Shop local this holiday season at 21 Seattle art markets

These craft fairs, pop-ups and art shows offer locally made pottery, jewelry, homewares and affordable paintings as gifts you can feel good about giving.

Woman with long blonde hair and orange hat arranges planters and potts on shelving

A Seattle ceramics artist arranges pots at a previous edition of Chophouse Row's “Guilty Holiday Pleasures” arts and crafts market. (Courtesy of Ben Lindbloom)

Our end-of-year gift-giving advice is the same as ever: Shop local, shop small — and shop art. Retail foot traffic remains below pre-pandemic levels and e-commerce reigns supreme, so artists and independent artisans could use a boost. In Seattle, our eggnog cup runneth over with holiday markets, pop-ups and end-of-year art shows. Which means there are plenty of opportunities to shop for artist-made pottery and jewelry, locally designed homewares and paintings that won’t break the bank.

Sort by your shopping style:

For the fine-art appreciator

For the connoisseur of curiosities

For the pot head

For the efficiency expert

For the DIY devotee

For the online and outdoor shopper

Graham Franciose will open his studio to sell more than 100 prints from his whimsical watercolor and gouache series “Morning Coffee Paintings.” (Courtesy of Graham Franciose)

For the fine-art appreciator 

Despite headlines about million-dollar art auctions, a painting or small sculpture doesn’t have to set you back thousands of dollars. At the indie gift and apparel store Capitol Thrill, all artworks by local artists — from photos to abstract paintings to small prints — in a pop-up holiday exhibit (through Dec. 31) will be priced at or under $150. 

Ballard’s Get Nice Gallery (which opened in 2021 in a former flower shop) is opening a four-person end-of-year show titled HOW ARE YOU DOING (through Jan. 14, 2023), featuring slightly surrealist digital photo prints by local artists Max Moyer, Maayan Haim, Debi Boyette and Lance McMullan, with prices ranging from $45 to $450 (already framed, a nice bonus). Gallery owner Graham Franciose will also open his adjoining art studio to sell more than 100 prints from his whimsical watercolor and gouache series “Morning Coffee Paintings” for $35 each.

And at this year’s Holiday Art Mart & Craft Alley (Dec. 10, 4 - 8 p.m.) in the studios of the Georgetown art collective SideRail, paintings, drawings and ceramics will all be available for less than $200. 

At First Hill cocktail joint The Hideout, Seattle curator Jeremy Buben recently hung a wall of shoppable art to be browsed while sipping signature cocktails with names like “I’m not a woo girl, but…” and “Andy Warhol” (a Cosmo that comes with a Polaroid picture), with prices starting at $250. If you can’t make it in person, all works are listed online

Left: Sarah Stone's “Ojo en Mano”; right: Yi Du's polymer clay “Dessert Pendants.” Both artworks are for sale during Ghost Gallery's yearly sale of “mini art.” (Courtesy of Ghost Gallery)

For the connoisseur of curiosities 

After 15 years, Ghost Gallery’s annual mini art exhibit (Dec. 9 - Feb. 6, 2023, also online) is a holiday tradition. It’s the best, and maybe the only, place to find art pieces sized between 1 and 64 square inches, priced between $20 and $300 and handmade by more than 80 local and international artists. Taking the prize for tiniest work this year is Seattle artist Yi Du, who makes tantalizing polymer clay dessert pendants

On Beacon Hill, newer art spaces Fresh Mochi and The Grocery Studios are opening their doors for a joint Holiday Pop-Up Sale (Dec. 10, 6 - 9 p.m. and Dec. 11, 2 - 5 p.m.), where you’ll be able to find cute pins by Kitschy Delish, paper art by local studio Day Moon Press and Sonja Peterson, ceramics, artisan chocolates and artworks by local artists including Christian French, Carolyn Hitt and Debora Spencer. 

For the pot head 

Green and white checkered mugs, one balancing on top of the other
These “Wavy Baby” mugs by Vo Ceramics (aka Nhi Vo, a Seattle-based artist) are for sale at the Saltstone Ceramics Holiday shop. 

Sorry to disappoint, but this blurb is about all things pottery and ceramics (surely you already know where to find weed in this town). The first stop is Saltstone Ceramic’s Handmade for the Holidays event (through Dec. 23, also online) at its Wallingford store. The show features more than 1,500 individual pieces — from dreamy mugs to dainty cups to sturdy planters — from more than 60 (largely local) artists

Further up north, in Shoreline, ceramic studio and gallery Modern Glaze is back with its renowned holiday pop-up sale (Dec. 17 - 18, noon - 5 p.m.) showcasing pottery from locally made traditional tea bowls to highly imaginative sculptures.

Across town sits the Seward Park Clay Studio, which has been operating in the park’s brick bathhouse on Lake Washington since 1970. The studio’s annual holiday sale (through Dec. 26, noon - 6 p.m.) features a range of more than 100 locally made ceramics, sculptures and dinnerware at price points from stocking-stuffer to big-statement gifts.

A customer shops at Seattle Restored's downtown market, a pop-up shop featuring wares by local makers. (Seattle Restored)

For the efficiency expert 

Sometimes you just need to check everything off your list ASAP. At these holiday maker markets, there’s a high chance you can find all your gifts in one go. The popular King Street Makers Market (Dec. 8 - 11, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Thursday - Saturday; 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sunday) returns this year to Georgetown (no longer on King Street, but the name has stuck). Pacific Northwest makers will sell locally made pottery, jewelry, prints, children’s books, home goods and specialty foods including artisan caramels made in Ballard, chef-created chili oil, hot sauce, culinary salts and chai blends. 

Also back this year is the sprawling Renegade Craft Fair (Dec. 10 - 11, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.). More than 150 booths will stretch out across Magnuson Park’s Hangar 30, exhibiting wares made by more than 180 national artists, including local makers. They’ll be bringing anything from food (like Alexandra’s hand-piped macarons) to jewelry (including the handmade wares of the local Atelier Adesso) to clothing (such as the 1980s-inspired “athleisurewear” of Portland brand Gazzy By Gazzo).

Left: caramels by Jonboy Caramels; right: Tiro Tiro Jewelry, designed by Teresa Robinson. Tiro Tiro and Jonboy will be vendors at the upcoming King Street Makers Market. 

The following weekend, Hangar 30 will fill back up with more than 80 booths featuring local and vintage wares during the Winter Solstice Night Market (Dec. 16 - 17, 5 - 10 p.m.). The boozier sibling of Renegade, this event also features DJs, an ugly-sweater contest, food trucks, local breweries and cocktail bars — and is 21+ only.

Seattle Restored, the program that puts empty storefronts across the city to use with artsy installations and shops from local makers, is popping up with a holiday winter market (Dec. 11, 1 - 5 p.m.). The ​​downtown Seattle Restored Market features artwork and homewares by local makers, gift-wrapping and ornament-making stations and local cider tastings.

Last but not least: A yearly must is the United Indians of All Tribes’ Native Art Market at Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center in Discovery Park. It’s your best bet for handmade authentic arts and crafts by local Indigenous artists, including prints, baskets, jewelry and more. (Dec. 17 - 18, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

The entry fee for the Punk Rock Flea Market remains unchanged since 2006: $1. (Courtesy of PRFM) 

For the DIY devotee

Art markets and open studios are generally good places to shop directly from artists at a slightly lower price point, with makers retaining more of the profits. This weekend, Georgetown’s Equinox Studios, a former industrial building complex now home to more than 125 local artist studios, is hosting a Very Open House (Dec. 10, 3 - 9 p.m.). The yearly celebration of Georgetown’s artistic nexus offers a chance to purchase jewelry, glassware, ceramics and photography — all straight from the artists — plus a hint of Burning Man, thanks to dance performances, a beer garden, live music and a bonfire to boot. 

You’ll encounter a similar vibe at the Punk Rock Flea Market (Dec. 15 - 18, hours vary), billed as “Seattle’s favorite underground shopping experience.” The beloved local flea market/craft fair — the place to buy zines, stickers and art and see an abundance of people sporting black jeans — emerges from its pandemic hiatus in an unexpected location: the former Bartell Drugs store on Third and Union in downtown Seattle. 

More than 150 PRFM vendors sell everything from art to clothes to skateboards, vegan soap, “prosthetic limbs, bike parts, graffiti supplies, snake oil and droids,” per the press announcement, plus: a “bottom shelf bar,” DJs and food. Notable: Admission is, as it has been since 2006, just $1 — seemingly the only thing in the world untouched by inflation.

Soaps are on display at a recent Urban Craft Uprising in South Lake Union. (Urban Craft Uprising)

For the online and outdoor shopper

The pandemic is not over, and not everyone feels comfortable heading indoors for holiday shopping. Luckily, there are plenty of outdoor and online options this year. The Pratt Fine Arts Center, Seattle’s art school for continuing education, has curated a Holiday webshop with wares by local makers, from silver earrings to wooden bowls and linocuts, linen napkins and hand-blown glass vases, with prices starting at $10. 

In addition, the famed Pilchuck Glass School’s (online) Holiday Sale offers a wide selection of artsy gifts, including blankets, beanies, hand-blown ornaments, glass earrings, straws and, um, stained-glass mittens. 

As for outdoor markets: Urban Craft Uprising’s South Lake Union Winter Market, outside Amazon’s Nitro building (Dec. 8 - 9, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.) offers a chance to meet a few dozen vendors, with the lineup changing each day for return shoppers.

During Guilty Holiday Pleasures (Dec. 8, 5 - 9 p.m.) at the charming Chophouse Row (the closest thing to a European alley experience you’ll get on Capitol Hill), local vendors selling locally made skin care, ceramic housewares, handmade dog leashes and collars, wreaths, jewelry and paintings will line the mews and the courtyard with pop-up tents for a primarily outdoor event (though some vendors will be indoors). Drag-queen carolers, break-dancing elves, a holiday DJ, a Bad Santa photo booth and a kid’s crafting corner will keep you entertained. A tall lit tree, heat lamps and an outdoor fire pit bring the Yuletide warmth and cheer. 

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