Spring is when the outdoor flea markets spring up in Philadelphia. My favorite Saturday activity is to take long walks through the neighborhoods and hit house sales, sidewalk sales, and flea markets on my way. I usually look for household items I might need at sidewalk sales. Estate sales are especially interesting because they are usually held in affluent neighborhoods and you get to see some pretty impressive homes from the inside as well as antiques and art. You also learn that money does not always equal taste, but we knew that already, didn’t we?
Flea markets are fun because the sellers are generally pretty friendly in my experience and some are eager to talk about their wares even if you don’t buy. They’re a place to learn, meet people, and relax.
John S. Whitney, Jr. has a clever way of attracting buyers to his table filled with antique art and jewelry. He also sells from his store, the Nue Gallery, in Lansdown, PA.
While I don’t collect antiques or vintage items, and rarely buy jewelry, I find plenty of inspiration at flea markets. You will find plenty of shapes and color at flea markets, in the form of old pottery vintage clothing, brightly colored cloth, old appliances, or just plain rusty stuff. I have found some great old tools at flea markets, but I also look for things I can incorporate into my art, like old jewelry, metal objects I can cut up and repurpose, ephemera, or anything that I can fit into a bezel.
Here are some pictures from my last flea market foray
And here’s what I bought: two cheap copper cuff bracelets and two cheap brass ones. Total, $5.00. I plan to reuse the metal to make something new. I also found a vendor selling cabochons and treated myself to some lovely striped jasper for another $10.00.