Poway Arts and Crafts Guild struggles to find visitors for craft market

The Poway Arts and Crafts Guild Craft Market, held in Old Poway Park, had to move earlier this month from a busy area of ​​the park to the Burger Factory Promenade behind the building.

Since the restaurant took over the visible areas for outdoor dining, local artisans have struggled to sell their unique creations, said glass artist and guild member Chris Stell.

“We used to be on the other side of the frontline for you to 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 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the unique creations of local artisans. Arts and crafts range from dichroic glass jewelry to photography to crocheted stuffed animals. Guild artisans rotate each market to prevent similar craft items from being sold.

The market, which was held on Saturdays, takes place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of the month from February to August. The next market is August 20. From Labor Day weekend to Christmas, it will take place every Saturday.

Paintings by Anna Stone at the Saturday Craft Market.

(Mia Garcia)

Kristin Osborn, the guild’s president and market coordinator, has taken on both of these roles during the pandemic.

Kristin Osborn, President and Market Coordinator of the Poway Arts and Crafts Guild, spins yarn at the craft market.

Kristin Osborn, President and Market Coordinator of the Poway Arts and Crafts Guild, spinning yarn at her stall at the Saturday Craft Market.

(Mia Garcia)

Not only is Osborn on the guild’s leadership team, but she’s also an expert fiber artist. She learned to spin wool at a young age and now raises sheep, shears them and spins the wool ready to knit.

She sells her hats, blankets and other items at the market.

Kristin Osborn's knitted items on display at the Saturday craft market.

Kristin Osborn’s knitted items on display at the Saturday craft market.

(Mia Garcia)

Although wool can be a tough sell in sunny San Diego, she keeps her part-time business alive thanks to her customers.

“Sometimes my customers say, ‘Well, those are gifts sent back to Michigan or Wisconsin,'” Osborn said.

Stell has been a member of the guild for over 20 years. She handcrafts ornaments and jewelry from colored glass, including necklaces, bracelets, and earrings that she sells at the craft market and in her studio at the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park.

From Monday to Wednesday, she engraves designs such as robots, suns and animals, fires glass and brings her designs to life using a high-speed engraver.

Being a graphic designer for 15 years has helped her create intricate designs.

“Every design has some sort of story,” Stell said. “There’s always a reason why they are the way they are.”

To purchase his glassware, visit www.chrisstell.com.

Fellow guild member Kristi Griffin makes personalized candles for holidays and occasions, from candles in vintage teacups and wine glasses to keepsake candles with preserved flowers for personal events such as weddings and funerals.

Currently, his most popular items are pewter candles with sprinkled crystals.

“I don’t know what the crystals mean, it’s the customer thing, but they’re very popular,” Griffin said.

His latest candle, which is also one of his favorites, is the scrap candle, which is leftover wax combined into one candle.

For more information about Griffin’s work, call 760-207-0560 or email [email protected]

In addition to giving back to the community through crafting, the guild gives back to students, Osborn said. PACG Artisan Market booth fees support scholarships for Poway Unified School District art departments.

“For the 2021/2022 school year, we have awarded a total of $1,607 for the purchase of table easels, ceramic clay, and printmaking supplies,” Osborn said.

The guild also hosts an annual Student Art Festival in 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 a guild membership request, contact [email protected] For more information about the guild, visit or https://poway.org/454/Boardwalk-Craft-Market.

About Tracy G. Larimore

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