Guest Blogger Picks: Becky Johnson.

Greetings, Citizens.

As we hit the ten-days-until-the-show mark, it feels like high time to start seriously showing off what our amazing vendors are going to have on offer on the big weekend. To that end, we are launching a series of gift guides selected by a crew of lovely invited guests and staffers.

Even though I do not like to pick favourites (every vendor at City of Craft is top notch in my books), I thought I would kick the series off by showing off the work of a few vendors who are brand new to the show. With just over one third of our vendors never having done a City of Craft show before, this was no easy task. Here goes!


I am really excited to see the work on Hamilton's Crownland not just because owner Amy Kenny's design sense is so clean and iconic but also because she hunts deer and tans leather herself. I give major props to makers who get that involved in the sourcing of their materials.

Dawn Petticrew

If you are more geared toward animal motifs than products, Dawn Petticrew's ceramic works may be just what you are looking for. Striking a balance between fantasy and earnestness, her work is completely beguiling to me. Skill, voice - she's got it all. Plus, I dig florals with some punch to them.

Kiriki Press

I am also a sucker for all things DIY (naturally). That is why I find these animal embroidery kits by Kiriki Press so fantastic. Practising your stitches and ending up with a totally unique plushy in the end? What a great way to spend some frosty evenings. And you don't have to deal with the daunting aspects of designing the project, if that's not your bag. Magic!

Team Art

Further on the semi-DIY tip are the full line of colour books by Team Art. I especially appreciate how this collective seems to be picking themes for books completely based on their own varied interests - Dogs, Voldemort, 90's Pop Divas, Jon Hamm. That's a team I'd like to join (and a Hamm I'd like to party with).

Fila Arcana

Speaking of personal interests, I would be remiss if I did not mention Fila Arcana, the art outlet of embroiderer Mine Sewell Mancuso. Working from arcane imagery based in mysticism and secret societies, her work very much appeals to the our more esoteric selves. I always find these themes especially resonant in winter - less sunshine, all that time indoors...what better time to contemplate the mystical?

Becky Johnson runs this here City of Craft and also her own craft outfit, the Sweetie Pie Press. Sometimes, she speaks at conferences about craft-related themes, sometimes she curates things and still other times she makes up jokes on stage.

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