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Sponsored by NICHE magazine, the NICHE Awards program began in 1989 to celebrate excellence and innovation in American and Canadian fine craft. Artists are recognized in both professional and student divisions.

Nearly 2,000 entries are received each year from professional and student craft artists from across the U.S. and Canada. Each year, a prestigious panel of judges is selected by the editors of NICHE magazine, including gallery owners, guild and museum directors, curators, craft industry experts and arts advocates.

After the judging process is complete, and counts are tallied, the top-scoring pieces—5 in each category—become NICHE finalists. Out of these five, the highest-scoring piece in each category wins the NICHE award.

This year’s winner in the Fashion Accessories/Handbags division was none other than the well-deserving Kaarina Talvia, with her half-moon shoulder bag. See more of Kaarina’s work on her website, KOTI designs.

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