As if you needed another reason to spend Saturday or Sunday browsing the shops and boutiques in Wicker Park, this weekend is Renegade Craft Fair, a large scale marketplace event that highlights the work of hundreds of contemporary indie-craft artists.
Renegade artists are juried from hundreds of applications and all embody a “Do It Yourself” spirit – creating innovative work using traditional craft methods, but not based on preexisting patterns or products. The event features paper goods, housewares, ceramics, bath products, jewelry, craft kits, accessories, clothing, comics, knits, curios, collectibles and artwork. While vendors travel from all corners of their country to exhibit, we did a little bit of reconnaissance and found five up-and-coming Chicago artists that you shouldn’t miss this weekend.
Mohop Shoes: Created by architect Annie Mohaupt, Mohop Shoes is a vegan and eco-friendly footwear company specializing in handmade, customizable sandals that let you create one-of-a-kind, custom-fit shoes by lacing any ribbon through a patented loop design. Mohop shoes come with 7 sets of interchangeable ribbons so you can uniquely express your own style through your footwear. Fun fact? All of the shoes are handmade right here in Chicago…in an old dominatrix dungeon in River West. Now, don’t say we never taught you anything new.
Windy City Paper Company: There is nothing more lame than receiving a 99 cent, drugstore-sourced birthday card, right? Windy City Paper Company offers a range of handmade paper goods designed specifically so you can send some love to your favorite people for birthdays,weddings, special occasions – or no reason at all. Artist Kelly Rasho will also custom design cards I have paper goods for all occasions birthdays, weddings, thank you notes or just to say hi.
Squasht by Les: Designed by Lesley Timpe from her Ukrainian Village boutique, Squasht by Les offers local and professionally hand-crafted garments and accessories. Becoming well known for their signature reversible handmade hats and endlessly wearable vintage-modern style dresses, Squasht also offers a seasonal collection of skirts, tops, tunics, headbands and handbags. Fabrics include organic soy-cotton, pima cotton in vintage 1980s prints, vintage velveteen, imported Italian wool, and silk tweed.
Uncommon Clocks: Located just outside of Chicago, Uncommon Handmade is a source for colorful, cleverly designed decor and fashion accessories with a homey-meets-modern feel. From retro-style clocks and wooden flower arrangements to scalloped wood accent mirrors, everything is designed and handmade by a talented husband and wife duo Vincent and Jessie Leman, who also own Dust Furniture, an unconventional line of furniture designs.
Pierogi Picnic: Though it might sound like an excuse to eat a tasty Eastern European snack, Pierogi Picnic is a line of comfortable, stylish fashion inspired by vintage styles, green design, and urban living. Designed by Chicago native Lydia Krupinski, Pierogi Picnic raises awareness about living compassionately by using eco-friendly, cruelty-free materials that are re-used and re-purposed in both wearable designs and packaging.
Renegade Craft Fair, along Division Street between Damen and Paulina. September 8 and 9 from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. For more information visit www.renegadecraft.com/chicago-info.