Since the launch of Etsy in 2005, the crafting world has been totally reinvented. Gone are the days of the glitter-and-glue extravaganzas one might expect to find at a craft show. We are now seeing the most innovative, creative, and on-trend items, guaranteed to give anything at West Elm a run for its money.
Lucky for us, the largest craft show in the country returns to Baltimore this month, as the American Craft Show comes to the Baltimore Convention Center from February 22-24 with handcrafted items from more than 600 of the best contemporary makers in the country. “Baltimore has always been so welcoming,” says Pam Diamond, director of marketing and communications for the American Craft Council (ACC). “The appreciation for handmade goods has always been prevalent here, and we are thrilled to have so many new artists and selections this year.”
As the DIY movement has expanded, the technology has grown with it, allowing artists and makers to use things such as 3D printing and newfangled resins, plastics, and polymers to create one-of-a-kind pieces. And the ACC is all about sharing that knowledge. “We aren’t just about shopping,” says Diamond. “We want to educate people and, through doing that, we are supporting artists.”
This year, the ACC will feature two specialty programs to offer attendees even more opportunities to be hands on. “Let’s Make” is an interactive session designed to help the next generation of crafters discern between handmade and mass manufactured goods. And “Hip Pop” is a specialty booth where six emerging artists are able to display their work and get in front of an audience.
No matter which booth you end up browsing, the ACC show will have enough options to go around. And be sure to heed Diamond’s advice: “Put on your comfiest walking shoes, come inside, and just get totally inspired.”