Spotlight on: Gift Forest at the Bridge

December 11th, 2013 · 3 Comments · By

For the past couple years, my good friend, great-idea-haver and craft fair impresario Sarah Carr has been organizing the holiday pop-up shop at The Bridge PAI. This year’s iteration is called Gift Forest and contains many artists Sarah has drawn in from Charlottesville, the surrounding area and a bit beyond. I hopped over there yesterday and took some snapshots of items I really dug.

Allyson Mellberg and Jeremy Taylor are an amazingly wonderful couple who do printwork, primarily with naturally-derived pigments (sometimes even from the material they grow in their backyard!). They frequently collaborate on visual artmaking and have a combined aesthetic that merges childhood simplicity with a darker understanding of the precarious world we may take for granted. People should take advantage of the unusually low prices for their work they’ve put on these numbered and signed prints.

Oxide Pottery is a great store based out of Lynchburg. While initially doing pottery, they’ve since branched out into carrying wooden utensils, craft print works and beyond. Here’s a good piece from them that’s at Gift Forest. A neat trick combining screenprinting and ceramics..


Brian Knox is a member of the Boone-based band Naked Gods and also a fantastic printmaker. Pulling from an obscure yet vibrant archive, Brian makes awesome album covers, show posters, t-shirts and artistic prints–all available at The Bridge. Last year one of my favorite gifts I bought was one of his totes for my brother. Here’s a spread of his posters this year:

Norah Caldwell also sometimes produces under the name Cowgirl Electra. Her jewelry set-up is particularly great, she hammers out all her stuff by hand. I’m fond of this brass-knuckle-turned-twig silver ring, modeled by my friend Jess:

Jordan Grace Owens has a cutesy-but-heavy-in-its-simplicity style similar to Allyson and Jeremy. I really enjoyed her postcards, particularly the beehive hairdo model.

Chelsea Wolf does woodburnings that contain a primitive quality while also maintaining an urbane style you’d expect from a Charlottesville denizen. The scale of her work ranges from medium-stump size to small button size, the latter of which is shown below:

[Chelsea and Jordan’s work are coupled together because of the store’s arrangement, not any artistic link]

Mister Crow is a family operation based out of Staunton, by way of Phoenix, Arizona. The wife and husband couple behind Mister Crow have developed an amazing supply chain for all their goods. For the shirts, the cotton is grown in Phoenix, woven in Kentucky, then dyed and printed in Staunton. Their leather is from an Amish farmer down the road. Their wool is from their own sheep. Everything in their goods, down to the safety pins to fasten tags, comes from the United States. Really amazing people and really amazing stuff. Below are some of their shirts:

The store is open from now until Dec. 24th, Monday through Friday 12pm-8pm and during the weekends 10am-6pm. It is also, importantly, open Christmas Eve from 10am-4pm. You can do an immense amount of Christmas shopping for a wide variety of people here thanks to the wide and varied selection arising from the skilled curatorial hand of Sarah Carr!

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 james // Dec 11, 2013 at 11:42 am

    yeah, good stuff at the sale this year. I’ve already sold two suits that didn’t fit me, and a half-dozen books (including my disintegrating childhood single-volume copy of “Lord of the Rings,” which sold within hours of the first day opening), and in exchange I have already taken home a handful of matchbooks decorated with classic paperback covers, as well as three shirts (one by Brian, one by Thomas, and a button-up plaid that fits me perfectly, despite being a women’s shirt that I have to button backwards).

    surprised no-one’s bought any of my used CDs yet. there’s only 3 of them, but they’re good ones (Coltrane! Mogwai! Birchville Cat Motel!)

  • 2 james // Dec 11, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    (didn’t manage to pick up any actual Gifts, though, since I always give books as Xmas presents every year)

  • 3 scarr // Dec 12, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    thanks for the write up!