Renegade Craft Fair: 10 top picks
For those who may be missing the Renegade Craft Fair, L.A. at Home has made its scouting runs to check out makers' holiday gifts, home accessories and other modern craftiness. Our roundup of picks from the show starts with Robert Mahar's rubber stamps for making DIYer gift tags. The one above is complemented by another that says: "I baked your gift. It's delicious. You'll love it and agree it tastes way better than anything else money could buy." The Mahar Craft stamps are $12 apiece and come in a gift tin, perfect for those who would rather give the stamp to a baker than do the cooking themselves.
The monster doll craze seems to have ebbed, we're happy to report, though mash-ups of cartoon drawings with profane messages on greeting cards and T-shirts is popping up more than one would hope. (Yes, that cute animal is swearing. How naughty.)
Foxes are the new owls, as witnessed in the booth of the Riverside outfit Peanut Butter Dynamite, right. Its menagerie of knitted pillows also included a monkey and penguin, each $45.
For the rest of our picks, keep reading ...
Foxes, Exhibit B: The Long Beach silk-screening studio Sass & Peril has prints, pillows and totes for $18 to $35. The fox is a favorite, but on Saturday the patch-wearing gray cat was the hot seller.
Tiny wooden gift tags from Oh, Hello Friend seem too sweet to toss. Perhaps after the gifts are unwrapped, the tags will be hung on the tree? A sampler bag of eight tags is $10.
Bay Area designer Jennifer Fish of J Fish Designs has ceramic vessels in unusual shapes and sizes, including a pendant vase for dried botanicals (far left, $25), a suspended pot for air plants (second from left, $58) and micro pots that can be hung from a wall (shown here in yellow and red, $22 each).
Screen designs on plywood are big. The hand-screened whale pictured above, its ocean currents set on the swirling grain of wood about the size of a vinyl album, was just $45 at the booth of Lulu Dee.
Jess Campion of Venice eQ pushes the limits of laser cutting with her fleece scarves ($25 to $60) cut with the lyrics of classic songs, including Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" and Green Day's "Welcome to Paradise." Pictured here: The Beatles' "Here, There and Everywhere" and Michael Jackson's "Human Nature." After the laser makes it pass, Campion carefully knocks out each cut by hand.
All of San Diego designer Amy Burkhart's pillows are made by hand, screened with one of her original Tangerine designs or, in the case of the yellow felted scallop pillow at center, hand cut and sewn, piece by piece. That pillow is $82, but other designs ran as low as $32. The same motifs appear on tea towels ($15) and dinner napkins (two for $18).
What would a modern craft show be without a little kitsch, so let us present Black Forest Works' clocks. Each woodland diorama can sound the hour with audio of your choosing, thanks to a built-in digital recorder. Buy the owl design, and the clock can hoot every 60 minutes. $200.
And, finally, for the man who has tired of stripes, paisleys and polka dots: neckties fashioned from reclaimed redwood. Christopher Steinrueck, proprietor of San Francisco-based Wood Thumb, modeled his creation, which seemed to sell briskly on Saturday. As soon as Steinrueck demonstrated that the ties actually have some function to them -- they can be adjusted to fit thanks to a bolo-style neck loop -- buyers lined up.
Renegade runs until 5 p.m. Sunday at Los Angeles State Historic Park. Park along Broadway or in a grass lot, or take the Metro Gold Line to the Chinatown station. If you miss the event, click to the shop section of the group's site and you'll find more designs for sale online.
-- Craig Nakano
Photos: Picks from the Renegade Craft Fair. Credit: Craig Nakano / Los Angeles Times