I believe making arts and crafts part of our everyday lives is important. Whether you buy a handmade card to send to a friend or have a dining room table custom-designed for your home, you can support the arts at many levels and many different price points. But if we consumers continue to shop strictly by price (and who doesn’t love a deal) without caring who makes it, more and more products will be made overseas for cheap regardless of other, less obvious costs (think of all the recent toy recalls).
Help prevent this from happening and check out the Fine Furnishings Show at the Rhode Island Convention Center this weekend. Now in its twelfth year, this show brings together furniture makers and other artisans from around the country for three days to display and sell their work. I recently wrote about my past job co-running the Providence Craft Show, which operated alongside the Fine Furniture Show for three years. Although the craft show in name is no longer, my former partner has organized the craft section of this year’s furniture show. There is sure to be a range of unusual and beautiful things to choose from no matter what your particular style or budget.
Here is our Kidoinfo take on some cool things to check out:
Red Rover Clothing Co. | Fleece Children’s and Baby’s Clothing
Lovely colorful outerwear, accessories, and blankets for children and adults. Made from warm, lightweight, and washable Polartec(R) fabrics as well as several textured fleece fabrics from domestic mills. Accents are added with woven trims (designed at their studio), appliques of ultrasuede and buttons that are exclusive to their line. My boys have unfortunately outgrown their Red Rover hats and mittens – time for some new ones!
artist: Cindy Walsh
studio location: Framingham, MA
Underground Velvet | Holiday Stockings
Embossed holiday stockings made by hand from the finest velvets. Velvets are a rayon/polyester blend and iridescent, which means that the fabric is woven from two contrasting thread colors. When embossed, the nuances of color are apparent in bright highlights and colorful shadows. These sturdy and roomy stockings can be filled with holiday cheer for years. Each stocking contains a black rayon lining and has a black ribbon attached. At our house, we each have our own stocking.
artist: Amy Hedler
studio location: Arlington, MA
Karen Krieger Metals | “Hugs and Kisses” Game
The miniature pewter game board is about 1.25 x 1.25″ and comes with 10 pieces in lovely drawstring bag. Retail price – $12
artist: Karen Krieger
studio: Springfield, VT
phone: (802) 885-8777
Micki Whelan Studio | Eyecatchers
These cool necklaces are great for older kids and moms, too. Available in several sleek, modern shapes, these pendants are the perfect place to park your sunglasses or reading glasses, and they’re quite stylish on their own. Choose from sterling silver, 24 kt. Vermeil, or lead-free pewter.
artist: Micki Whelan
studio: Pawtuxet Village, RI
Working Birds Studio | Growth Charts and Shadow Boxes
David’s beautifully detailed aviary shadow boxes are made from a variety of materials and inspired by old Audubon prints. In addition to his limited edition or one-of-a-kind shadow boxes, he now makes a must-have line of growth charts for kids.
artist: David Montgomery
studio location: Springfield, VT
Lyle Rudloff | Metal Sculpture
Have your kid’s drawings transformed into a freestanding sculpture. Lyle, a welder and a sculptor, will bring a child’s art to life by creating a bas-relief or freestanding metal sculpture that retains the original playfulness and joy of the kid’s vision. Lyle works in aluminum, bronze, stainless steel, copper, and copper nickel and occasionally adds paint, lacquer, or patinas to create a particular effect or to maintain luster over time. Texture and shape can be etched into the metal to echo the original qualities in the drawing or painting.
artist: Lyle Rudloff
studio location: Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Huston & Company | Rocking Horse
Bill Huston made his first rocking horse for his baby son, Justin, almost 30 years ago. He based it on a design he found while attending furniture-making school in Norway. The horses are hand built to order in the Huston & Company workshop of solid cherry with inlaid eyes of maple and walnut. This family heirloom is built to last as it gets passed on from generation to generation. Each one is signed by the furniture maker who built it, dated and branded Huston. $750.
studio location: Kennebunkport, ME
Email Kidoinfo the name of your favorite artist or where you shop for handmade products by 8 pm Thursday, October 25, and you can win 4 tickets to the Fine Furnishings Show!