Questions and Answers

Who, what, where, when and why?? These questions come naturally to visitors at the market. At my table in particular, the Who? comes up often as we have art tiles deeply etched with complex and beautiful Arabic calligraphy. “Who does this work?”  While we work on the art together, “my husband does all of the calligraphy. It is all hand copied, as is the tradition, and he has been doing it for 20 years” is my answer. “Do you know what they say?” is a natural second question. “Yes, I do. We put a label on the back with that information.” I love speaking my not-so-perfect Arabic aloud as it always seems to delight the person asking the question. Each one of our art tiles has an explanation on the back. It is the added value that we offer ourselves and to our customers. The added personal interest to our process.

Islamic Art Tiles
Bismillah (shown at the bottom of picture)
The first and foremost characteristic of Islamic art is the universal usage of Arabic script. A beautiful artistic expression of faith in Islam is the scripted Bismillah :
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Most Merciful

“What is this design?” Whether it is an Arabic sura, a Sanskrit mantra or the Greek word ICHTHUS, a Lamb or an IHS on a Christian piece – the What? question is another that I am always happy to answer. The first “What?” though, is quite often directed to the art itself. “What are they?” They – are art. To put on your wall. On a stand. To simply enjoy. Our designs are inspired by the ancients. Spiritual. Deeply personal. Each line and space between the lines, thoughtfully considered. But in the end – just art.

The Fish Symbol (Ichthus) This symbol represents the oldest Christian symbol of Christ.  The Greek word for FISH-pronounced ICHTHUS - is formed by using the first letter or each of the words in Greek - Iesous, Christos, Theou, Hyos, Soter - 
which stand for Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior
The Fish Symbol (Ichthus)
This symbol represents the oldest Christian symbol of Christ. The Greek word for FISH-pronounced ICHTHUS – is formed by using the first letter or each of the words in Greek – Iesous, Christos, Theou, Hyos, Soter – 
which stand for Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior
The Gayatri Mantra 
(Rigveda 3.62.10)
 The Gayatri Mantra invoking the Deva Savitr is considered 
the highest and most important of all Hindu mantras. 

Translation by Swami Vivekananda reads:
“We meditate on the glory of that Being who has produced this universe, may He enlighten our minds.”
The Gayatri Mantra 
(Rigveda 3.62.10)

The Gayatri Mantra invoking the Deva Savitr is considered 
the highest and most important of all Hindu mantras. 

Translation by Swami Vivekananda reads:
“We meditate on the glory of that Being who has produced this universe, may He enlighten our minds.”

“Where?” In Maple Valley. Just over an hour south east of Seattle. Within 25 minutes of leaving the market I am on my tree lined country road homeward bound. Our studio is part of our home and while private we do also meet up at the local QFC or Starbucks with our “close to home” customers. Nothing like sitting down for a cup of coffee, transacting a sale, then doing my errands. Making the best of our chosen life style.

“When?” Is often asked as “when did you start doing this?” About 20 years ago.

“Why?” as in “How did you come to do this art?” There is a long story that could be inserted here. Let’s just say that “We lived the corporate life. Now this one. We like this one better”

So…What have you discovered?

Who? My husband Jeff and I. What? Handcraft decorative, display art tiles of inspiration and awareness. Where? In Maple Valley. When? We started nearly 20 years ago. (While we do have a website that you may access at any time,  we are at the market 4-5 days a week). Why? Because we love what we do.

Kat Allen
Symbols in Art


Meet the Producer Video: Charles Saul, Master of Mobiles (and More!)

Meet Charles Saul, Pike Place artist, who works with wood, metal, beach glass and photography to create a range of whimsical, colorful art with a real Northwestern feel.  Charlie and his artwork can be found online at or on his Google + page or his YouTube page.

Video by Scott Alberts

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 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

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  .  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

American Craft Week

In honor of American Craft Month we are  posting  an amazing artisan each day on our Facebook page 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. — 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
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 :
 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 at 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:
Behold the gorgeous copper wire and semiprecious gemstone jewelry of Megan and Alan Carlisle, owners of Nature’s Twist at Pike Place Market.
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 .
by Kristeena Sabando
Sabando Design