The Made Fest “made” my weekend. I enjoy festivals of this nature, especially when they have some sort of local flare. There were many booths — with many talented artists — with some irresistible products. I thought I would photograph some of the coolest, neatest, most crafty products I found.
BlackDogCircus: I appreciate that the artist made designs with depth. The “explore” one is my favorite.
Four Chamber Forge: Not your average bow-tie. These are made out of delicate, carved, wood. Beautiful. They also had for sale leather holsters for you cell phone, wallet, cigs, and flask.
Stone Robot Enterprises: These are the buttons and stickers I bought that I’ll never be able to wear. But, I love strong conviction of negativity and the bit of irony.
East Farm Co.: I love Illinois gear. So, this is now hanging on my wall. They also have other states, the great lakes, and some skylines. Great craftsmanship and for a reasonable price. This was $40 and comes ready to hang.
Coast to Coast Vintage: These folks earned their cool points with some funky glasses, never-nude shorts, and a mobile shopping center in the form of a vintage trailer.
Jen Jansen Tinytypes: Naturally, I am attracted to any photography booth. This one was special, though. I didn’t get a chance to chat with the artist because she was busy with her craft, but the idea is that the photo is imposed onto a piece of aluminum (I think), and then washed in a mix of chemicals that develops it. The result is a metallic photograph that is stunning.
Winchester Craft Co.: Another piece of Illinois pride. I can’t help myself. But, they make other pieces, too. They have pins on the back so you can wear them on your shirt, jacket, or camera camera strap like me.
Real Soaps: I am proud of my facial hair, and I am always happy to see a product to help my creeper mustache shine bright as possible. These folks make beard oil which I tried and it was very nice.
Sir Chamber: This artist was a joy to talk to and her products were made with creativity and packaged cleanly. She makes classic cloth bowties, but I opted for the more eclectic continental tie which was made popular by Johnny Cash. She aslo makes scarfs and pocket squares.
Sage Simple Syrups: This crafter gets points for making martini mixes and constructing recipes for with or without booze. Shout out to all the straight edge kids here. She calls them “mocktails.”
Merlin’s Beard Products: By now you know, I love Illinois gear and beard accessories. So it comes as no suprise that this made the list. The combs are made out of wood, are light, and they make smaller ones that fit in my wallet and it hasn’t broken yet.
Miller Woodworks: Most of the products were either no-tech or low-tech, but this product allows you to take the world of mobile technology and combine it with solid, handcrafted wood. The sound amplification was decent and the vendor was friendly.
Liza Michelle Jewlery: At first, these may not seem impressive but then you ask “are these twigs?” And then the artist herself replies, “they’re casts of real, actual twigs.” And then you think “that is awesome.”
Poppy and Pinecone: Yawn. Another piece of Illinois artwork. I just love it! This one is a watercolor print (I think). Regardless, the colors are great and the splashes are attractive. A bonus is they are on thick paper that has texture. It would look beautiful framed.
K Froet Designs: And finally, here are some awesome tie clips that could have really spiced up my look. I couldn’t afford it after all of the other items, but just seeing it was a pleasure.
I couldn’t fit all of the photos into this article, so check out some more in the gallery.
Like I said, the Made Fest was a highlight of my weekend. It was inspiring to see all of the clever crafts. Did you pick up anything at Made Fest? Post photos of your purchases!