Craft Services: A peek at Winter Art Tour 2017
For the past few years in Washtenaw County, the second weekend of December has been the time to shop for wonderful handcrafted goods from local artists at pop-ups, craft fairs, and studio shows.
An easy way to find out what’s happening where is to check out the stops on the second annual Winter Art Tour, which takes you to 10 venues across Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti where you can shop handmade goods from over 300 artists during the weekend of Dec. 8-10. There's a passport to get stamped as you visit each of the tour's locations, and if you hit at least four spots, you have a chance to win beautiful handcrafted prizes.
The event features two large craft fairs and several smaller studio sales across Washtenaw County:
Tiny Expo takes place at the downtown Ann Arbor District Library and is an annual holiday fair that features 45 artists and crafters selling their wares in a festive library space. You’ll find things such as jewelry, screen prints, knit goods, candles, kids items, and more. In addition to vendors, this one-day celebration also features Sweetwaters selling beverages and treats, and the Secret Lab will be set up with hands-on activities where you can do some screen printing, letterpress printing, card-making, and pom-pom making. (Dec. 10, 11 am-5:30 pm)
The Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti is home to DIYpsi, which hosts 90 vendors of the best in handmade from the Midwest, offering everything from jewelry to cutting boards to homemade peanut brittle. It’s a chance to enjoy handcrafted food and drinks while you get your shop on at this two-day show. New this year will be a make 'n’ take room with family-friendly art projects for all as well as a movie playing on loop at the Film House inside Riverside. (Dec. 9, 11 am-7 pm; Dec. 10, 12-6 pm)
If you’re looking for more art and smaller venues, there are plenty of wonderfully cozy venues on the Winter Art Tour that will be bustling with art and festivities.
The Third Annual Ypsi Alloy Studios Holiday Market and Open House will be hopping over in Ypsilanti. Ypsi Alloy artists will be offering art and gifts for sale from their own studios. Art includes sculpture, woodworking, ceramics, painting, drawing, printmaking, jewelry, housewares, and more. There will be adult beverages and other assorted treats available from Bona Sera. (Dec. 9, 12 pm-7 pm; Dec. 10, 12 pm-7 pm)
One of the three venues in Ypsi is at Baron Glassworks, which will feature live glassblowing demonstrations as well as the chance to shop the work of talented local glass artists for glasses, vases, yard art, ornaments, and more. (Dec. 8, 5 pm-8 pm; Dec. 9, 10 am-6 pm; Dec. 10, 11 am-5 pm)
The Ann Arbor Art Center Holiday Art Shop offers the opportunity to purchase original, handmade works of art. Over the weekend there will also be family friendly make 'n' take art projects. (Dec. 8, 10 am-7 pm; Dec. 9, 10 am-7 pm; Dec. 10, 11 am-6 pm)
Ann Arbor-based Clay Work Studio is hosting its 4th Annual Holiday Pottery Sale. The sale starts Dec. 1 and will last for the entire month of December. The opening reception is on Friday, Dec. 8, 6 pm-8 pm. Join in for live classical music, great hors d'oeuvres, and wine. (Dec. 8, 10 am-8 pm; Dec. 9, 10 am-6 pm, Dec. 10, 12 pm-5 pm)
The Annual Yourist Studio Gallery Holiday Sale in Ann Arbor features ceramic works by Community Studio Resident Artists and select students. The opening gala on Friday night features an evening of holiday conviviality, ceramic art, and festive food and drink. (Dec. 8, 5 pm-8 pm; Dec. 9, 10 am-6 pm; Dec. 10, 11 am-5 pm)
Kate Tremel and Friends Art Studios Sale celebrates its 11th annual sale and features work from six artists, including book arts and ephemera, painted silk and felt wearables, porcelain ceramics and lighting, and handmade chocolates and confections. At this Ann Arbor stop there will also be treats from Roos Roast and Tracklements Smokery. (Dec. 9, 12 pm-5 pm; Dec. 10, 12 pm-5 pm)
Over at Front Porch Textiles in Ann Arbor you’ll find handwoven textiles, yarn, jewelry, woodworking, art tiles, and letterpress art from a variety of local artists. There will also be weaving demonstrations throughout the weekend. (Dec. 9, 10 am-5 pm; Dec. 10, 11 am-5 pm)
Art on Adare! is an annual holiday in Ann Arbor sale featuring multiple fine-art jewelry makers. Stop in at 1510 Kearney Rd., Ann Arbor, for art, wine, cheese, and light refreshments. (Dec. 9, 11 am-5 pm; Dec. 10, 11 am-5 pm)
So, if you’re looking for a unicorn hat, an oversized stuffed squid, a Bruce Springsteen nightlight, or beautiful ceramicware, these 10 magical stops along the Winter Art Tour have you covered with that and so much more.
Amanda Schott is a Library Technician at AADL and loves holiday craft fair season.
Visit winterarttour.com for more information.