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!
Emily Buffi turned her hobby of making jewelry and accessories into a business venture when she opened that hippie chic in December 2013. Previously a salon manager, hairstylis and nail technician, Emily brings her knowledge of the beauty industry to her stunning, simple and hippie-inspired designs. "My motto has been and always will be, 'do what you love and love what you do.' This has been my inspiration since I can remember," Buffi shared with us.
Makeshift Studio was born when owner Sarah Furtado found herself newly graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts but without a permanent studio to practice her art. A firm believer in 'making it work,' Furtado found herself continuing to make art in a variety of makeshift studios. From her studio Sarah creates and sells functional ceramic wares with a mission to make you smile. (Mission: accomplished!)
When we asked Sarah what inspired her work she told us: cartoons, children's book illustrations and pop culture. "I like to incorporate those into my work in hopes that when someone uses my pottery, they smile. I love to create work that has a story to tell or makes someone crack up laughing."
Sarah also told us she attended the Flea most of the Sundays it was running last summer and was inspired by all of the creativity. "It's such a great community event and there is so much activity and enthusiasm at the Flea, that I really wanted to be a part of it this year."
We can't wait for Sarah and Makeshift Studio to join us at the Flea on Opening Day, June 7!
'Freedom Through Art', Resources for Human Development, RI (RHD-RI), provides people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to explore and expand their creative talents in a way that empowers them. Their artists create paintings and drawings as well as craft items such as handmade soap, pillows, bags and hand-painted repurposed furniture.
Artist B. Lucy Stevens told us what inspires them: "The belief that creativity has no disability. That these talented artists deserve support as well as opportunities to get their art out into the world and perhaps even support themselves through their art."
We're pretty sure that we're as excited as they are to come to the Flea. "We want to show off our fantastic artists to a larger Rhode Island audience," Lucy said. "We believe that their unique art will appeal to the kind of people who attend the Providence Flea -- people who are looking for things they can't find anywhere else. Also, we want our artists to experience the sense of accomplishment and empowerment that comes from actually selling their work."
Don't miss the fabulous creations of these artists at Opening Day on June 7, 10 am - 4 pm!
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!
Jess Repose takes original photos and transfers them onto wooden postcards. (Yes, you can actually mail them with a little extra postage.) The transfer process is done by hand with acrylic gel medium which makes each postcard unique. The 3.5 x 5 inch postcards are made from laser cut birch wood using tools at an AS220 lab, and most of the photos are shot with a film camera. Pretty cool, huh?
Jess told us, "I was looking for a fun and creative way to sell my photography without just framing the photos. I love that each and every transfer I make is different."
(Yes, Jess, well 'different' is one word for it. Another few would be...'deliciously tactile and an insanely creative use of a camera and a piece of wood!')
Jess is coming to the Flea on September 7 and 14 because she's a local of Providence and would like to share her work with friends and neighbors. We recommend you stop by for a share.
If you are running a Sunday Flea market, you think about coffee (on Sundays, sure, but on many other days, too). We were really excited to welcome Dave’s Coffee to the market this year. Making the trek from their roastery in South County, Dave’s, a family-owned, certified organic, craft coffee roaster, has come North.
They bring their handmade cold-brewed ice coffee to The Flea and also a range of their coffee syrups. Yes. I said syrups.
To make their coffee syrup they start by cold-brewing coffee for 18 hours. What?! Name something you do for 18 hours in a row. I can’t think of one other than "breathe."
Their coffee syrup is vegan.
Their coffee syrup is gluten free.
Their coffee syrup is local.
Vanilla. Mocha. Decaf.
Look at the syrup sitting on the shore with his l'il milk pal. I’m about to pass out.
Food and Wine magazine says, “This sweet syrup is amazing on ice cream and adds a rich note to barbeque sauce.”
Come see what all this fuss is about. Check out the Dave’s Coffee booth at The Flea this weekend!
Hilary Treadwell is the witty charmster behind bit & little bit. An artist, designer and teacher, Hilary loves to make things and to instigate creative trouble with children. Once I saw her leading a line of toddlers onto a RIPTA bus. Her bio reads:
"She babysits for some great families and works as a birth doula. She dances. And she loves the ocean and raccoons and the great murmurations of starlings."
Okay, she's amazing, but what about the stuff she brings to The Flea? Let's start with the t-shirts. The legendary t-shirts.
Clever designs for adults and kiddos are her specialty, so look for silkscreened tees, onesies and more that showcase that gritty, quirky Rhode Island pride.
But don't worry, there's lots more:
Cards, accessories, decor, magnets, toys and more all with the clever twist and handmade integrity of bit and little bit.
Stop by The Flea this weekend to meet Hilary, experience her smile and check out what she's been making. You won't regret it!