AT THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES by Kolbie Brightwell and Shawn Mallen
1. 4. PHOTOS BY VITORIA MAGNO
What you can find there...
What Crafted is... Walking through the doors, booths of handmade jewelry, artwork, furniture, clothing and homemade food from vendors fill the floor of the old ship warehouse. Crafters greet people with smiles as they approach the booths. Crafted is a World War II-era waterside warehouse dedicated to vendors who sell their handcrafted merchandise. Located at 110 East 22nd street in San Pedro, Crafted offers demonstrations and live music along with free parking and free admittance. The vendors display their products within an open booth of varying size and must create their own signs and advertisements to draw in buyers. “It’s a beautiful historical warehouse built in the 1920’s, with it’s existing hardwood interior walls and large loafed ceilings. Each booth is designed and layout differently, as well as they’re product,” vendor Lindsay Zuelich, said. Vendors can collaborate and combine their booths. Meredith Harbuck from Meriebabie, Zuelich from Wood Brain combined their booths and each work shifts. Harbuck sells leather handbags and Zuelich sells accessories, paintings, planters and other novelties made of wood. “It’s a relaxed craft marketplace where shoppers and vendors can come for art, crafts, and food,” Harbuck said. Crafted is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. year-round. “There is so much to see and do at Crafted,” Zuelich said. “Whether it’s to enjoy live music, eat at one of the gourmet food trucks, or browse many of the creative and talented artists’ market stalls, there is something to do and enjoy for all ages.”
10 HIGH TIDE . FEATURES
Vivid colors melt together and shine around the gleaming pieces of art in a way that immediately draws attention. Artist Keith Schafer is the owner of Krazykorner, a booth at Crafted. He creates glass artwork and displays his pieces at the venue. “[My artwork] catches a lot of people’s eyes and I think it’s awesome that people appreciate what I do,” Schafer said. Schafer always had a passion for art, but he wasn’t able to pursue it as a career because he was working in warehouses. “[I was] sick of working day in and day out at these warehouses where I worked a 12 hour shift,” Schafer said. “In a way, I’m sort of glad that happened because I got a chance to make art full time,” Schafer had been creating art on the side ever since he got out of college, but he never did it as an occupation. On Jan. 4, he decided to put his art out for sale at Crafted in hopes of making a career out of what he loves to do. “[Opening a booth] is a huge experience for me because I’ve put my art out there before, but I’ve never tried to sell anything until now,” he said. “This is kind of like a test run for me to open a small business so that I don’t have to go back to a warehouse job,” So far Schafer’s booth has had success. Many people enjoy the “good-to-look-at color” in his glass art. Although he appreciates positive feedback, Schafer likes constructive criticism more because it makes him a better artist. “I actually tend to learn more when people think negatively of my art than positively,” Schafer said. “Sometimes when you are pursuing something, you need some [constructive criticism] to improve.” Schafer makes a variety of glass artwork, from vividly colored abstract art to surreal monsters and skeletons. He draws inspiration for his artwork from tiki culture and various types of monsters. He incorporates the bright colors of hot rod cars into all of his works. Schafer’s favorite part of glass fusing is the creative potential that it holds. “[Glass fusing] is a strange medium because it’s kind of
Crafted. 1. Last weekend a Beatles coverband performed for the Beatles themed weekend at Crafted. 2. Visitors watch live music while they eat lunch. 3. A baby sculpture made of kids toys. 4. Shafer’s KrazyKorner booth. 5. A close up of a KrazyKorner plate.
like an alchemy, in a way,” he said. “You’re applying science and art and combining them into something entirely new,” Schafer’s alchemy begins with a special kind of glass he gets from Portland, Ore. He then chooses bright colors of glass for the piece and breaks them apart. After, he pieces the glass shards together, similar to a mosaic, until he has a design that satisfies him. He then fires the glass to fuse the pieces of together. Lastly, Schaffer molds the warm fused glass into its final shape. Schafer makes all of his art at his work desk in his “studio” bedroom and in his garage. “I’ll just be sitting at my desk cutting away glass, and then it just happens,” he said. “It’s almost accidental. Sometimes, I’ll be brainstorming ideas and other times I’ll have a dream and wake up and say, ‘Hey, that’d be a cool thing to make.’” Schafer dedicates most of his time to his art. He stays up late fine-tuning his work. When he can’t be at his booth, his mother helps run it. Schafer’s mother, Olga Schafer, has always seen Schafer’s passion for art since he was young. She is proud of what he has accomplished so far and supports his drive to make great artwork. “I am proud of him because he has pursued his dream. He’s persistent with his work. ” Mrs. Schafer said. “His accomplishments are wonderful so far.” She enjoys the “vibrant” colors of his artwork and thinks what he does is “amazingly” creative. According to Mrs. Schafer, her son’s art is very original and unlike what other artists do. “He uses very bright colors, which I enjoy a lot. My favorite kind of art that he does is glasswork,” Mrs. Schafer said. According to Schafer, he makes enough to pay the rent for his booth and buy new supplies while making a profit. Eventually, he plans to expand his art, but for now Crafted is his focus. “Making art and making a living off of it is a dream come true,” Schafer said.