By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer
(Aug. 8, 2019) With three Makers Markets remaining this season, residents and visitors will see a full complement of area artisans during this Friday’s edition of the market this Friday in downtown Berlin.
“I feel like more people so far have definitely known about the event this year,” said the market’s vendor manager, Kerri Swigert.
Makers Market is on Jefferson and Commerce streets in downtown Berlin. On Jefferson Street, the market begins at 5 p.m., and the market on Commerce Street starts at 6:30 p.m. The event will wrap up around 8:30 p.m. and is part of the Second Friday Art Stroll in downtown Berlin.
Fellow vendor managers Swigert and Amanda Hanke are working to make the annual event a success. There are 25 artists participating in the 2019 Makers Market. Fourteen of them are full-season vendors while nine are considered drop-in, according to Swigert, which means different artisans can try their hand at selling their goods.
It costs $25 for seasonal vendors to sell their items, while drop-in vendors can pay $5 per event. The vendor form should be completed and returned with a $5 fee to Baked Dessert Cafe and Gallery on Bay Street in Berlin, according to the market’s website.
Swigert said she’s been pleased with the variety of mixed media showcased during the 2019 season.
“I just feel like we have a really good mix of all different kinds of artists and makers,” she said.
Works featured each week include items made of wood, alcohol ink paintings and textiles, said Swigert, who is also a vendor herself. She works with cross-stitch, embroidery and sewing machines.
“I consider myself more of a non-traditional kind of needle artist,” Swigert said. “Cross-stitch is kind of a dead art so it’s been hard to revive that and kind of make it more accessible for modern times. I feel like more people so far have definitely known about the event this year.”
Artist Wendy Helmuth also works with fabrics to create outfits for magical creatures. It’s her second year participating in the market.
“I work with textiles. I make gnomes,” Helmuth said.
Helmuth said she makes the gnomes out of champagne or wine bottle corks and makes hats for them. She said her inspiration to fashion the gnomes came from her childhood growing up in Snow Hill.
Additionally, Helmuth makes winter hats that she will sell during the fall months of Makers Market.
For Gary Moore, of Anchor Wood Creations, his knack for reusing objects came from his family. He said he grew up on his grandparents’ farm in Hereford in Baltimore County, where he remembered his grandfather trying to find another use for various items.
Moore calls his art, “reclaimed design build,” which he said involves taking pieces of wood or metal in order to “repurpose it and make functional art with it.”
Moore has participated the market since its inception in 2014, and said an event like this works well with the nature of the town.
“In my mind, it’s very much a huge part of what makes Berlin such a cool little town,” Moore said. “We have a lot of talented people here and it also brings a lot of like-minded folks into town to see the things that we create and design and so forth, and it sort of lends to the overall spirit of arts and entertainment in the town.”
Helmuth, Moore and Swigert stressed the importance of shopping locally by participating in events like Makers Market in Berlin.
“I am the local economy,” Helmuth said. “The more money I make locally, the more I put out into the local marketplace.”
As for the three remaining Makers Markets, Swigert said she hopes they will be well attended.
“I would just love to continue to see a variety of vendors and unique arts … [and] that locally people in Berlin just keep coming out and keep supporting our crafters,” Swigert said.
Visit artsinberlin.org/makers-market for more information on the event.