Want Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince at your side at all times? Check out Caitlin Phillips’ Rebound Design booth in the Market 5 Gallery on the market’s north plaza. Her purses are made from old hardcover books like Pride and Prejudice, the Nancy Drew series, or algebra books that look like they were printed in the ’60s. She cuts out the pages, adds fabric picked for that particular cover, and attaches large beaded or wood handles and cute clasps. She’s been selling purses at Eastern Market for three years, and there’s usually a curious crowd around her. If you don’t see the book you want, bring in your own and she can make one for you.
We found these vibrant city scenes just outside of the South Hall doors on the north plaza. Unlike many depictions of the capital city, Zakhar Sasim’s paintings are colorful and wild instead of prim. He refers to his style as “turbopolis”—a city in turbulence. Sasim uses a lot of acrylic paint, and the resulting smudginess and soft lines are reminiscent of the French impressionists but with more passion. Sasim began working as an artist in his home country of Bulgaria 15 years ago and has been selling his paintings at Eastern Market for two years.
We didn’t make up that title—Paul Alan Bierman uses the term to describe his BoxBoy products. His stand, in the flea-market area on the east side of the South Hall, is full of small wooden boxes covered with art or pop-culture photos and slogans. Some are tame or nostalgic, like Wonderwoman and Gumby. Others are unexpected, like Pee-wee Herman. Then you look down and there’s a box with a terrifying clown pleading for love. Having sold his boxes at the market for nine years, Bierman is practically part of the furniture, demented boxes and all.