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

From Our Hands to Yours on Valentine’s Day

As Valentines Day quickly approaches we all scramble to find just the right gift to give. We sometimes agonize over it wondering if we should or should not give a gift or flowers or a card. I always try to find something that is special and I always buy local so with that in mind I have put together a few suggestion of some amazing local artisans. The nice thing is you can get all of this at the Pike Place Market along with some beautiful flowers.  This is just a small sample of some of the most amazing gifts you can find from over 250 local artisans at the Pike Place Market .  You can also find suggestion on the Pike Place Market Pinterest page http://pinterest.com/pikeplacemarket/  .  The Pike Place Market has everything you need so come shop local.

From Our Hands to Yours



by: Kristeena Sabando ~ Sabando Design

Pike Place Producers

‘Art’ vs. ‘craft’

In the last post Kat Allen raised the perennial discussion about the words we use to describe what we do and how we do it. This blog has a primary mission of educating people about the crafts professionals at Pike Place Market, but sometimes it’s tough to communicate clearly when there is debate about even the terms we should use.

Red Delicious sling bag

I sew functional things. The bags and gadget sleeves I make are my original designs, the combination of fabrics I use is deeply considered. I work hard to make things well, in addition to having commercial appeal.

Is what I do art? Typically, when using that term we think of painting, drawing, sculpting, the stuff you see in fancy galleries and big city museums, even though in the modern era the works of Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and even Banksy have challenged the traditional view of art.

Is what I do craft? The dictionary says yes: I make my items by hand using skill and dexterity. In times past crafts were typically thought of as work like pottery, basket weaving and lace making. Making handbags and accessories isn’t exactly traditional, but because of how I make them – individually, by hand – it is surely a modern craft.

But then the value question arises. Even the rock stars of the art world have to be concerned with making a living and how much to charge for their creations.

Does labeling something a work of craft give it a lower status, and therefore perceived value, than naming it art? That ‘crafting’ is usually associated with home-based hobbyists means this is often so. And does being primarily functional reduce the value of my work, even though it should have cache from being individually hand crafted? In my experience it does in the eyes of many people.

Purse valued at $2,000 on Antiques Roadshow

The appreciation of art is highly subjective, and how it is judged in terms of value often depends on the labels we give it as much as its craftsmanship, perceived beauty and, of course, the reputation of who is making it.

These questions are among the reasons I love to watch Antiques Roadshow on PBS and am often amazed at the valuation. I’d be thrilled to see one of my bags turn up on an episode and be given a jaw-dropping valuation some time in the far future!

For now I claim the monikers ‘artisan’ and ‘craftsperson’, I call my work ‘handcrafted’, and I continue to work to make these terms marks of value in a world used to mass-produced cheap and disposable goods.

by Emma Roscoe, Red Delicious Bags

American Craft Week

In honor of American Craft Month we are  posting  an amazing artisan each day on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/PikePlaceProducers with a link to a website where you can purchase the most awesome handcrafted items ever.
Here is a recap of our first week.
Day one: Pingi Hats by Lynn Rosskamp = the most amazing hats and hoodies you will ever get your hands on. I own many of her super designs and they make great gifts especially with the cold weather coming up. They are so wonderful they are even in the Antarctic.

http://www.pingihats.com/pages/behind-the-fleece — with Pike Place Producers.
 Red Delicious Bags by Emma Roscoe. Emma and I share a studio space and I can attest to the time and care she puts into every handcrafted tote, sling, clutch or computer sleeve. She’s also a snappy dresser, does a wicked good Michael Caine impression (being from the UK probably helps) and is the master of finding amazing happy hours in Seattle. All of these things (and many more) make her a perfect studio partner. Please enjoy taking a tour of her lovely bags at http://www.reddeliciousbags.com/
Heavens to Betsie : Rosetta Greek is the fine purveyor of the most eclectic pot holders and accessories I have ever seen. Not only are they fun but very useful. I love this gal she has spunk and chutzpah – she is the most creative and talented woman I know – she sews like a wild woman during the day and is on the opera stag at night. You need to pick up some of her pot holders it will make your kitchen and your life better. Enough said here is where :http://www.etsy.com/shop/Heavens2betsie
 Stickman Leather by Shawn Bettinger. Shawn embodies all that the word Artisan describes. His hand crafted leather bags are made with the finest #1 grade domestic leathers. His designs are timeless and that is a good thing because when you buy a bag from Stickman Leather you will most likely have it for the rest of your life. You can find him at the Pike Place Market everyday except Tuesday and Thursday and you can see his designs athttp://www.stickmanleather.com/. Every one needs a good leather bag and a new belt as well!
Orna’s Pottery: Tableware, Freeform Art and Judaica . Orna’s pottery is so beautiful you may not want to eat off of it but you can. All of Orna’s ceramic work is individually hand-made. It is made of high-fired stoneware, glazed or applied with oxides. May I suggest if you are in the market for new table ware you check with Orna first. You will love her work! You can find her at the Pike Place Market 2 or 3 days a week and you can view her schedule and her work on her website:http://www.orna-pottery.com/
Behold the gorgeous copper wire and semiprecious gemstone jewelry of Megan and Alan Carlisle, owners of Nature’s Twist at Pike Place Market. http://naturestwistonline.com/
April Acevez Cameron is the lovely and talented designer and owner of Vida Loca. April makes the most beautiful handmade Venetian lamp work glass beads and put them together to make amazing jewelry. You can find her at Pike Place Market on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays.
 Charan Sachar – Ceramics Teacher & Ceramics Instructor in Federal Way, WA the owner of Creative with clay .  If you want to add a little color to your life check out Charan’s Unique one of a kind handmade pottery inspired by Indian designs, fabrics, embroidery, colors and Bollywood .http://www.creativewithclay.com/home.php#.UHW9rLS-Tu0
by Kristeena Sabando
Sabando Design