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10 designers to check out at the Maker's Cartel market

Most of us know at least a couple of people who truly appreciate the value of something crafty or handmade--from something as simple as a greeting card, to a more functional object like a bag. Maker's Cartel, a Toronto craft market taking place this weekend, looks to be as good a spot as any to check out work of local artists who made a variety of goods from jewellery to t-shirts to berets. Here are 10 designers to check out at this weekend's Maker's Cartel.

Leaves of Trees
Leaves of Trees is a local line of organic skin care products (many of which feature beauty ingredient of the moment argan oil). Why is this important? Because they're created in small batches with the antimicrobial benefits of grapefruit seed extract, packaged into tubes sporting hand-printed-labels, and are made without artificial preservatives--and they're available in naturally-occuring and soothing scents like lavender and rose cardamom.

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Rune's jewellery is, quite simply, beautiful. The Toronto-based line is influenced by clean, architectural and geometric forms, industrial materials, and its three creators' backgrounds in architecture and ceramic sculpture. They'll be debuting their line in mid-December, so the market is your early 'in.'

Rosalyn Faustino
Rosalyn Faustino creates magic out textiles, through an almost preternatural ability to bend wood into unusual forms, or create a thoroughly modern necklace out of the somewhat grandmotherly act of crocheting. Her work expertly bridges the gap between art installation and wearable jewelery.

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Bllk Box
Bllk Box is the brainchild of Sarah Anne Friend, who dyes and prints each of her rowdy, attitude-ridden shirts by hand. You can expect bold, trippy colors, strong statements like "Suck it," and "Fuck the Future," and some downright mystical geometric prints--find her at the Market, or look for her at Untitled and Co.'s new Queen West location.

Le petit Beret & M.James
Local designer Danielle Suppa has both ladies and gents covered between her two lines--Le Petit Beret creates Parisian-inspired 100% wool berets in an array of colours and patterns ($50-$75, as well as custom styles), while M. James sees her creating an assortment of dapper ties and neckwear.

Sea Flower Studios
Sea Flower Studios produces delicate jewellery that, to my eye, is heavily influenced by natural, flowing lines; each piece is feminine, unique, and utterly wearable. The collection of earrings, necklaces and earrings is handcrafted and features subtle detailing--and yes, she does custom work..

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Ashley Barron
You might recognize the crafty, whimsical style of Toronto-based illustrator Ashley Barron style from the cover of kids' publications (or perhaps one of La Carnita's meathead illustrations). You'll find prints, original artwork, and copies of children's books sporting her work.

North reminds me of a time when I vocally supported the notion of using the found, sun-bleached skulls of small animals in jewellery, and was answered by a deep, awkward silence. I can now hold up North's hand-painted necklaces and keychains made from naturally-shed antlers as evidence that yes, re-using part of an animal as personal decoration is a haunting concept; and yes, it works.

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ATL Collars
Who am I to say that my fur baby can't appreciate a finely crafted accoutrement; a sentiment echoed by these Etsy-based creators of handmade pet collars and accessories using high-quality materials (which might not hold up to an anxious shredding). They're amenable to custom orders so the market will be a good opportunity to touch base.

Joseph Lo Ceramics
I highly recommend Joseph Lo Ceramics to those who find themselves lacking mugs, bowls or vases that are simply too beautiful to sully with the everyday mundane such as food, milk, or even flowers. Lo is an architect and occupational therapist by trade, and although he describes his work as a marriage between function and form, I'd be more than happy to sit in quiet contemplation of one of his aqua-toned bowls--lunch be damned.

The free pop-up will take over the Creatures:Collective Gallery (822 Dundas St. West) on December 1 (11am-8pm) and December 2 (11am-6pm). For a full list of vendors, visit the market's website.

Photos courtesy of the Maker's Cartel

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