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Become an Individual Again: Austin Craft Riot

Austin Craft Riot Loots Palmer Events Center on Saturday

By Anne Harris, 5:58PM, Wed. Aug. 15, 2012

Become an Individual Again: Austin Craft Riot

You may remember an event a few years ago called Renegade Craft Fair. The Palmer Events Center was jammed with artists and craftsmen from all over the country, and while yes, there was an abundance of simple screen-printing, there was also authentic inspiration around every corner, in nooks, on tables, and walking by. The"craft revolution"

at that time was just gathering steam nationally, but Austin already had a loose coalition of indie craftsmen and artists, home sewers and engineers, with names like Austin Craft Mafia and the Stitchin' Bitches. Leslie Bonnell and her Stitch Lab, as well as the embroidery empire that is Sublime Stitching were early architects of the scene, and it had all been put in one room for several years already with the annual Guerrilla Craft Bazaar and Stitch Fashion Show. Looking back on the photos from both shows, the number of sellers and range of goods was pretty heady (we remember getting dizzy under the Renegade's giant handlebar mustache).

Well, buckle up one of those seat belt handbags for Austin Craft Riot this Saturday at Palmer Events Center. Not just an event, but a coalition, the Riot, née Etsy Austin, is a cadre of local artists, crafters, vintage, and supply sellers promoting a handmade economy. Look for a focus on local artists and small businesses selling jewelry, clothing, photography, vintage prints, plushies (?), and of course, vintage and vintage inspiration. Admission is free, and there will be a kids' area, interactive projects, and DJed jams.

My friends and I still shop with some sellers we found at Renegade and Guerilla. Some have become routine sources, slowly replacing sources of "fake" inspiration, like Horchow and Pottery Barn. It's like scrapbooking: Creative notions are designed by someone else for consumer-sheep. You "Put it all together!", but someone else designed all the elements, and with this, you are to showcase what are presumably the most important moments of your life? Is it a generic, pasteurized life? Whatever your situation, go absorb some grassroots inspiration at Austin Craft Riot this weekend, and who knows? Your own surroundings may reflect a truer you.

Austin Craft Riot
Saturday, August 18, 11am-7pm
Palmer Events Center
900 Barton Springs Rd.

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