By Hand Made

img_6161Brooklyn Artisan slipped out of the borough last weekend to attend the massive NY Now wholesale market held at Javits. Our mission: to locate designs and artisans that exemplified the best in handmade creativity. Result: a selection of beautiful products with a Brooklyn origin.

Above, a Brooklyn-themed card hand-printed by letterpress in the Bushwick studio of Lovewild Design. Lovewild characterizes itself as “family-owned, women-run” and has developed a range of handmade products that are highly sustainable. The greeting cards encourage reuse—seeds are embedded in the paper and will actually germinate into tiny wildflower patches when planted in soil. The cards provide charming and sometimes pointed sentiments—a favorite is “I’m so relieved you found someone to marry you. Really.” Lovewild founder Sierra Zamarripa insists that was what her grandmother actually said to her. It could qualify as Most New York Congratulations ever.

fullsizerender-12Wilcoxson Brooklyn Ceramics displayed a wide range of bold, modern tableware in elegant forms and colors created in its Greenpoint studio. The style of ceramic is characterized by designer Kevin Wilcoxson as “New Modern,” a derivation of a traditional Japanese Mingei style and highly valued in museum gift shops. Another interesting activity of the studio is the schedule of workshops where participants get hands-on experience in the craft. Other craftspersons might want to consider how to incorporate similar real-world interactions into their businesses.

fullsizerender-7Jewelry definitely appears to be a growth industry in Brooklyn (viz. our piece from October). Swooping curls of sterling silver and gold are the creative product of designer Lucia Perluck, shown above in the Emerging Makers area at NY Now. Her minimalist designs under the label Lucia Pearl are available IRL in Crown Heights at Marché Rue Dix and online at Etsy. Especially notable is her collaboration with a Moroccan master engraver: Maalem and Maalema.

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Williamsburg-based designer Tracey Tanner showed an impressive array of leather products—wallets, clutches, pouches—in an astonishing variety of leather finishes. (And here I was thinking leather essentially came in brown and black. Anyone for sparkling magenta?)

As a footnote, all the designers featured in this piece in all their diversity work within a one mile radius in the Williamsburg/Greenpoint/Bushwick nexus. It is becoming difficult to grasp the volume of creative energy across the whole of Brooklyn.

Open Studios: Plan A Happy Post-Election Weekend

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Windsor Terrace artist Susan Greenstein’s watercolor view from New York’s High Line (not for sale).

THIS WEEKEND (NOVEMBER 12-13) THIRTY-FIVE ARTISTS in Windsor Terrace and Park Slope will open their homes and studios and invite us in on Saturday and Sunday to have a look, talk about art or not, and maybe buy something, maybe not. The hours are 12 to 5 pm both days. Brooklyn Artisan is quick to attest on the basis of previous years that it’s a lot of fun to do and certainly should give you a good rest from politics.

To make a plan over brunch, check the map at parkslopewindsorterraceartists.com. (The map is downloadable. Most of the studios offer map printouts that you can pick up and carry with you.)

The site also has a Directory of Artists that’s set up to be fun to browse. Use it as a planning tool to choose studios most likely to interest you. In past years, Brooklyn Artisan has started our meanderings at the southeastern edge, 41 Fuller Place, with the dazzling watercolors of Joy Makon. Many of her subjects are local scenes, beautifully composed (and hard to resist. Ask Joy about giclée prints, too). One year we worked north and west to Park Slope, ending up with interesting conversation on technique in Simon Dinnerstein‘s impressive top-floor home studio (his Fulbright Triptych is world famous), and another year, we circled around Windsor Terrace, buying a charming Christmas book with illustrations by Dara Oshin and a watercolor by Susan Greenstein for Christmas gifts.

Warning: It may be hard to part with your gift purchases! (Susan’s watercolor view from the High Line hangs handsomely in this writer’s home even as she types. See homey photo above.)

Visiting Maker Faire 2016

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Emiko Shinozaki showing her elegant, chemistry-inspired jewelry at this year’s World Maker Faire 2016 (October 1 and 2 at the New York Hall of Science grounds in Flushing). Shinozaki, seen here wearing one of her signature pieces, lives in Carroll Gardens and works in her Dumbo studio (yes, artists still work in Dumbo). Trained in classical music, she chose jewelry design over medical school, yet keeps a link to her roots by often incorporating imagery that references organic chemistry, “especially caffeine.”

Kickstarting Brooklyn: Political Horror

As if this election season weren’t scary enough, arts group Creative Time and artist Pedro Reyes are proposing to turn the Brooklyn Army Terminal into a political haunted house. Reyes wants to fill that amazing space with the “horrors of our political landscape.”

Creative Time is the .org that two years ago commandeered the defunct Domino Sugar plant in Williamsburg for Kara Walker’s A Subtletythe spectacularly successful art installation that drew “yuge” crowds. At press time, the haunted house project was tantalizingly close to its funding goal. Donating now will ensure an October surprise. (Or like us,  you can just stay curled up in a fetal position under the blankets until election day.)

This Weekend Discover Art & Artist studios in Park Slope & Windsor Terrace

Facing East at Pemaquid Point, watercolor by Brooklyn Artisan executive editor Joy Makon. At letter R on the weekend open studio tour.

Weather reports forecast a beautiful late-fall weekend, November 7 & 8—a perfect time to wander about Park Slope and Windsor Terrace and pop in and out of the 34 artist studios that will be open for viewing this weekend.

The third annual Park Slope Windsor Terrace Artists Open Studio Tour features a mix of cutting-edge, classic and experimental work from established and emerging artists who make Brownstone Brooklyn their home. Many of the artists on the tour recently participated in Gowanus Open Studios and if you had a chance to discover art there, you’ll be pleased to find a lot more this weekend.

Information: Tour website, downloadable map & suggested itinerary, Facebook
Look for the green balloons outside of each open studio location. FREE.

Some highlights from the 34 artists on this year’s tour:

NORTH SLOPE studios: painters Gregory Frux and Janet Morgan, letter I on the map; distinguished classical artist Simon Dinnerstein, letter F on the map, mixed-media painter Jerry Friedman, letter H on the map.

SOUTH SLOPE studios: metal-sculptor Janet Goldner, letter Y, will be doing welding demos over the weekend; David Weiner, also at letter Y, will create event-based sculpture in real time; abstract painter Joy Walker, letter X; printmaker, illustrator, painter Nancy Doniger and kinetic metal sculptor Eric Jacobson, showing at letter G; digital/photo/social commentary artist Bob Hagan, letter M; plus 9 additional open studios—check the map.

WINDSOR TERRACE studios: sculptor Lisa Lincoln, letter P, will be creating with clay on Sunday; functional potter Caryn Kreitzer, letter O; at letter E: monoprints, watercolors by Susan Greenstein plus watercolors, photography by Phil DeSantis, plus 4 additional open studios—check the map.

Plenty of great places to stop and refuel along the route…but you knew that already…

This Saturday, Visit Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Show

Joy Makon watercolor detail from "Christmas at the Lake"

Joy Makon watercolor detail from “Christmas at the Lake”

THIS COMING SATURDAY, MAY 9, BROOKLYN ARTISTS will begin showing their work in a juried show at Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition’s Red Hook waterfront location near the Fairway grocery store. The reception Saturday is 1-6pm, and the show continues until June 14. (www.facebook.com/BWAC.ART or bwac.org) Brooklyn Artisan proudly notes that executive Editor Joy Makon (https://joymakon.wordpress.com/) will be there, for she has a watercolor in the show. (Image above is a detail from an earlier painting.)

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