Makers converge on the Breckenridge Arts District December 1-3 for Handmade Holiday, which this year features two large-scale, outdoor exhibitions of contemporary craft and design in addition to hands-on projects.

The exhibitions—by the textile collective Ladies Fancywork Society and Boulder-based printmakers Flatiron Press—are collaborative works between the artists and anyone who wishes to participate.

Community members are invited to stitch small textile pieces together, which will be used on a larger scale to “yarn bomb” a building in the Arts District. Yarn bombing is a specialty of the Ladies Fancywork Society, who are known for knitting coverings on trees, street signs and structures, some as part of major museum commissions around the country.

“It’s a form of graffiti that doesn’t do any damage,” explained Nicole Dial-Kay, Breckenridge Creative Arts’ new director of exhibitions and special projects. “It subverts the idea of textiles as a calm, domestic medium into a rebellious, almost punk-rock act of graffiti.” Their work is a window into the world of contemporary craft and design— which Dial-Kay explains “might not be what you expect, but is still very much rooted in that tradition of making.”

For the second exhibition, Flatiron Press will offer three days of printmaking workshops focused on silkscreen and relief printing, and the prints that result will be used to create a sculptural printmaking installation over the course of the weekend. Participants can choose from pre-made designs or create their own nature-inspired imagery, explained Chris Blume, who co-owns Flatiron Press with Sam Cikauskas. The plan is to print with fluorescent-style inks so the imagery stands out, and to mount it on composite board that will be freestanding, hanging, or some combination thereof, in order to create an immersive space.

“It’s kind of a collaboration between me and Chris, the participants and the natural environment of Breckenridge,” Cikauskas said, noting that because it will be site-responsive, the exact details of the installation will evolve based on the setting.

“Prints are usually quite permanent,” commented Blume. In contrast, the Handmade Holiday exhibitions will last only three days, aside from any photographs that are taken. “It’s really nice to kind of let go—to know they are not going to be there for very long, to not have that sort of importance put on the preservation of the work,” he said. “I think that’s going to be an interesting thing to see.”

The weekend’s activities will also feature open studios and DIY workshops by local artisans, where participants can make a variety of crafts and holiday gifts, from candles and sponge prints to jewelry.

Flatiron Press // flatironprintmakers.com
Ladies Fancywork Society // ladiesfancyworksociety.com