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It’s A Handmade Revolution At Maker’s Arcade Saturday In Barrio Logan

Evening Edition

Aired 4/24/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.

GUESTS:

Jen Byard is a designer and owner of Thread and Arrow, and a member of Handmade Revolution, the group who is putting on the Maker's Arcade.

Colleen Townend is a jewelry artist and a member of Handmade Revolution.

Valentine Viannay is a painter and silk screen artist whose silk screened dish towels and scarves can be found in shops around San Diego.

Transcript

Colleen Townend

Vintage-inspired necklace by San Diego jewelry artist Colleen Townend.

Event Info

The Maker's Arcade will be held at The GlasHaus at 1815 Main St., Suite B, San Diego

Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

For a growing number of San Diegans, making handcrafted objects is more than just a hobby.

The DIY movement has put a new spotlight on arts and crafts, and the internet has provide a new way to market those goods.

In fact, so many people are busy making housewares, accessories and jewelry, that local artisan shows are starting to be juried and curated.

A major arts and crafts showcase will take place in San Diego this weekend, it's called the Makers Arcade. It will feature the work of 25 San Diego artists and crafters selling everything from housewares and art to jewelry, greeting cards and clothing.

Jen Byard is a designer and owner of Thread and Arrow, and a member of Handmade Revolution, the group who is putting on the Maker's Arcade.

Byard said they juried the vendors who wanted to participate in the arcade to make sure there would be a good mix of styles and products.

Colleen Townend is a jewelry artist and a member of Handmade Revolution. Her vintage-inspired jewelry will be for sale at the Maker's Arcade.

Townend said at some point she would like to make and sell her jewelry professionally but now it's more of a passion.

She sells her jewelry at trunk shows and in local shops but beyond that hasn't taken steps to make this a career.

"People who are successful are extremely dedicated and it isn't just some that happens by accident," Townend said.

Byard said only about 20 percent of the vendors at the Maker's Arcade do the work as their primary profession.

Valentine Viannay is a painter and silk screen artist whose silk screened dish towels and scarves can be found in shops around San Diego. She's one example of a handmade artist who supports herself selling items she makes by hand.

Viannay said she had to knock on doors for a long time before her business took off. A graduate of the Parson's School of Art and Design, Viannay came to San Diego in 2001, planning to stay for a few weeks, and quickly fell in to commissioned work painting murals and faux finishes and has been here ever since.

When the great recession hit in 2008, the work fell off and she had to rethink her plan.

"I came up with a $10 idea -- dish towels," she said.

The towels are screen printed with her own designs and quotes from famous people like Mark Twain and Elvis Presley. On one towel, a quote from Oscar Wilde, "After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one's relations."

Viannay said she didn't wake up one day and say she'd do dish towels but that's what it's become.

"I learned what sells, what colors work, you have to put your ego aside and understand the market," she said.

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