that first lamp, one of my friends offered to buy it. Then others begin requesting lamps. Eventually an online green products magazine mentioned my work and I began getting emails from people wanting bicycle based lamps and art. At the time I was a corporate mechanical engineer, a cubical dweller that hated his cubical. But all my free time was spent looking for bike parts and creating bicycle based art. I bought a house near the airport where I could run tools at night without complaints from my neighbors, started Lampcycle the business, and began selling at weekend markets and online. I quickly realized that I would be much happier as an artist and entrepreneur than I could ever be as a corporate engineer. But could I turn my bicycle art into a full time occupation? Could I really support myself?


A friend who worked as an agent at Pike Place Market  convinced me that I should apply to be a vendor there. At the time I knew almost nothing about the Market and shared many of the misconceptions that the general public seem to have. I thought the vendors were mostly hobbyists and had no idea how impressive and unique the items sold there really are. Now I know that Pike Place Market is perhaps Seattle’s best business incubator! It allows artists and artisans a unique opportunity to be personally introduced to millions of potential customers. Your first year as a full time vendor, as a full time small business person, is difficult and intense. You have to learn the rules and rhythm of the market, how to make your product in volume and display it, how to interact with customers and other vendors, and how to turn a profit. And if you want to survive and grow, you have to do all this without losing your optimism and artistic integrity. Pike Place Market is a thriving microcosm of small businesses and entrepreneurial thought. It is no surprise that Starbucks started here.


After three years at the market, I have to consider my business a success. During an economic downturn I was able to successfully leave my confining corporate cubical, finding a place where I can express my creativity and control my own destiny. None of this would have been possible without the unique opportunity Pike Place Market provides. Although I still use the name Lampcycle, I mostly make and sell bicycle based clocks. I recycle for various bike shops and the city, and do all my own design work, painting, and welding. Each clock is completely unique and I do my best to maintain the lovely patinas that time and use give the parts. I can be found selling my work at Pike Place Market Friday through Monday, and can be contacted through my website www.Lampcycle.com or the Lampcycle Facebook page.

Natural Collections – Professional Artisans who collaborate with nature.

It is a rainy February afternoon on Alki Beach in West Seattle. I find myself carefully walking the rocky shore looking for treasures in the form of sea glass, shells, interesting rocks, driftwood, and whatever else catches my eye. There is an exceptionally low tide that has uncovered a much larger selection than usual, making it worthwhile to put up with the rain, wind, cold, and strange glances from the occasional jogger.

My harvest for the day is coming to an end, and I look around at the many tall clear plastic containers that I have filled with deliberate collections. As I attempt to fit the final lid on an already overstuffed container, a friendly couple and their dog approach to strike up a conversation. “What are you planning to do with all of that?” they ask me in a very curious tone. I explain to them that I am an artisan at the Pike Place Market and I make stained glass pyramids filled with local Northwest sand and shells. “What a fun hobby!” they reply with excitement and wonder, wish me luck, and run off to continue their afternoon.

I sat for a moment, finally succeeding in closing my last container, and thought to myself that perhaps I should have been more clear that I am a professional artisan, not just a hobbyist? I realized that it is probably a very common misconception that beachcombing and collecting are confined to hobby status, yet there are some of us out there who professionally engage in such activities. It is the rare path of the professional artisan collector of nature that I have chosen to illuminate through this post. To help illustrate what this looks like, I have had the pleasure of interviewing some local professional artisan collectors who use nature in their pieces at Seattle’s famous and historic Pike Place Market!

My first interview is with Angela Glass, owner and creator of Aina Kai Lani, handcrafted jewelry www.ainakailani.com. The name, Aina Kai Lani (eye-na kigh la-nee), means land, sea, and sky in the Hawaiian language. Angela has been an artisan at the Pike Place Market for the past nine years.


Angela has created a line of beautifully unique jewelry pieces, combining found objects with gemstones. Using bamboo as well as locally collected river rocks and sea glass, her work is handcrafted with impeccable skill and attention to detail.


Angela has always been a collector of nature and currently looks for “very round flat shapes or anything special like a rare color or pattern in the rock or beach glass.” She prefers to collect with friends because “it’s already more fun to collect with others and getting excited together over good finds.”


I asked Angela what appealed to her most about using nature to make art:

“Nature has been my favorite artist to collaborate with so far. I’ve always been inspired most when I’m out on a hike through the woods or along the beach. It’s great to get use out of my inspiration in my work.”


Thanks again Angela, you and nature collaborate beautifully together!

To hear more about Angela’s story and see more of her lovely work, please visit www.ainakailani.com.

My next interview is with Charles Saul, owner and creator of Charlie’s Flying Fish, Handcrafted Mobiles, Sea Stone Spiral Pendants, and Cascade Medallions www.charlessaul.com. Charles has been an artisan at the Pike Place Market for the past ten years.


Charles not only makes wonderfully handcrafted jewelry, he also creates perfectly balanced kinetic mobiles from aluminum that he hand cuts and grinds into one of a kind pieces. Whenever I pass by Charles’ stand, my eye is attracted to the softly moving fish swimming gently through the air. Equally stunning are the extensive collections of northwest sea stones, adorned with brightly colored intricate wire wrappings. Charles exhibits both a mastery of materials and levity of spirit that make his works truly unique.



I asked Charles if he has always been a collector and what he looks for when he collects. “I’ve always loved collecting stones and bits n pieces I find out wandering around or beach combing. It used to be whatever caught my eye. Now that I use it as part of my art I’m a bit more specific.”


“Driftwood, small flat beach stones, shells and beach glass are my main focus….but if it catches my eye, I still pick it up whatever it is 🙂 I love to have friends along for the “hunt”. They can be good for seeing cool stuff I miss or maybe wouldn’t think of using myself.”


I also asked Charles what he liked most about using nature to make art:

“Nature makes the coolest art…plants, trees, flowers, birds, fish, gemstones, us…..an endless list. To incorporate some small part of that in my work ties it to all the beauty surrounding us. It also provides a nice balance to the mechanical feel of my metal work.”

Thanks so much Charles for sharing your amazing collections with us!

To hear more about Charles’ story and to see more of his wonderful work, please visit www.charlessaul.com.

My last interview of professional artisan collectors of nature is with myself, Dionea Nadir, owner and creator of Emerald City Glass, home of the Pike Place Pyramids. I recently celebrated my one-year anniversary of becoming an artisan at the Pike Place Market and feel that this has been one of the best, and definitely most creative years of my life. I feel truly fortunate coming to work each day to a place that surrounds me with other like-minded individuals. The market has been a great place to continuously explore the limits of my creative spirit, and pursue them with wild abandon!

Much like Angela and Charlie, I have also been a lifelong collector of nature. My collecting has always been a social experience, starting during childhood with my mom and I going to the park or the beach. We would always return home, pockets filled with natural treasures we would find along the way. I still prefer collecting with friends as it is much more fun to share the excitement! Some of my favorite finds have been from other people seeing different things that provide fresh sources of inspiration.

I currently look for a variety of objects when I’m out collecting, both from land and sea. From the land, I seek interesting mosses, lichens, acorns, pinecones, wood, tiny shelf mushrooms, and miniature plants to put inside my Pacific Northwest Terrarium Pyramids.


From the sea, I look for shells, sea glass, agates, interesting rocks, driftwood, and sand to fill my Puget Sound Pyramids.


Each Puget Sound Pyramid is one of a kind, and the contents can be gently shaken so that you can create your favorite scene within. I hand cut pieces of colored glass for the backs of the pyramids, and when the sun shines through them they possess magical qualities of light refraction!


The pyramids are made by hand using the traditional Tiffany method of stained glass construction. I carefully choose the color of the pyramid to harmoniously coordinate with the contents. I also make some that are entirely clear for a minimalist aesthetic. Seeing them come together is really exciting and I often don’t fully know how they will look until they are finished! It is always a fun surprise and keeps me looking forward to every new pyramid.


I enjoy using nature in my art because it feels right to do so. We live in a very fast-paced world and it is nice to be able to take the time to slow down a bit every now and then. I find it very rewarding to walk along a beach or through a forest looking for beautiful things. I never know where inspiration will be found, but embracing the mystery of the journey is part of my creative process. For everyone out there who may not have the time to commune with nature but still want to, I make these pyramids for you!


To hear more about my story and to see more of my work, please visit Pike Place Pyramids on Facebook!

What Does Daffodil Day Mean To You?

my daffodilsA question posed to a friend who used to “throw fish”. His answer? “It usually took me half the day to figure out why everyone walking around downtown was carrying a daffodil.”

Wednesday, March 20, marks the 16th year of this market tradition. The passing out of 10,000 locally grown daffodils will have people all over Seattle walking around with a stem of sunshine. You might see them “clinking” them together as if toasting the first day of spring.  How can you not smile? Children using them as swords. Of course. Or fairy wands. Grown ups using them as pointers to direct a gaze to something wonderful that they want noticed.

“What does Daffodil Day mean to me?” It is the first day of Spring! That we have made it through winter. That the days may still have a bit of a chill to them. The wind off the water, brisk. That flowers make even a cloudy day shinephoto[7]

Thank you to the Preservation Development Authority (our PDA) for this continuing gift to the people of Seattle. To the farmers who work to provide the market and this day with a gallery of color and gaiety and to the volunteers who will stand on street corners with arms full of daffodils passing out flowers and a smile.

Looking for a sliver of sunshine? On Wednesday, March 20, students from the Pike Market Child Care and Preschool will hand out flowers from 11:30 am – 12 pm at the corner of 4th and Pine St. at Westlake Park.

Photo by Art Kuniyuki
Mark the first day of spring – Receive a free daffodil at the following locations:

  • 4th Ave & Pine St. – Westlake Park
  • 6th Ave & Pine St. – Pacific Place
  • 3rd Ave & Union – Post Office/Benaroya Hall
  • 4th Ave & Cherry St. – City Hall
  • 4th Ave & Madison St. – Seattle Public Library
  • 5th Ave & Olive Way – Westlake Tower/Medical Dental Building
  • 5th Ave & Pike St. – City Centre
We're more than Daffodils in the spring
We’re more than Daffodils in the spring

It’s a great time to visit the Pike Place Market – See you there!

Symbols in Art – Handcrafted display art tiles of inspiration and awareness.