Though the stage was empty, the High Noon Saloon was hopping early Saturday afternoon for the first day of the X-Mas Craftacular, an indie crafts fair that's making its seasonal return to the venue this weekend.
"It's an alternative place for people to come and do their Christmas shopping," says Heather Johnson, co-owner of the near east side workshop, featuring hand-made and recycled items by nearly 100 artists.
This is the fifth Craftacular organized by Johnson, Glitter co-owner Naomi Richardson, and east side artist Emily Kircher. Besides the holiday editions, the other craftaculars are typically set before Valentine's Day and in the summertime.
A short video clip of the market and an interview with Richardson follow below.
Johnson says the craftacultars are intended to showcase local artists, though she and Richardson typically reserve a couple of spots for visiting vendors, with participants from Chicago and Indiana this year. Vendors must apply in a competitive submissions process, Johnson explains. "We always have many more applicants for the show than we have space for them."
The vendors are arrayed in two rows along the main floor of the High Noon Saloon. The craftacular's featured participants are:
- The Glitter Workshop
- Emily Kircher Recycling Artist
- My Favorite Mirror
- Wanderlost Clothing
- Paper Stories
- Orangy Porangy
- The Bohemian Bauble
- Kitty Grrlz Inc.
- Re+New Vintage
- Tiny Tree Farm and Rachael Brook Winkley Design
- Big Moon Mountain
- Tucuman Tejidos
- Circa Vintage
- Dee Hooks
For more than ten years, Richardson focused on crafting her own work before opening The Glitter Workshop in January 2005. In the brief interview below, she discusses the origins of the Craftacular, some of their featured items, and the indie crafts movement in Madison.
"The Christmas one is nice," Johnson explains, "because people have relatives in from out of town, and the crowd is of all ages, from babies to grandmas and grandpas."
This year's Craftacular runs until 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25, and will return to the High Noon Saloon on Sunday, Nov. 26.