We remember when Detroit had no indie craft fairs. And we remember the excitement when the first one opened its doors. For us, as for many others, that moment set our life on a new course. So we’re proud to be a part of the Detroit Urban Craft Fair’s 10th Anniversary Party and Preview! On Friday, December 4, from 6 to 9 pm, you’ll find us at the Masonic Temple, offering a free make and take project. Michigan’s largest and longest-running indie craft fair will be in full swing, with more than 100 vendors, plus all sorts of opening night festivities. And we’ll have all the tools, materials, and instruction needed to make a necklace inspired by Craft-A-Way Camp! Enjoy an early look at the craft fair, learn about next summer’s camp, and take home your own handmade creation.
Having experienced DUCF’s rise from strange new idea to beloved annual tradition, we know how much can be accomplished through constant effort and careful planning. So when we found ourselves dreaming of a summer craft camp for adults, we started working to make it a reality. We’re now looking back at three seasons of Craft-A-Way Camp, and preparing for a fourth. And it’s every bit as fun as we’d imagined! Every summer, crafters from around the Midwest gather in the Michigan woods for a weekend of campfire singalongs, nature hikes, and outdoor crafting. If that sounds like something you’d like to be a part of, you’ll want to stop by our table at the Detroit Urban Craft Fair for more information!
This year’s DUCF is a three-day extravaganza, starting Friday, December 4; and continuing Saturday, December 5; and Sunday, December 6. Friday night is a special party, offering early access to the handmade goods, and raising funds for local nonprofit Living Arts. The party will feature hands-on activities, including a make and take with floral designers pot & box. (Creators of the amazing Flower House, and hosts of our February 2013 get-together!) At our Craft-A-Way table, campers will be sharing memories and answering questions. Save-the-date postcards will be available. (Our fourth annual camp will take place June 25 – 26.) And you’ll have the opportunity to try your hand at a jewelry-making project from a past summer.
The bead necklace workshop was a highlight of our first Craft-A-Way Camp, in 2013. Led by jeweler Courtney Fischer, it had all the hallmarks of a classic Craft-A-Way project. It was simple enough to be easily completed while laughing with friends and enjoying a cold beer. Yet it resulted in beautiful jewelry, that our campers continue to wear proudly. And in the contrast between vivid paint and natural wood, the necklaces reflect the experience of crafting in the outdoors. There’s no better way to understand Craft-A-Way Camp than to pause and make something by hand. So we hope you’ll take a moment to visit with us and paint some beads.
Detroit had a storied tradition of creative innovation and DIY community, long before the first DUCF. But it was not yet plugged into the network of indie craft fairs that had begun spreading through the nation’s cities. Small Craft’s Amy Cronkite was one of a small group of women who planned and implemented the first Detroit Urban Craft Fair. And as a partner in Handmade Detroit, she’s worked to keep it growing and thriving through the years.
If there’s one visionary who brought that group together, it’s Stephanie Tardy Duimstra. We had just recently moved to the area, and knew few people here, when Stephanie reached out and invited Amy to participate in planning the first DUCF. That warm, welcoming gesture brought us into the community. It made all the projects we’ve done here possible. And it’s a great example of indie craft culture at its best. Stephanie still sells at DUCF, under the name Type Shy. We’ll be stopping by her table to shop for beautiful handmade paper goods, and to thank Stephanie for all she’s done. We encourage you to do the same!
Our daughter has never known a time without the Detroit Urban Craft Fair. We attended the fair’s first planning meeting just five days before she was born. At the inaugural DUCF, she was a seven month-old baby in our arms. At the most recent fair, she was a vendor, selling her own line of handmade goods. She’s growing up in a world where a market’s been built for her wildest notions. Where a community rallies to support her goals. Where honest work can bring her dreams into the daylight. In these and other ways, it’s a better world than the one we inherited. We can’t wait to see what she makes of it.
Detroit Urban Craft Fair 10th Anniversary Party and Preview
Friday, December 4
6 pm – 9 pm
Make and take: free
500 Temple Street