Saturday, December 5, 2015

Living in a Calamity - Shop Handmade!

Way back in September, in the beautiful warm, sunny, Summer's baby sister part of Fall, Meghan and I (with our pal Ray) sojourned over to Assembly Row, where our friends The Grownup Noise were playing a set in the lovely outdoor amphitheater.  We ate brie sandwiches and sipped iced coffee from Paul. We basked in the sun in the company of already warm friends.



It was pretty much the best day.

After the set we made sure everyone knew that we knew the band our way over to a patch of lawn by the stage. There was a small open air market set up, that seemed to have a flashing neon sign overhead reading "AMY AND MEGHAN! COME ON OVER! THIS IS ALL THE STUFF YOU LIKE! Ray! Come too! Because they're pretty much gonna make you!"

And indeed it was. From packets of lavender to (zero exaggeration) superhero capes, all things delightful and twee were available for purchase at this seemingly serendipitous fair. Really, it's quite impressive that we didn't buy it all! But of course, we didn't, and what caught my eye especially were tables upon tables of handcrafted pottery.

Can we talk for a second, just a second, about how cool pottery is?

People take goop. Stuff. Gak, nearly. And spin it around and around and dance with their hands and heat it up and all of a sudden you have a legit thing. A very legit thing. From goop to a thing. That's cool, right? Wicked cool! And it's not just brown or gray either; there are colors and details and designs and intricacies. And every piece is somehow different, despite being, essentially the same. It's art you can eat off of, and that is right up my alley. 

So it rapidly became a question of not, if I was going to buy some of this hand-spun goodness, but how much of it, and who from. All of the works were phenomenal, all of the artists had something special about their work, but something about Sarah Kelley's tables caught my eye more than the others, and that's where I hit my stride. 

I mean, can you blame me? Lookit that ZEBRA bowl! ZEBROWL!
Buyer's remorse...wishing I bought EVERYTHING in this photo.

The pastels, details. The cool tones and the textures. It was just the right balance of pretty much everything. If practicality's your deal, all of these babies are microwave AND dishwasher safe. Sarah herself promised me durability, and she was a total darling to boot. 

Her pricing was already fair, but one of her tables featured items with some sort of "character flaw" and were offered at a buy one, get one price. UM. OKAY. Any and all flaws were completely imperceivable to a plebeian such as myself. Completely imperceivable. 

So what did I buy, right?

Two items, a delightful mug in a delicate pink, with a cozy indigo interior.


And the world's greatest bowl.
Green couch courtesy of Matt McKay.

Dinner THAT NIGHT by Meghan Riling.

What flaw? This bowl is excellently serving its purpose of being a bowl.

These two pieces have so rapidly become integral to my rotation of dinnerware. I think I use the mug every day. (Who am I kidding? I know I do. I just don't want that to sound as gross as it could.) The bowl brings a little bit of color and art to dinner, which, when I cook, isn't usually something so artistic. And I can vouch for Sarah; these babies have withstood washing, dishwasher washing, and microwaving. They are hearty and real, despite their fun and fanciful designs.

So enough already, you want the deets right? 

Click here for Sarah's website; featuring actually great photos of her work and upcoming events where she will be selling.
And here for her Etsy shop, if that's your jam.

I'll save you a few clicks and let you know that she'll be at the Union Square Holiday Pop-Up Market next weekend in Somerville. No, friends. Wonders will never cease. 

I love buying local. I love real people who make real art. And functional art to boot! If, for some reason, you're looking to buy me a gift, I would always accept another piece of Sarah's...or twelve. But I'm sure, besides me, you know someone's whose life would be completed by something zebra.

Lots of pasta and coffee,
A.

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