The Factory Floor: Meet Makers This Weekend

FURNITURE TAKES THE STAGE at The Factory Floor in Industry City in Sunset Park. The ground-floor venue is a former industrial space newly converted to showcase local design work. Sponsored by Industry City, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, The Pratt Center for Community Development and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, The Factory Floor is presenting primarily Brooklyn furniture makers, designers and builders. Last weekend’s show coincided with the Sunday opening of the Coming Together: Surviving Sandy art exhibit in the adjacent building. If you are interested in the art and craft of design, this is the weekend to make it out to 241 37th Street, Sunset Park, Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 6pm. Bring the kids, Construction Kids has set aside an area where they can build their own objets d’art.

Here are a few highlights from Brooklyn Artisan’s visit:

Annie Evelyn at New Colony Furniture takes hard materials and makes soft seats. Really.

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Diverse objects, from seats and shelves to vases and trivets at Souda’s space.

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Funny and quirky pillow commentary from Alexandra Ferguson.

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Beautiful maple stools and a passel of refrigerator magnets made from the leftover bits by Bower.

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The Best of Brooklyn is outdoors this weekend, April 20 & 21

“What a strange thing! to be alive beneath cherry blossoms,” Kobayashi Issa.
CherryWatch Blossom Status Map for those of you who really want to know what's in bloom at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, is updated every weekday during the season. (Photograph, taken on Thursday by Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool.)

A cloudy Thursday at the Garden. (Photograph, Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool.)
CherryWatch Blossom Status Map is for those of us who really want to know what’s in bloom at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and is updated every weekday during the season.

content_borough_hall_skyscraper_croppedTake a Walk • Downtown Brooklyn Partnership recommends a self-guided Architectural Walking Tour that hits eleven gems from DUMBO to the Barclays Center. Two highlights: 1) near Borough Hall stop to admire the circa 1901 Beaux-Arts style Temple Bar Building; 2) at 365 Jay Street, view the Old Brooklyn Fire Headquarters, described by the NYC Landmarks Commission as one of the city’s best and most striking architectural compositions. With regular stops for snacks, drinks or lunch along the route, this can make an interesting day of discovery. Brooklyn Artisan suggests a start with Juliana’s in DUMBO, an iced coffee from Betty Bakery, and a pop into Ample Hills Creamery to end.

hotSauceExpoCapsaicin Alert • 1st annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo. With a claim that hot sauce production is one of the 10 fastest-growing industries in the U.S., the Hot Sauce Expo promises to have spicy food vendors, live music, fire breathers, eating challenges and contests and lots of tasting opps both local and beyond. Hot Sauce vendors include PuckerButt Pepper Company, Fort Mill, SC; NW Elixirs, Portland, OR; Evil Seed Sauce Company, Jacksonville, FL; lots more. East River State Park, Williamsburg. Saturday and Sunday, 10am-6pm.

Babydoll lambs with mom Ginger—how cute is this? (Photograph, Julie Larsen Maher © WCS)

How cute is this? At the Zoo, newborn Babydoll lambs pose with mom Ginger. (Photograph, Julie Larsen Maher © WCS)

Saturday
Business_Fair_2013

• If you need a reason to go to the park, the Prospect Park Fair, at the Bandshell could be it. Enjoy a great spring day and check out the activities and programs featuring a pop-up Audubon Center, tennis demonstrations, food trucks, and volunteering info. Specials from local businesses include The Great Googa Mooga, Brooklyn Cyclones, New York Guitar Academy, and several others. Sponsored by the Prospect Park Alliance. 11am-3pm.

• Before or after the Prospect Park Fair, you might want to stop by the Prospect Park Zoo and meet Kings County’s cutest duo, two babydoll lambs named Arthur and Brooklyn. Brother and sister, born in March to Ginger, may just unseat baby walrus Mitik as the sweetest faces in the borough.

wyckoff-garden• Maypoles, horse shoes, hydroponic gardens • Wyckoff Farmhouse, NYC’s oldest house, holds a Spring Fling: A Celebration of Spring’s Traditions. English country and contra dances led by renowned caller Tom Amesse, folklore tales by storyteller Robin Bady, carnival games, crafts, and more. Sustainable Flatbush (see Sunday, below) will demonstrate the solar hydroponic garden system being installed on premises, while the the house itself will also be on tour. Flatbush. 1pm-6pm.

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On Church Avenue: Magpies poptarts won’t ruin anyone’s appetite.

Sunday

Meet the neighbors • While shopping at the Church Avenue Street Fair, grab a bite at the Pop-Up Picnic Plaza that includes $1 specials from neighborhood eateries Lark, Am-thai, Shayna’s and more. Belly dancing demos, on-site animal adoptions, a children’s concert, make-up and hair styling discounts, and Magpies homemade poptarts are all part of the fun. Prospect Park South. 12pm-6pm.

sustFlatFor a greener thumb • Grassroots organization Sustainable Flatbush and community-owned Flatbush Food Coop have paired up to sponsor a Spring Plant Swap. Trade perennials and other plants, meet and learn from other gardeners, get help starting your garden. At the Flatbush Food Coop, Ditmas Park. 12pm-3pm.

Earth Day at Brooklyn’s largest park • The Brooklyn Dance Ensemble performs Earth Dances at the Salt Marsh Nature Center. As a perfect backdrop to today’s celebration, these 530 acres of grassland and salt marsh are considered a birdwatcher’s paradise. In NYC, the Salt Marsh Nature Center is protected as a Forever Wild Preserve. In addition to the dance performance, Roman “Red Hawk” Perez will perform Native American drumming and narratives. Marine Park. 2pm.

Familiar turf • Zip through the borough courtesy of the Brooklyn Brewery Mash:

2todoNOTEJoy Makon curates Brooklyn Artisan’s Craft & Design coverage and creates the weekly Best of Brooklyn lists. Send items for listings to brooklynartisan@joymakondesign.com

Joy’s Best of Brooklyn for Saturday, April 13

Third Street, Park Slope. (Photograph, Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool)

Wednesday on Third Street in the Slope. (Photograph, Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool)

Earth Day is officially on Monday, April 22, but in Brooklyn,
the festivities begin this Saturday:
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Citi Bike (finally) at the Yard.
(Photograph, Streetsblog.org)

Brooklyn Navy Yard by Bike The Yard is a national leader for sustainable urban industrial parks, so it seems quite natural that biking would be a smart way to check out the goings on there. Citi Bike, the new(ish) network of bike-share stations, has several locations at the Yard, including BLDG 92 and riders are finally getting the chance to take the bikes out for a spin. There are two opportunities on Saturday at the Yard to get out and pedal:

♦ A two-hour bicycle tour of the Yard’s sustainability features that includes NYC’s first building-mounted wind turbines, historic structures brought back to life, and a new green manufacturing center. 12pm-2pm.

 Brooklyn Skillshare presents a class on Urban Cycling Skills with topics such as biking rules, the best way to lock a bike, how to plot a route, and ends with an hour-long group ride up the Kent Avenue Greenway and back. Recycle-A-Bicycle and Transportation Alternatives are among the groups that will be attending. 2pm-4pm.

Spruce up the route Columbia Street Greenway Cleanup, sponsored by Brooklyn Greenway Initiative. As part of the 14-mile Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, the Columbia Street Connector aims to add important pedestrian and recreational green space in Red Hook. All ages are invited to pitch in—tools and gloves will be provided—to make the area a little nicer. Red Hook. 10am-12pm.

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A fruity Serviceberry tree can be yours.

Get & plant a free tree 200 trees will be given away by the Pratt Area Community Council, New York Restoration Project and milliontreesNYC. The tree must be planted within the five boroughs, and placed in the ground, not a container. Register online to reserve a Serviceberry, American Hornbeam, American Persimmon or Bald Cypress. Planting and care instructions will be provided. First-come, first-served until supplies run out. Bed-Stuy. 11am-1pm.

GREEN TIP: Get 20% off Seeds of Change seed packets plus make a donation of 20% of your purchase price to New York Restoration Project (NYRP) with code 20NYRP20.

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Pedal away for a smoothie!
(Photograph, Habana Outpost)

Earth Day Expo at Habana Outpost, a solar-powered restaurant and marketplace. This sounds like it’s chock-full of eco-friendly fun and an easy way to learn about sustainable living. Make a smoothie using alternative energy from the Human Powered Bike Blender, participate in a plastic cap mural art project, and talk to local businesses and eco-organizations that are part of the afternoon Expo. Fort Greene. 12pm-4pm.

Earth Day Celebration at Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College. At 2pm, the environmental performance group Bash the Trash will perform Tales of Anansi, a musical storytelling of folk tales from West Africa and the Caribbean. The musical instruments used are inspired by traditional African designs but made from recycled and reused materials. Following this performance, Bash the Trash will show everyone how to make musical instruments from found and recycled materials. Other interactive family activities with demonstrations, exhibits and hands-on activities will be part of the festivities. Flatbush. 2pm-4pm.

I participated in the first Earth Day.

The first Earth Day poster by Walt Kelly.

Joy Makon participated in the first Earth Day as a high school student. Joy curates Brooklyn Artisan’s Craft & Design coverage and creates the weekly Best of Brooklyn lists. Send items for listings to brooklynartisan@joymakondesign.com

Joy’s Best of Brooklyn for the 2nd weekend of February

caption will go here Aric Snee

Under construction: UrbanGlass’s renovation and expansion in the
1918 Strand Theater on Fulton Street is as fascinating as their exhibits.
Above, A Fuller Translation, by Aric Snee, M.F.A., Alfred University, blown glass.

Thursday Feb. 7 Opening reception for UrbanGlass M.F.A. Exhibition Competition, a juried show of recent M.F.A. graduates from glass programs across the country. Four emerging glass artists, Alli Hoag, Benjamin Johnson, Jessi A. Moore and Aric Snee, are showing work at gallery space 111 Front Street in DUMBO. Tonight’s reception is from 6pm-9pm, and the show runs through March 1. At the conclusion of this exhibition, one of the four will be selected for a solo exhibition at the UrbanGlass gallery. Founded in 1977, UrbanGlass is dedicated to aspiring and established artists wishing to create with glass as a creative medium. Their permanent home is undergoing an extensive renovation and expansion as part of a multi-million dollar investment in the 1918-built Strand Theater by the City of New York and the Borough of Brooklyn. The finished building, a LEED Silver facility, will be a cornerstone of the Brooklyn Cultural District. Meanwhile, classes, studio space and other programming is being offered in temporary space in the Gowanus area.

Deadline alerts
Art House co-founders Steven Peterman and Shane Zucker, at the Brooklyn Art Library. (photograph, Blue Window Creative)

Art House co-founders Steven Peterman
and Shane Zucker, at the Brooklyn Art Library.
(photograph, Blue Window Creative)

The Brooklyn Art Library first came on the scene for The Sketchbook Project, a library of over 18,000 artists’ books on display in a storefront exhibition space in Williamsburg. The Sketchbook Project was created by Art House, an independent company that organizes global, collaborative art projects that anyone can participate in. Most projects include a digital component, as Art House strives to combine hands-on art making with new technology. Current project stats indicate that over 52,000 artists from 128 countries have participated in an Art House project; 5,771 sketchbooks are archived in the Digital Library, and 37 worldwide projects have been organized. Several projects are open for participation now: Five Minutes | Buildings, with a sign-up deadline of Thursday, February 7, asks participants to take five minutes to draw the tallest building in your town. Other intriguing projects you can participate in: Memoir Project (500 handwritten books), The Meal 2013 (documenting a global snack on February 22), and The Print Exchange (a print swap), along with the original Sketchbook Project.

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Etsy: “We hope to show
that business does not have
to be brutal to be successful
and fulfilling.”

This event will sell out fast. Hello Etsy at Pratt: Reimagine the Marketplace, March 22-24 at Pratt Brooklyn. This is an annual conference of creativity and ideas as only the entrepreneurs of Etsy can present. The aims of this event are to explore new methods of production, new patterns of consumption, and more lasting and purposeful ways of working. Etsy’s take on building the creative economy of the future as connected, human-scaled and joyful will be discussed. Over 14 high-profile speakers include Chris Anderson, 3DRobotics and WIRED, Rachel Chong, Catchafire, Chad Dickerson, Etsy, along with workshops. Register now.

BOOKMARK THISShout out to redesigned site downtownbrooklyn.comby Smart Ass Design.The events page is a snap tonavigate, colorful, clear.This month, there’s even a drawing to win a ticket to flya friend to Brooklyn.

BOOKMARK THIS:
A shout out to
redesigned site
downtownbrooklyn.com
.
The events page is
a snap to navigate,

colorful and clear.
This month, there’s
even a chance to win
a ticket
to fly a friend
to
Brooklyn.

JumpStart NYC 13.0 is a three-month educational program to help unemployed or underemployed professionals explore opportunities at small entrepreneurial companies. Applications for the next session, starting on March 4 is due by February 11. The backstory: I attended the premiere session of JumpStartNYC in 2010 at SUNY’s Levin Institute. As a traditional-media print art director, I knew that my career choices were becoming limited and less interesting. JumpStart NYC provided me with incentive to explore work in alternative media with entrepreneurial companies. Starting with a five-day intensive boot camp, my sessions included lectures from Wharton and Harvard professors; next came a 10-week consultancy at a start up that provided video-collaboration business services. Regular networking events with peers, mentors and local businesses led me to Apple, where I continue to work while pursuing other media projects, such as Brooklyn Artisan. Sponsored by the NYC Economic Development Corporation and SUNY Levin Institute. Companies wishing to participate as consultancy project sponsors can get information on the Levin site. The program is free and limited to New York City residents.

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Back to fun

Be an online cookbook judge: This is a new event to me but sounds like fun: The 2013 Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks. Every day for the next week or so, the colorful site Food52 is hosting an NCAA-style competition to determine the best among 16 cookbooks published in the past year. Expert judges include Kurt Andersen, Studio 260, Wylie Dufresne, wd-50, and actor and cookbook author Stanley Tucci. Books in the  competition include A Girl and Her Pig: Recipes and Stories, by April Bloomfield, Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book, by Jake Godby, Sean Vahey and Paolo Lucchesi, Bouchon Bakery Cookbook, by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel, and Japanese Farm Food, by Nancy Singleton Hachisu. Four rounds of judging lead to a final, and you get to weigh in along the way.

sandwichMaking me hungry: The Brooklyn Sandwich Society, a farm-to-table restaurant with seasonal sandwiches and an attractive website peppered with ephemera and hunger-inducing menu descriptions: The Clermont, roasted maitake mushroom, black ledge blue, lacinato kale, parsley aioli on ciabatta, The Grand, pan-fried squid, baby bok choy, cilantro, hot & sour glaze on ciabatta, and Celeriac Soup with crispy oxtail and chive oil. That’s just some of the lunch menu. House-made soda too. From a chef-and-designer team that started out as the Brooklyn Edible Social Club, but has morphed into a true brick-and-mortar place. Fort Greene.

browniesSweet tooth or Valentine’s idea: Help Red Hook-based Fany Gerson of My Sweet Mexico and La Newyorkina get back on her business feet—knocked out from under her by Sandy—by purchasing Fany Brownies from Robicelli’s. Robicelli’s once shared a kitchen with Fany and her paletas (Mexican-style frozen ice pops) and they have pledged to donate a chunk of profits from online sales of these brownies—swirled with Mexican cinnamon and cajeta—through the end of February. Other BKLYN-based food purveyers have signed on to help out too:  Brooklyn Cured, Liddabit Sweets, Whimsy & Spice, see the site for more. Friends indeed.

2todoNOTEJoy Makon curates Brooklyn Artisan’s Craft & Design coverage and creates the weekly Best of Brooklyn lists. Send items for listings to brooklynartisan@joymakondesign.com

Joy’s Best of Brooklyn for the beginning of February

A mixed-bag of talks, rides, exhibits and Valentines for the shortest, but often sweetest, month.
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1922 meets 2013 with an amazing view at Jane’s Carousel. See Friday, Feb. 1.

begraciousThursday, Jan. 31 Artists’ Responses to Sandy, a panel discussion on relief efforts presented at School of Visual Arts. Five panelists will showcase work and discuss the impact the storm has had on the wider community as well as the art world: John Mattiuzzi, video artist; Jessica Rionero and Chelsea Marino, BeGracious.org; Kathy Shorr, The Summer in the City Project; Dena Muller, New York Foundation for the Arts. At SVA’s Amphitheater in Outer Brooklyn, Manhattan. 7pm-9pm.

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The Carousel was originally installed in Idora Park in
Youngstown, Ohio. Restoration began in 1984, and
the magnificent Carousel opened to the public in 2011.

Friday, Feb. 1 February Celebration at Jane’s Carousel. If you need an excuse for a treat this month, go for a two-for-one ride ($2) on Jane’s Carousel. Damage from you-know-who has been repaired, and the restored merry-go-round is in full splendor and ready for play—and it’s heated too. Made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1922, this carousel has 48 exquisitely carved horses and two chariots along with original scenic panels. The carousel is on the National Register of Historic Places and is housed in a see-through minimalist pavilion designed in 2011 by Atelier Jean Nouvel. Brooklyn Bridge Park. DUMBO.

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Bees in the city: maybe not as scary as this looks. (Photograph from HoneybeeLives.)

Saturday, Feb. 2 and Sunday, Feb. 3 Organic Beekeeping Workshop, led by HoneybeeLives beekeeper/bee doctor Chris Harp, and beekeeper Grai Rice. This is a hands-on one- or two-day workshop to learn about Chris and Grai’s gentle approach to organic beekeeping. Saturday: Plan a new hive this spring by learning about bee communities and instincts, as well as beekeeper responsibilities. Sunday: How to care for bees through hive design, health and disease management, seasonal concerns. Pre-registration advised. The Commons, Boerum Hill. 10am-6pm each day.

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Part of Brooklyn Museum’s permanent collection, this Kachina looks ready to party.

Saturday, Feb. 2 Target First Saturday at Brooklyn Museum. If you’ve attended in the past, you know that from 5pm until 11pm, happy crowds of families, neighborhood types, and fun-seekers descend upon the museum (admission is free) to partake in programs of art and entertainment. The Dance Party, alas, has been put on hold, but there’s still plenty to explore. This month’s First Saturday is themed African Innovations and includes music, dance, hands-on activities, and a fashion showcase/performance by New York-based designers with music by Ethiopian DJ Sirak.

Melissa Godoy Nieto Myrtle ave caption tkSaturday, Feb. 2 A Patchwork Story: Myrtle Windows Gallery. Opening this evening, A Patchwork Story is on view in eight storefronts along Myrtle Avenue in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. Over nine artists (Melissa Godoy Nieto’s work is at left) have contributed works to this month-long, curated exhibit that draws inspiration from African American quilts as part of personal identity and cultural heritage. Part of Black Artstory Month on Myrtle, in honor of Black History Month. Reception at Sans Souci Restaurant. 6:30pm-9pm.

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Sesame Letterpress will pass
along their love of letterpress
on a Vandercook at Etsy Labs.

hearts_lg-300x224Monday, Feb. 3 Etsy Hands-On: Letterpress Valentines, a printing workshop from font-loving Sesame Letterpress. Here’s a chance to get an introduction to letterpress printing using the Etsy Labs’s Vandercook press. After learning about the process and printing a Valentine’s Day card, students will get to personalize their work using colored pencils, ephemera, and other collage materials. The typography class at my college, Tyler School of Art, included a semester’s worth of handset type printed on a Vandercook. Pre-digital, totally bespoke—it was hard work but a lot of fun. DUMBO. 5pm-8pm.

Tuesday, Feb. 4 How to Make It: Implementing Green Practices in Your Designs. Brooklyn-based online marketplace UncommonGoods is sponsoring a panel discussion about the whys and ways to incorporate eco-friendly practices in your business. Guests can present their designs and ideas for feedback by emailing in advance—or tweet #howtomakeitUG. Following the talk, there will be a networking happy hour (free Brooklyn Brewery beer) to mingle and meet panelists Tiffany Threadgould, chief design junkie at TerraCycle, Rebecca Krauss, EcoBizNYC, and Yuka Yoneda, editor of inhabitat.com. At Powerhouse Arena, DUMBO. 6:30pm-9pm.

2todoNOTEJoy Makon curates Brooklyn Artisan’s Craft & Design coverage and creates the weekly Best of Brooklyn lists. Send items for listings to brooklynartisan@joymakondesign.com

A Zen Palace of Materials and Makers in Outer Brooklyn

Museum of Arts and Design's mission is to honor the relationship between materials and maker, with processes ranging from the artisanal to the digital. Exhibitions, such as the current Playing with Fire: 50 Years of Contemporary Glass, blur distinctions between art, design and craft. Shown above, Tastes Like Applebees, 2007, Matt Eskuche. Flameworked glass, twine, steel, clothespins. (Photograph by David Behl). On exhibit through April 7.

Museum of Arts and Design‘s mission is to honor the relationship between materials and maker, with processes ranging from the artisanal to the digital. Exhibitions, such as the current
Playing with Fire: 50 Years of Contemporary Glass, blur distinctions between art, design
and craft. Shown above, Tastes Like Applebees, 2007, Matt Eskuche. Flameworked glass,
twine, steel, clothespins. (Photograph by David Behl.) On exhibit through April 7.

A friend lives in this cool Brooklyn loft. She decorates in a wonderfully minimalist style and I bet she can’t pass Roche Bobois without salespeople waving hello. In contrast, I’m on a first-name basis at the Stickley store. I’m jealous of Ms. Minimalist’s space as it always has a restorative zen-like appeal to me. So when I can’t visit my friend and need to reset my senses from all the dark wood and overstuffed/overpropped places I hang in, I head to The Museum of Arts and Design at Columbus Circle. The clean lines of the building’s architecture, the open and quiet exhibit spaces, and beautifully curated and installed exhibits recharge me creatively and spiritually.

The Art of Scent 1889-2012 is on display through February 24.

The Art of Scent 1889-2012 is on display through February 24.

I was wowed by the design of the current exhibition, The Art of Scent 1889-2012. As shown in the photograph above, this open space is minimal, futuristic, even daunting when you first approach the exhibit. My initial reaction was that I didn’t know what to make of it until I followed others and placed my head into one of twelve carved wall spaces. Fragrance softly wafts up to your nose, and written descriptions of the scents light up next to the space. The museum states that it purposely created a space devoid of all visual indicators, such as logos and marketing materials, so that visitors would concentrate on smell only. That would explain the almost-totally white room one encounters. [Read more…]

Joy’s Best of Brooklyn, November 23, 24, 25

Happy holidaze! We will take some time out for ourselves, right?

Vintage from Kasbah, top, and serious treats from DUB Pies, at Brooklyn Night Bazaar.

Friday: Green Friday Gowanus. Don’t Buy It, Build It. Film Biz Recycling, Build It Green! NYC and the Lower East Side Ecology Centers E-Waste Warehouse are hosting a Black Friday alternative with the goal of inspiring creative gift-giving through reuse. DIY terrariums, jewelry, ornaments to make or purchase using recycled electronics, salvaged wood, vintage post cards, more. Gowanus. 10am-5pm.

Friday: Great for Families: Brooklyn Bowl presents Family Bowl. Work it off at one of the 16 QubicaAMF bowling lanes featuring an automatic scoring system and energy-efficient pin spotters. Enjoy food from Blue Ribbon (a Sloppy Joey!) along with local brews. Williamsburg. 12pm-6pm.

Friday and Saturday through December 22: Brooklyn Night Bazaar. Inspired by night markets across Asia, this venue, located in a 40,000-square-foot warehouse, brings together more than 100 indie vendors, musicians, artists, chefs and breweries. Williamsburg. 6pm-12am.

Saturday and Sunday: Gifted, a holiday market, produced by Brooklyn Flea. Vintage, handmade, art, food at the former Williamsburg Savings Bank building. While browsing, check out the original bank vault doors still present in the lower level, as well as the amazing ceiling tiling and detail on the ground floor. Five weekends, beginning November 24 & 25. Fort Greene. 10am-6pm.

Saturday: Small Business Saturday. A one-day shopping event dedicated to supporting all the small businesses that Brooklyn Artisan followers know and love. Examples of some special services and offers, including fundraising for Sandy relief:  [Read more…]

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