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Craft Virgins at the Design Fair

Four West Coast Craft artisans to watch. With skills like these, who needs beginner's luck?


The portable DIY *iA Playhouse, created by Chloé Leguay. 

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Wood-soled sandals by Bryr Studio's Isobel Schofield.

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Leather sling seat by Wenger Designs.

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Hand-built custom furniture by Small Works' Andrew Berg Sweeney.

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West Coast Craft, the biannual maker fair, brings together 250-plus California artisans and nearly 20,000 shoppers under one roof. This year, more than 40 Bay Area vendors are newcomers, a WCC record. Here, a look at four of our favorite local first-timers.

The Portable, Flexible Fort 
The *iA Playhouse is a DIY fort and simple construction game packed into a portable tote. Created by Chloé Leguay—previously a movie set decorator, model maker, and sculptor in Paris—each playhouse includes a series of star-shaped connectors, triangular swaths of fabric, and wooden sticks ($285). The three elements can be assembled in countless iterations to create an igloo, a faceted ball, a dollhouse, a tepee, a toy boat, and more. The colorful patchwork structures are stable and machine washable for indoor-outdoor use.

Stomp on Wood 
With San Francisco’s heel-shredding hills in mind, Bryr Studio designer Isobel Schofield launched her Dogpatch workshop last year, peddling wood-soled sandals, clogs, and booties (from $250). The British-born shoemaker offers dozens of options for building custom kicks, including 20 varieties of American-sourced leather, Spanish wood heels in two heights, and extras like tassels, fringe, and wrapping straps. Don’t miss a small-batch, limited-edition leather hue exclusive to WCC. Each pair of made-to-order shoes is handcrafted and delivered within a month. 

Sling Shot 
Daniel and Sam Wenger, the father-son duo behind Wenger Designs, are masters of leather, suede, and steel. Their furniture studio’s bestselling Lotus chair (from $1,600) was first designed in 1969 by the elder Wenger, a former computer programmer and physics professor. Inspired by the work of Italian sculptor Giorgio Belloli, the handcrafted leather sling seat combines the comfort of a hammock with the look of a modernist sculpture. 

A Framer Veers Outside The Box 
Mission-based artist Andrew Berg Sweeney of Small Works has earned a following in the local art community for his handmade custom frames, which are displayed at galleries and restaurants around town like Tartine, Pizzaiolo, and Jessica Silverman Gallery. For his inaugural West Coast Craft, however, Sweeney is bringing versions of his hand-built home decor and furniture, including sculpture shelves, wooden benches, and the 8-by-6-foot Triangle shelf ($3,200), which quickly achieved Instagram fame after gracing Venice’s General Store. 

West Coast Craft runs June 11–12 at the Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion.


Originally published in the June issue of San Francisco

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