Have you ever wanted to purchase a pen or sculpture made out of old skateboards as a holiday gift, but didn’t know where to find one? What about upcycled jewelry and wind chimes made out of old polished silverware?
Since the mid 1980s, Eugene Saturday Market’s annual indoor Holiday Market never fails to present an array of eclectic local products, perfect for purchasing a gift. And, in addition to shopping around for some of the most unique hand-made items, Holiday Market is also an experience where you can listen to choirs sing, shop with friends and eat delicious food from a variety of food vendors.
To nourish the gift buyer, Holiday Market features local food carts that sell cheesecake, crepes, pizza, Afghani food, stir-fry, Mexican food and a several other diverse eating choices.
This year, more than 600 vendors are coming through selling their items during the five-week market period. And of those, 150 are new sellers.
If you aren’t sure what type of gift you are looking for, remember that anything and everything you could imagine buying is most likely available: baskets, wooden utensils, hats, ornaments, functional sculptures, canvases, books, masks, shot glasses, jewelry, sustainable wedding bands with precious stones, body care, lotions, homemade play dough, wooden toys — you get the picture.
(Pictures? You can buy those too; they’ve got some local photographers selling their work).
Holiday Market is a special tradition and place to shop because it embodies the community feel of Saturday Market, with added warmth and holiday festiveness.
Although the market has too many booths to mention all by name, here are a few different sellers this year and what they bring to the table:
Eli Mazet takes pride in the diversity of his glass-blown creations. From replications of sea creatures to shot glasses and ornaments, Mazet says he wants to create something different from the standard pipe (although he does make those, too). He also specializes in Christmas ornaments, specifically characterized snowmen. If anyone ever wants a Freddie Kruger, Jason or an Oregon Duck snowman ornament for their tree, he has them, and you can purchase them.
Carve the Road
Who knew repurposed skateboards could make such colorful gifts? Dan Johnson figured it out. As a skateboarder and woodworker for 15 years, Johnson saved his broken skateboards, hoping one day somehow to reuse them. Then he got the idea to start making rings, pens and sculptures out of old skateboards. Each item is unique and displays the vibrant stripes of the colored wood once used for carving half-pipes. For his second holiday market, Johnson will also be selling stud and hoop earrings made out of the wood. These items will work for anyone who identifies as a “skater,” or people that enjoy cool stuff — plus items like a pen or a ring make great stocking stuffers.
Teresa Pitzer has been selling at Saturday Market since 1974, offering handcrafted jewelry made from up cycled silverware. She’s been at holiday market since its beginnings in the mid 1980s, originally selling beaded necklaces and bracelets. Pitzer turns the rest of the unused ends of the cutlery into wind chimes. One of her more popular creations is a tiny fork elephant, created out of the tines of a fork and bending up one as the trunk. These work great as repurposed gifts that you can wear and use daily.
There are only a few weeks left to shop, eat and enjoy the festive Holiday Market, so get out there this weekend and shop local.
The Holiday Market runs every weekend for five weeks from Nov.16-Dec. 24 at Lane Events Center. For hours and more information on vendors visit HolidayMarket.com. Free.