The Maker City monthly blog takes a look at locations where makers are found in The Maker City and features some of Knoxville area’s outstanding makers – artists, crafters and so much more. This month’s blog features Old Sevier Sunday Market and jewelry maker Chloe Walker of Owltopus.
Stephanie Carlson of Old Sevier Sunday Market
How long have you been running Old Sevier Sunday Market?
Since October of 2020. The idea came from the desire to connect with our community even though we were in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. The market started outdoors, in a parking lot, where about 6-8 of us were spread out, masked up and unsure of the future of the whole thing. I've been running the markets since the beginning.
What kinds of things are offered?
The market hosts a variety of vendors each month. Some repeat, some new. Items include sourdough baked goods from yours truly, boutique plants, pottery, jewelry, soaps, candles, second-hand clothing, screen printed items, freeze-dried candy, paintings and sculptures, used books, leather goods, woodwork, pastries, tea, and seriously so much variety in between.
You also own/run SoKno Sourdough, and South Knoxville has had quite a resurgence in the past decade or so. Why do you like South Knoxville?
I'm so happy to live and work in South Knoxville. I moved from North Knoxville in 2016 and while I did enjoy that side of town, the community feel, and walkability/bike-ability of South Knoxville is perfect for my lifestyle. Nature is so accessible in South Knox, and there seems to always be something fun going on. We are so lucky to have Suttree Landing Park along the river, as well.
Stephanie Carlson moved to Knoxville in 2012 as part of the AmeriCorps program and worked in water quality for years after her term. In 2018, she left her government job to pursue copywriting/copyediting, and found herself stuck without work when the pandemic started. When a friend gave her some of his sourdough starter, she decided to give it a shot. “I didn't know I would be hooked! Soon I was selling bread to my local community. Organizing a market seemed like a no-brainer as a way to share my sourdough with a larger group of people while also offering a space for others like me to do the same.”
Carlson is also the organizer of the Old Sevier Merchant Group.
Chloe Walker of Owltopus
Your jewelry is charming & eye-catching. How did you get started with Owltopus, and when?
I've always considered myself an artist, but struggled with the idea of doing it full-time, worrying about its sustainability as a career, doubting my own skills. Owltopus loosely started in 2017. Once I had my daughter in 2019, I struggled with postpartum anxiety. Picking art back up was a major part of my recovery journey. After surviving postpartum with a new sense of rebirth for myself, I decided to take Owltopus handmade full-time in 2021.
How do you make your products? Materials, techniques, etc?
I'm a hybrid analog and digital artist; I combine tactile art skills with modern technology. My mediums are primarily acrylic, wood, and paint. My digital designs are cut and engraved on a laser machine.
The process starts by designing a piece, then turning it into a digital vector file. This part is sort of like designing a puzzle, taking into consideration all the different materials and mediums. Once the pieces are cut, the analog process starts with hand painting fine details or hand sanding and finishing wood pieces.
Where can people buy Owltopus products?
www.owltopus.com and be sure to check the “Calendar of Events” for upcoming market appearances!
Owltopus curated vintage items and some of my handmade selection can be purchased at my booth at Mood Ring Vintage, 906 Sevier Ave, Unit 112.
Owltopus originated in California. Chloe Walker’s previous career was in social work. After ten years in that field, she decided to try selling vintage clothing online, and was successful at it. She is a "jack-of-all-trades" that works with a variety of different media to make beautiful accessories. “Of course, an Owltopus isn't a real animal! It is, however, the perfect amalgamation of passions and beliefs. When it comes to life, fashion, and decor, create what you want!”