For those in need of some fresh, locally-made art, look no further than Athens’ very own Tavolino –– or its parking lot, rather.
This Sunday, Sept. 13, seven local vendors will showcase their goods at the West Side Tavolino Artkinglot Pop-Up Event. The pop-up is one of many to come, Cricket Jones, local artist and pop-up organizer, said.
The events come from a want to engage with Athens, by both Jones and Tavolino owner Emily Christine.
“This is a brainstorm between Emily and me,” Jones said. “Emily‘s desire and my desires –– to get closer with the community and do some events that will bring the community together –– along with the restaurant. We’re always thinking in those terms.”
Jones, who makes jewelry full-time, sells locally, like at the Athens Farmers Market or “Cricket’s Corner” in Court Street Coffee. Jones often makes jewelry from silverware and antique materials. Jones said that she started making jewelry after remarking that she could make better rings than a set she had bought.
“That night, I saw a spoon that was bent pretty severely (..) and the way it was resting –– it looked like almost a ring,” Jones said. “I thought I could just cut them up and do this.”
Jones said her colleagues were blown away with the result. “They all came out and said ‘wow, that is great and people will buy that.’ They were shaking me and they said ‘if this is the first ring you’ve ever made, this might be your calling.’”
Jones had no prior jewelry training; she is self-taught –– but had a little help from friends over the years. Jones has been working in the jewelry scene for almost 10 years now and has mastered the game.
Jones invited fellow jewelry-makers DaintyPrairie to sell at this weekend’s pop-up. DaintyPrairie, made up of jewelry-makers Courtney Martin and Rachel Broughton, will also be in the Tavolino parking lot on Sunday.
Martin does a lot of needle felt jewelry, she explained. It’s a type of jewelry involving wool and a special type of needle. But she also does much more.
“I started making wire earrings and wire wrapping,” Martin said. “My latest thing is doing resin -- resin is something I've wanted to master for so long.”
Martin said at first, working with resin was hard –– it smelled bad and was messy. But like Jones, after years of practice and experimenting, she knows how to work with the art. A lot of her resin art features glitter, she said.
“I’m obsessed with glitter, sparkly things –– and I really like cutesy adorable shapes and hearts, and flowers,” Martin said. “The molds I choose have a bit of nostalgia –– stuff we would've worn when we were kids and now we are adults and have style.”
But the pop-up sale isn’t all jewelry; Seeds & Things, a local plant seller, will be there too.
Seeds & Things gathers local seeds and plants for its shop. Plants and sustainability are a passion of Seeds & Things owner Benjamin Shonk. Shonk knew he wanted to start his own business when he didn't see other businesses practice sustainability.
Seeds & Things started as a mass collection of local houseplants that Shonk and his partner, Nicolette Anderson, had collected.
“It's been like gathering houseplants and splitting them and selling them back to the community,” Shonk said.
Seeds & Things mostly sells houseplants, like peace lilies and pothos, but also sells some landscaping and outdoor varieties. The sale this Sunday will feature some more exotic species, like typhonium giganteum, aka “Voodoo Lily.” But household staples such as jade and Chinese evergreens will be for sale, too.
The event also features vendors Abby Miller, Emi Olin, the Henna Faerie and Brandon Ault. The sale starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m.