PORT ANGELES — Can shopping be soul-nourishing? During the holidays? The artists in a new Makers’ Market think so.
“Creating beaded work puts me closer to my Haida ancestors. They guide me,” said Susan Hamilton of Port Angeles.
“It is the creating that grounds me and keeps me balanced,” added the artist, whose bead work will appear at the marketplace opening Thursday at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.
This inaugural Makers’ Market presents 15 local vendors and their original handiwork from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Thursday through Sunday until Dec. 22.
Alongside Hamilton’s work: handmade wooden toys, journals and comic books, one-of-a-kind shawls, dolls, nature photography and porcelain art.
Port Angeles and Sequim artists include Michelle Johnson of Laughing Cloud Studio, Linda Collins Chapman, Joseph Fisk, Suzan Noyes, Diane Williams, Lance and Haley Snider, Pamela Hastings, Anna Blanchard, Jan Dove, Maureen Heaster, photographer Sue Wolf and poet Gordon Anderson.
Clallam Mosaic’s members will sell note cards, and both Renne Emiko Brock and Noreen Gaffney will lay out wearable art.
Brock uses a meditative process to make her silk scarves and shawls. Each piece is born of hours, she said, of standing over a hot pot to shift the dye colors over the fabric.
The Makers’ Market is set up as a naturally lit, peaceful space, said Gallery and Program Director Sarah Jane.
Step in here, choose something, and “you know you’re directly supporting a local artist, and putting money back into the local economy,” she added.
Original work ranges from $15 to $100 and up.
The center’s marketplace also will be open during special events on three December evenings, starting with the Wintertide Light Art Experience, an installation of lighted artwork around — and on the roof of — the Fine Arts Center.
This display opens with two receptions Saturday, Dec. 14. First is the PAFAC members and VIP cocktail hour at 4 p.m., when those who haven’t yet become members can sign up at the door. Then the free, public opening party will go from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The Wintertide art will stay up, with free admission, through Jan. 10.
The Makers’ Market also will stay open later during the center’s drop-in luminaria-making workshop from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 19.
“We’ll make colorful, weatherproof luminaria — small lanterns — to decorate for the season,” Jane said.
Children age 5 and up, teens and adults are invited to make as many luminaria as they wish for $5 each.
Next comes the “Fire in the Night” Winter Solstice Celebration from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 21. Visitors can sip warm drinks in the gallery, Jane said, and make glow-in-the-dark solstice crowns to wear on a walk down to the Webster’s Woods meadow.
“At the exact moment of solstice, at 8:19 p.m., we’ll be lighting a fire atop Mark Fessler’s ‘Nest Sacrifice’ sculpture, which sits at the edge of the meadow and is designed to be set ablaze,” she said, noting this is a one-time event just for Wintertide.
“After this dramatic finale, we’ll walk back up together, knowing the days will get brighter from here on out.”
Hamilton, for her part, invited shoppers to peek into the Makers’ Market during its three-week run. Giving an art gift shows the recipient you put care into its selection, and indicates how important he or she is in your life, she said.
“Art,” Hamilton added, “is joy and love.”
For more about Port Angeles Fine Arts Center activities, see PAFAC.org, visit the center’s Facebook page or call 360-457-3532.