At last year’s Craft Fair, we featured two women who take great pride in their work of copper wire jewelry and watercolor painting. We continue the tradition this by paying tribute to even more of the women we have befriended in this year’s Craft Fair. These women are more than just mothers, sisters, students, and friends. They’re a part of the lifeblood that adds color and brings inspiration to the city of Baguio.
First of all, this event wouldn’t have been possible without the tremendous efforts by Candy Reyes-Alipio, founder of her social enterprise, the Knitting Expedition. She has partnered with a group of women in an Ifugao village, providing them a sustainable source of income, by teaching them the art of knitting. Through this, the women have been knitting plush toys, loved by many and even making their way around not only the Philippines, but also the world.
Duds Maranan is one of the creators of Pinsel Arts. Her products have a sort of minimalist, indie vibe to them. But Duds’ artistry doesn’t stop there. She brings her love for art into activism, as she has spearheaded and participated in events that raise awareness for social issues, such as Anong Paki Niyo sa El Ninyo?
Kate Diso-Agustin brings calligraphy to the next level through The Modern Calligrapher’s Nook. Not only does she make calligraphed printed products, but she creates hand-crafted calligraphy nib holders carved from wood and painted with intricate designs.
Bea Basi’s simple love for creating is her driving force for Slash Wrist. Through the accessories and knickknacks she cross-stitches, her products share the message that girls should not be afraid to express themselves.
Ja Turla is not ashamed to share her struggles with her mental health, and she uses her brainchild called Mirrored Trees as a platform to show that art can contribute to one’s healing and wellness. Her kaleidoscopic art of the trees she photographs has made it to a few exhibits nationwide, and just recently internationally.
Larla Mae Lapeña, Katherine Song, and Mai Fianza-Sarmiento are the women of Workshop Central. Together, they share the ideal that creativity and artistic skills are something to be taught and spread to others. Each of them has a unique skill to bring to the table, such as coffee painting, calligraphy, and upcycling, which they teach to anyone who is willing to learn.
Smorgasbord’s Joyce Mallare and Keziah Decaimat produces hip crafts which are perfect for the fun-loving millennial. We love Joyce’s hand-embroidered patches which add flair to any outfit, as well as Keziah’s minimalist copper rings for easily stylish bling. The duo is also very supportive in Baguio’s art and music scenes, as you’ll find them quite often during independently produced art and music events.
In the ever growing and vibrant arts and crafts scene in Baguio, creative flair takes the form of a matriarchy, as women are the pioneers to their own business endeavors, spreading homemade joy and love to the people around them through their handmade crafts. Despite coming in small packages, their work goes a long way in serving as inspirations for creativity.