Posted by Melissa Banks on April 23, 2014
We're back for our 3rd Spring Pop-Up event, and our 5th show to date! I've been a part of this amazing group of Chicago area women for many years, and we decided a few years back to take matters into our own hands and organize our own art shows twice a year. We officially incorporated at the beginning of this year, and we're now functioning as an Illinois Not-For-Profit. I also happen to be on our first Board of Directors, so I helped in writing our group's by-laws, organizing committees, and getting processes in place to move forward.
This undertaking has been a huge learning process, a huge commitment, and an exciting addition to Rapt in Maille. The energy surrounding our group continues, and we hope you can make our one-day Pop-up! I will be exhibiting at the Spring Show, along with 24 of our other members, and 12 guest artists. This is the day before Mother's Day, so a perfect time to spend a nice afternoon of shopping with Mom, and to pick out a special, unique gift for her. Artwork for sale will include a wide selection of one-of-a-kind, handmade goods, including jewelry, clothing and t-shirts for adults and kids, bags and purses, stationery and paper products, housewares, ceramics, glass and enamelware, fiber work and felted knitwear, photography, paintings, eco-friendly wood accessories and artisan chocolates.
Here is a list of our artists for this spring:
Rapt in Maille; Deana Rose Handmade Jewelry; Kiku Handmade; Nancy Gardner Ceramics; Marstinia Enamel Designs; Eva May; Sara Lenart Jewelry Design; Hooey Batiks; Anne Leuck Feldhaus; Red-Belly; Sharon J Sears; Daisy Bags; Ladysmith Jewelry Studio; Felt Inspired; Weener Ware; (wired) jewelry; Staci Sterenberg; Megan Lee Designs; Jewelry by Venus; Stylish Girl; Sue Rosengard; Circa Ceramics; Veronica Riley Martens; Anastasia Mak; Judy Zeddies; Molly Cranch; Katherine Anne Confections; Four Eyes Handmade; Sam & Coop; Cory McCrory; Melissa Z. Monroe; Robin Rios; Felice Hutchings; Alison Fox; Flam Bo Candles; Julija Lubgane
Be sure to LIKE us on Facebook and join our Facebook Event Page!
One day only - Saturday, May 10th from 11am-5pm
RAVENSWOOD EVENT CENTER
4011 N. Ravenswood, Chicago, IL
FREE admission, FREE street parking
CTA Accessible: Close to Irving Park Brown Line, Ashland Bus
Metra Accessible: Ravenswood Station
Bike Friendly: Ample bike racks
Posted by Melissa Banks on March 25, 2014
Spring is trying to show up here in Chicago, and I'm kicking off the season with my Spring Open Studio and Clearance sale! This is going to be a big one, so I hope you can make it out Friday evening or Saturday afternoon.
If you haven't heard already, I've acquired a micro pulse-arc welder for my studio, which is opening up a whole new world for my jewelry designs. I'm working on brand new designs that feature welding, and so I have to make room on my display tables and discontinue older designs. I'll be clearing out lots of my colored Swarovski crystal pieces, along with several others that will go on clearance at 40% OFF!
Here's the deal: This Friday from 5-9pm and Saturday from 12-6pm my studio will be open to the public and I'll have LOTS to show everybody! Standard collection pieces, lots of clearance sale items, and a display of new designs I've been experimenting with using the welder. I hope to have some new welded pieces for sale as well, but we'll have to see how things go in the next few days!
AFTER OPEN STUDIO I will be posting clearance items that didn't sell over the weekend to my Facebook page. I hope to start listing items Monday afternoon (the 31st). Sales will be first come, first served. The first person to comment and/or message me will get the item. If payment is not received within 48 hrs, the item will be released again for sale. All sales of clearance items are as-is and final - thank you!
Harbinger's Art by Jennifer Evans
Feel free to contact me with any questions. I'm excited to see everybody - it's been a looooong winter....
Rapt in Maille Studio
5215 N Ravenswood Ave #204
Chicago, IL 60640
Below: Some items you can find on clearance this weekend!
Posted by Melissa Banks on December 19, 2013
I'm all set up and ready for the open studio tomorrow and Saturday! Stop by for a drink and some snacks, try on some jewelry, and see the work of 3 guest artists.
Rapt in Maille will be offering the following sale during open studio: Buy 3 or more items and get one at HALF OFF (lowest priced item)
Friday, December 20, 5-9pm
Saturday, December 21, 12-6pm
Harbinger's Art by Jennifer Evans
Twisted Tines (wind chimes, jewelry, ornaments, and other accessories from vintage silverware)
Going home to make some last-minute pieces! Hope to see you soon :)
Posted by Melissa Banks on December 03, 2013
I just got done setting up my booth at the Merchandise Mart for the biggest show of the year! I have changed my booth location to the Fashion District on the other side of the floor - #7108. I'm excited to see how things are in this new space.
I decided to go all classic black and white for the booth, and I like how it's looking! I can't wait to fill those displays with all the jewelry I've been working on. I hope to see you downtown this Thursday through Sunday….
Thursday & Friday 11am-8pm
8th Floor, Merchandise Mart, Chicago
And don't forget the new location: BOOTH 7108 !!!
PRINT FREE PASSES HERE
Posted by Melissa Banks on November 26, 2013
The biggest shopping weekend of the year is just a few days away! Rapt in Maille would like to offer its customers a special deal for online shopping for Cyber Monday. Here's the scoop:
Starting at midnight on Sunday, you will find a new collection listed on the website called CYBER MONDAY SALE. All items in this collection are eligible for a 15% discount. You will find the original prices listed, so you must enter the promo code CYBER13 at checkout in order to receive the 15% off.
Please note: The sale is one day only, and ends at midnight on Monday. The very next day, on Tuesday, I am heading downtown to set up my booth for my biggest show of the year, the One of a Kind Show! The event runs Thursday-Sunday, so all orders placed that week, including Cyber Monday, will most likely ship the following week, December 9-13.
Mark your calendars and set your alarms so you don't miss this 24 hour window - and don't forget to use the promo code CYBER13!
Wishing everybody a warm and happy Thanksgiving weekend - and happy shopping!
Posted by Melissa Banks on August 07, 2013
This August I booked myself for 4 shows, which I never do. My June and possibly July were going to be sparse this year, so I thought I'd overbook August to make up for it. Well, as it turns out, the weekend of August 17-18 is when my best friend is getting married, and my niece is turning the ever-so-important age of 13, so I had a decision to struggle with. As art fair artists, we work on weekends, and therefore miss a lot of fun and important occasions: concerts, parties, family functions, etc. I had to ask myself: How would I feel missing an important wedding and birthday for the sake of work?
This 3rd weekend of August I was accepted for the Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts in Wisconsin. I have never done the show before, so I had no point of reference for how I would do, or how easy/difficult it would be, not to mention I didn't have show help lined up. However, I had heard positive things about the show from other artists as far as the location, the show staff, etc. So the unfamiliarity of the show also presented some anxiety with my decision.
In the end, I decided that I would give myself a break and take the weekend off to enjoy my family and friends. In 14 years, I have only had to cancel one art fair, and that was due to a back injury. So it was not a decision I made lightly. But I think it was the right one.
I'm sorry that I will miss the Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts this year, but I hope that all of the artists and the show producers have an excellent show. And I hope that anyone who was planning on seeing me there this year can catch me at one of my other many events.
Posted by Melissa Banks on July 10, 2013
I'm getting ready to go on my July marathon, which includes Madison Art Fair on the Square and the State Street Section of the Ann Arbor Art Fairs. I'm here in the studio working my last full day, then tomorrow will consist of running errands and cleaning the house (I hate coming home to a messy house), and hopefully making some last minute jewelry pieces. Friday I'll be packing the car and heading up to Madison to set up my booth! I'm really excited to be back at this show. It's been 6 years since I've done the show, at it was a great success. The weather looks just about perfect for the weekend - see you in booth #338 on Main Street!
The Madison show runs Saturday and Sunday, then I will promptly pack up my booth and make the drive back to Chicago, getting home late Sunday night. I'll have Monday to scramble around and prep for the next leg of my marathon, then it's off to Ann Arbor Tuesday morning! After my 4-ish hour drive, I'll set up my booth Tuesday evening (#B367 on Liberty near Maynard) and head to the artist party. The State Street Section of Ann Arbor has a great party for its artists to kick off the show - free dinner and drinks when I'm hungry and exhausted - perfect! The Ann Arbor show runs 4 days from Wed-Sat, with long, long hours. After packing up the booth on Saturday, I'll have a relaxing dinner to celebrate, then spend the last night resting in the hotel.
Sunday morning in Ann Arbor I will do my usual ritual before leaving town. I've gotta have breakfast at Zingerman's deli (love this place!), then I'll head across the street to the local artisan market and visit the shops nearby. After a nice morning in Ann Arbor, I say goodbye and hit the road, getting home Sunday evening.
After these back-to-back shows I hopefully rest for a day and then...it's less than 2 weeks until my next stint. August 2nd starts 8 shows in 10 weeks for me. Am I crazy? That's been an open ended question for quite a while now.... ;)
Posted by Melissa Banks on October 26, 2012
I've been exhibiting my work at art fairs for about 14 years now, and along the way I've met some incredible people, and made some amazing friends. For much of this time, I've belonged to a group of women here in Chicago that meet once a month to have an informal potluck dinner. We sit around, eat and drink, and socialize, vent, network, and share experiences. It has been invaluable to stay in touch, learn lessons from each other, and just connect. We call ourselves "Art Girls" - simply put.
This past spring, a season where art fairs and shows are scarce, and many of us are looking for ways to generate income during our "down time," the Art Girls decided to pool our resources and have our own event. It was so successful, and we all had so much fun, that we decided to have a holiday show as well.
This inaugural holiday event will take place at the same space as the spring show: Helium Gallery at 4710 N. Ravenswood Ave, Chicago. This great space is located just south of Lawrence Ave, right across from the Metra stop. Mark your calendars for the weekend of December 15th and 16th! We'll be there from 11am-5pm both days. With bells on!
Go Like the Chicago Art Girls page on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/Chicagoartgirls
Check out our event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/501381843214838/
And our website: http://www.chicagoartgirls.com
Posted by Melissa Banks on July 26, 2012
I'm happy to announce that Rapt in Maille will be exhibiting at the DIY Trunk Show in Chicago for the first time this fall! This year's show takes place at the Broadway Armory Park in the Edgewater neighborhood and is run by the Chicago Craft Mafia. I'm looking forward to taking part in this great show's 10th year - mark your calendars for Saturday, November 17th!
Posted by Melissa Banks on March 08, 2012
This blog post is an excerpt from my recent March newsletter - enjoy!
The NOIR Collection
has been a big hit since its creation. I originally offered pieces
only in Jet (black) and Silver Crystal (clear/silver). I wanted to keep
things easy and neutral. One reason for this is that Swarovski doesn't
offer every shape of crystal in every color. So as a designer, it is
very difficult to design with certain shapes, and then be able to offer
them in any color across the board. Swarovski does offer most shapes in
very neutral colors, so it made the most sense to just stick to 2
As the collection grew, I found the Black Diamond color
(smokey gray) in one of the crystal shapes, and decided to offer that
for those limited pieces. The color is a great success (I just wish
Swarovski made more shapes in it!) The Black Diamond also gave me the
idea to mix all of the neutrals together, so a few items can be
purchased in this "Multi" option (pictured above). I also recently
discovered that all the shapes I use in my designs are offered in
Copper Crystal, which is a nice orange/rust color that reflects a
pink/yellow/green spectrum. It is great to wear with a variety of
browns & earth tones. So all of the NOIR pieces can currently be
purchased in this copper shade as well. Although I don't have pictures
of the jewelry in this color yet, the option to purchase pieces in this
color are on the website. (See example of copper crystal in the photo below ).
One day recently I decided to randomly order the teardrop shape in green just for kicks. (They are used in these earrings.)
I loved seeing more color! Since I can't offer my whole NOIR
Collection in various colors (i.e. I can't make everything in blue since
the crystal shapes I use just don't come in blue, nothing I can do), I
have decided to make limited edition/one-of-a-kind pieces in bright
colors. These pieces will only be offered at my shows for retail, and
they will only come in the colors I have designed with. I am of course
open to customers asking for other color variations, but please
understand the possibilities may be severely limited. Thanks in advance
for your understanding. I have already designed necklaces in purple,
champagne, & olive green, and have some blues and other colors on
The last update on the NOIR Collection....Please note: I will be taking down the NOIR Red Collection
at the end of the month, since this is a limited edition collection.
It will still be available by request, and may be making a reappearance
next holiday season ;)