Athens, Georgia, known for its enormous college and crazed football fans, also has an engaging artist community. One market is not enough to contain them all. Athens Farmers Market, in Athens, and Oconee Farmers Market, in nearby Watkinsville, feature fresh produce, and handmade goods from March to November each year.
i have to be honest with you. I was going to write about Athens, Georgia due to the fact that they are a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from a place called Homer, Georgia. What’s up with Homer? It’s where the World’s Biggest Easter Egg Hunt used to happen every year (as per Guinness Book Of World Records). But Athens was written featured on Try Handmade recently, so I opted for another locale. So why Charlottesville? Well beside the fact that it is a really beautiful place, with loads of historic buildings and homes, landmarks, and oozing with southern charm, I didn’t seek out buyers in Charlottesville, VA. I was drawn there by this AMAZING wall clock. I saw this item on the Etsy site in Handpicked Items as I logged on. And then I looked for more makers in the same town. And boy am I glad I did! The creator of this first item is Pixelthis, who says “I’ve been taking things apart since the day I could walk,” and they definitely have a talent for re-configuring the unexpected like this clock made with a bicycle spoke. I love how you don’t realize what it is until you look closer. It’s totally modern and not “junk art” at all.
Hello Sunshine! How would you like to be greeted by this little cutie everyday? Those blue eyes, big smile, pinchable cheeks–and what a cool ride! I guess his parents are the talented wood crafters, unless he’s also a prodigy. This is the cutest kid’s ride on toy I think I have ever seen. Julestatum is a true crafts person. He uses Cherry, Walnut, and Maple woods, makes and effort to be green and use recycled when possible, and he cuts, molds, sands, drills, oils and waxes the wood to a silky smooth finish using 100% non-toxic materials. These are the things you can’t get in big box stores! But if you want to get into the retail business, he will sell you three for a special price and you can spread the handmade love in your own town.
Seriously. This is so. Freaking. Cute. What’s even better? The name of the business is CardboardSafari. Cute, right? Only problem is–I can’t decide which animal I like the best! CardboardSafari is a collaboration between Chris Jessee and Luis Rodrigalvarez. And the best part is that not only are they talented, they’re generous too. They donate a portion of their profits to the American Red Cross specifically for the support of the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. They also have their own web site and a blog.