The Rapidian

Jarrod Napierkowski returns to UICA Holiday Market with one-of-a-kind pieces

The local GR artist creates wood crafted earrings and will be returning to the UICA's annual market for his fifth year to share them with shoppers.

UICA Holiday Artists Market

3 – 5 p.m. | UICA members early admission
5 – 9 p.m. | Free admission to the public

10 a.m. – 7 p.m. | Free admission to the public

/Molly Heinhuis

The UICA will be hosting their 25th annual Holiday Artist Market on December 6 and 7. Local artists will fill the fourth and fifth floors of the UICA with booths full of their locally made art. Among these artists, returning for his 5th year, is Jarrod Napierkowski. This Grand Rapids native artist will be selling his handmade wood-carved art.

“It’s a great market: there are a lot of people that come to it. They do a good job of promoting it and bringing people in,” says Napierkowski. “It’s supporting the local artists, the economy around here and giving people the chance to get something new and unique.”

All his work is done at his quaint and homey studio in the basement of his Grand Rapids home. Since Napierkowski uses natural wood that he's found in stores, out in nature or has been given to him, he creates unique pieces that aren’t repeated. His earrings are all of various shapes, sizes, designs and one of a kind. There’s never going to be another pair just like them, says Napierowski.

“I like working with decaying or natural wood that’s in its own process. What I think is really exciting: when you are cutting into the wood you’re seeing it for the first time ever. You're the first one to see what’s inside of it."

Napierkowski's work goes beyond small items like jewelry, however. He also made furniture for Founders Brewing Company, where he works. The heavy iron-topped tables in the taproom at Founders were made by him and have been there since 2007. Napierkowski often makes different pieces, whether for his own home, others or businesses. His main focus remains in his wood-carved earrings.

"I find with jewelry I can create whatever sorts of patterns I like," says Napierkowski. "[I] just let it come to me, and someone out there will like it." 

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