Pottery artist Stephanie Premich used to sell her wares at 40 events a year, filling her weekends with craft shows and arts festivals near and far. COVID put an end to that, and in the past year she decided to focus on a handful of premier regional events to showcase her pottery line, Mud & Maker.
One such event is the Clover Market, the semi-annual, traveling pop-up that returns to Chestnut Hill this Sunday, April 16.
“Always, always, always, the Clover Market!” Premich said. “Clover has a customer base that is very knowledgeable and so understanding and so supportive of handcrafted goods.”
The handcrafted and vintage goods at this spring’s market will be offered by 95 vendors set up at 25 W. Highland Ave. (the “Turquoise” parking lot) and along the unit block of Highland west from Germantown Avenue. The Market will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Vendors include many from the Philadelphia area, and others from as far away as Maine and Virginia, according to Clover Market organizer Janet Long. They include dealers of fine arts, crafts, clothing and accessories, antique and vintage items, collectibles, prepared foods and handcrafted home and bath goods.
Five food trucks including Bonjour Creperie, Clean Plate Club, Korea Taqueria and Many Hands Coffee will offer breakfast, lunch and snacks to enjoy while browsing or at a seating area near the entrance to the Turquoise lot.
Local rockers The Wayside Shakeup will perform from noon to 3 p.m.
Eleven vendors are new this spring to the Chestnut Hill market – a soapmaker, a jeweler, a hatmaker, a crafter of hand-knit stuffed toys, among others.
“One of our objectives every season is to have a nice mix of people who have participated before, and new people” offering goods, Long said. “It keeps things fresh to have things our customers have never seen. They’re always going to find something new.”
Chestnut Hill is an ideal site for the market, which will also travel to Collingswood, N.J., and Bryn Mawr and Kennett Square, Pa. later this spring, Long said. The fall market is slated to return to Chestnut Hill Sept. 10.
“In all of our locations, we’re looking for a vibrant and active downtown business district where the surrounding community enjoys festivals and shopping from small, independent makers,” she said. “Where there are people who love to shop small and local.”
As the market has become a must for the artists and makers who participate, it’s eagerly anticipated in Chestnut Hill, said Kate O’Neill of the Chestnut Hill Business District.
“Chestnut Hill has a very discerning consumer base,” said O’Neill, who has worked with Long to bring the market here since its founding in 2010. “They really know the value of things, and they appreciate lucky finds” among the market’s handmade and vintage items.
Artisans like Premich, of Mud & Maker, cater to those consumers with one-of-a-kind pieces, none of which is over $50. Some of her cups, plates and plaques, inscribed with words or images Premich describes variously as “snarky, witty, loving or encouraging” will speak expressly to Philadelphians: There are decorative objects that reference the city’s iconic “Love” sculpture, and a Gritty holiday ornament.
Other pottery pieces have more practical uses. Small, whimsically decorated cups “started as shot glasses, but they evolved,” Premich said. “Now I call them ‘Mommy pots.’ They’re for when your kids go out to the yard and pick you a dandelion.”
The Clover Market will be held rain or shine, but in the event of extreme weather, a virtual market will be held online. Find updates and additional information at theclovermarket.com or @clovermarket on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.