Westward the Course of Handicrafts Takes Its Way

San Francisco is a shopper’s paradise. Grizzled merchants stand on every street corner, hawking limited-edition frocks, canteens of amyl nitrate, and freshly caught trout. Local artisans crouch beside burning screenplays in their garrets as we speak, whittling dolphin sculptures and fashioning homemade furniture from leftover absinthe spoons, waiting for their moment in the capitalist sun. No wonder the kids cheer “Hip hip hooray!” when the Renegade Craft Fair comes to town, pitching a tent under which they may peddle their screen-printed concert posters and hammered aluminum jewelry. Held annually in Brooklyn, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, the fair first came to these parts in 2007, bringing with it a dazzling bazaar of weird and wonderful handmade baubles. Ogle Ciuccio’s colorful array of baby quilts, fondle the porkchop-shaped plush toys by Sweet Meats, haggle for handsome prints of tigers and polar bears dressed up in business suits (Berkley Illustrations), and pet one of the voluminous faux-fur hats made by Chia and worn by Patricia Arquette. The weekend-long event also features workshops, one of which will teach people how to transform old toys into jewelry.
July 18-19, 11 a.m., 2009

 
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