Washingtonian Shops Crafty Bastards
The best vendors from our favorite Washington Arts-and-Crafts Expo
Despite the PG-13 name, Saturday’s Crafty Bastards festival provided fun for all ages. While heavy hip hop feuled B-boy battles outside the Marie Reed Learning Center in DC;s Adams Morgan, more than 100 independent artisans and craftsman filled white-tented stalls with their quirky, off-beat wares. Here are a few of the highlights:
Native to Adams Morgan, Smash Records—primarily a punk- and alternative-record store—also carries a wide array of indie-designer duds. We loved the surprisingly girly dresses in punchy colors and soft fabrics.
Sewono recycles thrift-store finds into feminine dresses and separates with a hipster edge. Some pieces, such as a red polka-dot vest, have a 1950s charm that’s hard to find in most retail stores.
Junkprints Designs creates threads that are retro hip hop with an irreverent wink. A neon Grace Jones T-shirt stood out, while the “Manny” pack proves that Kennebrew’s tongue is planted firmly in cheek.
In a sea of silk-screened T-shirts, two lines stood out: Tina SeaMonster is the go-to vendor for zombie-themed apparel. It’s not every day you see President Obama punching out an oncoming zombie. Squidfire also provided humor with its colorful and hand-printed tees.
Designer Casey Dywer of Candy Thief handcrafts beautiful accessories in rich jewel-tone colors. Although she has recently expanded the line to include handbags, Dwyer specializes in ornate stitched headbands. We love the “Bathilde Band” for its peacock-inspired palette.
Souldier specializes in straps for cameras and musical instrument recycled from seatbelts. For those without a Nikon or Fender, try one of the belts or headbands for a pop of color.
Tasha Mckelvey’s delicate clay jewelry is hand thrown on her potter’s wheel. Her ginkgo-leaf earrings and necklaces are a graceful and unique alternative to traditional metal jewelry, and the Tright bird necklaces provide a splash of color for any outfit.
Final Approach’s custom vintage suitcases kick ass. The Run DMC suitcase is perfect for old-school rap fans, and we dare you to find a Trekkie that won’t fall in love with the Captain Kirk case.
Focal Length Designs takes old and broken camera lenses and turns them into bracelets. Each industrial-modern piece is a guaranteed one-of-a-kind.
Local artist Rania Hassan creates fine-art pieces that pay homage to the process of knitting.
Woolarina has few ready-made products for sale, but the company specializes in colorful hand-dyed and hand-spun yarns for those looking to pick up a pair of needles themselves.
Strawberry Luna displayed a wide array of unique indie-band prints of groups such as Ra Ra Riot and My Morning Jacket. For those seeking something more kid-friendly, the animal-alphabet prints work great individually or in a collection.
Ever seen a jaguar with an eye patch? Ryan Berkley Illustration’s stately animal portraits have the same eccentric aesthetic as a Wes Anderson film. If you’ve run out of wall space or prefer something more utilitarian, Berkley also sells bottle openers and magnets with his distinctive images.
Tugboat Print Shop’s wood-block prints are handsomely detailed. We loved the folky map series “America the Beautiful.”
Artist Michael Brown does gothic pop culture with elegance. His colorful skull sculptures will spook up any home or office decor.
Diana Koss, a toy dealer with teeth, stood out with Cutesy but not Cutesy, a line of monster plushes. Each monster has an individual name, and Gavin, Lacey, and Phillipe are all begging for a squeeze.
One of the most popular stands, Ex Libris Anonymous, creates new journals out of vintage books. We loved the Nancy Drew and Little Golden Books covers for their inspired nostalgia. Cook books, travel guides, and textbooks are also available.