When you make your weekly trek to the Mission Viejo Farmers Market on Friday be sure to check out “Artisan Alley” featuring more than a dozen hand-crafted local artisans. Some are featured here:
Lesli Mitchell is inspired by her daughter and the world of 7 and 8-year-old children. She loves creating designs that inspire the imagination of the young and make them happy. As a stay-at-home mom, she indulges in her creative outlets daily, even if it is only for a couple of minutes. Her creative work helps her to think out of the box.
Chachi Handmade Designs represent Maria Escobar’s journey in the field of arts and crafts. The process began as a necessity to provide visually inviting and tactile experiences for her little boy who was born with Down syndrome. She wanted to create affordable items that provide the sensory needs for many children in a safe and creative way. So she created the “Owl” handbags and backpacks that are colorful and can be filled with different tactile media. For example, a bag of rice, seeds, or sand can provide calming and soothing effects for each child when placed on the lap while doing homework or riding in the car. A portion of all sales are donated to the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County.
Amy Fossati started Fossati Designs about a year ago. She has always been into arts and crafts, but it wasn’t until recently that she thought about selling her products after dreaming up a unique idea for her mom’s birthday by making wine corkboards. Although most people simply toss wine corks out, Amy believes they are too beautiful and breathes new life into them through artwork. What started as a hobby has turned into a business with restaurants, bars and wineries around South Orange County saving wine corks for her. Amy’s newest creations are Patron bottle soap dispensers that are also salvaged from local taverns. All the eco-friendly products she sells are recycled.
Doug Turner has sold work at Knott’s Berry Farm and juried craft shows in several states as well as various farmers markets. He enjoys researching and recreating folk toys such as the “whimmy diddle”; spinning tops; climbing bears; and more. Products range from toys for all ages to rolling pins, trivets, ink pens, bottle stoppers, combs, hand mirrors, jewelry boxes, signs and sayings and more. Doug produces stock movie star and famous people scroll saw portraits and takes custom orders for portraits, signs, puzzles, and name plaques. This artist produces a wide variety of affordable wood gifts that are well made and durable.
Steve Kramar’s artwork is about feeling and conveys fun and leisure. He believes that a beautiful piece of art includes the elements that make things beautiful in nature – depth, light, and detail infused with seemingly random synergism. To Steve, nature is almost always associated with fun and leisure, and he explores the beauty of it within the craft. He capitalizes on the unintended effect of splattering paint with fluid surfaces, allowing them to mingle together, organically creating a loosely knit concept for a more realistic painting.
The Mission Viejo Farmers Market is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Civic Center courtyard. For more information, visit www.cityofmissionviejo.org/farmersmarket.