Saturday, May 14, 2011

On the Road - Twist

I was kid-in-a-candy-shop excited to be in the Twist show on May 6th and 7th this year. The show is known far and wide for finely curated wares and a friendly community. Thom and I had a calm drive up to Northampton, stopped for lunch in town, checked into our hotel, and headed off to the Northampton Center for the Arts. The building was spacious and had lots of sunlight streaming in through the big windows. The picturesque ceiling had a stained glass design, decorative molding, and a rotating disco ball. The whole space had a great vibe.
Twist at the Northampton Center for the Arts
lookin' up
When met a ton of nice people while setting up. When we arrived at our table, I noticed an amazing lavender and mint scent. It was a refreshing welcome from Steve and Karen of Little Birch Farm. They hand craft a nice array of soaps, lip balms, bath salts, and other lovely body care products. Their letter pressed birch bark packaging had an incredible feel and it was great to hear about how Steve and Karen collaborate together on their products. I was lucky enough to go home with a bar of their Marian's Mint soap and it gave me a nice pick me up after a long weekend.
Little Birch Farm
To our right, was local ceramic artist Abby Berkson. I instantly fell in love with her hand painted details, inspired by children's book illustrations. I especially enjoyed her crowned elephants and cats with scarves. The cat reminded me a little of my favorite children's chapter book, "Jenny and the Cat Club." She offered lovely plates, mugs, sugar/creamer sets, and small bowls that were the perfect compact size for salsas and sauces. I was most impressed by the craftsmanship of her lidded pouring pots with straining spouts. She was a friendly neighbor and I enjoyed hearing all about her work in the studio.
Abby Berkson Ceramics

elephants and birds and cats...oh my!
I also got a warm welcome from realistic painter Julie Beck. The first thing that caught my eye at her table was a painting of a quarter on a vibrant orange background. Made me wanna go to the nearest arcade and play some pinball. I also loved her buttons, which she offered as paintings and on magnets. It was great chatting with someone who has been a participant of Twist for several years. She introduced me to some of her friends from Rhode Island including Kristin Crane who made clever journals, cards, and bookmarks out of old maps and other interesting ephemera. Her journals would make a perfect gift for anyone about to embark on a special journey.

Julie Beck

quarter envy
Kristin Cane
Chrissy Ann Ceramics was my neighbor right behind me. Her custom blended glazes gave each piece of pottery a warm and unique finish. Chrissy made a whole variety of plates, bowls, and decorative pieces that could be personalized for weddings and other special occasions. She also sold stacks of four small scalloped edged dipping bowls, glazed in a way that made me think of delicious cookies. I enjoyed hearing about her studio space and hanging out with her for two days.

Chrissy Ann Ceramics
See that floral shaped bundle of tiny plates with a bow? Delish!

Heather Jean Toupin is a busy bee. Not only does she make a cool array of stationery and wearables for heatherjeany, but she also runs White Electric coffee shop in Providence, RI. We both spied something we loved from each others tables and treated ourselves. I have always been a fan of the old fashioned button candy. She created note cards that looked just like the candy, down to the bleeding of colors between rows of dots. I am considering framing one...that's how much I love it! Heather took home one of my thimbilism necklaces that had two elements that suited her to a T. It had a lightning bolt (for her coffee shop) and "SINGER" printed on thimble (she loves to sew). I hope to swing by her coffee shop next time I'm in the Providence area. 
Just dotty for this note card set!
thimbilism necklace - ZAP!
At Twist, I got to premiere some new OOAK necklaces, including ones made out of bicycle head badges and an Esther Williams inspired piece. Some of my REcap bracelets, Fun 'n' Games rings, and thimbilism necklaces went to happy homes by the end of the show. Besides the soap and stationery, I also grabbed an upcycled skateboard bracelet from COOB Originals.I have gotten tons of compliments while wearing it already and folks are always surprised to find out it was made from a re-loved skateboard.

some new OOAK pieces
Fun 'n' Games rings
COOB Originals - bangle bracelet - LOVE!
Everyone at Twist, from the artisans to the customers, were so friendly and supportive. I ended the day on Saturday with new friends, lots of new connections, and a heavenly free chair massage from Mary Hunt O'Conner. What's not to love? I can't wait for the next Twist and highly suggest swinging by next time if you're in the area!

Come visit me on my birthday next week:
Saturday, May 21st – Shop the Archway – DUMBO – Brooklyn, NY


  1. Great post summing up Twist Mei-Ling! It was great hanging out with you & Thom as well! What a fab show!!! Best of luck with your Dumbo show & Happy Birthday!!! Hope to see you soon! Cheers~ : )

  2. Thanks Mei-Ling! It was great fun hanging with you and Thom also! We loved seeing all of your great up-cycled jewelry and it was nice listening to you talk with other teachers (and students) about reducing & reusing! Hope to see you guys around real soon!
    Steve & Karen
    Little Birch Farm