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Urban Craft Uprising Occupies Seattle Center Dec. 3-4

Searching for distinctive gifts to please the art lovers on your Christmas list? Look no further than this year’s annual Urban Craft Uprising Winter Show on Dec. 3 and 4, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. The Pacific Northwest’s premier independent craft fair will feature over 150 artists, designers and crafters, who stitch, knit, emboss, weld, sculpt, paint and print an astonishing array of artwork and hand-crafted products.

Urban Craft Uprising isn’t your grandmother’s craft fair; instead, it weds cutting-edge design sensibility with an old-fashioned artisan’s skill. Along with craft-fair staples such as luxury soaps and delectable handmade chocolates, UCU’s crafters sell quirky crocheted monster dolls, knitted beards, modern hand-tailored outfits and hip housewares, such as the colorful, patterned melamine dishes by Atlas Made.

One of the hallmarks of the modern crafting movement is the ingenious use of recycled and found materials. You’ll find pendants made out of old Scrabble tiles and earrings punched from vintage biscuit tins. And if you’d prefer to try your own hand at crafting, Joy from Lynnwood craft store Creation Station will be demonstrating how to make bottle-cap jewelry and recycled tote bags as part of Urban Craft Uprising’s scheduled craft demonstrations.

The art contingent at the 2011Urban Craft Uprising Winter Show includes children’s illustrator Matthew Porter; Berkley Illustration, known for fanciful drawings of rather dapper wildlife; and Justin Hillgrove, famous for his humorous Imps and Monsters. With any luck, you might be able to find a copy of “Head Spy” Jessie Oleson’s new illustrated cookbook, Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life, at the booth of UCU regular CakeSpy, which elevates robots, pastries and unicorns to iconic cartoon status.

Admission is free to Urban Craft Uprising. But supporting amazing local artists and small businesses this holiday season? That’s priceless.