‘One of a Kind Show and Sale’
Merchandise Mart, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago
11 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 5-6, 10 a.m.-7 -p.m. Dec. 7, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 8
$12 for adults; children 12 and under are free; a portion of ticket sales will benefit Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital.
Buy tickets online at oneofakindshowchicago.com
It’s time for the annual handmade art mart that’s so spectacular it’s one-of-a-kind.
Chicago’s 13th annual One of a Kind Show and Sale returns to the Merchandise Mart from Dec. 5-8, bringing more than 600 juried artists, craftspeople and designers from across North America to showcase their imaginative creations.
One of a Kind Show organizers recommend using the event as your holiday gift list mecca. For men, consider handcrafted timepieces, scarves and original screen-printed tee-shirts. For women, try handbags, clothing, accessories and jewelry. Check out, too, specialty products to appeal to home design enthusiasts, cooks, hosts and hostesses, and kids.
“It’s my favorite show in this area. It’s festive. People are always there to have a good time,” said Teresa De Ver, a Barrington-based artist who will exhibit at the show for her sixth year.
De Ver, in her work, builds on ancient forms of wire sculpting and chain maille to create chains and other forms of jewelry. Often, her pieces interweave gemstones such as amethyst, amber, topaz and quartz.
Like many One of a Kind Show artists, De Ver offers pieces that are “very affordable and beautiful. My bestselling pieces every year are my bangle bracelets. Special one-of-a-kind pieces this year will be a collection of druzy [naturally glittery] pendants and earrings.”
De Ver enjoys the One of a Kind Show’s ability to attract out-of-state visitors and even Chicago suburbanites who kick-off their holiday seasons by enjoying a weekend in the city and visit to the show.
Annually, she said, she sees familiar customers from Indiana, Ohio and other parts of the Midwest.
“Every year it gets better and better, from the standpoint of an artist,” she said. “Originally, when I started, there was always a day that was pretty dead. But over the last two or three consecutive years it’s been full for all four days.”
In addition to jewelry, artists at this year’s show will feature a wide array of hand-crafted items at many price points. Other categories include accessories, ceramics, fashion, fiber art, furniture, glass, gourmet, holiday, kids, metal, mixed media, paintings, photography, sculpture and wood.
In addition to shopping and interacting directly with the artists, visitors can indulge in artist talks, crafting workshops, fashion shows, cafes and live music.
Another jewelry artist, Kim Bloomberg of Glencoe, is premiering at the 2013 One of a Kind Show as one of its “aspiring artists.”
“It’s a show I’ve always attended and aspired to be part of,” she said. “It’s an overwhelming selection of arts and crafts. It’s a really good opportunity for me to take my work to the next level.”
Bloomberg’s designs reflect her belief that jewelry should be elegant yet comfortable. Involving hand-wrapped wire and natural gemstones, such as quartz, labradorite, moonstone and freshwater pearls, she seeks to balance a modern and antique feel.
“All of my work is inspired by nature,” she said.