Thursday, December 1, 2016

Updates! Doors open at 11!

Hello everyone!

Well, one more sleep till the 5th annual Handmade Hamilton opens. 

The doors open at 11 and we are open for business till 5 each day. 

There is a $2 admission at the door and a portion of the proceeds will be going to 541 Eatery and SACHA. 

The first 50 attendees each day will be gifted a lovely swag bag full of some fun product from our vendors  for you!

Enjoy the Staircase Cafe that will be serving light lunches and treats throughout the day! 

Relax in our Theatre Lounge which has tables to enjoy your food and theatre sitting to sit down and chill out.  

The entrance is through the front door unless you need the accessible entrance.  Please ring the door bell at the back door if that is the case!

We are excited to host the 5th Handmade Hamilton and can't wait to see you!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Vendor Profile #13 - Pikelet Workshop

Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at this years Handmade Hamilton?

I design and create one of a kind plush characters, children's accessories and decor items. I also make sewing kits and teach kids to sew throughout the summer. As an Australian living in Canada I hope to bring my unique sense of design and colour to a new audience. 

I will be bringing a range of toys to the show, some Christmas ornaments and my DIY ornament sewing kits. My best selling Tooth Fairy Poppet will certainly be coming along too.

What does your process look like?

I start with a sketch and then turn an illustration into a paper pattern. Sometimes the pattern turns out perfectly and other times it needs tweaking. Then I spend a ridiculous amount of time sifting through my fabric to find just the right combination for each particular character. 
I spend a lot of time making custom dolls for people including Elvis, scuba divers and the main characters from Murdoch Mysteries. I really love working with people to bring an idea to life. The entire cutting, stitching and finishing process is done by me in my workshop at home, often supervised by a couple of naughty black cats and my 11 year old daughter.  She is also a pretty good product tester, when her eyes light up I know I am on to something.

What are your inspirations?

My IPod is my best friend (apologies husband). I have two classic IPods full of so many things, mostly audiobooks (shout out to for the best money I spend each month) and podcasts. So many.

I'll list a few faves which cover the variety I listen to.
The Broad Experience - a great feminist podcast about women in the workplace but it just applies to life as a woman in general. 

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History - hours and hours and hours of historical battles. Amazing stuff.

Dear Handmade Life - great interviews and chat about small creative business life. These girls also host the Craftcation conference in California each year and I'm super excited that a bunch of us gals from Makeology are going next Spring. California and Craft!!

Stuff You Should Know - just the best podcast by a couple of adorable guys, we've seen them live and love them. 

Kermode and Mayo's Film Review - a BBC show about film. The critic is super geeky about film and they are also pretty funny. They bicker like and old married couple.

Sword and Scale - a true crime podcast. Warning, this is not for the faint hearted. Some episodes are very graphic.

The Infinite Monkey Cage - a great British science podcast. Funny and super informative with lots of interesting guests.

WTF with Marc Maron - comedian who shoots the breeze with all sorts of people. His Obama chat is a must listen.

And probably 20 more. There are lots of little niche comedy podcasts I like and more science and history ones and loads of crafty ones. 

It's a problem, but I never have time to read anymore so this keeps my brain active. 

Vendor Profile #12 - Unbridaled

This year at Handmade Hamilton, I will be introducing my Men's Winter Collection. I have put together a selection of Men's Accessories including Ties, Bow Ties, Pocket Squares, Cufflinks, Tie Tacks, Lapel Pins, and Rings. 

For the past 15 years I have been working closely with Brides and Grooms designing and making custom wedding and engagement rings, cufflinks, and bridal jewellery. For the past 30 years I have been designing and sewing clothing for myself. Two years ago, I made my first tie for a friend. Another friend saw it and wanted one, then another. Twenty ties later, I decided to start being more deliberate about my fabric shopping. I shop for fabric with my hands. As I pass by the various patterns, I am also touching each one, and feeling the weight. The Winter Collection fabrics were selected based strictly on a 'hey, that's cool' basis. 

Since moving back to Hamilton two years ago, I have been amazed by the Craft/Art community here. Everything and everyone is so interconnected. It feels like home. I have always belonged to a communal studio, and work amongst other makers. Collaboration and sharing has been a huge part of my business. 

For the first time in my life I have been working solo, and it can be quiet. My daily work is fuelled by podcasts - I'm subscribed to over 30. Personal story and first person reporting podcasts like Radiolab are my favourite, but this year I have spent a lot of time trying to listen to a variety of voices to understand more about the political world around me. The stand out podcast of my year however was My Dad Wrote A Porno. There were several times I nearly burned down my studio from laughing too hard. Need a good laugh these days and haven't heard it? Download both seasons now. It will get you through the holidays. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Vendor Profile #11 - Pomegranate Press

Pomegranate Letterpress + Design is the husband and wife team of Joe Borges and Margot Cudmore. We met while working in the crazy world of advertising and realized if we wanted to keep our sanity we needed to find an outlet that let us be the client and produce work that makes us happy.

Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at this years Handmade Hamilton?

Our work is very much a mix of Canadiana and our sense of humour. We love the art of typography, and strong clean layouts. At Hamilton Handmade, you’ll see a collection of hand-printed art prints, drink coasters, greeting cards, booklets and our limited edition Canada150 calendar. Many of our art prints are eyebrow-raising, funny, or interesting quotes or phrases,. Recently, we’ve added original lino carving images to mix giving us a delightful new way to share our stories. We use a 600-year-old technology to create these truly one-of-a-kind items – each one different because of the nature of the printing process, the character of the wood and metal letters and the fact that each print is hand-fed, one colour and one sheet at a time. You can expect to find something that will make you smile knowing you’re the only one who owns something so unique.

What does your process look like?

Our process is a fluid merging of creativity and production. We make a great team by building on each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The process can start with a spark of an idea while driving in the car or talking to people at one of the craft shows we participate in. Once we have a new idea, we figure out the best way to make it come to life. A new art print might be created with our selection of wood and metal type, or it might be an original lino-carving illustration – or even a combination of both! Much thought goes into who we a creating this art for, and how they will experience it. All this before we even get to the press!
Once on press, we start hand-setting the type and creating the layout – this is when it pays to be fluid in your creative process! Sometimes the set-up takes hours and sometime the layouts create themselves in minutes. We take time to craft the layout, we kern the letters, we adjust the rollers, hand-mix the inks and then we replace, we discard, we start over. Or sometimes, we just print and enjoy the results.

What are your inspirations?

Letterpress itself is an inspiration because the process can’t be rushed, it is tactile, it is old, it is new, and it is different each time. Our collection of wood type metal type is inspiring because each letter has its own story. How many hands have touch this piece of wood, set it, cleaned it, sorted it and printed with it? How many stories has it told?

And Canada is inspiring. All of it. We love how this country is growing and learning, and what it brings out in all of us. The merging of cultures, all the foods it opens up for us. The CBC inspires us. Music inspires us. The farmers’ market. Our own garden. Pop culture - we love watching TV (a hang-over from our advertising days!). We love sports. We love going to Ottawa Street and hitting the antique shops. Or going to a concert in Oakville, or a local paper store in Thorold. Inspiration is all around us, you just have to be listening and watching for it.

Many makers listen to podcasts. Do you? and what are some of your favourites?
Yes, we both listen to some podcast. Two Podcasts we’d recommend are Unthinkable and The Creator’s Journey both deal with being creative and all the things that come with it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Vendor Post #10 - Hand & Shadow

Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at this years Handmade Hamilton?

I make screen printed garments.  T-shirts and cotton scarves, but this year some new fabrics-sweatshirts and some wool scarves.

What does your process look like?

With the botanical images, I collect them, scan them and build the images that way. Other images are hand drawn. I make my screens with these.  And then I either print onto pre made blanks or print fabric that will be sewn later. The ink I use removes the dye from the fabric, which leaves the image soft and there are all sorts of print variations that I love!

What are your inspirations?

With the botanical work, definitely Victorian cyanotypes.  And generally nature both being in it, and the way it is depicted. I'm a very visual person, I collect a lot of images and I think they all inform my work in some way.  And even the textures of certain materials inspire me.

Tell us some of your favourite things about Hamilton?

Good people, good food. I lived out west for a long time and I really missed the red brick!

How has Hamilton's art and craft scene changed in the past 5 years?
It's grown exponentially! There are always new people moving here, and new people getting involved.

What are your favourite books? Movies? Music?

How many pages can I take up?
Books(fiction): The City & The City by China Mieville and  The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Books(Non-Fiction): A Perfect Red by Amy Butler Greenfield and any illustrated book of botanicals, birds or animals! 

Movies: The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec, Flirting, And then There Were None (BBC)

Music: (This week) Helen Money, Phillip Glass, Neko Case, Thin Lizzy.

Vendor Profile #9 - The Simplest Stitch

Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at this years Handmade Hamilton?

 I mostly create functional, contemporary crocheted pieces.  Scarves, hats, cowls, slippers, headbands - and more. I do also like to do some sewn pieces... My work has definitely evolved over the years. I'm adding leather/metal details, and finally finding some inner willingness to try pastel-y colours - which isn't usually my thing (or so I thought). It keeps me interested with fresh and new pieces.  

What are your inspirations? Tell us some of your favourite things about Hamilton?

I am pretty proud to be a Hamilton Maker.  There are SO many amazing makers in this city, I can't help but be inspired by them - AND by all of the fibre and fabric perpetually kicking around (every room) of my Strathcona home. I've been doing this for years now, and while some days my hands "complain" about the work, I still just want to jump in to different projects and "make". 

How has Hamilton's art and craft scene changed in the past 5 years?

I love the small-town feel that you can so easily find in the arts community in this big city with a big heart. To see people stepping up to help those in need, or offer new opportunities to others is heart warming and reminds me that I'm in a pretty amazing place at a pretty amazing time.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Vendor Profile #8 - Jelly Brothers

Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at this years Handmade Hamilton?

We have been busy over the past year, expanding our popular series of Neighbourhood maps as well as our collection of silk-screened posters inspired by Hamilton.  Our collection of school prints is expanding as well, and we'll have a few new ones on display for the first time at Handmade Hamilton.

What are your inspirations?

Growing up in Hamilton, our work has a heavy dose of nostalgia and hometown pride, but we also look beyond our borders to other cities we love to visit. Cities continue to shape the things we create, whether it's the obvious choices of landmarks and historic buildings, or the more esoteric aspects of the infrastructure and built environment that surrounds us.

Tell us some of your favourite things about Hamilton?

Hamilton is big enough to be a complete city and to have its own independent identity, but still small enough to enable a sense of community. Hamilton shapes our work in many ways and has helped foster our weird little business. We get endless encouragement from the people around us, both for the things we create and for the city in general. 

Many makers listen to podcasts.  Do you? and what are some of your favourites?

99 Percent Invisible is always a great listen. The topics vary week to week, but the underlying theme is that design is an integral part of our lives. It's always interesting and inspiring. Locally, The Graham Crawford Show is a smart look into politics and city building in Hamilton.  

Vendor Profile #7 - Artist Nancy Benoy

Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at this years Handmade Hamilton?

Delighted to be bringing colourful abstract original waterclour cards and paintings to give, to hang, to enjoy. A selection of my Itty Bitty paper paintings “Birds and Buildings” will be for sale too. 

What does your process look like? 

First I set up my space. I work from home, usually in the kitchen, the light is good and the coffee close.  I bring out the oil pastels, watercolours, inks, fill up the water dishes, grab brushes, gather the things. The process of the set up ritual is the beginning of the possibilities that lie ahead. I experiment with the materials, play with shapes, line and colour.  I let my mind wander until I am in that blissful state of nothingness.  That is where it happens for me. 

Tell us some of your favourite things about Hamilton?

I have lived in Hamilton for over 14 years and it has changed a lot but the things I like about Hamilton remain the same. It is a city in its own right. It is a 20 minute drive to glorious country side. It is a 20 minute walk to see a friend, pick up food, find a cool shop. It is a 5 minute walk to trails and trees, perfect for dog walking.  It’s my home. 
How has Hamilton's art and craft scene changed in the past 5 years?

So many more artist, crafters, shows and openings! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Vendor Profile #6 - Frayed Knot Fibre

Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at this years Handmade Hamilton?

        Frayed Knot Fibre is all about fibre, some of which is from our own alpacas. We love colour and yarn and the fibre arts. We will have a big range of handpainted luxury yarns and spinning and felting fibres as well as our new focus on unique handspun yarns that are easy for you to use to create one of a kind items.

What are your inspirations?
           My colour inspirations come from everywhere, nature astounds me, so do the little things and it all comes together in the way colour and texture can convey emotion, identity and comfort. I am also a visual artist and I use my         studies and finished work as inspiration for colourways as well. I am also inspired by potential, and I find that creating these things which are intended for creations themselves, inspiring and a good reminder of my own         potential. 

What are your favourite books? Movies? Music?

        I have a thing for good Sci Fi books and the occasional mystery. Some of my favorite authors are John Scalzi and Lois McMaster Bujold. I love music that takes me somewhere new, like Kishi Bashi and Andrew Bird, or bands that remind me of good times like Throwing Muses or Forest for the Trees.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Vendor Profile #5 - Mimosa

Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at this years Handmade Hamilton?

Mimosa is a handcrafted line of brass and gemstone jewelry inspired by the romantic era of the 16th to 18th centuries in Europe. Using the Japanese TANKIN hammered technique to create each individual piece as truly one of a kind. 

What does your process look like?

 I begin by getting inspired by old portraits.  I never draw out the designs for the rings.  Each ring is created by hammering brass to make the ring parts, they are then put together with silver.  The final thing I do is set a raw gemstone in the rings.  

What are your inspirations?

I am inspired by the 16th to 18th centuries portraits and flowers.

Tell us some of your favourite things about Hamilton?

I love the water falls and the art community.

6.  What are your favourite books? Movies? Music?

My favorite movies are Marie Antoinette, The Other Boleyn Girl , Moulin Rouge and The Affair of the Necklace. 

My favourite music is Arashi( Japanese boy band)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Vendor Profile #4 - Woolly Encores

Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at this years Handmade Hamilton?

I make mittens and scarves from upcycled, felted wool sweaters.  In my stack of mittens, you'll see some are appliqued, some embroidered - and all are finished with a fun button on the cuff.  New this year are my infinity scarves - made from the mountain on wool scraps that mittens produce!  I hate to waste any material, and these scarves are a fun (and warm!) way to make sure nothing goes in the trash.

 What does your process look like?

My process starts in the thrift store, where I find wool sweaters begging for a second life.  Almost all have a hole or stain somewhere, or a print straight from 1987.  But they can be saved!  It's amazing how the ugliest sweater can become the funkiest mittens.  I felt and disassemble the sweaters, then each print, colour or pattern dictates what happens in terms of decoration.  I make liners from recycled fleece blankets, then sew everything up into a cozy pair of mitts.

What are your inspirations?

Everything!  Nature, vintage buttons, geometric patterns, the sweaters themselves - and my customers.  Every show will have a request that never crossed my mind:  Do I have any mittens with turtles on them?  No...but I will next time!

Tell us some of your favourite things about Hamilton?

I love Hamilton's small-town vibe in a big city.  I can walk from my house to almost anything I need - and the city's in a state of constant improvement.  You get the sense that after years and years of talking and wishing, everything is starting to happen.

How has Hamilton's art and craft scene changed in the past 5 years?

I'm pretty new to the art and craft scene, but I've been amazed at the support of people in this city that want to support local artisans.  I've had bags of donated sweaters show up on my doorstep!  I had emails from friends of friends that saw a Facebook post and want to place an order. It's really wonderful.

Many makers listen to podcasts.  Do you? and what are some of your favourites?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Vendor Profile #3 - Bearded Nomad

Bearded Nomad

Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at this years Handmade Hamilton?

Christine and I make all natural beard care products right here in Hamilton. We have a lot going on this year and are happy to announce we will be releasing a new beard oil, balm and wax as well as some new soap and custom beard combs made right here in #Hamont. 

What are your inspirations?

We find inspiration in our every day, from the people we get the pleasure to be friends with to all the Hamilton Beardo's that have welcomed us with open arms. The amount of positive feedback we hear on a daily basis makes us just want to keep hustling. It's weird but when we get messages from people explaining how Bearded nomad has changed their beard game, truly inspires us to be as great as we can be. 

Tell us some of your favourite things about Hamilton?

Way too many things we love about Hamilton, Jacob is born and raised here and Christine is a transplant from Brantford. One of our favorite thing about Hamilton would have to be the eclectic mix of artists, makers and other entrepreneurs in Hamilton, all of which are so supportive of each other. We also have some really stellar craft shows that have been happening lately. Wait...cant forget all the great beer and food popping up everywhere!

How has Hamilton's art and craft scene changed in the past 5 years?

Hamilton's arts and craft scene has changed so much in the past five years and we cant exactly pin point the change but we feel it has something to do with the start of art crawl. In the past five years there has been a huge influx of makers and artists that have been hiding away, just waiting for the right time to show their stuff. From local craft shows to entrepreneurial support groups such as The innovation Factory or The Hive Hamilton, there has just been so much love, we feel it has allowed everyone to become comfortable with their work. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Vendor Profile #2 - Milo&Ben

Milo&Ben is a collection of my illustrated characters. While some are needle felted,  some are stuffed hand sewn animals. Needle felting is a time-consuming, labour intensive process that allows for a lot of detail bringing each doll to life. It is similar to sculpting in that you can create any shape you want.  Each animal is made carefully and with lots of love. 

Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at this years Handmade Hamilton?

My work is primarily needle felted creations. All the animals are based on my illustrations. I am bringing my most popular Patrick penguins as well as my new line of felted mobiles and felt wreaths. 

What does your process look like?

My process involves sketching the animal until I’m happy with the way it looks. It must convey a certain personality so that the final piece comes to life.

Tell us some of your favourite things about Hamilton?

Hamilton is such a vibrant city! Always welcoming and supporting of small business and the handmade movement. Milo&Ben and Makeology have always felt welcomed and supported. 

Melissa is also the founder of Makeology, an excellent craft show that is happening on November 19th!  Be sure to check it out!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Vendor Profile #1 : Bailiwick Studios

Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at this years Handmade Hamilton?

I am a printmaker working with lino block and primarily in black and white. I’ve branched out this year to include small, unique home décor pieces. You can expect block printed holiday ornaments and cards, upcycled animal planters and a variety of original art prints.

What does your process look like?

My process is SO scattered these days because I am very busy chasing my 11 month old around! It’s difficult as a creative to only have these small windows of time to work on your art, but it is very important for me to be present when its family time so developing that balance has been very important. Printmaking, although takes time, can be a nice mindless activity sometimes! 

Tell us some of your favourite things about Hamilton? 

Hands downs, the sense of community. Not only amongst artists and makers, but between local business’s.  

Many makers listen to podcasts.  Do you? and what are some of your favourites?

I just recently started and love it! I listen to How I Built This, Revisionist History (among others) but I am currently obsessed with Being Boss