39th Craft Marketplace Starts Holiday Shopping Season At City Center
By Arthur Gonick
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Downtown Saratoga Springs is always a great choice to do your holiday shopping. This Saturday, it’s an even better one, as The Saratoga Springs City Center will be wall-to-wall with unique gift ideas from a variety of craft specialists in every medium imaginable.
Saratoga Center for the Family will be the host and beneficiary of the 39th Craft Marketplace on Saturday, November 29, also known as Small Business Saturday. The Marketplace will be held at Saratoga Springs City Center from 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
This annual Craft Marketplace attracts over 100 hand-selected artisans who gather in the City Center to showcase and sell their handmade art. These crafts include jewelry, paintings, children’s toys, blown glass, pottery, holiday ornamentation, edibles, clothing and one-of-a-kind specialties. The Craft Marketplace has been a Thanksgiving weekend tradition for 39 years, and Event Chair Ann Wolpert balances variety, quality and craftsmanship to assure that there will be something special for everyone on your holiday gift list.
Marketplace admission is $5 and includes two raffle tickets along with exclusive offers to participating downtown Saratoga Springs restaurants, in an effort to further promote Small Business Saturday commerce. The Craft Marketplace also offers silent auction opportunities for a variety of desirable items such as tickets to local holiday events, autographed collectable memorabilia and much more.
Last year the Marketplace raised over $25,000 for Saratoga Center for the Family, with over 3,000 shoppers in attendance. Funds raised for Saratoga Center support their mission to build stronger families throughout Saratoga County through mental health counseling, educational programs and child advocacy center.
Some of the many notable and talented artisans include:
- John and Linda Garrison
Handmade Glass Hot Air Balloons
When asked about his craft, artisan John Garrison notes, “The process is quite extensive. First, tubing glass is heated, manipulated and thickened. Then, using a set of four burners and a lathe, the glass is spun and blown into a ball. A glass rod at top of the balloon is twisted and the bottom is tapered. Then the balloon is placed in an annealing oven, where the temperature is slowly reduced to temper (or strengthen) the glass.
“Once the balloon is cool, my wife Linda individually hand paints each balloon using special proprietary paints.” He said. “Then the balloons are placed in a kiln and heated to harden and bake the paint onto the glass. A handmade basket is attached to the bottom to complete the piece.”
- “The Gourmet Gal”
Balsamic and Honey Vinaigrette have now joined Deborah Mackey and Kaelyn Brennan’s original, Savory Sauce. This created the ultimate trio of multi purpose sauces. All of these sauces can be used on literally anything and the best part is you never need to refrigerate them and all three are gluten free.
- Erika M. Klein
Film Strip Lampshades
Ms. Klein recalls, “It all started when I crafted a dress from film for a recycled fashion show. After creating a dress from movie trailer film I started playing with the leftover trailer reel filmstrips and light. What came from that are my lampshade line. What’s unique about these shades are when the lamp is off, the shade appears almost black. But when it’s lit you can actually see the film images. Each one I create is a one-of-a-kind.”
The Craft Marketplace provides a great way to embrace the philosophy of “shopping small” on Small Business Saturday. Since 2010, when American Express developed it, Small Business Saturday is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and is dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country.
Wolpert noted “This as a beautiful opportunity to create a unique community experience kicking off the holiday shopping season, and of course, to promote downtown Saratoga Springs’ by encouraging Marketplace shoppers to also venture out onto Broadway to support our retail and restaurant community.”
For more information about Saturday’s Craft Marketplace, visit saratogacraft.org or the Saratoga Center for the Family Facebook page for ongoing posts promoting featured craft artisans: facebook.com/SaratogaCenter