By Beth Abrahamson.
One of the best perks of living the San Francisco lifestyle is the likelihood of stumbling upon an art+craft market on a Sunday afternoon. These gatherings of unique Bay Area designers are an awesome way to discover new artists and be inspired by trendsetting style along the way. On September 16th we got to explore the biannual Urban Air Market. On this sunny Hayes Valley afternoon, the warm weather, clear skies, and green grass created an idyllic atmosphere for an indie-minded gathering of creative designers and fashionistas alike.
Walking around the 150 designer booths, couture temptations and inspirations spanned far and wide. We talked to the crafty makers themselves, each handpicked and offering unique products and perspectives.
Mesh and chainmaille jewelry were two themes we noticed all over. The Craftionistas, created by Billie and Jenna Geldreich, offer true chainmaille creations, aiming to achieve material splendor through the handmade. We loved the bold chainmaille wonder woman bracelet, mermaid bracelet, and Pocahontas vest!
Maral Rapp also wowed us with her one-of-a-kind creations made from vintage metal mesh handbags. Her pieces are sustainably chic, combining ornate antique materials with modern-day evocateur.
Turquoise was another eye-catching trend popping up all over UrbanAir. Jeannine Komush of Tangleweeds blends inspiration from Oakland city life and nature to create works of brass and steel around semiprecious turquoise stones.
Shelly Harper of HARP Designs is brand new to the design fair scene and already creating quite a buzz. A student at UC Berkeley, her Navajo pattern and SF street art influences are clear from her beautiful display of mixed turquoise stone and hammered brass pieces.
Stephanie Hoffmann takes a different angle on turquoise, weaving bright colored beads together to create a stylish color-blocked look.
Many designers were also incorporating reclaimed materials in their designs. Another newcomer, Jen Lorang of Alchemilla, already looks like a pro with an outstanding body of work and standout presentation. The gorgeous collection of gold jewelery and leather-bound books, all made from used materials, are displayed among gorgeous antique wooden fixtures and stones, with surprise pops of color intertwined.
Geometric prints are everywhere these days, but some designers at UrbanAir had a new take on this popular trend. PushPullDesign uses an array of architectural style shapes in soft pastel colors to create unique wooden earrings, pendants, and dome-shaped plant holders.
Carrie Saxl’s Inked Collection of necklaces incorporates bright and abstract geometric shapes on sterling silver pendants. These simple yet eye-catching designs fit right into the young San Francisco aesthetic.
Another unmistakable theme among the UrbanAir designers was natural rock. Bedrocks by Sarah Barsness was a standout. These pillows made from photographs of beach rocks create an optical illusion that proves uniquely stylish and utilitarian.
The Urban Smith, a modern-day rocksmith, had an alternative take on rocks. The artist rock picks and tumbles on the streets of downtown SF to find material for her metal forged rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. Bridging the gap between classic and contemporary, Urban Smith has definitely got some edge.
Looking forward to the next UrbanAir installment on October 20th in the Lower Haight. We will definitely be there scouring the booths for our standout designer picks. See you there, and be inspired!