A peek inside the Detroit Urban Craft Fair



The crafting crowd rises notoriously early. Earlier than we usually do, anyway. The event didn’t open until 10 and, waiting on the steps of the Masonic Temple, we had plenty of cold time to chug that coffee we brought. 

Once inside, we made our way up to the Drill Hall, home of the Detroit Derby Girls and the venue for the day. The room’s wooden floor and bleachers grounded the event’s aesthetic in the gymnasiums of its traditional roots. We managed to make a careful inspection of each stand in the room just before the really dense wave of shoppers washed over the venue. What we saw there was an exciting, if somewhat incomplete, vision of an emerging economy: bright people finally casting off the illusions of corporate safety that have plagued preceding generations and instead taking their fortunes into their own hands, working mostly on their own terms and toward their own goals. Perhaps not a novel vision – one, in fact, that dreamers and artists have maintained since time immemorial – but still one worth inhabiting every now and again, especially in our current political environment.

Although a fair smattering of utilitarian products were available for sale, the focus of the fair was still largely ornamental, a fairly usual arrangement for a craft fair; part of that perceived dearth might have been our own doing: we've got enough scented candles and soaps that anything new inevitably ends up just a decoration.

Having gone over budget early in the day on an absolutely unnecessary but mesmerizing Twin Peaks poster (and a few too many bottles of beer), we ended up totally broke by the time a framed pair of stockings for a mouse caught our eye.

We're not absolutely sure where we would have put them, anyway.


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