Ali McGhee is a journalist, creative writer, and academic. Her work has appeared in The Edgar Allan Poe Review, Romantic Circles, Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary...
Sy Lawing (SY) - metal jewelry
Francis Breen (Worty Knot Combs) - woodworking
Kate Savkovich (pumpupthejam) - jewelry made from toys and found objects, chapsticks, cigar box purses
Anna Young (Leonine Designs) - metal & found-object jewelry
Steven Bryan (Steven Bryan Cuts) - hand-forged knives and other items
Evan Cornish-Keefe (Willemite) - ceramic pottery and jewelry
Tricia Tripp - cards, prints, canvases and shirts
Storm McMullen - natural found-object jewelry and hand-sewn fanny packs
This Sunday, 12/13, Firestorm Cafe and Books opens the doors for its first annual Lil' Crafty, a pop-up shop that furthers Firestorm's commitment to supporting "fulfilling work, personal empowerment and equitable compensation" in the Asheville area and beyond. This collective, cooperative group, which has been recognized across the country for its anarcho-activist spirit, has created the Lil' Crafty as a way to highlight local artists and craftspeople. It's a fantastic opportunity for you to shop locally and give back to an organization that contributes so much to the community.
Collective member Libertie Valance notes,
The inspiration for doing a craft pop up came from the fact that a number of past and present Firestorm collective members are also artists, and the person who took the lead on organizing the event [...] was looking for a way to both do something fun that would support and involve Firestorm's community and also create an outlet for emerging artists.
Valance adds, "I would also say that as the name implies, we love the Big Crafty and have been there as a vendor on numerous occasions. I think it's fair to say we were inspired by the success and energy of the Big Crafty to do something small and DIY in our own neighborhood."
The event will have a "very intimate feel," according to collective member and event organizer Sy Lawing, and the vendors number around twenty. Although it's true that there's a relatively high number of pop-up shops opening this weekend alone, Firestorm has a unique angle. "I think what's most exciting about it is that it's an event that features emerging artists and craftspeople you might not find in other venues," says Valance." As a result, there will be a lot of unique finds, and the price points are going to be very accessible for an arts show." The event is also a benefit for the Firestorm Cooperative, and part of the money earned will go to community support.
So what kind of stuff will you be able to find? According to Sy, "a lot of our vendors feature items made from upcycled materials. We'll also have a variety of media, including jewelry, pottery, prints, photography, and hand-dyed clothing and fabrics." Many items are smaller and would be perfect for people who love unique items but might be on a budget. And guys, this stuff is gorgeous.
Of course the shopping isn't the only draw. There will be live music and cider and cookies for visitors, and the cafe and bookstore will be open for business. There's also a raffle: every $10 you spend in the bookstore will get you one ticket and a chance at winning art and other goodies.
The Low-Down: The Lil' Crafty is happening from 12-6 pm Sunday (12/13). Find it at Firestorm Cafe and Books, 610 Haywood Rd in West Asheville. For more details, visit their Facebook event page.