Now more than ever, it is crucial that we all come together to support the creative economy in alternative ways, from home and virtually. For makers and artists who rely on spring and summer craft fairs — as well as teaching gigs and workshops — as a significant portion of their income, it’s an especially challenging and uncertain time. They’re been hit hard, and need our support now more than ever.

That’s why Handmade Arcade is taking a moment to highlight some of the creative businesses we’re affectionately referring to as Handmade Arcade’s Original Crafters, or OCs!

They were there with us from our earliest days at Construction Junction to the Hunt Armory, and remain a vital part of our crafty community today at the David Lawrence Convention Center.

This blog feature is just a small expression of our deep gratitude and appreciation, and to let our OCs know that we’re all here for them. If you’re looking to shop local and shop handmade, check out our fantastic Handmade Arcade OCs!

strawberryluna is the ultimate OC — they have been a vendor at every single Handmade Arcade event since 2004!

This talented team is Allison and Craig — they’re designers, illustrators and screenprinters based in Pittsburgh. Their prints, posters and T-shirts are beloved around town and can be found locally at Wildcard, love, Pittsburgh and The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh Arts & Cultural Center.

You can also source their work directly. They’re currently offering free domestic shipping or the option to save 20% with a special coupon code at checkout.

Handmade Arcade feels a special kind of love for Allison and Craig. Not only are they Handmade Arcade’s true OCs and amazing artists, but they are also overwhelmingly kind, generous and thoughtful people. We are honored that they have supported Handmade Arcade by creating diverse and dazzling branding and merchandise design over the years for our events.

Do you remember Handmade Arcade’s super cute tote bags from 2012 with the mittens on them? Yep, they were designed by strawberryluna.

And in 2017, Allison and Craig were the geniuses behind our December event branding.  (Both pictured below.)

2016 mitten tote bag / 2017 December event branding design / 2017 event tote bag

Commonwealth Press started out in a South Side basement 18 years ago.

Originally launched by husband and wife team of printmakers and screenprinters Dan and Shannon Rugh, Commonwealth Press now works with 16 other local artists and musicians making products for their Bloomfield and Mt. Lebanon retail stores, as well as custom printing for many other businesses and organizations — including Handmade Arcade! Their merch can be found online and they’re currently hosting a digital pop-up shop to help support the employees of a few like-minded businesses.

Are you the proud owner of an old-school Handmade Arcade T-shirt? We can thank Commonwealth Press for printing some of Handmade Arcade’s original merch! 

(Pictured below.)

Over the last 16 years, Commonwealth Press has gone from making HA’s custom t-shirt makers, to being featured vendors to now being a proud sponsor of our CRAFT CORRIDOR. Handmade Arcade’s Craft Corridor showcases 20 emerging vendors each year who have never before sold at our main event.

We are deeply grateful for the ongoing support of Commonwealth Press and their commitment to Pittsburgh’s craft, arts and maker communities. They are a group of hard-working, Pittsburgh-loving, ink-stained screenprinters that we over here at Handmade Arcade just adore.

Handmade Arcade welcome and merchandise table at Construction Junction.

And last but never least, here are the remaining Handmade Arcade’s OCs — those who have been with us since our days at Construction Junction and the Hunt Armory. Support them by shopping online today! And share your cool purchases with all of us using the hashtag: #shophandmadefromhome

Not included? Are you still actively selling at Handmade Arcade AND you sold at Handmade Arcade events at Construction Junction and/or the Hunt Armory? Email us at info@handmadearcade.org.

Alison Rose

Columbus, Ohio-based screenprinters Alison Rose and Nick Nocera first sold their wares at Handmade Arcade in 2005 at our second event at Construction Junction. You might recognize their VINYL IS NOT DEAD series. On March 16, they announced that they offering FREE shipping on all domestic orders. Shop from their online store here.

Fall Hill Bead and Gem

Fall Hill Bead and Gem started out as Sweetgrass Beadworks Co. making glass beads. In 2007, they led a bead-making demonstration at Construction Junction and have been a part of Handmade Arcade ever since. Around 2010, they changed their name to Fall Hill Bead and Gem, opened a store in upstate NY, bought a crystal mine and started digging for Herkimer Diamonds. Shop from their online store here.

garbella

South Hills native Amy Garbark is the talent behind garbella. Creating since 2006, Amy has been a dedicated vendor at Handmade Arcade since 2007. Her “Dear Pittsburgh, I love you” typewriter design is now iconic, and has been featured nationally. It would not be a Handmade Arcade market without garbella’s pierogi- and snack-themed wares. Shop from her online store here.

Get Felt Up

This Ohio-based maker has been selling at Handmade Arcade since our first event at the Hunt Armory in 2008. Shop her wallets, jewelry and more online at etsy.com/shop/getfeltup.

Lumpkin

Lancaster-based artist, Sarah Ulrich started selling her wares at Handmade Arcade in 2008 as Lumpkin. She has been a beloved vendor ever since. After Handmade Arcade moved to the Convention Center, Sarah’s daughter started selling products alongside her as Felt and Fold. This is truly a family business! In 2017, Sarah started the Handwork House Community Fiber Art Workshop. Find out more about Handwork House’s classes and camps here.

Rocks and Salt

Rocks and Salt, the Brooklyn-based duo of Sara and Phil, met while cooking in the natural food scene. In 2005, they moved their creative energy from cooking and baking to designing and sewing hats, bags and skirts. Eventually, the circle became complete with a fun, food-inspired line of screenprinted tea towels. With their spring craft show lineup canceled, they’re offering a 20% off sale for online shoppers using the coupon code MOONBUGGY20 (named after their traveling van!).

Tugboat Printshop

Run by Valerie Lueth, Tugboat Printshop has been a part of the Handmade Arcade community since our early days at Construction Junction. An internationally recognized artist press specializing in finely-crafted, original woodcut print editions, Tugboat creates their fantastical works from start to finish all by hand. Shop from Tugboat Printshop’s online store here.

Whimsical Wonders

Whimsical Wonders is the husband and wife team of Melissa and Lew. Their crafty business was founded in 2006, and the dynamic duo joined the Handmade Arcade community in 2008 at our first Hunt Armory event. They started out by making whimsical wind chimes as holiday gifts, and have expanded their inventory to add have silverware jewelry, rings, accessories and lights made from teapots, sugar bowls and musical instruments. Shop from their online store here.

Workerbird

Gifted artist Kim Fox has been selling her wares at Handmade Arcade since 2007. Starting her crafty career at L2 Design, Kim is now the talent behind Workerbird. Her home goods and art wares focus on organic themes such as birds, bees and the simple trappings of daily life. Reclaimed wood and tin pieces, home goods, T-shirts, hand drawings screenprinted on tea towels, embroidery patterns and so much more can be found at workerbird.com.

Xmittens

Xmittens, aka Amber Coppings, is a Pittsburgh-based artist and teaching artist. She designs and produces cold weather gear made from recycled fleece. She has a secret stash available for sale starting March 30, and is in the process of making some of her favorite teaching projects available online. While Coppings has been phasing out Xmittens over the last few years, she is currently concentrating on an artist residency with POWER, a residential facility for women in recovery, where she is at hard work creating a new line of bags. Take advantage of her special sale and follow her on Instagram at @ambercoppingsdesigns for updates!

Handmade Arcade: PROUDLY supporting Pittsburgh’s craft, arts and maker community since 2004!

2004: Construction Junction /  November 13 / 32 vendors / 1,000 attendees
2005: Construction Junction / November 12 / 80 vendors / 2,000 attendees
2006: Construction Junction / November 11 / 118 vendors / 5,000 attendees
2007: Construction Junction / November 10 & 11 / 110 vendors / 5,500 attendees
2008: Hunt Armory / November 13 & 14 / 100 vendors / 5,500 attendees
2009: Hunt Armory / December 12 / 90 vendors / 6,000 attendees

Check out our photo gallery featuring events, vendors, founders and more from 2004 through 2009!