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Event Coverage – Renegade Chicago 2010 (Part 1)

Reported by Simone Collins
Photos by Chris Foresman

One of the best things about living in Chicago is all the great crafting events that the city has to offer, not to mention the cool craft shops, galleries and crafter groups. One of the biggest and best crafty events is the Renegade Craft Fair which was held last weekend.

This is so much more than a craft fair though. It’s music, good food, cocktails, and some amazing crafters. Mucca Pazza was there on the first day right as the rain stopped and the clouds parted for a glorious day. This high energy group definitely attracts the crowds.

This event is definitely a feast for the eyes with vibrant hues around every corner like these hand-dyed and spun yarns from Kate and Rachel of SpinCycle Yarns.

And the artists at Renegade are filled with inspiring stories like B.A. Gizzles who told me all about how he started his wire craft about eight years ago. He is attempting to pay his way through art school (majoring in stop-motion animation) with his craft. His work was definitely unique, and I just loved his t-shirt that read, “Don’t Sweat The Technique, We’re All Unique.” You can definitely recognize one of his biggest inspirations, Tim Burton, in his work.

Hands down, the best smelling booth at Renegade (well, besides the food), was Squeaky Queen. Her soaps and perfumes weren’t overpowering but smelled great. I loved the unique scents, packaging and the embedded trinkets – just the little extra touches that made her booth irresistible. That Sweet Tooth soap with the tooth in it that Amanda casts herself smelled exactly like Snickerdoodle cookies right out of the oven, heavenly.

I fiound that the crafters at this event are amazingly friendly and don’t hesitate to tell you all about their methods, as well as tips and techniques for doing it yourself. For instance, I walked up to the Scraptones booth, completely attracted to the images on wood blocks and naturally wondered how this magic came to be, when I overheard the entire process being explained. Now that’s what I call a community atmosphere and I love it!

Renegade is also filled with some of the most unique crafts around, like these geometric lightboxes from artist Matthew Shelton.

Or check out these felted characters from Vintage by Crystal

And these unique ceramic pieces from Janet MacPherson…

More photos of this event can be seen on Flickr and stay tuned for more highlights in tomorrow’s post, Renegade Chicago 2010 Part 2.

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