The Opulent Squid returns for Season Three of the Flea on Opening Day, Sunday, June 7 from 10 am - 4pm! Owner Melissa Murray has been with us since the beginning. She designs and creates handcrafted "posh and peculiar" jewelry from vintage assemblages and found objects. She tells us, "I try to use upcycled materials and vintage components as often as possible. I find that incorporating these element enhances the character and uniqueness of my work and helps to give each piece a history of its own!"
When we asked Melissa why The Opulent Squid returns to the Flea year after year she had this to say: "I wait for it all winter and actually save some of my new summer lines to debut especially for the venue. The freshness and diversity of my fellow vendors inspires me and keeps me coming back for more, and I know my customers feel the same way!" We're glad to have you back, Melissa!
Support local jewelry makers and see more from The Opulent Squid on June 14!
The Carpenter's Wife RI crafts upcycled, OOAK art and functional pieces from various media. The woman behind the magic, Jerilyn Spaziano, tells us that her inspiration often comes from taking walks in the woods and stumbling upon unique and unusual pieces of wood or piles of oversized acorns. She's also been known to use pallets found behind abandoned warehouses. Each time, she tells us she thinks, "Free wood! I'm going to take this home and make something out of it."
Jerilyn began working with wood in 1975 when she made history as the first woman in her high school to take wood shop classes. She later married master carpenter, David Spaziano, and continued developing her woodworking skills and learning from him. But wood isn't Jerilyn's only talent. She holds a master seamstress certificate and enjoys taking classes in jewelry-making and metal working, too. This carpenter's wife is truly a 'Jill' of all trades and a master of many.
"I feel proud to be part of Providence Flea, which represents an eclectic mix of artists and crafts people from the state of Rhode Island. The vendors are like a family who help each other, while independently hoping to sell their wares." Welcome to the family, Jerilyn!
See the latest from The Carpenter's Wife RI at the Flea on Sunday, June 14 from 10 am - 4 pm!
Tom Nault loves antiques and collectibles and he's no newbie to the flea market scene, having first attended markets with his parents when he was just 10 years old. "I can't not go," Tom tells us today. "It is pure joy for me to be there."
We like Tom because he has great pickings...and because Tom likes the Flea. In fact, when he gushes, we blushes! "Great stuff, delectable food, sweet people, good times on the Providence waterfront... Why wouldn't I want to come back?"
Tom doesn't come often, but when he does, he doesn't disappoint. You won't want to miss his eclectic collection of vintage jewelry molds, science lab beakers and bunsen burners, ceramic sculptures, antique furniture and furnishings, and downright fantastic finds.
Check out Tom's latest at the Flea on Opening Day from 10 am-4 pm on June 7. We never know when he'll be back!
American Revolution design is Patriot Kevin Travers, and he describes ARD as "25 years in the making, built on hard work and determination...the blood, sweat and tears in your gears."
As a lifelong resident of Rhode Island, he has been building, renovating, restoring and designing homes, new and old alike throughout Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
The recent downturn in the economy and a few unexpected bumps in the road ultimately left him with a lot of free time and little resources for new ventures. Holed up in his historic New England farmhouse, he found himself surrounded by years of accumulated junk and decided to build a makeshift workshop in an old chicken coop.
Christine McCarthy of Artful Intuition combines instinct and imagination to offer a uniquely curated selection of handmade and found objects to celebrate, decorate, and commemorate life's special and simple moments. Vintage goods are served up alongside vintage reused creations and vintage inspired crafts and art works.
Christine told us, "All of my work incorporates images and collage materials from the past..." Some of the 'thread' that ties it all together? Vintage sewing notions and knitting; old postcards and sculptural bookmaking; sheet music and beach-combing, and the list goes on. Her vintage product focus is primarily smalls (think: sewing notions, pocket watch parts, and dog show ribbons) and paper ephemera (postcards, flash cards, and labels). You'll even find some antique chemistry lab equipment thrown in for good measure!
A book conservator and artist, Christine tell us she has always made things, collected things, and displayed things. As a child she wanted to be an archaeologist, because the idea of fragments that hold secrets and stories from the past appealed to her.
"The Providence Flea was recommended to me by a customer at an arts and crafts fair last summer," she told us. "I am a Rhode Island transplant in Connecticut, who loves any excuse to come home!" Well, we're glad to be that excuse, Christine--and we're sure Flea patrons are pretty revved about it, too!
The Forager is also known as Cathy. When Cathy talks about her work, it is like a manifesto:
I meander, seek out and reclaim furniture, accessories and assorted "old" objects that others have discarded, sold for a song, or just plain ole given to me because they know I like things with a backstory, things that come by their dents and scratches honorably, things that call out for redemption.
When I find something that catches my eye I often find myself wondering about who owned a certain table or chair in the past, what their lives were like and why they no longer found value in the item.
Cathy is The Forager and The Forager knows The Hunt. Come see what you can find at her booth next Sunday!
One day Marilynn decided to take her mother's rooster cookie jar and her nana's casserole dish, throw in a few things she found at a thrift store, and create a bird bath.
Happy Cat Creations was born. That was 3 years ago and Marilynn Harper, who has spent most of her creative life as a painter, has made over 100 of these beauties since. People use them indoors and out for birds, plants, admiration or ??.
Each piece is made entirely from repurposed bowls, vases and other treasures. See the sweet chicken in the base of this one:
Mr. Buster, her "Happy Cat," keeps Marilynn company while she creates (editor's note: Mr. Buster used the term "supervise").
Marilynn loves seeking out new objects for her creations.
"The thrill is in the hunt. I go to thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets looking for just the right pieces for my creations. Sometimes I can put 2 or 3 together (not glued) in an hour and other times, after a few hours, I come up empty."
I'm imagining one of these lovelies holding homemade salsa or a garlicky bean dip for the next party in the yard. Why should the birds have all of the fun?
Come meet Marilynn and see her beautiful work at The Providence Flea next weekend!
Josephina's Creations is a veritable smorgasbord of flowers, succulents (her personal favorite), cactus, air plants and other garden delights that Josephina Sullivan has planted in old French pots, sea shells, birdcages, various vintage containers and hypertufa forms that she makes herself!
Josephina told us, "I love the vibe at the Providence Flea..whenever I've gone I've had the best time and I've picked up some of my favorite treasures."
Jo also makes chair gardens, terrariums, and jewelry out of quahog shells... with still more vintage and garden items sprinkled throughout her arrangements. Now she's working on "living walls" -- plant frames that you can hang up outdoors!
Jo said, "I love to garden, collecting fun items that interest me and putting it all together. It's a great experience to share a piece of yourself with others!"
Go Green, literally, with Josephina at The Flea this weekend!
Nancy Laboa is the creative mind behind Rusty Scissors. Nancy makes primitive folk art dolls by hand and is a veteran of the local craft show scene. She uses vintage buttons, material, and other found items as much as possible in her work.
Check out her Cat Lady. You know you've met her!
Nancy tell us:
Making my dolls is a labor of love. My customers inspire me when they smile just looking at the dolls. I love hearing their great comments.
Meet Nancy on an upcoming Sunday soon at The Providence Flea, and take home a soft new friend!
Black Sheep Designs jewelry is crafted from vintage and antique treasures. That's right, Pamela Laurenzo hunts for tokens, tags, keys, and other tiny finds to make NEW treasures just for you. Mount Hope bridge tokens, weathered coins and Boston T tokens are paired with locally sourced vintage beads and mixed metals to make tailored-but-funky necklaces, bracelets, earrings.
Black Sheep Designs comes to The Providence Flea (and your wardrobe) from their Pawtucket studio. Meet Pamela and find your perfect patina June 22 or in July or August!