Handmade Helps the Earth!

Since so much visual art is inspired by the natural world, it’s hardly surprising that handmade artists are environmentally conscious.

Reuse, reduce recycle! The artists of Sugarloaf Craft Festivals have mother nature on their minds, and you can feel good knowing that the quality, handmade treasures you love are also good for the earth. Learn more about some of our favorite green makers!

Sugarloaf artist Carson Sams, the blacksmith behind Carsons Customs, repurposes old railroad ties into useful wall hooks and meat flippers. Leftover cable from a crane operator is forged to create the handle of a Renaissance knife. Discarded horse farrier files are flattened and shaped into smooth ax blades or twisted into ornamental snake sculptures.

Twin Oaks Hammocks uses several earth-friendly materials in their hammocks, including one made from recycled soda bottles.

Lee Baratier-Toile reuses designer and vintage fabrics in her one-of-a-kind decorative pillows. She takes pieces of old lace, freshens them with new colors and uses them in her pillow covers.

Bob DeWitt follows a week long soaking and sanding process on all his wooden utensils so the finished products will stand up to decades of use. Jonathan’s Spoons produces attractive, long lasting spoons free of chemical sealants and finishes. Their spoons are designed with the intention of using as little wood as possible.

Several Sugarloaf crafters make organic, sustainably-sourced soaps, cosmetics and bath salts. Pretty Baby Naturals makes luxurious natural soaps free of petroleum products, animal fats and preservatives. Rossitsa Owens of Herbal Poetry creates natural skin care products using fresh herbs from her own garden and honey, propolis and beeswax from her own beehives. Mt. Lebanon Soap Company packages their naturally scented soaps in charming, eco-friendly packaging.

Cindy Ciarcia designs gorgeous womens’ apparel made from wool which has many eco-friendly attributes.

It creates a breathable buffer zone around your body which keeps your body temperature more stable in extreme temperatures so you need less heat and air conditioning to feel comfortable. It tolerates less frequent washing which means less water use throughout its lifespan. It also wicks moisture away from the body and prevents rain from reaching the skin longer than cotton or linen. Wool apparel can stand up to repeated use so any wool clothing you buy will last for years. If you’re still not convinced, read more here and here.

Blair Barbour creates quirky pop culture themed collages using mostly recycled materials.

These are just a few examples chosen from the hundreds of artists who exhibit at Sugarloaf Craft Festivals. We’ll be sure to share more eco-friendly practices of our artists in the months ahead.