April D. Bates
Saint Petersburg, Florida
April Bates reinvents used clothing with dyes, inks, and acrylic paints.
She likes to create beautiful things out of seemingly used up and useless items.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Diana Cole comes from a family of artists/craftsmen and have been making art all her life. Her mother was her first teacher and continues to be her mentor. Diana's pieces are hand built from red clay using a slab technique. She uses under-glazes and glazes to decorate and make pieces food and dishwasher safe.
As a mother of three, Christine was fortunate in having a wonderful art department in high school. Her true love is metal-smithing, and she was blessed to have the opportunity to learn how to solder and cast metal in high school.
Immediately after graduating, she pursued a job as a jeweler and started working towards her BFA degree from Grand Valley State University. Christine worked as a jeweler for 12 years, (setting stones, repairing jewelry, custom work) and then got married and started a family. Having 25 years experiences in the jewelry business has given her much insight. She is a people person and really enjoys working with customers in sales but truly missed the "hands on" creative part of the business.
Creating is a huge part of who Christine is and her thoughts always lead to the next piece she will make.
Betsy Emrich Art
Betsy Emrich reinvents and resuses materials that are not originally intended for how she uses them. Throughout her art career, she has used everything from bottlecaps to game pieces, old books to old tools, that show off the way her mind works.
Black Ash Baskets
Jennie and Josiah Brown
Jennie Brown is a member of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi nation. Her grandparents were both talented basket weavers from the Potawatomi, Ottawa and Chippewa tribes. Traditional Black Ash baskets are more than a mere craft to the Native Americans in her community, they are a symbol of cultural identity and highly regarde. Jennie has been making Black Ash baskets for over thirty years. Teaching her children this traditional art is important to her because she believes it helps maintain identity with their culture as Native American Indians of the Great Lakes Regions.
Josiah Brown, a fifteen year old traditional Black Ash basket weaver, has worked at this art since he was eight. He enjoys hiking around the wetlands to find the best Black Ash tree for raw materials. Preparing material by pounding the log, splitting, shaving, cutting and dying the splints for weaving has become a family of tradition at his home. He is currently participating in the Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program with MSU Museum to further his skills and abilities.
Dereck Perkins uses a lot of reclaimed "urban" lumber, which is often rescued from the city turning them into wood chips. He thinks it is a shame to see a beautifyl old tree turned into wood chips so he works in conjunction with a local miller to rescue these urban trees and turn them into lumber instead of chips. Dereck also uses up-cycled woods and gourds, for the pure beauty of them. A piece of wood is a window into the history of the tree, a thing of beauty. These old trees can never be restored, but by making beautiful instrument out of them, he can at least honor them. Dereck taught himself how to make instruments when he was a teenager, and since then he has worked as a cabinet maker and learned woodworking from different teachers. He has continued to learn the instrument trade by observing a great many instruments, and a lot of trial and error, as well as by word of mouth.
Capital Area Lace Makers (CALM)
CALM is an organization for those who enjoy the art of bobbin lace making. Members of the organization come from several states and countries. Those who live close to East Lansing, Michigan enjoy spending time together during the week making lace, sharing knowledge, and encouraging each other as they work on their various projects. Weekly lace-ins are held Wednesday evenings and bi-weekly lace-ins on the first and third Fridays. CALM is a friendly group of lace makers who enjoy teaching those who are new to the art.
Carla Iansiti and Nance Tolley
Carla Iansiti is a Sustainability Officer for the Department of Residential Service at MSU for the last 2 years. She works for Culinary Services and is busy teaching, training and finding new ways that MSU & Culinary Services can be more green in their purchases and practices. Married with 2 wonderful boys, ages 17 and 7. Worked for MSU for 14 years also as Manager for the residential dining halls.
Nance Tolley (Carla's mother) is retired and lives in White Cloud Michigan, about 2 hours north of Lansing on hwy 131. She is surrounded by beautiful country side and enjoys the company of her free range, organic chickens. She also has geese, ducks, cats and dogs. Nance has always been crafty and smart when it comes to reusing materials because it makes sense. Together we have attended craft shows and other public events to showcase her work.
She put her craft in action and creates coloful, stylish totes, bags, and purses out of juice bags and animal feed bags.
Greg Kemppainen has a wide range of interests and talents including making gemstone healing jewelry and seeling garden composters and composting toilets. Greg has been a Sun Mar sales rep for 21 years and an Esoteric Healer for 13 years. Greg teaches yoga at Hilltop Yoga and also does Thai massage.
eyArt: Seasons in Harmony
Yufeng Wang is an artist and professor at Sinclair Community College. As a teenager, her love of traditional Chinese paintings was inspired by the renowned artists Sun Qifeng and Fan Zeng in Tianjin, China. In recent years, she studied Chinese brush painting with the noted artist Mr. Afu Hong from Fujian Province in China.
Yufeng's artwork was featured in the Chinese Brush Painting for Peace and Harmony exhibit at the Dayton International Peace Museum, April-June 2011. Wright State University hosted an exhibition of her artwork Season in Harmony, April 8-27, 2012. Five pieces of her artwork was recently on display at University of Dayton's Living Green art exhibition in St. Joseph Hall Art Gallery, May 23-June 17.
Sarah Jo and Butch Cash
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Always a creative soul and surrounded by creative family, Butch was inspired one day after running across a library book sale while taking his sons to the library. "Discarded Books.....That's not right!", he thought. After doing some research and seeing what was possible, Forrest Concepts Recycled Journals was born. Perfect for sketching or journaling each journal is hand fabricated from discarded or otherwise recycled books and filled with 100% post consumer recycled paper. We have expanded our line with purses, eReader Covers and notepads, all upcycled from discarded products. By keeping these books from landfills, were doing our part to lessen society's carbon footprint and usher in the green economy. All unused pages are carefully recycled into other art or into the recycling bins. Thank you for buying local!
Hand-Sewn Silk Embroidery
St. Louis, Missouri
Hand-Sewn Silk Embroidery is a traditional artwork within Don Tran's family that has been passed down for many generations. His mother started when she was 14 years of age and Don has inherited these precious skills and raised his work to a high level of expertise to meet the taste and expectations of his clients. The artwork is stitched into black linen fabric (Nylon, Satin, Cotton, Silk) so that the vibrant colors of the silk threads stand out. The artwork is created from the mind of the artist, who starts with simple light chalk lines, then with Don's imagination, patience and skills creates true works of art. Vietnamese embroidery is a traditional folk art with traditional themes.
Henna by Design
Anshu Varma was born in north India and grew up in Calcutta and New Delhi. As a child she was fascinated by the tradition of meh'ndi, a paste of henna used to decorate the hands and feet weith ornate patterns, the result being like a temporary tattoo.
Greatly inspired by her mother's artistic creations meh'ndi, Anhsu learned the art of meh'ndi, sometimes simply called henna, at home.
Henna plays an important role in maintaining cultural and traditional identity in India. The tradition in India is associated especially with wedding ceremonies where putting henna on the bride's palms and feet represents "dressing" the bride. It is, however, appropriate to be decorated with henna at all festive events. Being dressed in henna sets the celebratory mood of the community.
Today, Anshu is a master of the art. Now living in Michigan, she continues to teach the art of henna at public libraries statewide. She was a recipient of a Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship award in 2002 and 2003. She is regular participant at the Great Lakes Folk Festival where, for a small fee, she "dresses" visitors with meh'ndi, then generously donates these fees to the Michigan State University Museum to support the Great Lakes Folk Festival. Join her to get a fun henna tattoo*.
*unlike a traditional tattoo in which ink is inserted into the skin, henna makes a rust colored stain that stays on top of the skin and fades gradually.
Hmong Pan Dau Arts
Like their relatives in their homeland of Laos and in communities scattered throughout the world, Hmong-Americans begin to learn how to make paj ntaub (flower cloth) at a very young age. A variety of patterns, motifs, and needlework techniques, including applique, reverse applique, and embroidery, are used in creating the colorful textiles. Mastery of the techniques and expansion of the repertoire of designs and motifs usually takes years, and expert craftmanship is valued within the community.
While certain types of paj ntaub are still made for traditional uses such as baby carriers, baby hats, funeral collars, and wedding apparel, most paj ntaub made in the United States today are sold to non-Hmong. Bedspreads, purses, eyeglass cases, pillow covers, wall hangings, and articles of decorated clothing are among the items now produced.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Bruce Payne has been making homebrews since 2003 and one day while watching TV, a soap maker was being interviewed. That is when the idea for Homebrew Soaps was born. He had two questions that needed to be answered before he started. The first was "Can I make soap with beer?" And the second was "Is anyone else doing this?" In fact, you can make soap out of beer! All of his recipes are originals created by him. All soaps and shampoos are made from scratch by Bruce and are not made by buying a premade base and adding a little to it as many others do. No melt and pour soap sold here! He also follows FDA guidelines to remain a cosmetic meaning he can make no claims about his soap other than it will clean you. All ingredients are listed for you to see for every product.
Born on the dirt floor of a coal miner's cabin, John grew up without modern home conveniences. He was poor and didn't know it. Gerrie, his brother, and John encountered aliens when he was 4. They are rooted in his earliest memories and are the subject of some of his work, as is his career in singing and songwriting. John's music spans about 40 years and he probably played in that many bands and owned seven bars. He had a stroke and his friend gave him some paints and materials. Now he is an artist and can't stop. John will be a painter forever. He has been in house of blues show, Orlando Folkfest, St. Petersburg, Florida Who Fest, Chattanooga, Tennessee Doo Nanny, and Seale, Alabama.
Kirabo Fair Trade
East Lansing, Michigan
We welcome you to a world of hand-made, fair trade specialy gifts, including stone and wood carvings, baskets, jewelry, toys, musical instruments, coffee/tea, chocolate, and more. Our new kind of gift/decor store offers an extraordinary range of merchandise for shoppers, and at the same time, provides hope and opportunity for impoverished artisans in developing countries.
Fair Trade retailers are committed to social justice and supporting artisans in developing countries through fair wages, health working conditions, environmental sustainability, respect for cultural identity, and customer educations. KIRABO, a Ugandan word for "gift," supports 15 different fair trade organizations, bringing in merchandise from over 30 countries. Shoppers can learn about the artisans while browsing through artful displays in a soothing atmosphere bathed in nature's colors. Purchases help empower the artisams to build a better life for themselves and their families.
While trained formally, Mary Jacquin's research concentration while earning advanced degrees focused on folk art. Having spent time with Finster, Tolliver, Suddeth, Lorenzo Scott and Myrtice West and many other "masters" of southern folk art. Mary was invited to show beside them at Kentucky and other major folk venues. Her style has evolved to a simpler, more direct expression as a result, but retains some very sophisticated content.
Joshua and Richard Rubin
Joshua and Richard Rubin love to help promote sustainability in home and garden. They design their rain barrels and composters to be easy DIY projects that are green all the way through. From the used food grade container to the many benefits from rain water harvesting and using rain water in your garden. Composting reduces waste, together you can same money and help mother earth and beautify your home and garden, that's what motivates them!
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Allie Maldonado loves to crochet and has been crocheting since she was nine or ten. In the past couple of years, she has learned how to knit, however she keeps coming back to crocheting. She finds he inspiration in everyday life that includes fashion, pop culture, and vintage items. Living close to Detroit, she finds the vintage urban style settling well in her heart. She has a lot of love for Detroit and the peeps in her non-native state of Michigan, which is now her home.
MSU Student Organic Farm (Sunday only)
East Lansing, Michigan
The Student Organic Farm is a student-initiated project. In 1999, a group of students wanted to have a place to apply some of the things they were learning in their classes on campus, to learn things they were not getting in classes, to farm organically and to get their hands dirty with some hands-on farming experience. At the same time, Horticulture Professor John Biernbaum began researching possibilities for 4-season farming in Michigan. The marriage of these two projects becamse inevitable as year-round farming provided opportunites for students to engage in farming during the main part of the academic year (September to May).
Nancy Piatek-Handmade Pottery
East Jordan, Michigan
Nancy Piatek's clay work evolved from a semester in college. She learned basket weaving from an 80 year old teacher.
As a young child, Lula Williams occasionally helped her mother quilt by putting colors together and piecing. However, she only returned to quilting in the late 1970s when her young teenaged son encouraged her to take a course in it at his high school; she rememberd her mother's techniques almost immediately and has been quilting ever since.
Lula has made more than 120 quilts and won numerous awards. Her work reflects many traditions. She is a needle working keenly interested in the lastest techniques and patterns; she is an African-American committed to conveying information about her heritage; she is a woman of faith who communicates her beliefs through her quilts; she is an individual proud to be an American. One series of her quilts using African cloth pays homage to Martin Luther King, Jr. Another series is of red, white, and blue fabric with designs of stars and stripes. A special quilt, her original "I Am" design, depicts the times Jesus utters "I am" in the bible as well as the declarations of "I am" by African-American preachers in their sermons. She is perhaps best known for her baby quilts, of which she has made scores as gifts for family and friends.
Lula's excellent craftsmanship has won her invitations to participate in shows within the African-American community and beyond. In addition she has taught quilting for a number of years at the Evans Recreation Center on Detroit's northeast side, at the Michigan State Fair Senior Center, and at Detroit's Westside Tindal Recreation center and readily assists those who seek her help. She has been recognized with awards of Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grants to teach her skills to other aspiring quilers in her community. In 1997 she was honored with a Michigan Heritage Award.
Kyle Huntoon and David Flack
David Flack and Kyle Huntoon became good friends as members of their high school drum line, but it took another decade before they would discover their shared love of sustainable design and custom fabrication. Upon completing college, Kyle at the University of Michigan and David at Albion College, they both returned home to Jackson, MI to begin their professional careers. After quickly rekindling their friendship, the two shared a few beverages at the local watering hole, and began sketching designs that would turn the scrap metal, and reclaimed lumber they had seen all around their community into functional pieces of modern home furnishings.
All of their pieces are hand crafted in house using upcycled steel components, and sustainably harvested lumber, mostly from fallen trees in south central Michigan. Since beginning with a simple console table in late 2010, the pair has expanded their line to include coffee tables, lighting, kitchen accessories, and home decor. Their signature coffee table "The Zig Zag" was even featured on a Father's Day edition of the DIY Network show Man Caves in June 2012.
Both avid fisherman, they enjoy spending their free weekends by heading up to Wolverine, MI for a little Pure Michigan fly-fishing on the Sturgeon River.
Margie Criner remembers spending time in her dad's wood shop when she was around 6 years old. She made a walkie talkie out of a block of pine, a nail, and some paint and desperately wanted it to function like a real walkie talkie, but she did not have the education or the tools to make that happen. Now, years later, the tools Margie uses are more sophisticated, but the childhood dream of having functionality in her work remains constant. Her education in textile design, woodworking, and graphic design have given her what she needs to fulfill her childhood desires to create a product that actually works. And so begins Red-Belly.
Rest in Pieces
Since 2005, Staci Sterenberg has found her creative home in mosaic. Her hunting and gathering instincts transformed cast off materials into one of a kind art. Staci's process starts with a hand cut shape from wood. She then mosaics each silhouette in a spontaneous fashion, which is what the handmade process is all about; getting dirty, getting lost, and then ending up with a work that can never be duplicated exactly the same again. May you always Rest in Pieces.
Jane Reiter's art background is in weaving and textile design. Over the past twenty years, her artwork has evolved into mixed media and collage, along with knitting and crocheting. She loves repurposing nontraditional materials into new and unexpected objects. As a librarian, it is fun to reuse books and words into her art too.
Julie Sullivan's arts are Rug braiding, the making of Broomstick Rugs, Sewing, Weaving, and Lye soap making. Most of these arts seem to go hand in hand. She love the creativity of them and she is presently learning how to crochet.
Julie learned these crafts from her Mother and Grandmother. They feel that these are important skills that should be preserved. She has been performing these arts most of her life and have taught these to her daughters. The majority of Julies rug weaving is done on her favorite loom, a 1913 Custon Union loom. One of her Grandmother's looms, a 1910 Custom Union loom is with a cousin and is still working. They are the same model loom. Braiding, soap making, table weaving, and broomstick rug making are done with small simple tools that are easily obtained. Most of the marterials she uses are recycled.
She has been awarded grants twice by the Michigan Traditional Arts Program Apprenticeship program for teaching rug braiding, once for weaving. This is a program sponsored by the Michigan State University Museum for the promotion of traditional arts. Julie has taught workshops through the Folk Festival sponsored by MSU and workshops for Wheatland Music Organization during their Tradiational Arts Weekend. She also has conducted other organized classes.
Julie has been a participant in Folk Arts Marketplace & Green Arts Marketplace for Michigan Folk Festival with the skills in rug braiding, weaving and lye soap making for many years.
All of Heather Sennabaum's art work is made from recycled vintage zippers that have been rescued from old clothing, grandma's basement or second hand stores. Eash and every piece of her art work incorporates a vintage zipper because it is very important to her to reduce the amount of waste we ship off to the landfills. Heather also attempts to reuse materials whenever possible, removing the need to continually exploit new resources to create what we need.
In the beginning, the purchase of zippers was considered crazy by Heather, little did she know that she would be purchasing more zippers.
Rutgers Wooden Spoon and Utensil Co.
Paul Rutgers became interested in carving through his maternal Grandfather and the Boy Scouts. In 1999, Paul started making decoys and four years later he started making utensils and opened up a business. The wood is recycled from falling trees and cabinet makers who cannot use all parts of the wood. It all comes from the Kalamazoo area and Paul uses hand and power tools in carving his utensils. To Paul the usefulness of his utensils is more important than the aesthetics.
Sarah J. Roemer
Laughter, surprise, interest and confusion are the range of emotions that people express when they come across Sarah Roemer's purses. Some people know what they are looking at right away, but for others it takes a while. Who would have thought, when she made her first pop tab purse about five years ago, it would have developed into this business. Every tab she uses is post-consumer recycled meaning it has pulled off an empty pop or beer can and saved by someone. Local charities collect them as a fundraiser and sell them to the scrap metal yard where her husband works. Employees are able to purchase scrap from the yard as a benefit of employment, so it works out great for her!
Second Life Art
Kate Hetzel's glass art is the outward manifestation of her beliefs in recycling, an example of what can be done with cast-off materials. She hopes through her art, to inspire others to find ways they can also reduce their carbon footprint on our planet.
Her current line of recycled glass art evolved from a bag of scrap glass ready for the land fill. Colors and shapes are what initially interested Kate in the glass that is recycled to her. When creating a piece, she first looks for complementary colors and shapes in the glass. Kate loves digging through the scrap glass looking for just the right pieces to fuse, etch or paint. Everyday she wakes up with a smile on, ready to play in her studio, hoping that the joy she feels creating, is apparent in her work.
All edges have been either ground smooth, sand blasted, or fire polished so they will not be sharp. Candle holders and night lights have been coated with a clear acrylic so they can be cleaned with a damp sponge.
Sewing Guild of St. Stephen's Community Church
Pat Barnes-McConnell and Oletha Haller
East Lansing, Michigan
Two septuagenarians at St. Stephen's Community Church formed a Sewing Guild some years ago to pass on to younger women an art they had initially learned as young girls growing up in the south where all girls had to take "Home Economics" and learn to make aprons. They expanded this skill into an art form, with fabric as the medium, emphasizing the mixing and matching of colors and motifs to capture and reinforce ethnic, cultural and inspirational messages. These aprons are considered potential family heirlooms with some commissioned specifically for important occasions.
Soulful Earth Herbals
Soulful Earth Herbals began in 2005 from a passion for learning how to create personal products and simple herbal medicine without the use of chemicals and othe rpotentially harmful ingredients. It started with the idea of a connection between nature and the ability to listen to our body. Kathaleen believes everything comes from Mother Earth with purpose and we just need to become educated on how to use her resources without harm to the environment or ourselves.
Her herbal journey began long ago, but in 1999 she started a small herb garden that sparked a desire to learn more about the properties and uses of each plant. This expanded to an interest in making medicine and topical ointments to replace the commercial products she was currently using. Although Kathaleen had no formal schooling for her craft, she considers herself a student of Nature. She has had the opportunity to study herbs and participate in workshops with amazing herbalists including, Rosemary Gladstar, Michael McDonald, and Susan Weed and she also participated in the 1st annual Traditions of Western Herbalism Conference at the Ghost Ranch in Abique, New Mexico September 2010.
Kathaleen formulates all Soulful Earth products and researches the raw materials she uses to craft her products. Mus of her time is still spent experimenting with different ways to create new formulations. All Soulful Earth infusions are made with organic (and preferably locally wildcrafted) herbs. Organic raw materials are used wherever possible. At this time about 40% of her raw materials are organic/ No parabens or petrochemicals will be found in any Soulful Earth products!
Her business grows from nature and all of the herbals she creates are 99.5-100% natural. Kathaleen formulates and prepares an extensive line of products including handcrafted lotions, healing salves, body scrubs, bath treaments, soaps, herb combinations, and more. She spends a lot of time researching the raw materials she uses for making her herbals. Great pride is taken in her ability to offer you a truly natural and effective finished product. Soulful Earth Herbals is located inside the Lansing City Market in Downtown Lansing, MI and open Tuesday-Friday 10-6 and Saturday 9-5.
Suphattra's Clay Flowers
Joy and Rudy Sloup
Suphattra, who goes by Joy, lives in Haslett, Michigan and makes flowers and other items out of a synthetic air drying clay from Japan since 2002. The clay maintains some flexibility and can be formed very thin without becoming brittle, allowing Joy to make flowers look very close to the original and have some translucency which is not possible with most heat cured clays. Her flowers are so realistic that many people mistake them for real flowers. She forms the anatomical parts of the flowers using the clay and paints them with oil colors. Joy started making these as a hobby and began selling them to support her children and husband while he attends school. Her flowers have earned her several awards and interviews with TV stations.
The Little Craft Closet
Nichole Drysdale has always been one to save things. Vintage papers, trinkets, fabric pieces from worn out clothes or household items...and most other people's "junk". From this basement of clutter the Little Craft Closet was born, where she mostly focused on wearable art with vintage appeal. Nichole loves unique jewelry and the life that's added to her pieces by up-cycling found parts. She hopes you will too!
Three Sisters Silverworks
Carol Halm and Kay Gomez
Three Sisters collaborate in a creative silver storm. Their mission is to create beautiful keepsakes out of family heirloom sterling and silver plate flatware. They design 'one of a kind' wearable art and useful pieces for daily life, giving a beautiful new life to vintage sterling and silver plate. Hunt in your attic, basement or closet and being it to them, or choose from their own wide selection of vintage flatware. Reuse, Relive, Recycle.
Amanda Jones is a self-taught tie-dyed artist, learning from books, DVDS and experimentation. Most of the clothing is recycled and were found at thrift stores, rummage sales and yard sales. She uses the traditional style of tie-dying and a unique technique that she calls "stained glass" dying.
Being junk collectors at heart, Chicago artists Jeanmarie Petro and Barbara Tinger have transformed landfill into tiny treasures. Making jewelry from recycled bottle caps has been their mission for the past ten years.
The inside of a bottle cap just seemed the perfect canvas for drawings, small charms, vintage papers and foils. Resin is then used to seal and magnify these small works.
Having backgrounds in collage and painting, combined with a love of vintage, retro, food, animals and nature, creates their unique and fun vision.
Originally from New Jersey, they have made Chicago their home for the past 14 years. They have traveled through the Midwest and East Coast doing art fairs and craft shows. They have been published in Chicago Magazine Shopper, Giftware Magazine, Pleasure Scene Magazine and Italian Vogue and have won awards at the East Lansing Art Festival and Morning Glory FIne Craft Fair. They have been featured artists at One of a Kind Show & Sale Chicago and New York.
A major influence for artists Jeanmarie Petro has been her grandma's backroom shelves where she kept her "junk". Living through the depression, she didn't throw anything away. Even the plastic containers that held jelly from the diner were to be kept and transformed into party favors. Making something from nothing has been passed from generation to generation. Artist Barbara Tinger grew up reading, drawing pictures and talking to her stuffed animals, which she preferred to company of people. (She's since gotten over that. Now she won't shut up.) She studied printmaking at RIT and took away a lifelong love of paper.
Zack Marksz Sterling
Zack Marksz maintains sustainable practices by getting his silver from Hoover and Strong, which provides 100% recycled material asayed using 'green' processes for example. Zack's father has been a full-time professional silversmith and jewelry artisan since the late 1960s and he has been apprenticing under him for more than ten years. He also has gleaned much of his skills from his two uncles and aunt who are also silversmiths and jewelry artisans that apprenticed under his father as well.