Craftin' Outlaws 2010

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In 2005, the DIY craft scene was bursting at its seams and local crafter Liz Rosino was working on her retro-inspired line Lucky Kat. She traveled out of state for indie craft fairs but knew there was a market for one in Columbus.

That year she started Craftin' Outlaws, and it since has become the largest alternative craft fair in Ohio. This weekend the annual event will be held for the first time at the Gateway Film Center, having outgrown its past venues.

Rosino now sets up shop in Portland, Oregon, but her creation has become "absolutely vital for small crafters," said Megan Green, an organizer for the show who designs the lines Stinkybomb Soaps and Moogan Creations. "It helps them catapult into the next level."

With about 2,000 shoppers expected at this year's fair, the applications to be a vendor have poured in. About 160 crafters from across the Midwest sought booth space at the juried event, and only about 50 were selected. "It was a long, difficult decision," Green said.

The vendors offer everything from handcrafted jewelry to stationery to T-shirts, but they all had to meet the event's niche criteria.

"We're definitely edgier than other craft shows in town," Green said. "It kind of has a rockabilly attitude and theme."

At 1 p.m., attitude will be abundant during the popular Craft Corner Deathmatch.

"It's 'Iron Chef' meets a wrestling cage match," Green said of the competition that pits teams of two against each other in a battle of cunning crafting with a healthy side of trash talking. This year's judges are Johnny DiLoretto, Liz Lessner and Mary Martineau.

In addition to the shopping and show, Candle Lab will be pouring custom scents; Small Business Beanstalk will be inking temporary tattoos; ARTillery will have activities such as pumpkin carving and screen printing at its Shoebox Gallery across the alleyway, and there will be a bullet hole-studded Plinko game, the proceeds of which will go to a nonprofit that provides knitting machines and training to Rwandan women.

The price is right, too: Craftin' Outlaws is free.

Craftin' Outlaws

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16

Gateway Film Center

1550 N. High St., Campus