The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


March 27, 2014

Not your grandma's crafts: Market curator highlights modern trends

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Emma Ball, curator of The Hip Handmade Market, has a vision for Southwest Missouri, and she's about to make it happen. She longs for a place where local artisans come together and fuse their talents with commerce.

"I want to have an event where the public can see firsthand that classic arts are still cool," said Ball.

Local talent going on display

The Hip Handmade Market is Ball's version of a craft fair, but it won't be the usual show. Ball is working to bridge the crafting gap between generations.

"If you thought your grandma was crafty, wait until you see what this generation has done with her influence," Ball said. "For example, instead of a classic craft like crocheted doilies, we may have a print of a doily made with a huge, hand-carved stamp. Or wood that's been pressed, polished and shaped into a delicate charm for a necklace. The range of local talent is amazing."

Finding local artisans that shared Ball's vision took little effort. For the market's inaugural event, there is space for about 20 vendors.

With 48 applicants, the vendors were selected by a panel of judges, comprised of local artists and business owners. Vendors were rated on innovation, their ability to create modern pieces using timeless crafts and affordable prices, among others. The competition was fierce, Ball said.

The cream of the crop will showcase metal art, cross-stitch with edgy flair, marquee signs, wooden robots and hand-died textiles, just to name a few.

Randi Bachman, of Carthage, is a self-described general store. She will have a variety of goods from her collection.

"I try to make things I would buy for myself," Bachman said. "As a mother, I like to make things that are functional like pottery, hand-dyed bags and things that are useful for a range of people."

Bachman's products go under the name Cava Cats. She donates part of her proceeds to Spare Cats Rescue.

Fun and functional are recurring themes throughout the goods that vendors will showcase at the market. Old techniques collide with new crafting styles, and repurposed, salvaged, thrifted and upcycled items will be available. Artists use vintage materials to give them new, quirky life.

"The Hip Handmade Market will be a place where the creative community can come and inspire each other," Ball said. "The best part of buying locally is getting to know the maker and having that one-on-one customer service."

No two handmade items are alike, and they all have a story to tell. Many of the artisans learned their trades from an older family member, and have the scars from a lifetime of making it their own.

Ball said attendees can expect a full day of fun from the market.

"We want this to be a community event, not just a stop and shop," said Ball.

The Clubhouse will be decked out with spring flair. The first 25 guests will receive a burlap shopping bag courtesy of Repurpose Boutique stuffed with coupons from local sponsors and vendors.

Giveaways will be announced each hour. Guests will receive an hourly giveaway voucher with each purchase made, but you must be present to win so plan to stick around for the fun and get to know the local artisans. King's Kettle Corn will be outside with seating and sustenance such as corn dogs, lemonade and, of course, popcorn.

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