These aren't Mamma's handicrafts.
At the Gallivan Center Saturday more than 75 artists and crafters from across the Beehive State presented their wares to the public and provided helpful tips and tricks, so any homebody could do the same. While craft festivals elicit thought bubbles in the shape of scrap books and quilts, products on display at Craft Lake City shook up existing stereotypes and added some flavor to the formula.
Modern crafts such as tote bags or shirts emblazoned with screen prints of guns and Sego lilies, stuffed monsters, handcrafted shoes, belt buckles and knit flowers were just a few of the items for sale.
"There's a real misconception when people talk crafts, they think of knitting and scrapbooking, but crafts can be young and fun," said Jeanette Moses, managing editor of Salt Lake Underground magazine, the host of Craft Lake City. "This is about people making goods that people want to buy and have because they were made by people they can know."
More than 150 vendors submitted for the opportunity to showcase their skills, yet a panel of five had to whittle it down to those present Saturday. Moses said SLUG attempted to showcase an array of artisans that couldn't be found anywhere outside of the state, and many in attendance felt they'd achieved that.
Craft Lake City was modeled after national alternative craft festivals such as the Renegade Craft Fair and the Bazaar Bizarre, festivals that feature eclectic creations. While few colleges or universities offer technical degrees in craft techniques such as zine or collage printing, that's the appeal of crafts and what the festival aimed to capitalize on, Moses said.
"Anyone can do crafts, it's not anything you need to learn," Moses said. "So don't be intimidated. Start making stuff."
A recent migrant to Utah, Evelyn Budliansky, owner of Vagabond Darling, was at the festival selling mini top hats. By day she is a designer for mascot costumes, but by night she creates vintage wear.
"It's refreshing to see these creative people doing what they love and hopefully making a living doing that," Budliansky said. "The festivals have been great for the artists to come together so people can see what's out there and what is happening with art these days."
The free public event featured how-to demonstrations and a slew of local bands including Coyote Hoods and Mad Max and the Wild Ones.
For more information, or to connect with artists who were featured at the festival visit www.craftlakecity.com