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!
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!
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!
Lola's Vintage Closet wants to add some zang to your life. Lola's collection of clothing includes anything from the Victorian era to today. A sampling could include a Victorian dress and shoes to match, men's shoes from the 1960s and vintage Hawaiian shirts.
But you can also find housewares, jewelry and all kinds of other interesting things at Lola's booth.
How did you get your start?
Linda has been in the business since she got her driver's license as a teenager and started driving her great aunt to rummage sales and auctions. Linda says, "She was an antique dealer from Warwick Neck, and I learned a lot from her and other family members. When I went to college for nursing I used the antiques to help support my two young sons."
And who is Lola?
"Lola is my wiener dog. She's 7 lbs of energy, purpose and determination and has been with me for 6 years."
Come meet Linda at The Flea this weekend and she what's she's found to share!
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!
I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that even if you don't have a yard, it would be worth your time to stop by Katey's Garden Flower Art booth at The Flea.
"I will use the term 'whimsical' to describe my yard art."
And this, dear reader, is super cool whimsical yard art:
How did Katey get started making these?
"A friend of mine introduced me to plate flowers through a photograph she found, and I was hooked. I wanted to just make a few for myself, but we know how that story goes. That was 3 years ago, and I'm still at it. Let me compare it to Lay's Potato Chips*: I just can't make just one!"
Um, no, she can't:
Where on the good green earth does Katey find so many plates?
"I find pieces at the secondhand shops that everyone goes to. I also have been lucky at estate sales and antique shops. Yard sales can be good, but I don't find as much as you would think. I do have a couple of secret haunts that will remain nameless. Friends stop by my house and give me things. I think people are happy to give things away when they think that something unique can be created with it. My friend Al from Big Al's Poke and Pick spent part of last winter finding items for me too!"
When Katey's Garden Flower Art is at The Flea she sets up a magical glass and porcelain patch on the Greenway.
"I started this art later in life and it has brought out the good and bad in me. The good part is being able to create fun things that make me smile and hopefully make other people smile too. The bad part is that I have become obsessive compulsive over making them. Does anyone know a good therapist??"
Okay. The work is amazing and you now know exactly what your yard is missing. But even if you DON'T have a yard, don't you want to stop by and see the glass in the sunshine and hear a few more lines from Katey? Come meet her at The Flea!
* The Providence Flea does not endorse or recommend Lay's Potato Chips, but we do heartily approve of snacks and snacking.
Our immediate reaction is, "Cool!"
Our second response is, "I want that!"
Affa Dot Designs brings a wonderful modern take on classic industrial materials. The good people at Affa told us: "Upcycle is our motto. Everything we make has been recycled or repurposed using industrial gears, reused metal, and various motor, transmission and other vehicle parts."
Affa takes discarded metal and welds it into bookends, furniture, lamps, signs, decor and an array of creative adaptations where beautiful metal forms meet useful objects for your office or home.
Affa Dot says: "We recently bought an old fire truck and are looking forward to making some unique pieces!"
Intrigued? We are too. Come meet Affa Dot Designs at The Providence Flea this Sunday!
Who's the man behind Big Al's Poke & Pick? He's the guy with the sweet smile, the great hat and the things you want to take home. Al started collecting when he was 18 and took a shine to Coca Cola collectibles. He now specializes in vintage mid-century modern collectibles including Eames, Heywood Wakefield, Russell Wright and McCobb. But in the end Al says, “If it is good design, I like it. Whether it is a typewriter or a lamp.”
(Editor’s Note: Our brief interview was interrupted when a man stopped by to collect the vintage bicycle he bought for his wife’s birthday. Their dog, Franklin, fits perfectly in the basket. This is the kind of sunny thing that happens when you hang with Al.)
Al lives in Rhode Island but used to trek to the Brooklyn Flea on weekends to sell. He’s excited to replace all of that early morning driving with a jaunt to the Providence Flea. “I just cannot come up with a better place to spend my Sundays,” he says.
Come see what Al has been storing in his garage and his basement. You won’t be disappointed. He’s at The Flea this weekend and all summer long!
If you have been to the Flea you’ve probably noticed Petals and Pots by Patricia. Their booth is a collection of color and pattern that you want to drink in like homemade iced tea. Delicious.
What will you find at Petals and Pots? Patricia says:
I like to bring a variety of true antiques and vintage pieces to the Flea. I'm not one for reproductions. Anyone can go to a chain store for that!
Why does she like The Flea?
I love being on the water on a sunny Sunday. And most of all, I have met so many interesting people with so many great ideas. What a great bunch of entrepreneurs!
Peruse Petals and Pots by Patricia at the Providence Flea on June 22!