ST. PETERSBURG, FL (November 20, 2012) – Shoppers can escape from overcrowded malls or catalog cliché to discover one-of-a-kind finds at Value Fair Market. Local artists and craftsmen display imaginative, handcrafted items at this indoor, air conditioned market that falls into that oft-elusive category of a local artistic emporium/shopping bazaar that offers shoppers a wide variety of gift ideas and plenty of bargains. Browse unique spices and gourmet packaged goods, cosmetics, jewelry, women’s clothing and accessories, handmade pottery, furniture, plants, seeds, and gardening tools, marine equipment and supplies, soy candles and other organic products. Bucolic furniture, fiberglass sea life, Native American flutes, hand-beaded and braided jewelry, custom signs, and much more. Watching local artists create their original designs builds an attachment to a special treasure. Rain or shine, you can visit the indoor market at 3951 34th St. South, St. Petersburg, 727-897-6695.
Meet the local artists:
Native Tampa artist Pat Powers brings the gulf ashore at Tropical Driftwood Art; 813-260-7089; www.tropicaldriftwoodart.com. His hobby of giving away his underwater scenes turned into a business. He sells 6-inch angelfish, 8-foot alligators, sharks, snook, starfish and other brilliantly-hued, three-dimensional tropical art. He has a shop on St. Pete beach as well as the Value Market. The tropical sea life, whether made from plastic, metal, resin, wood or fiberglass, enhanced by fiber optic lighting, set atop bleached driftwood; create eye-catching, huge, maintenance-free aquariums. Pat says this is the cheapest place to buy fiberglass fish mounts in the country. Prices start at $6.50 and go to $2,000 for elaborate designs.
Dave Flori, who operates Treefrog Carving & Milling South, 636-208-1310, skips the hammer and chisel and reaches for a gas-powered chainsaw to carve expressive bears, eagles, pelicans, tiki totems and other eye-catching art. He whacks through eastern aromatic red cedar, southern yellow pine, cedar and other timber to form whimsical, three-dimensional designs. Besides statuary, he mills and carves customized signs and bucolic furniture. Dave gave up a hand router and doesn’t let the heft of a chain saw limit his chiseled cuts. Dave’s unconventional talents were featured on the ABC television show “THE LIST.” Prices start at $20 and go to $3,500. Custom work is $100 per foot up to six feet. Dave has a gift for everyone who watches his kinetic carving—ear plugs.
Zoe and Robert Bocik are high quality designers who take their passion to the next level with FUNKTIONHOUSE Urban Lumber & Furnishings; (727) 286-0589, 727-366-4429. Local arborists alert the Bociks to trees that would otherwise be doomed for the landfill offering up choices such as oak, cedar, camphor, rosewood, sweet gum and blue Mahoe. All of their wood is locally harvested, reclaimed and recycled. They have so much lumber that their inventory stretches the south perimeter of the market. One-of-a-kind furnishings, rustic and modern tables, headboards and guitars, showcase the wood’s character and rich patina. Zoe finishes each project with natural oil-based finishes or low VOC varnishes and lacquers. Prices for lumber, turning stock and slabs, start at $10 a board foot, furnishings range from $40 for decor items to $1,000 and upwards for large slab tables. Custom orders are welcome.
Joan Makara shows off brightly colored gem fashion accessories at Beads & Blumes; 727-576-2955. Joan’s loyal clientele return for brilliantly beaded earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings, adorned with semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystals, or eight-stranded, braided Japanese kumihimio designs. Beaded granulation adds interesting texture to her sterling silver jewelry. Handcrafted fashion accessories are produced as a mix of organic and geometric designs and motifs. The jewelry start at $18 for earrings and $35 for necklaces; it climbs to $280 for sterling Omega chains.
Dennis Johnson’s authentic Native American Indian art features flutes, dream catchers, walking sticks and other handmade merchandise. Dennis, an Osage Native American Indian, was bestowed with the title of Least Little Burning Pine, which he uses for his business name. That title is derived from Burning Pine, his father, and Little Learning Pine, his mother. Dennis’s Native American rattles, which serve as musical instruments, employ hollowed gourds, adorned with peyote stitch beads and horsehair fringe. The costs range from $8 to $100.
Coming in November: There will be a flurry of activity when the second Creative Clay Cultural Arts Center; 727-825-0515 or www.creativeclay.org, opens. Executive director Kim Dohrman is setting up a wood shop, screen printing and ceramics studio, as part of its vocational training for artists with disabilities. Visitors will be in awe at the diversity of inspiration from the students.
Value Fair Market www.valuefairmarket.com of Closter, N.J. is the management company that markets the 95,000-square-foot site located at 3951 34th St. South in St. Petersburg. Merchants can rent spaces with an introductory first 6 months free. Spaces measure 10 by 14 feet, or larger, to sell products or services within the climate-controlled building for a monthly fee that includes utilities and Internet connectivity. It is open Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. For information about renting space, contact Julie Johnson at 727-897-5695 or go to www.valuefairmarketstpete.com.