‘This Is Halloween’ craft market celebrates Tim Burton

Sonicah Sanon, pictured at a Whimsy Market with her Copperboxler hand-sculpted jewelry, is among the local artisans participating in “This Is Halloween” in Rodeo on Sept. 30. (Courtesy the Whimsy Market)

It’s a Tim Burton fan’s dream—or nightmare—come true: an event devoted to the acclaimed film director’s eccentric movies and characters.

On Saturday, the Whimsy Market hosts the Tim-Burton themed “This Is Halloween” artisan market at Four Fools Winery in Rodeo. It’s the third iteration of the event and second year in the Bay Area.

The lineup includes about 50 vendors, veterans, and newbies selling metaphysical-oriented wares that evoke the skeletons, aliens, ghosts, and other anomalous beings that appear (and disappear) in Burton’s films.

“Some of the artisans might not be into Tim Burton, but it gets them doing research, looking into the favorite characters and whatnot,” says Maria Ware, general organizer of the Whimsy Market.

The name refers to Burton’s iconic “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” which featured the equally classic song “This Is Halloween.”

In two previous “This Is Halloween” markets, the handcrafted items included bath bombs featuring “The Nightmare Before Christmas” characters Oogie Boogie and Jack Skellington, “Edward Scissorhands” candles, a crochet of “Sweeney Todd” and “Beetlejuice” painted wooden boxes. 

 Of the latter, Ware explains, “They’re these trinket boxes that are kind of painted like the sandworm from ‘Beetlejuice.’” 

 “There’s a ton of them [i.e., crafts], though,” she adds. “There’s so much there to look at and to go through. Those are just a few.”

Market attendees are welcome to walk around and explore the artisans’ many creative offerings for hours, making a day out of it. In fact, many do.

It’s not a regular market where you come and do your shopping and go. People get their tarot cards read, they get their henna done, they get sound healing—they stay for quite a while. And it’s a winery, so they just sit on a bluff and look out at the San Pablo Bay and drink wine. It’s a fun event,” says Ware. 

Tim Burton and other themed Whimsy artisan markets — there have been several — have been a big hit. 

Ware adds, “We just did a Harry Potter one the previous month, and that was packed.… Right before we do the Tim Burton one, we have a ‘Twilight’ saga-themed one that’s in Stockton. And then after that, at the end of next month, we’re going to do a ‘Studio Ghibli Night’ for Halloween weekend. That one was really popular last year.” 

The Whimsy Market’s promotional image for “This Is Halloween” event features the Tim Burton characters Jack Skellington (center) from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” (Courtesy the Whimsy Market) 

 In line with Whimsy being a metaphysical market, there’s also a “Sea Witch Night’ and a “Cosmic Witch Night.” 

For Ware, conceptualizing the themed events is enjoyable, as she likes to present artisans with a challenge. She said, “A lot of times, artisans are in the habit of making the same stuff all the time, over and over again, and then they get bored of it. But if they have a challenge, and they have to kind of cater their craft to the theme, it keeps them inspired.”

As far as inspiration goes for the Burton market, artists have a wealth of film options from which to create “odes to” with their preferred materials. “Corpse Bride,” “Dark Shadows,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “Frankenweenie” and “Mars Attacks!” are possibilities, considering their Halloween-esque characters. 

 Or they could also go with Ware’s favorite Burton flick, “Edward Scissorhands.”  

There’s always the option of the recent and popular Netflix series, “Wednesday,” of which Burton served as executive producer and directed four of the eight episodes. 

 “It’s definitely it’s going be interesting to see the Addams Family ones this year,” says Ware. 

“This Is Halloween” runs from 1 – 6 p.m. Sept. 30 at Four Fools Winery, 12 Pacific Ave., Rodeo. General admission is free; tickets for early admission from noon to 1 p.m. are about $12 at This is Halloween (Tim Burton Inspired Market) Tickets, Sat, Sep 30, 2023 at 12:00 PM | Eventbrite. 

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