October 9, 10 & 11, 2015 – Philadelphia, PA

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Swoon-worthy fine craft

The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen brings American-made fine craft to the autumn environs of Rittenhouse Square for a second year.  During the 3-day event, patrons can peruse and buy original, hand-crafted works of contemporary furniture, functional and decorative pottery, designer clothing, fine jewelry, blown glass, and more. Master artisans like Rachel Derstine are jury-selected into the show, ensuring that craft lovers and collectors discover products of excellent workmanship, creative vision, and unique style.

Rachel DerstineRachel’s art quilts transform silk, batiks, and ikat fabric into vibrant landscapes and immersive geometric designs. She uses a mix of traditional techniques like piecing, combined with contemporary techniques like machine applique to achieve her vision.

“Certain works of art move me with their color, flow and intensity. They draw me in or make me want to linger and enjoy. That is what I hope my work does for people,” Rachel says. “I use a lot of detail in my work with intense quilting, couching, metallic fabrics and threads which often make people take a second closer look.”

Her design process is very fluid – a drawn design leads to playing with colors, and the quilt evolves as she works.  Rachel was born in Tokyo and still credits her childhood there as a design influence. A first experience on a Singer treadle sewing machine gave way to creating clothing on an electric machine, and finally an introduction to hand quilting by her grandmother. Now Rachel quilts entirely on a machine, but the principles of meticulous hand-sewing still govern her creations.

“Fine craft is a window to other places, other times, to the way the craftsmen see the world,” says Brandi Clark, executive director of the Guild. “There’s a story behind each creator and why they make what they do, why they make certain color or design choices. When you buy from them in person, you find out a wealth of detail that changes the way you look at the world.”

The Pennsylvania Guild of Fine Craft Fair is open Friday, October 9 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, October 10 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, October 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., along the sidewalks around Rittenhouse Square Park, Philadelphia, PA. Using GPS? Navigate to 1800 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19103. Admission is free. Pay parking is available in nearby garages.

This event is made possible through a partnership with the Friends of Rittenhouse Square and in conjunction with the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.

See you there!

Fair hours are 11 am to 6 pm Friday & Saturday, and 11 am to 5 pm Sunday. Admission is free. Street and garage parking is plentiful.

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