Friday, July 25, 2008

Handmade...and how

By Danielle Capalbo and Jeff Miranda Globe Correspondents / June 27, 2008

From Newbury Street to the South End, there are plenty of places to shop for quirky wares in Boston, and this weekend, the Boston Handmade Marketplace takes it up a notch.

Tomorrow in Somerville's Union Square, more than 25 vendors will be hawking hand-painted teapots, dolls crafted from recycled materials, and silver jewelry modeled after birch bark and acorns, among other wares. We're fond of the Vintage by Crystal collection, which features strange, whimsical little sculptures hand-spun from cotton. And don't miss the adorable fernanimals greeting cards, especially the one with a drawing of snuggly lions lying in a field of grass. It's all far more interesting than anything you'll find combing through the neighborhood drugstore.

The fair is being put on by the Somerville Arts Council, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and, a well-known crafts blog where artists can buy and sell homemade goods. You can catch a glimpse of what to expect at the fair at Etsy, where all the vendors have their own pages.

You can also read about the goods being sold, and the people behind them, at, home to the creative folks behind the Boston Handmade organization, which formed last year. "In New England, there's a large percentage of artists and craft people who are self-employed and run their own small businesses and attempt to make their living off what they create by hand," said founder Jessica Burko. These kinds of fairs help them do just that.

Tomorrow's show is Boston Handmade's largest to date, so you should be able to find a trinket for your living room, or better yet, some inspiration for your own one-of-a-kind project.

The Boston Handmade Marketplace is tomorrow from 3 to 7 p.m. in Somerville's Union Square.

Danielle Capalbo and Jeff Miranda are fourth-year journalism students at Northeastern University. They can be reached at and

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