Friday, December 13, 2013

The Artists Holiday Shopping Guide

The Peterson Garden Project (PGP): Pop-Up Shop

Where: Chicago, IL. When: from Dec. 6th until tomorrow (Dec. 14th) which is the last day this holiday market will take place. It is filled with locally hand made crafts that should tickle the fancy of anyone. From jewelry and candles to edible goods this cozy shop has got some tip-top items, at reasonable prices. What follows are a few of the vendors.

Hindsight Recreated

By David Scheier
I hate to start with a shameless, yet modest plug. It's the artistically done and health/environmentally conscious project of (Subterranean Art Jive) guest blog writer Miranda Steffens. The candles are scented with non-overwhelming fragrances that vary from coffee, fruits, fresh herbs and undertones of ozone. The shameless plug: I do most of the illustrations for each candle label. An exception is the popular fragrance "Good Vibes" which is illustrated by John Wilmes. Siobhan Scheier, a tattoo artist and graphic illustrator. has also agreed to contribute to Hindsight Recreation's labels.  

AM Rush
Photo by Hilary Yankello
HY Potography
The popular scents have so far been, "AM Rush," a mocha-java scented candle and the fresh smelling, fruity twist of summer: "Good Vibes." All candles are hand made from soy wax, even the glass containers cut from discarded wine and beer bottles. One can purchase these products through the Hindsight Recreated esty account:, but one can smell most of the scents themselves at the 2013 PGP Holiday Market.

Do Bats Eat Cats 

Looking for something to put around your neck, wrist or a celebratory Winter Solstice Tree? Then look no further at the finely crafted jewelry from Do Bats Eat Cats. Each piece is hand crafted and possesses dark and elegant charm -- skulls and Egyptian symbols in twisted, looped, and curled chain-mail. Prices are pretty moderate and many of these items will  be admired by the non-goth one might shop for. The linked Christmas ornaments are some of the coolest items and would even be great to hang on bird feeders, wind chimes and other hanging decorations. Do Bats Eat Cats has a grand selection to choose from, both at the Pop-Up Market and their Etsy shop:

A Lovely Reprieve 

If  you're looking for something a bit more classic, yet still intricate, A Lovely Reprieve has a wonderful assortment of jewelery. Unfortunately their Etsy account does not have as much as their table at the pop-up market, however they have a vast assortment of unique trinkets (earrings, bracelets and necklaces) made from metals, fine stones, fresh water pearls, decorative pendants and vintage style cameos. Their table was one of the most impressive, and though all of the jewelry at the pop-up market is for the most part unique and incredibly beautiful, A Lovely Reprieve stands out even compared to some of the more artsy products due to their vividly colored accessories and vintage designs.

Note: I only mentioned the vendors I purchased from. Some of the most interesting items where
Hanging Glass Art by Charlotte Wehr, who had a series of paper dolls made out of glass, suspended almost within the depths of the PGP Learning center, like modest two-dimensional dancers caught in dress rehearsal. At first glance Wehr's work looked like abstract, stain-glass inspired fragments of something larger. A closer inspection reveals these objects to be dolls, their clothing and accessories. Another striking artist had created organically-minimalistic, yet rich necklaces and rings made from wood. The rings seemed more conceptual than functional, still they were intriguing and worth looking at.

According to the markets host, Lindsay, this is the first year PGP has done a pop-up market. It's a great idea and a great way to support and learn about some of the local artists and craft-makers in Chicago. 

PGP Learning Center 4642 N. Francisco Ave
Chicago, IL 60625 

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Orgonite El Paso

For more those that seek art that's beyond functioning as a decorative accessory, Orgonite El Paso has necklaces, rings, pendants, bracelets, and other artistic inventions like robots and dinosaurs made out of gold shavings, crystals, common and uncommon metals mixed together in fiberglass resin. Orgonite El Paso claims his products (based on the controversial research of Wilhelm Reich) rid one of harmful ailments caused by cellular energy from cell phones & their towers, and other mildly radioactive gadgets. Whether one believes his pitch or not about curing energy with Orgone, it doesn't take a child of the new age to find his work creative and artistically thoughtful. His work can be seen in El Paso, TX. art and artisan shows. Some of his wares will be sold at an upcoming art crawl (in El Paso, TX.) from the Guerilla Art Collective this Thursday, December 19th within The San Carlos Building. The event is held from 6pm - 11. His work, info and followers find him via Facebook:

Gather Kindling

This one is for all the word junkies out there. Lit journals are perhaps not the most traditional gift during the winter holidays. However, Gather Kindling's magazine that can fit unfolded in your pocket, or able to trade/mail pages of prose and poetry due to being single printed cards instead of bound pages, is one of the most unique and interesting magazines in print. It is fairly new and celebrates the printed word in an era consumed by digital media. Not to say that books, comics, and magazines read on a Kindle or Ipod are bad, but it's relieving to see printed works not giving up the ghost or obtaining a ghost as is the case with Gather Kindling. This publication is fairly new offering a fresh (re)vision on past mediums the traditional lit mag went, stating to be:  "a print magazine for the digital age." Currently they have five issues and cost only 3 dollars. A great stocking stuffer for any writer, reader, or love of creativity.

Meekling Press

Need more lit-jive for that special someone. Meekling Press, like Gather Kindling, is a punk fiction for a rebellious culture, saying no to the electronic press by creating one of a kind art-books. These are not books on art, they are art pieces. Each book is carefully designed to be a functional and readable book, but also a unique piece of art. Every book is hand made, the labor of these objects is evidenced by the craftsman ship carefulness given to each book of stories or poems. For example: some of their most recent short stories came out on a e-book, via a floppy disk. One can foresee Meekling Press only becoming more inventive, more outrageous, and more popular as time carries them through its currents. If you sign up to their mailing list you receive an occasional post-card every other month or so. Neat-o. Visit their Etsy:

That is all for now. The holiday season has just begun. Thus, look for updates to this specific posting for unique DIY artifacts, ideas, and events. Also, look out for a few new posts coming up within the week. 

Best Holiday Wishes, 
     Subterranean Art Jive

1 comment:

  1. How do you choose the best choose the best product among the ones listed here?