Thursday, March 29, 2007

NH Trip & Categories for Greenjeans Online

First, we are pleased to announce that you can now shop Greenjeans Online by category! Just go to our website and click on "shop" to check it out. (We're working on new photos so we can add new items...)

Earlier this week, we were in NH visiting artisans and selecting new work for Greenjeans. We brought back:

- Shaker totes (shown above right) and pegboards by David Emerson

- Dozens of new orbs and finger puppets by Jane Kaufmann

- Fresh wooden spoons by Dan Dustin

- Handsome baskets by Ray Lagasse

We also finally got to meet with Bill Summers, the maker of the jewelry boxes we've been admiring from afar. Hopefully we'll soon have them available in the shop!

Here are some pictures from our trip. Enjoy!

David Emerson (Canterbury, NH)

Bill Summers (Concord, NH). Click here for post about our studio visit and short video.

Jewelry boxes by Bill Summers. With dovetailed edges, breadboard lids, and seamless craftsmanship, they are, to me, quintessential. ARRIVING SPRING '07.

Dan Dustin polishing new spoons.

Jae selecting spoons in Dan Dustin's workshop.

Tom McLaughlin (right) is a fine woodworker who may be turning this huge piece of walnut into a headboard for a Greenjeans customer. Click here to watch a video of him and his apprentice in action!

Jane Kaufmann working in her studio.

Crocuses are just starting to push up through the winter cover. These are in my Great Aunt's yard. They're from the bulbs Jae and I gave as wedding favors back in Oct. '05.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

New Arrivals: Porcelain Jewelry, Coasters, Baby Hats...

We have some beautiful new items in the shop right now, many of which would make great Easter or Passover gifts. Take a look!

Not all items are available on our website yet, so if you'd like to purchase something just contact us and we'll take care of you.

Please note that we'll be closed this Tuesday, March 27, as we'll be in New Hampshire fetching a new batch of Dan Dustin's spoons, Jane Kaufmann's orbs, Ray Lagasse's baskets, and, hopefully, jewelry boxes!

Oh sweet spontaneous spring!

(Pictured at top right: Porcelain Seed and Pod Vases by Mary Anne Davis, $28 small, $44 medium).

It wouldn't be springtime without eggs and bunnies! Humpty Dumpty, Kate the Bunny, and Heart Bunny by Judy Geagley of Tollesboro, KY ($32-$57).

Baby hats and booties made from upcycled cashmere and cotton by `e-ko-logic in Troy, NY ($28-$45 each).

We have 144 fresh new coasters in loads of new colors and patterns (some shown here)! Made in Toronto by Renato Foti ($14.50 each, $28 per pair).

I am so excited about this new-to-Greenjeans artist, Ruth Tomlinson! She makes porcelain and sterling silver jewelry in her London studio ($100-$300). (The ring is already sold, but more are on the way...)

More jewelry by Ruth. The black metal is oxidized sterling silver. The turquoise earrings are set in 18k gold. The white earrings would be perfect on a bride!

Gorgeous gothically romantic necklace by Ruth. The bell-shapes are formed from unglazed porcelain using the bone tools that belonged to her ceramicist grandmother.

Maple cutting/serving board by Buff Brown ($120) and turned wooden bowls of cherry by Tom Dubois ($125-$165).

Walnut cutting/serving board by Buff Brown ($120) and decorative serving bowls by Kit Cornell ($80-90).

Raku-fired vessel by New Hampshire studio potter Jeff Brown ($95) and Fairy Princess by Jane Kaufmann ($24).

Artist's brushes (great for watercolors, pottery painting, or calligraphy) made from deer, fox, elk, goat, and sable and fitted into bamboo handles ($25-$170). Made by Keith Lebenzon in Beaverton, OR. (The animal hairs come from hides that Keith buys from hunters that would otherwise be left in the woods to rot. The hides, not the hunters.)

Teabowls by Kit Cornell in her new glaze, Seagrass ($25 each).

The front window dressed for the spring holidays!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Museum & Gallery Craft Exhibitions

A lot of interesting exhibition announcements have crossed my desk in recent weeks. From high-profile museums to little jewel-box university galleries, here's an edited listing of what's on.

(And if you go to any of these, be sure to send us an email--maybe I'll post your thoughts and photos on the blog!)

Multiplicity: Contemporary Ceramic Sculpture An exhibition of work by 8 artists who create large-scale ceramic works by combining exact copies--sometimes hundreds at a time--of one small clay form. Includes the work of Jeanne Quinn (I'm a big fan of her work, shown here top).

Traveling thru Nov. 2007 to Portland Art Center (OR), Rubin Center for Visual Arts (El Paso, TX), San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts (TX), Landmark Arts (Texas Tech in Lubbock), Southwest School of Art and Craft (San Antonio, TX).

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art Opening March 23 at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, this is a study center devoted to art created from a feminist perspective. Will include Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party (shown here) on permanent display. Opening weekend festivities include a craft fair featuring work by Brooklyn women artists and artisans, including Susan Weltman whose gorgeous woven scarves we have here at Greenjeans.

"One of a Kind: The Studio Craft Movement" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art "During the studio craft movement, which developed after World War II, artists became directly involved in the process of making a piece, not just in its conception." Features 50 pieces from my favorite museum's collection. Thru Sept. 3.

"Gold Cloths of Sumatra: Indonesia's Songets from Ceremony to Commodity" at the Cantor Art Gallery
College of Holy Cross, Worcester, MA
Exhibition of refined, hand woven garments (songkets) made of silk, fine cotton, and gold or silver metal-wrapped thread in mind-bending patterns. The Cantor has one of the best collections in the world of this material. Related programs investigate the history and social importance within Sumatra of these garments.

"Radical Lace & Subversive Knitting" at the Museum of Arts and Design
Reviewed on this blog here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Happy Spring!

Some say it can't be done. Some say it can happen any day. Some say it's a fluke.

I say it rocks and everyone should try it at home...

Tonight at 8:07pm is the vernal (spring) equinox. On this hour and in the hours surrounding it, an egg will balance on its fat end all by itself.

I'd never tried this, but a friend reminded me of it tonight and said he'd had success with several eggs during the autumnal equinox. I couldn't resist...

As you can see here, it actually works! It takes a little patience, a steady hand, and a good flat surface, but you too can make an egg stand on end.

Try it and if it works for you, send me a picture -- I'll post it on the blog!

Happy Spring!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Studio Visit: Jane Kaufmann, Sculptor

Jane Kaufmann is a sculptor who lives and works in Durham, New Hampshire. She works every day in her bright attic studio. Her work is made of clay that she raku fires in an oil drum in her driveway, then smolders in piles of pine needles that she rakes from the woods around her house. She has been making sculpture this way since the 1970s.

Jane's house is filled from top to bottom with her sculptures in every shape, size, and subject matter, along with the work of other artists she loves such as Susan Pratt-Smith, Tim Christensen-Kirby, and Kim Wintje. She also keeps a great garden. Click here for a marvelous tour of her garden on her website.

Jane's subject matter ranges from the domestic to the global, and her inspiration comes from many sources including her friends, Harper's Magazine, her garden, the news, the Bread and Puppet Circus, her cats, and people in the world who are struggling for justice. As she writes in her artist's statement, "I feel it is the artist's duty to address what is going on in the world. I think the artist should do this so the work can be understood by everyone... I believe that artists can help save the world--and I want to be part of that." She is very prolific and keeps her prices very low, which is very lucky for all of us!

Besides being an artist, Jane is a Quaker and a social activist. Her husband, Dick (yup, Dick and Jane), is a physics professor at UNH. They have children and grandchildren, but I'm not sure how many.

I have known Jane's work since I was a little kid. The parents of my old friend, Tras, were potters and had a studio and shop in a barn (where potter John Zentner works now), and I remember in the shop were all these foot-tall clay people, some of whom were naked (scandalously exciting to my 6-year-old Yankee self) covered in cobwebs and looking very curious to me. Years and years later I realized they were Jane's. My Mom collected her work, too, long before I met Jane. She was the first artisan we asked when we decided to start Greenjeans.

Jane's cats often make appearances in her work.

Jane at working in her studio.

What she's working on (incising a new wall piece).

More works in progress, and art-making implements in jars.

Incised orbs ready for bisque firing.

A shelf of older work.

Shelves holding fresh finger puppets.

Foot-high figural sculptures. Julia Child is in the center, mouth open, holding a chicken. Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, and Marie Antoinette are among this group, too.

Jane showing us photos taken at a Bread & Puppet Circus in the '80s. She's so cool.

Posted and images by Amy Shaw.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pictures from the Shop - Spring's Around the Corner!

What a lovely day at Greenjeans!

Spring is peeking around the corner (like the little sparrow here!) and people are feeling good today, despite the hour lost last night to daylight saving. (You remembered to set your clocks ahead, right?)

We've been listening to Charles Trenet all day, music that perfectly fits the sunny mood. Lots of people have been in visiting and shopping. And in spare moments, I took some pictures around the shop to show you some new things we have in store...

Adorable baby hats and booties beautifully designed and lovingly made from upcycled cashmere sweaters and cotton polo shirts by `e-ko logic, aka Kathleen and Charlie Tesnakis, in Troy, New York. I put them out yesterday and we're already thinking we need to order more... ($28-$45 each. Cotton set $65, cashmere set $78.)

Clothing pile problem solved! These Shaker peg boards are made of solid cherry by David Emerson in Canterbury, New Hampshire. We have two- to six-peg lengths (allot 6" per peg), as well as some cute mini pegboards perfect for keys, potholders, necklaces, etc. ($10-$45 each.)

We are very fortunate to be offering fine porcelain by two celebrated master potters. The teabowls, glazed oxblood red, are wheel-thrown by Cliff Lee of Stevens, PA. He only makes 24 a year, and we got six, though we're down to five. ($110 each.)
The little lidded vessels, which potter Barbara Sebastian calls storm fetish jars, are richly glazed red, black, or celadon. The lids are detailed with bundles of sticks or carved wooden and jade animals by artists in China. Inside, the jars are bright robin's egg blue. ($136-$150 each.)

We're off tomorrow, but check your email in the evening for the 3rd issue of the Greenjeans Gazette!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Anniversary & Video from the Barn Dance!

Today is Greenjeans' 2-year Anniversary!

We are so excited to be where we are two years into our Greenjeans Adventure! Business is growing, we are learning, and we're finding great artisans and works of craft in all kinds of places.

We are so grateful to all of YOU, our customers, supporters, colleagues, friends, family, and the more than fifty artists and artisans who make the amazing works that fill our shop. We sure wouldn't be here without each and every one of you!

Last night we celebrated at the Barn Dance...

Barn Dance! March 8, 2007 on Vimeo
(2 1/2 minutes. If it doesn't play fluidly, click pause and wait a few minutes while it uploads. Then click the play button again.)

...and had the kind of fun that uplifts the spirit and makes you so glad you went. The mood communal, relaxed, and upbeat.

On this night, legendary New Hampshire fiddle players Dudley and Jacqueline Laufman played and called the dances. Dozens of people filled the hall with stompin' feet and big happy smiles. Everyone danced. We sashayed and spun and promenaded up a storm and will definitely go back again!

This is a monthly contra dancing event organized by David Harvey and held at Hungarian House in Manhattan. Go to to find out about upcoming dances.

Today, our friend Kym stopped by the shop and treated us to a deeelicious (and decidedly unconventional) birthday yogurt. Not just any yogurt, but Old Chatham Sheep's Milk Yogurt lightly sweetened with maple syrup. We popped in a candle and took the picture you see here, and then we made a wish. And then we ate it up! Kym is so cool.

Friends Shawn and Judy came by, too, to offer us a birthday dinner that Judy had prepared in the kitchen of their new apartment. A fantastic Bolognese sauce and pasta, just like what we've been craving lately! We supped on it tonight at home and relished every bite. So so yummy! Thank you so much, you thoughtful two!

It was a wonderful anniversary,
and here's to many many many more!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Barn Dance is TONIGHT! 8-11pm!

Just a reminder that the
Barn Dance
from 8-11pm!

The legendary Dudley Laufman will be fiddling and calling contra dances, which is an experience not to be missed!

Click here for all the details.

See you there!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Greenjeans' Amy Shaw on Worldchanging

For those of you interested in following my writing on Worldchanging, here are links to my two most recent posts:

A Sticky Situation for Maple Sugar Farmers

Sachs and Gore Speak on the Global Challenge at Columbia's Earth Institute

My bio is up now, too, if you're curious.

Thank you for reading!

(Photo by Rnout sourced here.)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Video of Art Fairs & Exhibitions on Vernissage.TV

I just discovered Vernissage TV -- what a hoot!

If you missed the art fairs last week, and even if you didn't, check out to see edited video footage of the shows. I just watched a bit on the Armory Show, and will definitely watch more.

There's no commentary (mercifully), just the sounds of the fair itself, so what you're watching is straight up: people swanning around the fair in their fancy clothes, dealers gesticulating to describe work, and lots of other unintentionally funny stuff. Oh, and you get to see some art, too.

There are also interviews, museum exhibitions (including the Gordon Matta-Clark retrospective at the Whitney), and other yummy art treats.


A Ceramicist's Rags-to-Riches Story

How does a high school art teacher get to create a line of dishware for a major catalog company? If you're Jono Pandolfi, it's all about bravely working your connections and having persistence.

New York Magazine has a good story this week about Pandolfi's path from craft classes to Crate & Barrel.

Though certainly not the only path to success, it might be an interesting read for anyone trying to take their work to a more advanced production level.

Also, just a reminder that our current auction ends Monday night at 9pm, so get those bids in and score yourself a bargain!

Friday, March 02, 2007

On March 8th, Come Celebrate Greenjeans' 2nd Anniversary!

NYC offers all kinds of experiences and activities,
but I'll bet you've never been to a barn dance here before!

Barn Dance!
Thursday, March 8th
8-11 pm

The Hungarian House

213 E. 82nd Street (btw. 2nd and 3rd Ave. in Manhattan)
$15/$12 university students w/ID & seniors
Ages 18+
(due to NYC's liquor license laws, children are unfortunately not admitted)

Join Jae and I along with legendary fiddle players and contra dance callers Dudley & Jacqueline Laufman for an evening of spirited music, happy faces, and the most fun cardio workout you've ever had! (Contra dancing is like square dancing, but New England style.)

The space has a bar and cafe, so come and make a night of it. No experience or partner required!

Growing up in New Hampshire, the highlight of my summer was the Northwood Community Craftsmen's Fair, and the highlight of the fair was Dudley Laufman's contra dancing. (Well, and the sugar-coated homemade lollipops I only got to have once a year, but those helped with the dancing!)

I never imagined I'd get to see Dudley play in New York City. How lucky we are that he's coming just in time for our anniversary!

Our real birthday is March 9th (same as my Mom's), and we'll be in the shop, so stop by and say Hi if you can't make it to the dance. Maybe we'll even have birthday cake!

The Barn Dance is a regular event taking place every 2nd Thursday of the month at the Hungarian House and organized by NH native Dave Harvey. Check out their website to learn more.

Shine up your dancin' shoes,
and we'll see you at the dance!

(Photo sourced here.)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Auction Update (ends March 5th!)

Our current round of auctions ends Monday, March 5th! Go to Greenjeans Auction House to see what's available and place your bid!

This is the second time around for some of the items, so if you missed out before, now's your chance!

We took out reserve prices so it's easier for you, too. There's also a buy-it-now option.

When you shop Greenjeans Auction House, not only will be be getting a good deal, you'll also be helping us raise money for the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity.

Opening bids start at $18 and most are under $100 (though they go up to $425), so there's quite a range of works available -- something for everyone!

Thank you for bidding! And good luck!