The Circle Creative Collective is getting ready to launch a handmade, local Makers’ Market on Saturday, June 26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Sojourner Truth Park, off Plains Road in the Village of New Paltz. Thirty-plus local craftspeople and artisans will display their wares, and some will be hosting demonstrations and workshops in which the public is welcomed to partake. There will also be live music, food from Tilda’s Kitchen out of Kingston and kayak rentals for those who want to immerse themselves fully in the day and paddle along the Wallkill River.
Some of these vendors and craftspeople include potters, jewelers, woodworkers who sculpt bowls and utensils, makers of organic body products, tinctures, essential oil blends, traditional letterpresses, a local broom-maker as well as a yarn shop. Many of the crafts that the collective supports have both form and function, beauty and purpose – like the handmade brooms, which are durable, beat any second-rate piece of plastic at Wal-Mart and make you feel like you’re doing something profound when you’re cleaning off your front stoop.
“It’s really a showcasing of handmade items that have so much character and heart and tell a story,” said Jenny Wonderling, one of the co-founders of the Circle Creative Collective. “This is a great way for us to support local makers who haven’t had a lot of outlets during COVID, and celebrating their work and sharing what they’ve been working on and engaging people with mini-workshops.”
Wonderling also noted that it’s also about education and “restoring value back to the hands that actually create something of lasting value,” rather than going to a big-box store and picking up a set of plastic bowls or a synthetic scarf. “This brings us back to the original process, the story and background of the craftmaking; and it’s also about having a gentle impact on the Earth. Nothing here is mechanized or wasteful. We each play a part with the choices we make as consumers and how those purchases affect the places we live in, or the places they come from.”
“There will be a community weaving,” said Mirabai Trent, also one of the co-founders of the Collective, who helped spearhead Chrysalis, a program for young women designed to help them step into their authentic selves and navigate the wilderness of the teenage years. “We’ll have a big loom where people can add to it with different pieces of yarn, bark, string… These are always so dynamic and exciting because you never know what the final product will look like, but they’re always great.”
The Circle Creative Collective’s studio and workshops are situated almost across the street from the Sojourner Truth Park, in a large barn and on the lawn. There they host a plethora of programs, including Chrysalis, that ran throughout the pandemic, and various workshops for traditional and cultural arts including weaving, sewing, dyeing, felting, spinning, papermaking, printmaking, jewelry and leathermaking. They also offer workshops and for families and friends and any group of people, including business and corporate parties, who want to celebrate a milestone by creating something together for a baby shower, a birthday, an anniversary, a wedding.
“It almost gives people an excuse to have fun and be creative,” said Wonderling. “If you’re making something for an anniversary and learning to do it together, it makes it easier to set that time aside and do something that is new and enjoyable and meaningful.”
They’re hoping that this local Makers’ Market helps to bring all of the local creative souls out of their home studios and workshops and gardens and into the light of community. The rain date is Sunday, June 27, still from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Those who might be interested in vending at the fair or who want to learn more about the Collective and its slate of programs, events and offerings can go to www.circlecreativecollective.org.