6th annual Mukilteo holiday market features 43 artists

Oct 30, 2013
Courtesy of: Married Merchants The Married Merchants will sell pillows and woodwork at the Holiday Art Mart in Mukilteo on Nov. 2.

The annual Holiday Art Mart in Mukilteo this weekend offers a variety of locally handmade art and gifts – from appliquéd pillows to rocking chairs – to help art lovers get their holiday shopping done early.

The Mukilteo Arts Guild and the city of Mukilteo are sponsoring the sixth annual Holiday Art Mart from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at Rosehill Community Center.

At the market, shoppers can browse the original artwork of more than 40 artists and artisans from Western Washington, including jewelry, pottery, paintings, glass, sculpture, wearable art and woodwork.

“It’s professional quality, one-of-a-kind workmanship by artists living in the state of Washington,” said Christine Awad Schmalz, president of the Mukilteo Arts Guild. “You don’t see the markup you would get in the malls or online. The artists are working and selling direct.”

Two of the 43 artists showcasing at the Holiday Art Mart are Tom and Margaret DeMarse of Lake Stevens, who create wood and wool home accessories inspired by traditional American folk art.

The couple founded Married Merchants Folkart about 10 years ago. Married 47 years, Margaret and Tom decided to keep busy in retirement by turning their hobbies of history and art into a collaborative business.

“The two of them blend together,” Margaret said. “They both have the same comforting feel, I think.”

“It’s really been a lot of fun,” Tom said. “Everything we do, we do ourselves.”

Margaret, 67, designs appliquéd wool pillows, which are hand stitched “with a sense of humor.” She comes up with her own patterns or gets ideas from other art – like wrapping paper.

The scenes she appliqués range from villages and flower baskets to snowmen and Santa Claus. It takes her 1-4 days per pillow, depending on the design.

Tom, 70, makes solid hardwood rocking chairs, memento boxes, benches and cupboards. His woodwork is crafted from “sustainable” Northwest woods.

He likes to incorporate the rough or live edges of the wood into the pieces. It takes him 80 hours to build a rocking chair. It’s sustainable wood because it’s from trees that were cut down on local properties, and can’t be found at the hardware store.

“I use a minimum amount of machines and destroy the minimum amount of wood,” Tom said. “I use what I can to make furniture, but I also want to make art one-of-a-kind.”

With each piece, their promise is the same: Their pillows and woodwork goes “from our hands to yours.”

Schmalz said she sees the Married Merchants three times a year, including at the guild’s Waterfront Art Festival and Holiday Art Mart in Mukilteo. She said they are an example of artists making a living doing what they love.

“They are really well liked,” she said. “They’re a staple in Western Washington. It’s really a pleasure to talk to them.”

The market benefits the Arts Guild Student Scholarship Fund for graduating seniors from the Mukilteo School District pursuing art in college.

The guild awarded three $500 scholarships this year to students at ACES, Mariner and Kamiak high schools.

“We give out one scholarship for each high school,” Schmalz said. “We try to up the ante every year. We’ll see if we can do that this year.”

Schmalz, of Mukilteo, said the market not only raises funds for scholarships, it also promotes local artists.

“It helps our community celebrate the arts while giving back to the community through our scholarship fund,” Schmalz said.

She said she does all of her Christmas shopping at the market. An artist herself, she will also be selling her hand-painted silk scarves at the market.

“It’s such a beautiful setting at Rosehill, overlooking the water,” she said. “It’s probably the prettiest location to have an art market.”

The Mukilteo Arts Guild supports the arts and artists in Mukilteo by hosting annual art, literature and music festivals.

Rosehill Community Center is at 304 Lincoln Ave. in Mukilteo. Admission and parking is free.

For more information, call 425-423-0450 or go to www.mukilteoartsguild.org.

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