Here’s to Orville and Wilbur: The Makers and Flyers

Yesterday was Kitty Hawk Day, which provoked this reminiscence.

THE WRIGHT BROTHERS NEVER TRUDGED UP THIS DUNE BAREFOOT. That’s what I’m thinking last spring as I try to negotiate the wings of a 1902 Wright glider up a sandy winding trail carved out of Jockey’s Ridge with Kitty Hawk Kites’ clean-cut manager Bruce Weber and assistant recreation manager Andy Torrington. This exact replica was hand-built in 2002 by renown Wrightist Ken Hyde and The Discovery of Flight Foundation–sort of an artisanal business for the aviation set. This glider’s heavy—about 150 pounds—and bulky—302 square foot of flexible, yellowing canvas wing built just like the original—the same ash and spruce and weatherbeaten,  cross-stitched canvas.

Speaking of kites: Wright Brothers 1902 glider

Speaking of kites: Wright Brothers 1902 glider

The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were tinkerers; they came along before mass-production. They were the kind of guys who today would be found at the Makers Faire and the 3rd Ward or taking their kids over to the Robot Foundry in Gowanus. While the closest they ever got to flying in Brooklyn was Governor’s Island, they did own a small bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio, a city that produced more than its share of earth-shattering inventions. (The cash register? Yup, that was born in Dayton.) Everything the brothers did was hand-crafted, from their bicycles to their first powered airplane.  If there’s anything to learn about growing an artisanal business, just read a biography of the Wrights.

So far as the ’02 replica goes, fewer than 30 people had ever flown it, but last year Hyde loaned it to Kitty Hawk Kites.  It looks fragile, it flexes, creaks, but it always bounces back into shape. It’s tougher than it looks. [Read more…]

Joy’s Best of Brooklyn, December 7, 8, 9, 10

Festival of Lights, photography by Brooklyn Artisan.

Festival of Lights, 2012, photography from the Brooklyn Artisan photo pool.

Eclectic edition, shopping roundup included.
PS: When’s Festivus?

200px-Radio_free_albemuthFriday, Saturday, Sunday: The inaugural weekend of the Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival. Hollywood’s love affair with sci-fi author Philip K. Dick is well represented by hits such as Blade Runner, Minority Report, Total Recall. This weekend’s festival of screenings, speakers and panel discussions covers some of the best and newest in science fiction, science and the supernatural. Watch documentaries on A.I., virtual reality, galactic superwaves. Observe scientist Ronald Mallett Ph.D. who is working on a real-life time travel machine. The festival opens Friday with an adaptation of Dick’s last novel, Radio Free Albemuth. At indieScreen, Williamsburg. Check the website for schedule.

picklesSaturday, Sunday: Whiskey, Pickles and Jerky Pairing Weekend at Brooklyn Oenology. Pickles + New York State Whiskey = Picklebacks, the now-classic Brooklyn chaser. Composed of 1oz whiskey chased with 1oz pickle brine with jerky garnish for additional oomph. Williamsburg. Saturday, 3pm-midnight. Sunday, 12pm-10pm.

Etsy crafter Jessica Marquez, author of
Stitched Gifts (Chronicle Books), will share her
techniques this weekend at Textile Arts Center.

Saturday, Sunday: Make your own Fabric Books: Hand Bound, Dyed and Stitched, a two-day class at Textile Arts Center. Taught by Etsy member and maker behind Miniature Rhino, Jessica Marquez, and visual artist Rebecca Kelly. Book binding, sewing, embroidery, dyeing and image transfer techniques will be taught and students will make three simple practice books. Park Slope. 11am-5pm each day.

Saturday: Downtown Brooklyn Holiday Trolley. Relive a bit of Brooklyn history by taking a free ride on the hop-on/hop-off old-fashioned trolley as it makes eight stops along a mile-long circular route covering interesting architecture and local lore. Warm up with hot chocolate as guides share stories about Brooklyn’s past and present history. This would be a novel way to get from Brooklyn Heights to BAM or the Brooklyn Flea. Every Saturday through December 22. Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene. 1pm-7pm.

Saturday: The Art of the Tequila Cocktail, presented by Sycamore. The Cocktail Weenies Mike Mikos and Wil Petre, who also happen to be the expert barmen at Sycamore, will host an evening devoted to everything about tequila cocktails. Demonstrations, recipe booklets, snacks will be part of improving one’s mixology skills. Advance ticket purchase advised. Ditmas Park. 5pm.

beardAllianceSaturday: 3rd annual NYC Beard & Mustache Competition, produced by Gotham City Beard Alliance, an organization to promote tolerance and acceptance of all facial hair. Proceeds of the evening, being held at Warsaw, will go to the NYC chapter of the MS Society. Judging categories include, but are not limited to: Full Beard Styled Moustache–heavy use of styling aids on your moustache permitted; College–18-22 year old competitors or baby faces; Freestyle–anything goes, styling aids ok; Women’s Most Fantastic–creativity. Greenpoint. Registration starts at 6:30pm, doors open at 7pm.

FiveBucksFinal01Sunday: unwind and have a cozy dinner somewhere in the nabe. Try Fort Defiance: Saxelby Cheesemonger Plate, Pickled Beet Salad, Prescription Julep (circa 1857). Red Hook. Dinner 5pm-11pm. Also check out their Buy Now Drink Later Junk Bonds to help them rebuild post-Sandy.

Sunday: Concert & Comedy for Sandy Animals, a benefit for Sean Casey Animal Rescue. Live music, videos, art, raffle and giftbags. Littlefield, Gowanus. 7pm.

Monday, aka third Hanukkah candle: Fourth Annual Latke Festival, sponsored by Great Performances and Edible Brooklyn. Sample creations by notable Brooklyn chefs from BAMcafe, Blue Ribbon Brooklyn, The Farm on Adderley (Spud Maccabee with pickled fennel jam, butternut squash, and crème fraîche), Stone Park Cafe, Berlyn, The Vanderbilt, The Sussman Brothers (latkes with lots of sauces), along with other Outer Brooklyn chefs. Enter your own recipe ahead of time to be part of the latke cook off. Tickets are limited and must be pre-purchased by Monday via the festival website. At BAM, Fort Greene. 6:30pm.

SHOPPING ROUNDUP:

Saturday, Sunday:

  • Housing Works Buy the Bag. Housing Works provides housing resources for New Yorkers living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Their thrift shops are a staple among savvy NYC hunter-gatherer types. What began as an event is now a free-standing store and works like this: spend $25 and receive a bag to fill up with gently-used menswear, womenswear and accessories. Purchase as many bags to fill as you like. Sunset Park. Saturday 12pm-6pm. Sunday 12pm-5pm.

stuff_masthead2012Saturday:

Festivus is celebrated on December 23. There’s plenty of time to prepare.

Joy 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, November 29, 30, December 1, 2

The presents come early and often at Prospect Park Zoo on Saturday and Sunday. (photo by Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS)

Twelve reasons to keep it local this weekend.

Thursday: The Brooklyn Cheese CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) begins this Thursday and runs for 6 weeks until January 3, 2013. On Thursdays, Cricket Creek Farm, a small, grass-based dairy from Williamstown, MA, will distribute their cheese at Picada y Vino in Park Slope. Regular shares of 2 lbs and half shares of 1 lb per week are available. Four cheeses made from raw and pasteurized cow’s milk are featured, and described on Cricket Creek Farm’s lovely website.

Thursday through Sunday: Holiday Art Sale at 440 Gallery. This artist-run collective offers affordable, original works of art, as well as reproductions, during their 2nd annual holiday sale. Prices range from $4.40 to $440. Ask about Philomena Marano’s $25 prints to benefit Coney Island relief funds. Park Slope. Thursday and Friday, 4pm-7pm. Saturday and Sunday, 11am-7pm.

Friday: Winter Art Sale at Trestle Gallery. A one-night-only reception of paintings, drawings, photography, mixed media from 46 artists. Proceeds benefit the participating artists as well as Trestle Gallery and Brooklyn Art Space programs for emerging and mid-career artists and curators. Gowanus. 8pm-10pm.

Saturday and Sunday: Presents to the Animals, Prospect Park Zoo. To a meerkat, mealworms are artisanal; otters consider capelin (smelt) and eggs a delicacy. Starting this weekend through December 30, watch Hamadryas baboons, Pallas’s cats, red pandas, mongoose, and other zoo critters have the most delightful and comical time tearing into gift-wrapped bags and boxes of treats. The Zoo provides these presents as a form of enrichment to keep the animals’ minds and bodies healthy and active. All I know is that last year we split our sides laughing. 11am and 3:30pm. [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…]

Joy’s Best of Brooklyn, November 16, 17, 18

Stanley & Sons, The Tailors, from Brooklyn Makers,
a book and photography project by Jennifer Causey.

Starting up: holiday crafts and food, plus ways to feed your head too.

BE SURE TO CONFIRM with each event or venue as schedules and availability continue to change for many things.

Friday: A good day to take advantage of Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s free weekday admission during winter hours. “Times like this remind us that plants, trees and gardens are about renewal,” from Garden News. Tuesday—Friday: 8am-4:30pm.

Urban Agriculture: United Community Centers Farm,
East New York, by photographer Rob Stephenson.
Opening exhibit Friday at BRIC Rotunda Gallery.

Friday: On Purpose: Art & Design in Brooklyn, 2012. Opening reception, BRIC Rotunda Gallery. An exhibition featuring the work of multi-disciplined designers, architects and visual artists that address the environmental challenges of contemporary urban living. Topics emphasize sustainability, diverse creative solutions, desire for beauty and working together to build community. Brooklyn Heights. 7pm-9pm.

Saturday & Sunday: Julemarked Danish Christmas Fair, The Danish Seamen’s Church. Modern and traditional Danish art, craft and delicacies: Christmas ornaments, Bodum, Dansko, as well as aebleskiver, meatballs and candy. Nearby Plymouth Church hosts a restaurant with smørrebrød, beer and glogg (Saturday only, 11am-5pm). Brooklyn Heights. Saturday 11am-5pm. Sunday 11am-3pm.

First time for the holidays in Brooklyn—The Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market

Saturday & Sunday: Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market in Brooklyn at East River State Park. A curated craft collection from indie makers; workshops including a DIY wrapping station; music from some of Brooklyn’s best DJs; free-to-use photobooth from Magnolia Photobooth Co., and local sweet and savory treats to round out the day. Williamsburg. 11am-6pm.

Sunday: Hands-On Pie Making: Pumpkin Pie at The Brooklyn Kitchen. This two-hour class aims to teach home cooks to make a crust—including the daunting lattice-top—and a mini-pie to take home and bake. Taught by Millicent Souris, author of How to Build a Better Pie. Williamsburg. 2pm-4pm.

Sunday: The 10th Anniversary Chili Takedown. Taste 30 chilis—“America’s favorite pot of hatred,”— mostly local and mostly from veteran Chili Takedown entrants. Park Slope, The Bell House. 2pm.

Sunday: Radio Unnameable Ciné Barbès Rewind/Replay Series. Documentary portrait of WBAI-FM radio personality Bob Fass who revolutionized FM in the 60s and 70s with free-form programming. Interviews and performances by Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Carly Simon among others. Q&A with co-director Jessica Wolfson after the screening. Park Slope, Barbès. 5pm.

Read: Jennifer Causey’s Brooklyn Makers, part of the Makers Project, features inspired photographs of 30 of Brooklyn’s self-styled creators, i.e., Brooklyn Artisans.

Sign: NYC Food Trucks Petition. We love our food trucks; we’ve all seen and heard about them during Sandy’s relief and recovery actions; they are valuable to our city and worthy of our support.

Joy Makon curates Brooklyn Artisan’s Craft & Design coverage and creates the weekend to-do lists.
Send items for listings to brooklynartisan@joymakondesign.com

More than just Halloween : : Joy’s best of Brooklyn for October 26, 27, 28

Learn to sew, work with glass, get your bike repaired and sample homebrews

Ongoing through Sunday: Passport to Prospect Heights. Yelp is promoting numerous specials and events for locally-owned businesses in the nabe; check the Yelp site.

Kimchi Taco Truck makes the rounds
at the Parade Grounds.

Saturday and Sunday: Food Trucks at Prospect Park’s Parade Grounds. A rotating selection from Gorilla Cheese NYC, Kimchi Taco Truck, Mud Truck, Snap Truck, Toum Truck. “Reward your kid for a soccer game well played with an artisanal grilled cheese.” Ok. Through November 17. 8am-5pm.

Saturday and Sunday: Stained Glass Weekend at UrbanGlass, Brooklyn’s resource for aspiring and established artists to create with glass. This is a two-day beginner’s class to explore the fundamentals of cutting, copper foiling and soldering. Park Slope. 12pm-5pm, both days.

Outer Brooklyn Friday: Rubin Museum of Art. New and ongoing exhibitions of art of Himalayan Asia in a beautiful space. Friday events include: the K2 Lounge—light dining, drinks and entertainment by music stylist Kamala, and a screening of classic The 400 Blows by François Truffaut, introduced by author Annette Insdorf. At least one Brooklyn Artisan’s spouse is going to this one. Chelsea, Manhattan. Free admission 6pm-10 pm.

Saturday: Brooklyn Wort—Brooklyn’s Homebrew Competition. 25 brewers, one location, the public decides. Sponsored by Park Slope’s Brooklyn Homebrew, and Ditmas Park’s Sycamore. Event is held at Public Assembly, a former mayonnaise factory in Williamsburg. Tastings at 2pm and 4pm.

Saturday: The Art of Fashion Illustration: Antonio Lopez. A talk and exhibit about the 70s and 80s fashion illustrator. Guaranteed to contain fashion, art, sex and disco. The Brooklyn Public Library, Central Library, Dweck Center. 4pm

Artist Richard Eagan is inspiration
for a children’s workshop at 440 Gallery. (courtesy 440 Gallery)

Saturday: Sew Your Own Burlesque Dancer Halloween Costume. A class to learn how to use a sewing machine, hand sew, and “vamp up”. At Film Biz Recycling & Prop Shop, Gowanus. Sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery. 2:30pm-5:30pm.

Good for Families Sunday: Young Artists @ 440: Coney Island Amusements. A free, hands-on art workshop for children ages 4 to 12. Inspired by the current exhibition at 440 Gallery Art of the Coney Island Hysterical Society featuring work by Richard Eagan and Philomena Marano. Park Slope. 4:40pm-6:00pm.

Green-Wood Cemetery late October
walking tour. (photo ©all rights reserved, Green-Wood Cemetery)

Sunday: Free Bike Repair courtesy of Occupy Wall Street Bike Coalition. Prospect Park north entrance. 2pm-7pm

Sunday: The Annual Late October Walking Tour, Green-Wood Cemetery. Tales of murder, mayhem, spirits and ghosts led by Green-Wood historian Jeff Richman. Very popular, purchase tickets in advance. Two tours: 1pm and 3pm.

Sunday: Made in DUMBO Walking Tour. Given by Made in Brooklyn Tours—guided walking tours that tell the story of Brooklyn’s industrial revolution and revival through the creativity, ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of Brooklynites past and present. 1:30pm.

Laugh: The Hipster Song. Maybe it applies to you, maybe it doesn’t. We hope it makes you smile.

Joy Makon curates Brooklyn Artisan’s Craft & Design coverage and creates the weekend to-do lists.
Send it
ems for listings to brooklynartisan@joymakondesign.com

Brooklyn Makers at Martha Stewart’s American Made Show

THE DETAILS: A huge American Made sign in Grand Central Station gets
a going-over by Brooklyn Artisan inspectors. (Photos for BA/Mollie Ann Smith)

MY FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH THE UNDERGROUND BUZZ about Martha Stewart’s big Grand Central Station event is literally that – underground: in the food court, where I am buying a quick chicken caesar. Something (the Brooklyn Artisan tote bag over my shoulder?) must’ve tipped off Maria who is taking food orders at Tri Tip.

Martha Stewart's American Made was a big event for Maria, working at Tri Tip.

In the food court, Maria is excited that Martha Stewart’s upstairs.

“Have you been up to the Martha Stewart exhibit? It’s really fun,” she confides. “I made a key chain and I’m going back after my shift to make a necklace.” Usually she knits or crochets, but she says she has gotten a bunch of new ideas from the show. No, Maria didn’t see Martha Stewart in person, but to know she was there was…a good thing.

Up in Vanderbilt Hall, one long line snakes around to the silkscreening of custom tote bags, another waits on the food tastings, and a third crowd will attend the next class session in a screened off area behind the silver Toyota. Toyota, Westin Hotels, and JCP (as in James Cash Penny) are among the event sponsors. The craft tables are on the eastern side of the hall along with the UPS and Avery sponsor/information tables.

Foxy & Winston towels designed by Jane Buck, Red Hook, Brooklyn

Brooklyn’s Red Hook is the creative home of Jane Buck’s whimsical designs. (BA photo: Joy Makon)

Brooklyn is well represented at the craft tables. Red Hook’s Foxy & Winston display, for instance, shows tea towels, children’s aprons, pillow covers, wispy neck scarves, and letterpress cards printed with whimsical designs by Jane Buck: artichokes, hedgehogs, paddleboats, tugboats, peacocks.

Jane tells us her designs are printed in India on Indian cotton, and then the bolts are cut and the pieces sewn in the USA. She herself is an import, she mentions. As an art history and fashion student in London for five years, she was making a living by waiting tables. She met and was courted by a New Zealander. When his English visa ran out, he had to go home, and the closest spot to her he could find to live was New York. He is a wine importer. They traveled back and forth and then made the leap: 13 years ago on October 1, they were married in Central Park. It’s a love story that stretches halfway round the world and ends up in Brooklyn.

Jane Buck set up her design studio in Red Hook and opened a little retail area in the front. Now through that store and other outlets, her business has enough volume for her to afford an assistant three days a week. “Before that,” she says, laughing, “‘I’d be working in the back and when someone came in, I’d have to pop out from behind the curtain: ‘Hello, may I help you?'” [Read more…]

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