The Little Craft Show returns to Northwest Arkansas on Saturday, May 13. For the second year the show will take place in downtown Springdale at the Shiloh Square Pavilion, 106 E. Emma Ave.
The event has blown up in recent years to become one of the top ranked craft shows in the country by Country Living Magazine. This year’s event is slated to spill out onto the street where traffic will be shut down so that craft show attendees can wander the streets eating artisanal treats and browsing for unique accessories. The Square to Square bike ride and Artosphere Trail Mix series will take place at the same time as the craft show; so the energy in the area should be at maximum levels.
Turtleneck (in yellow) portrait by Lisa Krannichfield
The Little Craft Show is completely free, and is an excellent opportunity for art and design lovers to meet the makers. I am in the design business, and too often I have clients who think good design and real art are just out of their reach, or they have no idea where to find finely crafted pieces. This show is a golden opportunity, because it brings talented craftspeople across a broad spectrum of specialties together in one spot where they are selling enough to offer finely made pieces at a low cost. The majority of items at the show are under $50, and very few pieces are priced above $150.
Many of those showing at this event are artists who have already achieved a level of great success.
Lisa Krannichfield is shown via Saatchi Art, and as a rising star it could be a great chance to snatch up some of her work. A native of Little Rock with clear influences from greats like Marlene Dumas and Vulliard, Krannichfield has created a unique aesthetic which demands attention.
So often people choose to buy plates they would rather leave hidden in kitchen cabinets, but many would decide to hop on board the open shelving or glass kitchen door trends if their kitchens were filled with the work of Christina Blackwood Clay. Her beautiful handmade vessels and plates are created in matte blacks and textured glassy whites. With thin elegant gold line work, the hand that made them and a felt history are already imbued in each piece. A few pieces by this talented artist will elevate any space. Even a single vessel of her creation could turn a simple powder bath into a considered and curated feeling room.
Handmade vessels from Christina Blackwood Clay
The show is stocked with wildly unusual finds as well. I search home shows and trending items on a constant basis and have never seen as lovely a countertop coffee piece as those made from James Handmade Goods. His brass countertop coffee pour over stands somehow relate to antique French beakers, mid-century modern lamps, and southwestern design motifs all at the same time. And they bring all these elements together beautifully.
The Kawi coffee pour over stand from James Handmade Goods
This year’s roster is so extensive that there is sure to be something for everyone. You could get lost just browsing through the list of makers on the event’s website.
The Little Craft Show offers a unique opportunity to experience handmade goods up close and in person. There’s nothing like being able to hold tiny felt dolls and organic baby clothes in your hands before making a purchase. The event is something well above and beyond any normal retail Saturday.
The show is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., but I’d suggest arriving early. From my experience, many of the best items are gone by late afternoon.
Jessica DeBari, owner of DeBari Home, is an artist, custom finisher, designer, and general believer in the philosophy of aesthetics.