Rings in the shapes of iconic city skylines: SF, NYC, Paris, London, Hong Kong and more

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Ola Shekhtman, a jeweler in North Carolina, produces gorgeous, finely wrought rings cut into the shape of the skylines of major cities: Boston, NYC, Amsterdam, London, Berlin, DC, San Francisco, Stockholm, Charleston and Edinburgh (twice!). Read the rest

Scrap-metal welded bugs

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The welded scrap-metal bugs of Green Hand Sculpture are gorgeous, intricate, labor-intensive, and therefore expensive, but surely worth ever cent: Preying Mantis, Holly Blue Butterfly, Woodlouse, Peacock Butterfly and the Peacock Butterfly (chainsaw variation). Read the rest

Folding coffin sofa

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This $10,000 coffin sofa was created by Etsy goth outfitter Von Erikson: it's available with purple, red or black upholstery. (via Marxist Barbie) Read the rest

Porcelain figurines transformed into creepy-cute insects

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Judith (AKA Miss Mantis) remakes kitschy-sweet porcelain figurines, transforming them with polymer clay, flocking and paint into statuettes of anthropomorphic insects going about their weird, daily business:. Some favorites: Bee Lady "Mìfēng", Fancy Dancing Mantis Gentleman, Bee Lady "Alice", Little Praying Mantis Boy, and Scandalous Mantis Dancer. Read the rest

With cookies in the shape of your face, you can tell people "eat me" and mean it

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Going to the cookie exchange? It just got real. Head on over to Copypastry and get your face made into a cookie cutter.

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Cthulhu socks

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They're hand-screened and $11.09 from Danse Macabre on Etsy. (via Geekymerch) Read the rest

Chemistry flask lamps

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Available in Conical and Round, these designs won my heart with their clever use of retort stands and sandblasted lab glass; love the fabric-sleeved power-cable too (available in four colors!). The £165; price-tag is admittedly steep, though. Read the rest

Star Trek hand-towels

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Elizabeth Dean's Etsy store has these great, $12 Star Trek: TOS hand-towels in Science Blue, Command Yellow and, of course, Expendable Security Red (also available in TNG). Read the rest

Star Wars and Avengers collar clips

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Collar Clips from Migardian Treasure in Gravesend, England makes collar clips in a variety of pop-culture motifs, some obvious and some very subtle indeed: Captain America shields, Captain America stars, Hawkeye and Hydra vs SHIELD; Boba Fett, Vader and Stormtroopers (also available as brooches and earrings). Read the rest

Amazon launches “Etsy-killer” Handmade at Amazon, a marketplace for handmade goods

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Online retail giant Amazon just launched a marketplace for handcrafted goods: Handmade at Amazon. It's “an arts-and-crafts bazaar online that squarely takes aim at a niche but growing market dominated by the Brooklyn-based Etsy,” as the New York Times puts it.

Handmade at Amazon went live early Thursday more than 80,000 items from roughly 5,000 sellers in 60 countries around the world. They're launching with only 6 categories — home, jewelry, artwork, stationery and party supplies, kitchen and dining, and baby.

Crafters can sell their crocheted pants or 3D-printed succulent cozies on the new Amazon marketplace, just as they've been able to for years at Etsy, a $2bn-a-year business .

Amazon's business is a lot bigger: $75 billion in annual sales. And Amazon's is growing, while Etsy appears to be challenged. One recent change at Etsy that allowed sellers to outsource their production to others is seen by many as a move away from its maker/seller roots.

Amazon, on the other hand, promises “Genuinely Handmade.” In the launch announcement, Amazon emphasizes that everything will be “crafted and sold directly from artisans.”

“We only approve artisans whose products are handcrafted,” said Amazon in a statement. “We are factory-free.”

Them's fighting words. Is this the end of Etsy as we know it? I hope not, I love Etsy.

Here's the full Amazon press release. And here's a snip from the Times story:

Amazon will start out with six categories — home, jewelry, artwork, stationery and party supplies, kitchen and dining, and baby — Mr.

Read the rest

Cthulhu in a teacup

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These Cthulhu teacups are made by Voodoo Delicious, AKA Michael Palmer from Queensland, Australia. Read the rest

Etsy to allow manufactured goods

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Previously forbidden from the vintage 'n' handmade marketplace, companies that make large numbers of any given item now have a home at Etsy.

It's a controversial move, writes Hiroko Tabuchi.

This fall, Etsy is set to introduce Etsy Manufacturing, a new service in the United States and Canada that matches sellers like Ms. Goodall with small manufacturers. It is a bid by the company, which went public in April, to help its small sellers expand their businesses. … the move could fuel criticism that the site is moving away from the artisanal roots that have made it an attractive alternative to mass retailing. The company, started in a Brooklyn loft a decade ago, long prohibited its sellers from outsourcing their production, saying all goods offered on the site needed to be handmade.

Etsy loosened that policy two years ago to allow outsourcing on a case-by-case basis, a contentious move denounced by some artisan sellers and one that some analysts say has led to a rise in counterfeit or mass-manufactured goods sold on the site.

Why? Etsy went public a few months back and its stock has declined precipitously the IPO. It must expand to fill larger containers.

Photo: Techcrunch Read the rest

Hand-cut silhouettes from Tolkien, Rowling, GRRM

Jack Tuckwell is a UK sculptor who sells on Etsy as Alarm Eighteen, in a store that features silhouettes cut out of pages from fantasy novels like The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Game of Thrones: Bag End, Barad-dûr, Harry Potter vols 1-7. Read the rest

Cthulhu pint glasses

Jeffery Woods is a glassmaker who sells his custom-etched/painted glassware on Etsy, including these Cthulhu-inpsired tentacle pint glasses, $65 for four. Read the rest

War Boy bandanas

Matthew "Gianteye" Borgatti, creator of the Guy Fawkes bandana and dangly lockpick earrings, has done it again with the $20 War Boy Bandana: "YOU WILL RIDE INTO VALHALLA SHINY AND CHROME!" Read the rest

Gorgeous nerdy textiles

Detroit's Cyberoptix make hundreds of beautiful, nerdy textiles: linen library due-date scarves (also available as silk ties); bandana print neckties; chemical warfare ties; civil defense med-kit scarves; notebook-paper silk pocket squares (also scarves) and felted wool neckties -- all made to order in a wide variety of colors! Read the rest

Kirk/Spock/Delft china pattern tote

This beautiful, reversible Kirk/Spock tote reminds me of Delft china patterns (see below): it's $22 from April in Sacramento. (via Geeky Merch)

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