For four decades, the Morristown CraftMarket has showcased artisans who personify innovation and inspiration.
That tradition continues this weekend with Merzatta, which will be among 150 exhibitors from 25 states at the Morristown Armory, for the 41st annual fundraiser for charities of the Randolph Kiwanis Club.
Danielle and Chris Merzatta will be showing a jewelry brand known for its natural beauty– natural, as in organic.
“Putting things in jewelry boxes for generations to come is pretty powerful,” says Danielle Merzatta. “And helping women feel powerful when they look in the mirror…jewelry can become a talisman, in a very small way, to enable people for good.”
Danielle grew up in Morris Township and graduated from Morristown High School as Danielle Allatta.
She met Chris Merz while they were in art school. Danielle was studying for an MFA in metalsmithing, Chris pursued an MFA in painting.
They married, merged names, and moved back to Greater Morristown, eventually setting up their jewelry studio in historic Mt. Tabor. They live largely on the road, traveling between shows.
The Merzattas are especially thrilled to participate in this juried show, so close to home, and so close to where they established their business.
“This is the community that bought our first pieces. Bringing the collection here is a wonderful thing,” Danielle says.
Their inspiration came on the Caribbean island of Mustique seven years ago. They were seeking an artistic direction for their lives, and were fascinated by the textures of shells and fossils they found on the beach.
They began experimenting, melding this intricate flotsam with geodes, raw diamonds and mixed metals.
Chris Merzatta believes there is something innately calming about jewelry that incorporates natural elements.
“Life can be pretty hectic,” he says. “If wearing cool earrings from a sea fan texture makes life a little less hectic, we’re doing something good.”
The Merzattas were honored last year as Outstanding Arts Professionals by Morris Arts for launching a successful business during the recession, crafting artworks that are both profitable and made from sustainably sourced materials.
At that ceremony, Danielle Merzatta spoke eloquently about her grandmother’s evolving jewelry collection, and how her grandparents have spoken to each other with cherished objects for seven decades.
“There is legacy in it, history, heartbreak, upgrades, travel, loss and love,” she told the gathering. “And Margaret Reinhard’s jewelry box taught me how powerful these artful objects will be in decades to come.”
Morristown CraftMarket Details
The 41st Annual Morristown CraftMarket runs from Oct. 20-22, 2017, at the Morristown Armory at 430 Western Ave. in Morris Township. Daily admission is $10. Friday’s Opening Night Reception will offer beer and wine for sale from 5pm – 8pm. Parking is free.
The show is produced and run by the nonprofit Kiwanis Club of Randolph. All net proceeds from the show benefit local charities.
Charitable Clothing Drive
Big Brothers Big Sisters will be collecting gently used clothing items throughout the show. Receipts will be issued for tax-deductible donations of clothing items accepted at the collection truck located near the parking lot.
The show is pet-friendly, so well-behaved dogs and cats on a leash are welcome.
Kevin Coughlin contributed to this report.