Thursday, May 31, 2007

Arts in Bushwick this Weekend!

UPDATE: Read reviews of the Arts in Bushwick weekend at Hrag Vartanian's blog and five and a half's blog!

If you're looking for something hip and artful to do this weekend (after coming to shop at Greenjeans, natch), consider checking out the open studios, art parade, and concerts that are all part of Arts in Bushwick.

As part of this weekend, the RIATS Fest takes place June 2nd at the art space 3rd Ward (which I mentioned in an earlier blog entry).

Bushwick is an interesting place to see these days. When Jae and I moved in there 7 years ago, we never imagined it would become a cultural hot spot. We've come to think of it as the Williamsburg diaspora...

(Photo of Bushwick sourced here.)

Craft in America - the wrap up

Well, after finally watching Craft in America, what did you all think?

For me, the bottom line is that it offered pleasant studio visits with a nice variety of accomplished and interesting artists and artisans, and provides a valuable documentary of their ideas and their hands in action. It may even have an impact on revitalizing public interest in craft.

The third part, Community, was the most interesting to me, and getting to watch students and residents at Pilchuck and Penland was a big highlight.

But I think it definitely could have done more to raise questions and stimulate discussion. While watching it, I felt as if I'd already seen the program before, even though I hadn't. It was a little too predictable, and too artist-centered I thought. And it seemed to rely on a lot of establishment entities like the Smithsonian Craft Show.

While I'm not rushing out to buy the DVD, and I'm a little baffled by the breathlessness with which this series was anticipated, I have to say it is good to see craft as CRAFT on the television airwaves!

Link to my live blog entries posted after the airing of each segment: Memory, Landscape, Community.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Craft in America: Community (part 3) - LIVE BLOG

One more hour to go in this blogging marathon! -- Part 3 of Craft in America: Community.

I may write up some final notes tomorrow after I've had a chance to digest it all. But first, Part 3...

The intro for this final part includes someone saying that it's "important to pass down traditions so people can know who they are and where they're from." I've never connected with this idea; it has always struck me as contrived and nostalgic. But perhaps this is because I'm from the dominant culture in this country, and not living in a diaspora. Or maybe I do relate to it -- I mean, how precious to me are my mugs and bowls made by potters years ago in my hometown? Perhaps I covet them because they remind me of who I am and where I'm from...?

Ah! Finally someone acknowledging that nothing is made by one artist alone, that it's also about influences around you. Another person cites Ellen Disanyake's theory of homo faber, that we are beings hard wired to making art. And the idea that making art, creating things, is the glue that holds us all together. "Crafts connect us to other times, other places, other people. How do objects hold us together?" That's the question setting off this section. Sounds more promising now...

Mississippi Cultural Crossroads brings together quiltmakers from different backgrounds who can come be together, talk, and escape into their work, finding reprise from life's difficulties. Women working as a group on a single quilt is a long tradition, but in a place with a long history of segregation, this place is breaking the mold. The string quilts are most amazing, made from tiny scraps and bits of material left over from making other things. The idea "how far can a needle carry you." The phenomenon of the AIDS quilt. There's too much to relay about this rich segment. Quiltmaking very well be one of the most sublime craft forms there are -- so endlessly flexible, expressive, and powerful. There is nothing simple about them!

Digging further into the idea of community, the film talks about schools and centers devoted to craft that emerged during the Arts and Crafts movement. The Penland School of Crafts is first, and the film runs through its creation story. The school has spawned dozens, if not hundreds, of studios where craftspeople, many former residents of Penland who like being part of a community, make all manner of work. One artist describes living around Penland as "cooperative competition," where everyone is pushed to do their best by the friendly force of the thriving community.

Sarah Jaeger is "the village potter" of Helena, Montana, and people seem to flock to her studio and showroom to buy work for their home. Her story is one I'm personally familiar with, not because I know her, but because the first craftspeople I knew growing up were "the village potters." She speaks of loving sitting around a table eating and talking, and how pots are integral to that. For some time, Jaeger worked at the Archie Bray Foundation where her day to day conversations with other residents provided a huge amount of influence and understanding. She aspires to "that elegant, folky thing," making work that is useful and beautiful.

Pilchuck Glass School is next, with Dale Chihuly telling the creation story. The narrator explains that unlike other craft forms, glass was something usually done in factories until fairly recently when the Studio Glass Movement emerged around 1970 in Washington state. Glass work is often necessarily communal, as for most glassmaking techniques it takes more than one person to make work. This segment offers great film of numbers of people making glass art in a big hotshop all at once.

Denise Wallace, jeweler, is next, reiterating that there's always a human desire to adorn and beautify, as we've heard a number of others say. As a descendant from an Alaskan native tribe whose parents focused on assimilating into American culture, she felt compelled to revisit her ancestral roots in her work, and to keep things going, keep traditions alive.

Donna Look uses birch bark from live trees to make stunning woven and sewn forms. Though not made to be used in a utilitarian way, they might be considered baskets. Ken Loeber, Donna's husband, is a jewelry maker. They collaborate to do a production line of jewelry. Even though he recently suffered a stroke, he still works in the studio and they have not had to stop their businesses. The couple's son also helps in the studio. It's like the family is its own craft community. They also received support from CERF while Ken was in the hospital. This segment is really about the larger craft community supporting each other without even really knowing each other.

Next we go to the Smithsonian Craft Show, where artists enjoy seeing each other's work and meeting each other. There's a great amount of support and care going on here. I think this activation of the community happens at all kinds of craft shows around the country.

The need for community, the need for support and understanding, and the need to be expressive -- these are the themes of this Community section. There are not big proclamations at the end. It just settles out on a nice even tone. I feel like I've seen some beautiful work, and it's a great record to have of these craftspeople. I haven't necessarily seen anything eye-opening or new. But it has been pleasant to watch, and I'm sure viewers will have enjoyed this program.

Craft in America: Landscape (part 2) - LIVE BLOG

Part 2 of Craft in America begins with questions about how landscape and one's environment influences the act of creation.

Jan Yager is an artist in Philadelphia who likes to find materials for her work on sidewalks, in vacant lots, and along abandoned railway lines around the city. Making adornment is her thing, and she delights melding natural material with metals to create her work. She's also very interested in making work that's entirely of its place and time, so she focuses on gathering materials from the one block around her studio, be they weeds or crack vials. She has even made gold castings of crack vial caps and beaded them into long necklaces. She's willing and passionate about bringing up the uncomfortable issues that present themselves around her, as well as finding beauty in her immediate surroundings.

David Gurney is a ceramicist who makes vessels, tiles, and surrealistic sculptural figures, some of which are influenced by his interest in Mexican pottery, especially symbolic Tree of Life forms and the hundreds of glaze colors. He enjoys the solitude of the huge sand dunes of coastal California and finds inspiration in the plants and flowers that grow around there. But he's also into creating his own landscapes, his own trees, his own worlds.

A voice over emerges next to talk about Timberline Lodge that opened in the 1930s as a place to ski near Mount Hood. When the Great Depression hit, WPA workers (carpenters, stonemasons, blacksmiths, and other craftspeople) were brought in to build a nice lodge by hand. Marjorie Hoffman Smith was brought on as the decorator, and at one time had as many as 200 people working on her projects. What resulted is a National Historic Landmark filled with all kinds of murals, textiles, blacksmithing, furniture, etc., all of which seem to be under restoration based on Hoffman Smith's watercolor records. This is a place filled with great WPA worker craft, if you will. Not the most innovative stuff, but quite a historical record of what hands in the 30s and today can do.

Back to the personal profiles, Kit Carson is a jeweler and artist who grew up on a ranch in the Arizona desert. A funny, gentle cowboy type. Engraving is his main technique, and his forms are inspired by art nouveau curves and their offspring, 1960s psychedelic posters. The work seems to be quite fine and full of integrity, though are kind of literal for my taste. He takes us outside to his Library of Visual Solutions, basically a huge junkyard of collected found metal objects outside his studio. He builds fun large sculptures from these.

Speaking of the difference between art and craft, he says "you have to know your medium well enough to express your heart to make art."

George Nakashima, who died in 1990, comes next speaking of the spirit of the trees. His daughter, Mira, has taken over production of his designs. He studied forestry and later architecture, but settled on furniture so he could control the process from beginning to end. The furniture starts with the trees themselves, and they decide on site how to cut the trees to get the best grain and shapes. One of his studio workers of 17 years speaks of Nakashima's insistence that a worker must listen to the trees and not impose his own thoughts onto the form. His "wood shed" is HUGE and has its own shop foreman.

Absolutely no mention is made of his grandson, Ru Amagasu, who is also making furniture and directly drawing from his grandfather's style. This seems quite deliberate, as Nakashima's dealer says Mira is "the only true heir" and "the only one designing in the Nakashima style." From what I understand from sources outside of the documentary, daughter and grandson do not interact at all.

Richard Notkin is a ceramicist in Helena, Montana, whose sculptural work is coming out of both a love of making things by hand and an anger about war and injustices in the world. He makes incredibly intricate and narrative forms that speak to his time and his concerns. And amazingly, some of these forms are actually teapots. Quoting Gandhi's saying that if you drop enough grains of sand into a machine it'll stop the machine, he says he feels his work as his contribution to man's creativity.

One thing it seems all these artists have in common is a belief in following your bliss no matter the odds. That's always good to remember and be inspired by.

But what I'm not understanding right now, more than halfway through the series, is why this is so individual-focused. I feel like I'm writing useless little book reports here, which is not what I expected this live blogging experience to be. The angle the filmmakers seems to be taking is very modernist, very author-centric, almost cultish. In other words, very predictable and old-school. Maybe the next one will open things up a bit...?

Craft in America: Memory (part 1) - LIVE BLOG

Opening with a nouveau-spiritual version of the Shaker song "Simple Gifts," Part 1 of Craft in America addresses memory in terms of how craftspeople feel connected to their predecessors, be they blacksmiths or slaves from West Africa. It offers the stories of five different artisans, presented as sort of creation stories, stories of how individuals came to become influential and well-respected craftspeople. It might be better titled "Traditions" rather than "Memory."

Part 1 starts with an amazingly swift history of the craft movement in American, starting in the late 18th century with the Industrial Revolution, mentioning figures like William Morris whose idea that machine made items aren't necessarily better, and advocating a return to fine handmade objects.

Sam Maloof is the first profile. A well known and widely admired woodworker, Maloof is 90 and loves what he does, loves that he can still work. He tells of the influence and support of his late wife, Frida, and the first Craft Council conference in 1957 at Asilomar. He likes working with wood, its sensuality and colors. There are lots of shots of the men who work in his workshop looking at him reverently.

Mary Jackson, South Carolina, sewing sweet grass with palmetto to make baskets in a tradition that goes back over 300 years, arriving to South Carolina by way of slaves from Senegal and the Ivory Coast. Making very nice baskets has always been a way of life for her family, and she started selling her own designs in urban markets, eventually gaining the attention of the Smithsonian Institution and collectors. She is teaching her children and grandchildren the tradition. She says that a basket should be a beautiful object for living. It should be beautiful, and so it is made as a work of art. There is some awesome historical footage of basket making in this section. For her, it's deeply about carrying on the tradition.

Pat Courtney Gold is also a basket weaver coming from a very different tradition, the Wasco people of the Pacific Northwest. She speaks of the idea that everything is connected, that we have no real end or beginning, and she imbues these concepts of the cycle of life in her baskets. Her relationship to basket making is metaphysical, anthropological, and mathematical. Baskets for her are living things that also help keep her culture alive.

Garry Knox Bennett is a furniture maker who creates colorful off-the-wall pieces that are often conceptual and sometimes useful. He mixes different forms and traditions with the playfulness of an art school dillitante who it sounds like had a pretty fantastic time being alive in the 60s in San Francisco. (His first production items were fanciful one-of-a-kind roach clips for hippies.) His craftsmanship seems to be really amazingly good, but he doesn't care too much for preciousness, so he once wired a bent up nail to the outside of a very fine cabinet he'd built. His iconoclasm is quite inspiring, (though he says he's sick of talking about the nail cabinet!)

Tom Joyce is a blacksmith who seems to feel very connected to his predecessors as well as his materials. The idea of an inherited history is tied up in each piece. He likes to keep and reuse all the fragments he can from his pieces. He also likes to work with communities, inviting people to bring him pieces of iron that he then basically quilts into larger pieces that contain for him the entire history of all the materials and users of those pieces that comprise it. He makes sculpture as well as functional pieces. Earnest, calm, and articulate, he seems like a great teacher.

With very nice filming of the artisans at work, and pleasing background music, watching Part 1 came off to me as soothing and reassuring that craft traditions are being both upheld and challenged by worthy practitioners.

What did YOU think??

(Please forgive any bad writing or spelling mistakes -- I want to post this immediately!)

Reminder: Craft in America Airs TONIGHT!

The hotly anticipated 3-part series Craft in America airs TONIGHT from 8-11pm on PBS! See my previous posting about it here.

I am going to try blogging live tonight during the show. My plan is to blog DURING the broadcast, posting each hour after each segment airs. That way, anyone who wants to can post comments right away, creating a virtual in-the-moment dialog. We'll see how it works out!

From the previews I've seen, and the review in the latest issue of American Craft magazine, it doesn't sound like it's going to be very ground-breaking in terms of redefining craft or addressing the emergence of the craft new wave. But I'm sure it'll be very pleasing and educational in other ways. And in any case, who can ever tire of watching masterful hands make beautiful objects?

So tune in tonight, and if you want to say something about it, consider posting comments to my live blog entries!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Gleanings from the Blogosphere & Beyond

Here are some interesting bits I've come across recently that I thought you might like. Enjoy the long hot weekend!

3rd Ward in Bushwick
(via Brooklyn Record)
This amazing art space is down the street from where Jae and I live. They've been known to throw some mean weekend parties, and have a killer woodworking shop (among other resources) that can be rented by the hour or the day.

Duct Tape Prom Outfits
(via Craft Magazine)
'Nuf said!

(via Apartment Therapy)
Trip out to these crazy amazing houses belonging to nouveau riche drug lords in Afghanistan.

Rebuilding the Ark
(via Apartment Therapy)
Some Dutch boat builders have built the most massive wooden boat I've ever seen. It looks like a hulking floating barn. I love it!!

Lessons from the Garden
(via Tongue in Cheek)
A sweet story about the perils of organic gardening by one of my favorite bloggers.

Pattern for Alexander McQueen Jacket
(via Craft Magazine)
I love this kimono jacket by Alexander McQueen, one of my favorite designers. Wish I had the skilz to sew one up myself!

Charlie Rose Online
With a newly launched website, you can now watch Charlie Rose interviews online! Such a rich resource. One of my favorites is this interview with actor Bill Nighy from January 2007. (Click here if it doesn't play below.)

Note: We're CLOSED May 26th!

We're going to Cousin Suzy's wedding in Long Island and so will be closed tomorrow.

We'll be open on Sunday as usual, though!

Enjoy the long weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Review: HauteGREEN, Sustainable Design Show

Our review of HauteGREEN, the sustainable design show that ran during the ICFF last weekend, appeared yesterday in WorldChanging New York.

I attended the show on Friday night with WCNY's wonderful editor Emily Gertz, with whom I co-wrote the review.

To see pix and learn more about the show, check out the review. But if you just want a taste of our shared take, here ya go:

"Even the free vodka drinks provided to the press by the show's sponsors could not blunt our ambivalent reactions to HauteGREEN. It's exciting to see how far ecological and human health concerns have advanced on the agendas of these creative and sometimes influential designers (and the interests of those flocking to NYC for the week's assortment of design happenings). But the extent to which they were represented in these design objects ranged from a rich deep green -- with some items displaying great uses of reclaimed materials, attention to environmentally friendly finishes and dyes -- to rather pallid examples of over-reliance on bamboo (which, unless it is produced organically, is often grown using harsh chemicals that to some extent nullify the benefits of avoiding use of wood)."

WCNY writer Starre Vartan also reviewed the show, and she offers great insights and additional pix.

I will get a post up about the ICFF show soon, hopefully...


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

PBS series Craft In America airs May 30

Make a date with your craft-loving friends next Wednesday night and watch the premiere broadcast of CRAFT IN AMERICA, the long-awaited 3-part PBS television series.

It airs Wednesday May 30th at 8, 9 and 10pm (and will probably be re-broadcast a bunch of times if we're lucky).

From the press release: "Comprising a three-part PBS television series, a nationally-touring museum exhibition, a lavishly illustrated book and the most comprehensive Web site of its kind, CRAFT IN AMERICA is poised to become a national phenomenon."

It continues, "CRAFT IN AMERICA is a multi-faceted journey into the origin and continuation of craft traditions. The project illustrates the craftsmanship passed from artist to artist over the last two centuries—and highlights the cultural significance of this craftsmanship. Ceramics, glass, wood, furniture, metalwork, jewelry, fiber and baskets are included in this ground-breaking project."

Well, we shall see! One thing I'm looking forward to seeing is if they (click here for who "they" are) delve at all into the indie craft world. Will it be all professors and MFA graduates? Or will we see some old-timers and renegades too? Hopefully it'll be a rich, dynamic, and diverse mix. However it turns out to be, I can hardly wait to blog about it...

As they say, check your local listings for details!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Review: Design for the Other 90% at the Cooper Hewitt

I recently reviewed the exhibition Design for the Other 90% at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum for WorldChanging New York.

Exhibiting design ideas intended to help relieve the burdens of poverty, the exhibition is worth a look.

Check it out!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

David Trubridge at the American Craft Council Salon

The American Craft Council hosted the first event in its Summer Salon Series tonight with a presentation by David Trubridge, an increasingly well-known designer and craftsman working in New Zealand (pictured here).

Trubridge gave an engaging talk to an overflow crowd in the Craft Council's fabulous library (see image below), tracing the development of his work from studying naval architecture to building the lithe, slightly exotic furniture and lights he is best known for today. His work may be seen at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair going on this weekend.

The upshot of his presentation was that design must become more sustainable, and that craft as a process is modeling the way forward.

At a time when the need for sustainability is no longer in question, designers must start thinking less in terms of "products" and more in terms of "process," Trubridge said. Designers are, wittingly or not, in fact complicit with manufacturers, ever eager to come out with new items, in the overproduction that's straining resources and creating the waste problem, he added.

Yet while the world hardly needs more stuff, he said, there is a human impulse to want things. This is where craft comes in, he argued: if more designers would focus on making things on a small scale using local materials, building things with care and love, then we would want to have them for a long time, and thereby we wouldn't be wasting materials and resources by buying temporary or disposable items. In other words, perhaps design can become more sustainable by becoming more like craft.

The relationship between design and sustainability is also taken up by the exhibition Design for the Other 90% on view now at the Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum that I recently reviewed for WorldChanging New York and will be online soon.

As for the old art/craft/design debate, Trubridge dispatched with this right off the bat, saying that all three are verbs or processes and the production of all objects relies on all three. And then he moved on from there to talk about more practical and meaningful subjects (as perhaps we all should). Very nicely handled I thought.

On a personal note, a few years ago I came across a photo of Trubridge's Body Raft (shown at right) in a magazine, tore it out, and stuck it on my fridge where it lived for a year. I didn't know who'd designed it, but I loved the object's long lines and gentle curve, and the idea of gently rocking in it as I lounged on a beach in the sun. It represented for me the dream of simplicity and quality and freedom all at once. Tonight, getting to watch and listen to Trubridge tell his story, I could see that I wasn't making up the content of my dream, but instead those qualities--simplicity, quality, freedom-- all exude from the designer himself as well as his designs.

If we are indeed moving into a post-product world as Trubridge seems to be hinting, this sort of authenticity will become the most valuable commodity of all. His critical successes of late might be a testament to this. And the designers who are focused more on their process than on coming up with ever-new products may prove to be the ones who capture our imaginations as they make a difference in the world.

Tonight was the first in a three-part series that the ACC has created to offer opportunities for the public to engage in conversations about craft. It was a great evening, and props to Lily Kane, Andrew Wagner, Carmine Branagan, and the entire ACC staff for making this happen!

Lily Kane, Director of Education at ACC and the organizer of the Salon Series.

Images of works sourced here.
Images from ACC by Andrew Wagner.

Reminder: Craft Council Salon TONIGHT! 6-7pm

David Trubridge: The Craft of Contemporary Design
Kick off ICFF weekend with a presentation by award-winning New Zealand based furniture maker/designer David Trubridge.

Trubridge’s work has been exhibited at the ICFF and the Milan Fair since 2001 and is distributed by Cappellini, Boffi and Design Mobel among others. In addition, he is a returning teacher to the Vitra Design Museum summer school and was the Wornick Visiting Distinguished Professor at the California College of the Arts.

American Craft Council Library
72 Spring Street, 6th Floor

6-7 pm, reception to follow

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Attention Artists & Artisans!

New calls for entries...


New York Creates is pleased to announce its latest initiative for the New York crafts community. In association with the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC), we are developing a major new outdoor crafts market on the Red Hook pier. Pending funding, the Brooklyn Crafts Festival will coincide with BWAC's Art Shows which are scheduled for 15 weekends from May 28 through October, 2007.

Click here for application and to read more.


With booth fees a mere $35, this is a great opportunity for artists new to showing their work to get their feet wet. The Art Fair at PS 154 takes place during their annual Spring Carnival to raise funds for school art programs. Located near Greenjeans on 11th Avenue between Sherman and Windsor, the fair takes place June 2 (with a rain date of June 9).

To learn more and sign up, contact


The Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, OR, is inviting artists to help create an interactive exhibition in a museum setting, one in which the visitor is invited to touch, try on and physically engage art jewelry. This innovative approach to the exhibition of art jewelry will coincide with Framing · The Art of Jewelry (on view January 19 - May 11, 2008).

Open to international artists and designers working in art jewelry/mixed media.
Entry fee: $15
Jurors: Rebecca Scheer, Rachelle Thiewes, Namita Gupta Wiggers
Deadline to apply: 5pm on August 15, 2007 (this is not a postmark deadline)

For a prospectus, please click here or contact Kat Perez, Curatorial Assistant:

Monday, May 14, 2007

Judy Lee on Crafty Synergy, and Lilacs

Today Crafty Synergy has an interview with artist and journal maker Judy Lee. Judy is lovely, and so is her work. Check out her website, Five and a Half, to see more of her wonderful designs.

We've become good friends with Judy and her husband, Shawn Liu, (who did the interview with Greenjeans for his magazine Hear, Hear). In fact, Jae only uses her journals for his sketchbooks these days. He love the paper and the bindings and the care with which they're made.

Also, I love this posting about lilacs that appeared in Apartment Therapy yesterday. Lilacs are in season around NYC right now, so get thee to a farmer's market for an armload of your own!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Studio Visit: Brian Braskie, chairmaker

Today we were telling some customers about a pair of beautiful Shaker ironing chairs -- tall chairs with low backs -- that we have stored up at chairmaker Brian Braskie's workshop. I knew I had a picture, and when I found it discovered a clutch of other pix I shot the day we visited him last July.

So today I invite you to come along with Greenjeans down this lovely road in Canterbury, NH, as we visit Brian Braskie.

Brian checks his production schedule in his sunny, well-ordered workshop.

The finished ironing stools (left) are made of cherry, and the large side chair in mid-construction (right) is tiger maple.

Brian's templates for rockers, arms, and back slats.

A rocker stenciled onto a piece of tiger maple ready to be cut out.

The view of Brian and his wife Lenore's pretty house through the old wavy-glass workshop window.

Jae goofs off as Brian looks on amused. That's his hybrid parked in the barn.

Brian leans cooly against the doorframe of the barn. Though an outspoken environmentalist with a very New England dry sense of humor, he is as full of integrity and as unselfconsciously handsome as his fine chairs.

Thank you, Brian! Hope to see you again this summer!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Gift Guide for Mom

Gift ideas for Mom, based on things real Moms like in our shop.

Remember, it's this Sunday! (Or make a note for her birthday...)

(Free delivery anywhere in NYC!)

Pretty painterly teabowls for her desk ($40 ea)
made by Elisa Difeo in VA
Embroidered and crocheted precious metal jewelry ($72-$148)
made by Erica Schlueter in WI
Perfume bottles that are artful yet functional ($$48-$150)
made by Matthew Eskuche in PA
[Available thru Greenjeans Online!]

Distinctive, beautifully-made handbags are timelessly chic
($450. Additional designs available)
made by Wendy Stevens in PA
Luminous dichroic glass jewelry that will light up her face ($65)
made by Susan Pratt-Smith in NH
[Available thru Greenjeans Online!]

For the artistic Mom, handmade natural bristle painting and calligraphy brushes
made by Keith Lebenzon in OR
Warm and lovely, these Raku clay "orb" sculptures will become
one of her favorite things ($35-$125)
made by Jane Kaufmann in NH
Elegant and organic, these silver and gold earrings are stunning ($90)
made by Janice Ho
[Available thru Greenjeans Online!]

A really nice, unfussy jewelry box with dovetailed corners and rubbed finish
($260 as shown. $155-$320)
made by Bill Summers in NH
Fresh placemats and napkins for a brighter breakfast
(napkins $8 ea., placemats $10 ea.)
made by students of Berea College in KY
Shaker peg boards made of solid cherry, great for organizing coats, bags, keys, jewelry... ($10-$45)
made by David Emerson in NH
Colorful porcelain juice cups ($18 ea., 2 for $34)
made by Mary Anne Davis in upstate NY
Glossy glass coasters with sensible rubber feet ($14.50 ea., 2 for $28 for 2)
made by Renato Foti in Toronto

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

New Arrivals! - Kristina Kada, Wendy Stevens, Spring Leaves

The weather in New York over the past week or so has been perfect Spring. The trees have flowered and the flowers have flown, making way for fresh new green to explode atop everything that grows. I can't stop looking at all the baby leaves!

Here's a peek of green for you, as well as pix from around the shop (new arrivals!) today and yesterday. Click on the images to get a closer look...


New green in the treetops outside our door!

Seed pods from the tree have snowed down onto the car windshields below.

New arrivals from Kristian Kada ($42-$190)

These two lovely people stopped in yesterday to check us out and try on lots of jewelry. Siobhan (left) chose Kristina Kada's brand new "Three Wishes" necklace strung with beautiful silver wishbone charms. And Carrie (right), a photographer, selected a fabulous pair of Connie Verrusio's film earrings. Great meeting you, ladies!

Sweet new stainless steel handbags by Wendy Stevens ($315 and $295)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Costume Institute Gala at the Met

It's no state secret that I'm a huge fan of fashion. Among other slavish habits, I pour over every issue of that huge tree-killer, Vogue. I flip first to Andre Leon Tally 's fabulous monthly column, soak in the rest like a warm bath, and when I'm done, leave it on the landing for a neighbor to pick up.

When I can see amazing, beautifully-sewn garments cut from gorgeous fabrics, it's true bliss. And when I can't, I settle for pictures.

As fashiony nights go, the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is THE annual event of interest to me (and zillions of others). Here, the glitteriest of glittery crowds really go for the art aspect of fashion. The results are a feast.

Look here, here, here, and here for pix of the fantastic frocks worn to the gala last night (like the one at the right -- love the color combo). Can you say eye candy?

Paul Poiret is the subject of this summer's Costume Institute exhibition. He is the French designer who invented that 1910's/20's style the relies on drape and feathers and long strands of pearls, one I may never tire of. I can't wait to see the exhibition...

Fashion as a thrilling mix of art, craft, and design -- what could be more divine?

Poiret in his studio.
Picture sourced here, here, and here.