Attend the PA Wilds Buyer’s Market on March 2 to find regionally-made products
The public portion of the third annual PA Wilds Conservation Shop Buyer’s Market will be held from 1-4 p.m. on March 2, 2019, in the Gemmell Student Complex Multi-Purpose Room at Clarion University.
Hosted by the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship and the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania (WCO), in partnership with the Clarion University Small Business Development center, the Buyer’s Market is an opportunity to browse locally made items created by PA Wilds juried artisans, who are members of the WCO.
Photos above depict products and shoppers at the 2018 PA Wilds Conservation Shop Buyer’s Market.
Some of the artists participating in this year’s event include:
Amanda Lewis from Petal
Amanda, from the I-80 Frontier community of Clarion, sculpts lifelike leafs, flowers and berries in cold porcelain and turns them into wearable works of art. Cold porcelain is an air-dry clay made using common household ingredients such as cornstarch and glue, and each petal is cut out of a rolled out sheet of this clay and formed by hand with small sculpting tools.
Kevin and Mary Abbott from Jabebo Earrings
This company based out of Bellefonte, along the I-80 Frontier, specializes in making earrings that depict nature from post-consumer paperboard. A large variety of mismatched designs are mounted on a double-layer of cereal box cardboard, and the original packaging is visible on the reverse of the earring piece.
Tara Heckler of Blackberry & Sage Market
Based out of the I-80 Frontier town of Punxsutawney, Tara creates organic, reusable, eco-friendly and compostable products for the home and body, from many sources, including beeswax, herbs and fiber among others. In making her products, she uses recycled t-shirts turned into yarn for crocheting, herbs from plants in her own herb garden, beeswax from a local beekeeper in Punxsutawney, certified organic fabric, and locally sourced essential oils.
The Magaro family of Rich Valley Apiary
The Magaro family harvests raw honey in Emporium, part of the Elk Country landscape, and produces beeswax candles, homemade soaps, lotions and lip balms from their organically-raised bees. Truly a family affair, the beekeeping duties at Rich Valley Apiary include Ryan, his wife Brandi and their three children, who all have their roles in the process of their goods.
Erin Solveson of Earth Below Kombucha
Erin Solveson, from Emporium in Elk Country, creates kombucha, a fermented drink that boasts many health benefits. Brewed with live cultures, this kombucha is also made with fresh, local ingredients and provides probiotics for gut health, antioxidants and beneficial acids.
Michele Bango of Michele J Designs
From the Allegheny National Forest & Surrounds community of Russell, Michele creates teddy bears and animal art dolls and birds, among other unique pieces from new and repurposed materials. A “Teddy Bear Artist” for almost 35 years, she sews larger pieces on her sewing machine but for the most part sews smaller critters and birds all by hand.
This Williamsport-based company along the I-80 Frontier is a family-owned business offering specialty coffees and unique specialty items. Respecting every person involved in the process of getting coffee from the seed to the cup, Alabaster Coffee has a close relationship with their producers and visit their farms, partnering to create a better coffee.
Sharon DiMichele of Rose Valley Naturals
Based out of Trout Run, a hamlet of the Pine Creek Valley & PA Grand Canyon landscape, Sharon creates handmade soaps through a cold-processing method to preserve the healing ingredients of natural oils. All of her soap bars are 97 to 100 percent synthetic free and include grapefruit seed extract and Vitamin E.
Stephanie Distler of Stephanie Distler Artisan Jewelry
Johnsonburg, an Elk Country community, is where Stephanie finds inspiration in nature to design and create by hand unique artisan jewelry from silver, copper and brass. She collects metalsmithing tools, learns new techniques and implements them in her designs, incorporating her love of nature, gardening and the culinary into her works’ breath.
Lisa Conklin Conn of Conklin Studio Pottery
Lisa, based out of Lewis Run in the Allegheny National Forest & Surrounds landscape, sculpts pottery by hand from slabs of stoneware and porcelain, which are bisque fired and hand glazed by brush in multiple colors. Although she learned about ceramics in high school, she is mostly self taught at hand sculpting pottery for the home and garden.
Robert works in Snow Shoe, an I-80 Frontier community, using his experience as a retired Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission biologist and fish hatchery manager to create finely-detailed, hand-painted native Pennsylvania fish and birds either carved from or painted on weathered wood or driftwood. He uses oils and acrylics when painting and both hand and mechanical tools to carve wood.
Michelle Munksgard of Icyy Ink Screen Printing
Based out of the Allegheny National Forest & Surrounds community of Warren, Icyy Ink utilizes water-based inks to create custom apparel and paper products using high quality screen printing, creative designs, embroidery and eco-friendly materials. The company also specializes in fundraising for youth and high school organizations and sports.
Art Dawes from PA Wilderness Skills
Located near the I-80 Frontier city of Lock Haven, Art Dawes provides a full line of survival/wilderness skills training, events and original merchandise. What began as a YouTube channel, PA Wilderness Skills now develops, manufactures and packages original skills kits to pass along and prevent the loss of ancestral outdoor skills and hosts an annual fall weekend event called Uitwaaien Bushcraft Gathering where like-minded people can gather to learn outdoor skills.
Stacie Johnson-Leske of Your Fired Pottery
Located in the Elk Country community of Ridgway, Stacie Johnson-Leske creates pottery products by wheel throwing lightweight, white stoneware ceramics, which are brightly colored using handmade glazes. Created using the inspiration and the employment of many lessons acquired by years of dance training, her work attempts to display dancing, laughing lines, unexpected bursts of color and joyful movement, and all of her work is microwave, oven, dishwasher and food safe.
Mickayla Poland of PA Made
PA Made is based out of the Elk Country community of Saint Marys. Known for designs celebrating Elk County and the Pennsylvania Wilds, Mickayla Poland at PA Made produces outdoor-inspired stickers, t-shirts, and other merchandise. PA Made also offers unique wildlife paintings on wooden framed glass windows.
The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania (WCO) is proud to be building an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Pennsylvania Wilds. The aim of the WCO is to help the region’s creative makers and businesses network, learn from each other, and bring products to market that reflect the natural beauty, bounty and rural traditions of the Pennsylvania Wilds, while giving an economic boost to its communities.
The WCO is a program of the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, a regional non-profit, serving the counties of Warren, Forest, Elk, Potter, McKean, Tioga, Clinton, Lycoming, Clearfield, Jefferson, Cameron, Clarion and northern Centre. Learn more about the WCO at www.wildscopa.org/about-us.
You can peruse more items available from the PA Wilds Conservation Shop and PA Wilds juried artisans by visiting www.shopthepawilds.com.
Note: Many of the images of the creative makers posted in this article are from the Creative Makers of the PA Wilds — A Traveling Public Art Show. Series photographers include Katie Weidenboerner-Deppen, Bill Crowell, Tracy Smith and Karen Heltzel. Learn more about the Creative Makers art show at www.wildscopa.org/creative-makers.
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