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.

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Joy’s Best of Brooklyn, December 14, 15, 16

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The bakers at famed breakfast haunt Norma’s, of Le Parker Meridien in
Outer Brooklyn, created the Hurri-Crane for the Gingerbread Extragavanza.
See Play With Your Food, below. (photograph by the Brooklyn Artisan photo pool.)

Shopping Opps Play With Your Food The Gift of Classes

bizmapSIX SHOPPING OPPS
1. Shop at a business struggling since Sandy. With the launch of the Support NYC Small Business campaign, New Yorkers and visitors can easily find ways to support places impacted by Sandy. At the campaign’s website, businesses that have reopened are indicated on the interactive map and include restaurants and bars, food and drink purveyors, shops, companies, as well as services. Just pick a neighborhood and go.

Two weekends worth of goods at Brooklyn Craft Central include Noble Goods wood and resin housewares, MissWit ironic tees, Sour Puss Pickles, and SweaterToys animals.

Two weekends worth of goods at Brooklyn Craft Central include Noble Goods wood and
resin housewares, MissWit ironic tees, Sour Puss Pickles, and SweaterToys animals.

2. Saturday and Sunday (and next weekend too): Brooklyn Craft Central Annual Holiday Market at Littlefield Performance & Art Space. Interesting roster of vendors include: Sour Puss Pickles, a small-batch pickling company; SweaterToys, stuffed animals made from recycled sweaters; MissWit, whimsical, satirical tees; Noble Goods, home objects created from solid wood and cast resin. Beware the drink specials: Woolly Knit (hot cider with bourbon), Hot Glue (coffee and Kahlua), and Shopaholic (gin, lemon, simple syrup, grenadine). Park Slope. 11am-5pm.

Barney3. Saturday: South Slope Holiday Craft Fair, benefiting art, music and science programs at PS10. The PTA fair has come a long way. PS10’s selection of upmarket, original art, jewelry, clothing and more makes this event a worthwhile stop. >>At right, one-of-a-kind sculpture Barney, from exhibitor What the Folk Art. Free workshops for kids from Brooklyn Craft Workshop, a raffle and Kimchi Taco Truck snacks complete the afternoon. Park Slope. 11am-5pm.

4. Saturday and Sunday: The Degenerate Craft Fair, created for artists, by artists, as a sort of anti-art fair. Over 50 artists and designers have work for sale, most costing less than $50. On Sunday, the first 50 guests receive a tote bag of goodies. At The DUMBO Loft, DUMBO. Saturday, 12pm-9pm. Sunday, 11am-6pm.

3W_CRAFTFAIR5. Saturday: 6th annual 3rd Ward Handmade Holiday Craft Fair. Over 100 Bklyn-based vendors will offer handmade gifts to customize one’s iPad, along with kitchenwares, food and other interesting stuff. First 200 visitors will receive a 3rd Ward tote bag filled with goodies. Boerum Hill Northern Italian restaurant Rucola will offer up drinks and snacks. Williamsburg. 12pm-6pm.

robot_shopping26. Sunday: Kids Play, You Shop at Brooklyn Robot Foundry. Register, and drop off your 5 to 10 year old for three hours of open play time. They will be guided by Robot Foundry staffers and will get to design and build robotic projects using educational materials and toys. In return, parents will get a 10% discount on neighboring shops and cafes and a chance to have some grown-up time while the kids are entertained. Gowanus. Two sessions at 11am-2pm and 2:30pm-5:30pm.


PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD

gingerShip_92Saturday: Gingerbread Ships! A very tasty Tools & Talent workshop at BLDG92, Brooklyn Navy Yard. The Brooklyn-built USS Monitor will be recreated in gingerbread by model shipwright Dan Pariser and the bakers from Fort Greene’s Le Petit Bakery. Participants will help assemble, decorate and “commission” in the atrium, and all kids will receive a gingerbread ship cookie to decorate. Bound to be popular, so advanced ticket purchase is advised, via website. Vinegar Hill. 1pm.

nationaltourlogoSunday: 2nd annual Food Experiments National Championship presented by Brooklyn Brewery. Touted on the website as “The World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup of amateur cooking competitions,” this event is the finale of 12 months of national food competitions in search of the ultimate home chef. Judges include Noah Bermanoff, owner Mile End Delicatessen and Coleman Andrews, editorial director, The Daily Meal. Advanced ticket purchase advised; admission includes food samplings and unlimited Brooklyn Brewery beer. At The Brooklyn Brewery, Williamsburg. 1pm-4pm.

On display through January 3, Le Parker Meridien’s Gingerbread Extravaganza in the 56th Street atrium. These are no ordinary gingerbread houses, as the theme of Landmarks Around the World inspired NYC-based bakers to erect monuments to Loch Ness and the Urquhart Castle, Chichen Itza, Toji Tower, The Lincoln Memorial, The Sphinx, and my favorite, Hurri-Crane [Le Parker Meridien is located across the street from the infamous 57th Street Sandy-damaged crane and was closed until the crane could be secured.] Vote for your favorite by purchasing a ballot for $1 with proceeds benefitting City Harvest. Outer Brooklyn, Manhattan.

More from the Gingerbread Extravaganza: Toji Tower, created by Kyotofu, a Hell's KitchenJapanese dessert bar; The Lincoln Memorial, crafted by Baked Ideas, a custom baker.

More from the Gingerbread Extravaganza: Toji Tower, created by Kyotofu, a Hell’s Kitchen
Japanese dessert bar; The Lincoln Memorial, keeping Abe warm with baby-blue mittens,
earmuffs (or Beats?) and bowtie, created by Baked Ideas, a custom baker.

GIVE THE GIFT OF CLASSES
Many businesses share their love of community and technique through classes. A gift certificate for a single or group of sessions would make a unique gift. Act soon, as classes often sell out quickly, and space is limited at most events. Four suggestions to get you thinking:

• Brooklyn Homebrew, Gowanus
A retailer devoted to all things necessary to produce and learn about making beer.
Discovering Yeast, a hands-on 2-hour session on the basics of brewing with yeast. Starting January 8.
Homebrew 101: A Beginner’s Class, will guide students through all the steps to making beer at home. January 10.

174x148xsinger_model_30_sewing_machine_sewalot_alex_askaroff-174x148.jpeg.pagespeed.ic.KzaDkX-6H3• Owl and Thistle General Store, Crown Heights
This urban mercantile specializes in local, sustainable and fair trade items and is run by Keri Cavanaugh, an independent clothing designer and former Peace Corps volunteer.
Meet Your Sewing Machine, a 2-hour introductory class. Starting January 5.
Introduction to Home Sewing, 3 sessions concentrated on working with patterns to create a tote bag, drawstring skirt or pajama pant. Starting January 7.

• Gowanus Furniture, Gowanus
A producer of well-designed, locally-made innovative products.
Custom Cutting Board Class, during 2 evenings, students will make a wood cutting board and enjoy wine and local snacks. Starting January 18.

• SideTour, various locations in Brooklyn and Outer Brooklyn
An online marketplace of classes and events that are hosted by locals experienced in topics ranging from individualized tours, chef techniques, wine tastings, and other unique opportunities—all vetted by the SideTour team. Gift certificates can be used toward any class or event on the site.
DIY Jewelry Making Session, 2-hours, 3 bracelets. DUMBO location. January 20.
Create Your Own Handmade Soda at Brooklyn Soda Works, January 16.

FOR YOUR SPRING LINE?
pantoneEMERALD. Pantone 17-5641 has been designated as the color of the year for 2013, allowing Tangerine Tango, Pantone 17-1463 to retire as 2012’s color. “The most abundant hue in nature, the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®.

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

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