The two-day holiday celebration in the Great Hall of the Brooklyn Historical Society–a few steps from the Historical Society’s charming store–was a grand success. Here are links to TV news coverage of the fair and photos that capture a glimpse of the range of handcrafted work for sale by New York City-based artisans and artists.
NY1 and News 12 shared colorful highlights of the craft fair with their viewers:
17 ARTISANS AND ARTISTS FROM BROOKLYN JOIN 23 OTHERS AT THE 11TH NYCREATES HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR DECEMBER 6-7 AT THE BROOKLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The borough’s artistic talent will sell handmade ceramics, jewelry, photography, ornaments, crochetware, candles & art
NYCreates will hold its 11th Holiday Craft Fair December 6-7, 2014, in the landmark Brooklyn Historical Society’s Great Hall. Of the 40 artisans, fine artists and photographers from all boroughs, 17 hail from Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Gowanus, Park Slope, Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach, Bath Beach and Carroll Gardens as well as Greenwood Heights, South Slope, Red Hook, Dyker Heights, Bedford Stuvesant and Sheepshead Bay.
Among these artisans and artists the largest number specialize in handcrafted ceramics that reflect a remarkable range of creativity in ornaments and table jewelry to handsome mugs, teapots–even napkin rings and salt cellars. The borough also boasts a jeweler, candle maker and crochet expert as well as photographers and fine artists who will exhibit and sell their best work in time for the holidays.
Judith Eloise Hooper describes herself as “an artist who just likes making things.” She attended Pratt Institute for fashion design and has been a successful fashion and children’s book illustrator. Most recently she has designed tabletop collections and ceramic landscapes in her Park Slope studio. In addition to co-chairing Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition Art in Clay shows-within-a-show and managing the organization’s gallery, she has been the executive director of NYCreates since 2013.
Urban landscape artist Alicia Degener hails from Detroit but now works and lives in Bay Ridge. She studied art at Parsons School of Design, the University of Michigan and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Today she finds Brooklyn to be a visual feast and subject of most of her watercolors, pastels, acrylics and drawings. She writes on her webiste that “Color and pattern work together combined with odd angles to create landscapes that juxtapose realistic and abstract elements. Strong linear elements and patterns creating movement give the landscapes a rich visual workout.” She co-manages the Holiday Fair with Hooper.
Alyssa Ettinger, whose studio is in the Old American Can Factory in Gowanus, threw her first pot at summer camp when she was 14. Before becoming a ceramist she pursued a career in magazine publishing, and for nearly two decades wrote, edited, planned and styled photo shoots, and honed her expertise in home design, new products, décor, and lifestyle. On her website she writes that she “works solely in porcelain which, while ‘difficult and unforgiving,’ is translucent when it’s thin enough, letting light shine through.” She bases her designs on real-life pieces she loves.
Bilyana Tosic Petino of Falcon Feather Jewelry, attributes the style of her work to her Mediterranean upbringing. She notes on her website that her simple organic jewelry is made with a few basic materials, primarily sterling silver, soft leather cords, and semiprecious stones. She makes pieces that adapt to the natural contours of a woman’s body. Her philosophy: “jewelry should not call attention to itself or overshadow the wearer.” Her studio is in Brighton Beach.
Illustrator Nancy Doniger is collaborating with her husband, sculptor Eric Jacobson, to design and make ornaments from their Bird collection for sale at the fair. Jacobsen creates the birds from metal and Doniger paints them. His studio is in Red Hook and hers in South Slope. She describes her style as “bold with a quirky edge.” Her illustrations have been published in the New York Times and have enhanced books for children and adults. She also draws, paints and is a printmaker.
Artist Janie Samuels, born in Canandaigua, N.Y., received her BA from Bennington College, and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, N.Y. Her work has appeared in four solo exhibits as well as in 70 group exhibitions in the US and in Southern France where she both studied and worked. She has designed and built sets and co-produced plays written by her husband, Evan Gubernick and has been the assistant to Nancy Graves and Chuck Close for almost 15 years, between the two. She describes her work as “being simultaneously political and personal, universal and intimate.” She is interested in how color, pattern, line and form break down abstractly and how she can manipulate them to create cohesive expressive qualities, such as rhythm and movement.” Her studio is in Greenwood Heights.
Photographer Peter Houts chose the subject of his work because of what he said is “My love of birds which came from living on a farm in Pennsylvania for 40 years. My wife and I identified over a hundred species of birds there. Photographing these beautiful creatures became an absorbing, challenging, and rewarding hobby. After moving to Caroll Gardens four years ago, I joined the New York City Audubon Photography Club and learned about local birds and where it is feasible to photograph them. Through the club I met Johann Schumacher, an accomplished bird photographer, who used slow shutter speeds to create beautiful abstract patterns of flying birds.” From him, he learned how to create the photographs he will sell at the craft fair.
Ceramic artist Frank Saliani, Bensonhurst, “focuses on creating pieces which are functional, comfortable, and which naturally find a place in the lives of their owners,” he writes on his website. He studied ceramics at Syracuse University; received an M.F.A. from Ohio University and completed residencies at the Carbondale Clay Center, the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Millersville University, and the Red Lodge Clay Center. His work explores the concept that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. All of his wares are composed of smaller parts that are cast in handmade molds, and then altered, textured, and assembled to form part of a larger sculptural or functional form. His hand-thrown pieces are made on a potter’s wheel.
Gloria Lanza-Bajo, Lanza-Bajo Designs, Cobble Hill, will exhibit scarves for women and men as well as jackets and shawls. The women’s scarves, 14” x 72,” are in silk satin [shown here in fuchsia], charmeuse or crepe de chine and for men, wool/crepe 14” x 60.” Women’s jackets are georgette/chiffon. She uses dyes on silk which, when set, achieve deep transparent colors that are the same on both sides. She said: “I currently paint abstractly since it gives me freedom to explore color and texture and I’m not limited by the gutta serti method which uses a resist to hold designs in place.” She studied silk painting with Sissi Siska, Susan Moyers and Suzanne Punch. Lanza-Bajo, who also paints men’s ties, is on the national board of Silk Painters International.
“I started my business to custom paint rocking chairs, ornaments, signs and more because I wanted to buy a personalized stepstool for my daughter and couldn’t find anyone local who could make it,” said Christie Spadaro, My Mommy is a Painter. “Now, I love fulfilling special orders, requests and bringing other mom’s ideas to life,” said the Dyker Heights crafter.
Carrying on her mother’s tradition Cathy Mancuso, Chrochetina, Bay Ridge, has designed and made stuffed animals, crocheted fashion accessories, baby clothes and blankets in acrylic for seven years.
Natisha Amour, Bedford Stuyvesant, makes whimsical, fashionable handcrafted hats in a range of fabrics and colors which she details with ribbons, feathers and other fun ornaments.
Robert Bassal, Ditmas Park, transforms handcrafted metalwork into unusual jewelry.
Tom Toomey—also known as TCat–is the creative force behind TCat Designs. He left his full-time job as an arts educator in the New York Public School system in 2006 to pursue his dream of t-shirt design, original collage art, painting, and writing children’s books. He says his t-shirts are popular among the infant and toddler set in the 5 boroughs, throughout the U.S. and beyond such as Paris, Moscow, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and The Philippines.
Cobble Hill Candles by Thomas Mancuso are named after the charming Brooklyn neighborhood in which he launched his home-based business. He says his hand poured, small batch all natural, environmentally friendly candles infused with intense aromas help conjure an escape from reality.
Danielle Papaleo designs and makes custom headbands and bows for The Scarlett Bowtique, Dyker Heights. “A headband made just for a little princess is a fun and creative way to dress her up,” says Papaleo.
For 30+ years Lynn Goodman, Gowanus, has thrown porcelain pieces on a potter’s wheel, individually carved and inlaid with multiple colors of glaze, and finished with gold. Her inspiration has shifted from Chinese and Japanese-inspired design to Turkish and Persian; from starkly minimal blacks and whites to lush color; and from a smoothly stone-like surface to a texturally varied, almost decadent surface. She is developing tableware with bright and colorful glazes that is microwave and dishwasher safe. Goodman, a native New Yorker, received her BFA at the Philadelphia College of Art (now known as the University of the Arts) and an MFA in Ceramics at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. A past president of Brooklyn Potters, she teaches ceramics in studios and in colleges and previously was a partner in the cooperative Brooklyn Artisans Gallery.
In her Flatbush atelier, Grace Derrick, of Gracefully Done Statements in Fashion, designs and handcrafts women’s clothing, scarves and tote bags using natural fibers.
Samantha Silverman, Windsor Terrace, makes polymer clay jewelry for her company Cat Parade that incorporates hand sculpted animal charms and pendants. She also sells hand painted wooden brooches, stickers, and cards.
Handcrafted ceramics made by the Brooklyn exhibitors at the 11th Holiday Craft Fair at the Brooklyn Historical Society reflect a remarkable range of creativity illustrated by ornaments and table jewelry to handsome mugs, teapots–even napkin rings and salt cellars. The borough boasts jewelers, candle makers and crochet experts as well as photographers and fine artists who will exhibit and sell their best work December 6 and 7.
The artisans and artists have studios in a wide span of neighborhoods from Gowanus, Park Slope, Bay Ridge, Bath Beach and Carroll Gardens to Greenwood Heights, South Slope, Red Hook, Dyker Heights and Sheepshead Bay.
Here are highlights of what visitors will see from the exhibitors whose studios are in Brooklyn:
NYCREATES HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR WITH 40 NYC-BASED ARTISANS AND FINE ARTISTS TO FILL GREAT HALL AT BROOKLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY DECEMBER 6-7, 2014
NY Creates will hold its 11th Holiday Craft Fair December 6-7, 2014, in the landmark Brooklyn Historical Society’s Great Hall. Forty artisans, photographers and fine artists with New York City-based studios will sell crafts and art in time for holiday shopping. In addition to handmade ceramics, decorative and wearable fiber, glass, jewelry and leather apparel exhibitors will sell sculpture, painting and photography. Entry is free to the fair.
“The quality and diversity of the work and the fair’s focus on exhibitors who are inspired by NYC—who also work here–helps distinguish it,” said Judith Eloise Hooper, NYCreates executive director and fair co-producer. “At this event what you buy goes from the artist’s hands to yours.” Hooper added: “The art created in this city is one of its greatest exports. Visitors will get to see craft as art and art as craft, where fine artists make functional products from their art.”
Some concurrent exhibitions at the Brooklyn Historical Society include “We The People: The Citizens of NYHA in Photos + Words,” to address misconceptions and stereotypes associated with residents of NYC public housing and “Full Steam Ahead: 200 Years of Ferries in Brooklyn.”
Hooper co-produces the fair with Alicia Degener, on-site manager. Together they produced it last year. Hooper also manages the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition [BWAC] art gallery. A former fashion and children’s book illustrator, she currently designs and makes ceramic landscapes and decorative and functional tabletop pieces. Degener is an urban landscape artist who specializes in images of cityscapes. She was a visual merchandising and customer experience manager for the Gap for 13 years and helped curate the 2014 BWAC art show. Hooper and Degener will also exhibit their work at the fair.
NYCreates is a non-profit organization [501c3] founded in 2003 and committed to expand opportunities, visibility and marketability of NYC’s crafts artists and artisans.
Where: Brooklyn Historical Society’s Great Hall, 128 Pierrepont Street @ Clinton, a block from the 2,3,4,5 and R subway of the Court Street stop on Montague St.
Hours: Saturday December 6, 12 pm – 6 pm; Sunday December 7 11 am-5 pm
Sponsors: New York Foundation for the Arts and Brooklyn Historical Society
11th NYCreates Holiday Crafts Fair at the Brooklyn Historical Society December 6-7, 2014
Hours: Saturday December 6 12 pm – 6 pm
Sunday December 7 11 am – 5 pm
Exhibiting: Handmade ceramics, decorative and wearable fiber, glass, jewelry, leather
apparel, sculpture, painting and photography of 40 New York City-based
artisans and artists.
Place: Brooklyn Historical Society’s Great Hall, 128 Pierrepont Street @ Clinton,
a block from the 2,3,4,5 and R subway of the Court Street stop on Montague
The juried fine craft show fills the first floor Great Hall of the newly
renovated museum built in 1881. Some concurrent special exhibitions
include:”We The People: The Citizens of NYHA in Photos + Words,” to address
misconceptions and stereotypes associated with residents of NYC public
housing;”Wonder: First Encounters with Green-Wood,” and “Full Steam Ahead: 200
Years of Ferries in Brooklyn.”
Tickets: FREE -
NYCreates:Is a non-profit organization [501c3], founded in 2003, committed
to expand opportunities, visibility and marketability of NYC’s crafts artists
Producers: Judith Eloise Hooper/Executive Director, NYCreates; Alicia Degener/On-site
Between them, Hooper and Degener have been part of the art world for 70 years.
Hooper, formerly a fashion and children’s book illustrator, currently designs
ceramic landscapes and decorative and functional pieces for tabletop.
She manages the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition [BWAC] gallery in Red
Hook and managed NYCreates’ craft show on the pier, in collaboration with BWAC
last year. This is the second year that Degener, a Brooklyn-based urban
landscape artist specializing in images of the borough, has collaborated with
Hooper to co-manage this Fair. She has been an active member of BWAC for two
Sponsors: NYCreates is sponsored by: New York Foundation for the Arts and the
Brooklyn Historical Society
More Info: http://newyorkcreates.wordpress.com/