The Poway Arts and Crafts Guild Artisan Market, held at Old Poway Park, had to move earlier this month from a busy area of the park to the Hamburger Factory’s boardwalk behind the building.
Since the restaurant has taken over the visible areas for outdoor dining, local artisans have struggled to sell their one-of-a-kind creations, said Chris Stell, a glassware artist and guild member.
“We used to be across the front so you would see us,” Stell said. “They took that away. We’re kind of buried, so we need help, people don’t know we’re here.”
The Poway Arts and Crafts Guild (PACG) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting local artisans’ one-of-a-kind creations. The arts and crafts range from dichroic glass jewelry to photography to crocheted stuffed animals. Artisans within the guild rotate every market to avoid similar crafts being sold.
The market, which was held Saturday, takes place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first and third Saturdays of the month from February through August. The next market is Aug. 20. From Labor Day weekend to Christmas, it will take place every Saturday.
Kristin Osborn, president and market coordinator for the guild, picked up both of those roles during the pandemic.
Not only is Osborn part of the guild’s leadership team, she is also an expert fibrecraft artist She learned to spin wool at a young age and now raises sheep, shears them and spins the wool so it’s ready for knitting.
She sells her beanies, blankets and other items at the market.
Although wool can be a tough sell in sunny San Diego, she keeps her part-time business alive through her customers.
“Sometimes my customers say, ‘Well these are gifts being shipped back to Michigan or Wisconsin,’” Osborn said.
Stell has been a member of the guild for over 20 years. She handcrafts colorful glass home decor and jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets, and earrings that she sells at the Artisan market and at her studio in the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park.
Monday through Wednesday she etches designs such as robots, suns, and animals, fires glass, and brings her designs to life using a high-speed engraver.
Being a graphic design artist for 15 years has helped her come up with intricate designs.
“Every design has some sort of story,” Stell said. “There’s always some reason they’re the way they are.”
To shop her glasswork, visit www.chrisstell.com.
Kristi Griffin, another guild member, makes custom candles for holidays and occasions, from candles in vintage teacups and wine glasses to memory candles with preserved flowers for personal events such as weddings and funerals.
Currently, her most popular items are the tin candles with crystals sprinkled in them.
“I don’t know what the crystals mean, that’s the customer’s thing, but they’re very popular,” Griffin said.
Her newest candle, which is also one of her favorites, is the scrap candle, which is leftover pieces of wax all combined into one candle.
For more information on Griffin’s work, call 760-207-0560 or email KristisCustomCandles@gmail.com.
In addition to giving back to the community through crafts, the guild gives back to students, Osborn said. The booth fees from the PACG Artisan Market support scholarships for Poway Unified School District art departments.
“For the 2021/2022 school year, we awarded a total of $1,607 to purchase table top easels, ceramics clay, and printmaking supplies,” Osborn said.
The guild also hosts an annual Student Art Festival at Old Poway Park, which allows students to showcase their crafts to the public. The festival is open to all PUSD students and enrollment in an art class is not required.
For an application to join the guild, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the guild, visit or https://poway.org/454/Boardwalk-Craft-Market.
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