Saturday, November 19, 2011

Woodland Critters Selling Shortbread, Skulls & More Skulls (Rust Belt Market)

More whirlwind! Full workdays, followed by full evenings: drinks at SideTrack/representing* the artist contingent at the Ann Arbor Art Center's Celebrate the Season/set up for Art Open House/ sloshy margarita at Prickly Pear/ representing* at Art Open House last night and tomorrow afternoon. Framed prints almost 100% ready for the Gifts of Art Show at the hospital (OMG, I'm up on the site!! Scroll down! Ahem.)

*Potentially talking with all kinds of lovely people who would be curious about what you do, this often translates into a bit of wine drinking, mooning over the work of fellow artists** and wondering how often to switch off between sweet and savory flavors...oh, look! a mini eclair! Talking about the sad state of the economy and politics. Alas.

** Claimed a bracelet in under 5 minutes of being at Jeanne's house last night. A record for me.

Which is all to say, a little Rust Belt blogging has been hanging around from last Saturday. 
I returned to selling at the Rust Belt Market after a month off or so.  Has business picked up? For me, yes and no. It bustled earlier on, only to fall off in a somewhat dispiriting fashion. It wound up being a super fun day, largely due to the company kept and sights seen.

Next to me, Nick from Rock City Pies was working it. He barely needs attention here, having already graced the pages of Hour Detroit and appearing on local news stations for brief cooking demos. And really, he's dynamic enough and talented enough to get whatever attention he wants...the Rust Belt Market is his playground. As mentioned previously, I usually suss out his pie offerings earlier in the market day and commit to it later on. Which sometimes results in his selling out of the kind I have set my heart on. I am always shocked when this happens. Saturday was no exception. For the first couple hours of customer patter, when he ticked off "Baklava" within the pie flavors, I tuned it out. Did not compute. Clearly wrong, misheard. That's not pie. And then at some point, rosewater was mentioned. *LOVE* rosewater! So that emerged as the pie star. At which point the last slice sold. Ridiculous. 

Nick shakes his head at me,"You're RIGHT next to me! And you have been warning customers about them selling out~~" I know. But I will have no pie before it is time. Luckily my second choice (butterscotch bourbon pecan) is dreamy, one of the best RC pies I have had. I put a call in to see if Compatriot needs a slice. She does not. But she announces the last two episodes of True Blood have arrived, causing a sharp intake of breath on my end, which startles a nearby adolescent. He stares at me, aghast. "No!" I clarify to him, "Everything's ok! Nothing's wrong!" His look of alarm fades, shifts to wariness. On her end, she is laughing: "Who did you scare??"

Across from our tables/countertops is Henriettahaus Coffee, the source of some of the smoothest small-batch home roasted coffee you'll find. *Really lovely.* Together with Pete's Chocolate (who was serving coconut milk hot chocolate in addition to truffles), they form a dangerous pie-chocolate-coffee triangle....
Harvested skulls of those who have sworn off caffeine.

I became curious about the repeated visage for Amy's brand. True to branding, the face is on everything. It originated with a strange painting she picked up years ago --signed Henrietta-- which she holds below.You can also see it better at their website.

"Topless? Buy a shirt!"
It was a whiling-away day. I cut out woodblock birds for more small cards, talked, people watched. From my table I got to see the sharpie mural unfolding at the Pinwheel Bakery spot. They had a lovely little display anyway: quaint, pretty doilies and domed plates, softly colored confections. The emerging drawings lent an air of Anthropologie (less calculated, certainly). The fact that people were doing creative things within the market space, without them actually being structured demos was especially pleasing to me. Calming, almost. I grew up in a family where everyone had their projects. No one asked why you were making thing x. You just were. Amusing one's self, by doing what comes naturally...

Fun! Less fun: posing for a photo.

On to what they sell. They are a full-service bakery (what's more fun than a cookie slideshow? Maybe only this.)

pistachio, coffee, raspberry, vanilla

Some were iridescent, others had the tiniest sparkles. Magical!

finally settled on a pistachio. it was lovely. Also iridescent.

I showed the macaron to my table neighbor. "Look, it's pearly, so cute!" He glanced toward my hand.

"You know, you should put sparkles on some of your pie! I bet that'd sell well."

He folded his arms over his chest and gazed stonily at the ceiling. "You know how you were all mad about x? Well THAT is what I'm experiencing right now." Tee hee. Though he bakes, he identifies more as a chef. Who can get better affronted than a chef? 

Gazing beyond Pinwheel to the far wall, I was lured by some promising looking paintings. Once there, however, I got distracted by Spencer Chopp. He was selling his line of Stay Clean Soaps (which I would give you the web site link to, but there's a only a placeholder there: "Future Home of Something Cool"...).
Behind the soap display, he was also at work on a project:
How long before I get a humerus? Phalanges?
Readers, I ask you: How cool is this?? He was taking an online sculpture class, which he was very pleased with; and decided to rework the rib cage over the afternoon. Most excellent. As with the visit to Barb Yerace's glass studio, I probably could have hunkered down to just watch for awhile, especially since I have never worked with clay as an adult.

But now, the day wears on. I am idly planning to check out the Fine Ridge Art & Handmade Wares Show since I have heard it's very good. But will I be mired in football traffic coming home? THAT is the question.There may be traffic jam haiku in my future. Happy Saturday, All! And Happy tenth anniversary to The Bang!

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