Sunday, May 9, 2010

Brooklyn Designs - Show your function

The trip to Dumbo was a bit of an adventure today...  starting with the fact that my train was not running.  A shuttle bus was provided.  The sign did not bode well that the bus would show up.

But I once I got there, I was reminded with this view of what an awesome city NY is.  That's the Manhattan Bridge I'm about to walk under with the remainder of 100 year old trolly tracks pointing towards the Empire State Building glowing in the distance.

Brooklyn Designs is always a charming show.  It's small enough that I enjoy it without fear of overload or exhaustion.   I wont deny that I think it could afford to get a little bigger, but it may be an issue of space and/or finding enough designers interested.   Those they do have are wonderful artists.  There wasn't one booth there that I thought poorly of.  The design standards were high and the craftsmanship was top notch.

One repeating theme I noticed was a desire to play with function as an art feature in and of itself.  A roller coster trellis tranformed to chaise lounge base.   A building block construction of three joints and varying wood sizes.   A wall with peek-a-boo joints.   And an end table with a secret.   Check them out:

Uhuru's Cyclone Lounger - If you've ever seen Coney Island's Cyclone roller coaster, you'll recognize those white struts.   But what takes this lounger beyond just a visual homage is that it is made out of reclaimed wood from the Coney Island boardwalk!

This next item from EcoSystem Furniture's snug-it collection has to be posted in three pics.   First you see these strange shapes.   They look like heavy duty steel clamps... but are actually incredibly strong, but light-weight aluminum.

Here they are in action...
 And the final shelf.   They'll custom cut the boards for you, so all you have to do is figure out what you want to make.  Shelving?  Tables?  A bed?   It's all up to you.

Next up was Miscione Design's wall system.   I absolutely love the blunt honesty of this simple loop and wedge construction.   It's like getting to see the skeleton of the wall.   And no nails, hammers, or other tools are needed for installation. 

 One of the most charming pieces of the show was Colleen & Eric's NorthStar Table.  I was initially just delighted to learn that the inlaid brass dots were placed according to actual constellation charts.  But lo-and-behold, pressing the North Star popped open a secret drawer!

I've got some videos too of other fun things from the show and nearby... just need to figure out how to edit them.   They look bizarre sideways!   Can't wait for more stuff to see next week at ICFF!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Design in the first weeks of May!

I've already mentioned Crafts in Chelsea... which, with the weather as beautiful as it is, would be an awesome way to spend some time.   I will certainly head over to cheer on my friends...  and maybe splurge a little on me too.

But there's more happening this weekend that I want to tell you all about.   First off, tonight is The Looms First Friday event.   From 7 to 11pm,  "The Shops at the Loom host this monthly event, and offer discounts, deals, and complimentary refreshments coupled with performances and art installations."   Shops include my friend's handmade boutique Better Than Jam with clothes, jewelry, and more.   Other shops are The Brooklyn Yarn Cafe, Belal, and The Index.

Next stop is the Brooklyn Designs show starting today and running through Sunday.   I love this show because it's my neighbors.  I think of it as a big housewarming party where I get to meet everyone and peek inside their medicine cabinets (c'mon, you do it too).   Having been on their side of the table/booth, I know how gut wrenching it is to put your heart and soul out there to be critiqued and hopefully admired.  I can't wait to see what they are offering this year!

The big humdinger will be next weekend at the Javitts Center.   The International Contemporary Furniture Fair, or ICFF.   This is the big time.  There are companies from around the world hoping they'll either have the product everyone remembers and gets them lots of press...  or the product that everyone wants and gets them lots of sales.   It's a fashionable mix of new innovations and introductions from companies large and small, from Herman Miller to the students at Parsons.  

While you may not hit them all.... I highly recommend that you check out at least one of these.   I'll be going to all of them.   If you see me...  come on up and say 'hi'!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Crafts in Chelsea

I've got to put the word out on the very fun Crafts in Chelsea fair that will be going on this weekend.   While I wont be vending, a lot of my friends will be and they do fabulous work.   It's also in a very good cause...   PS11's arts program will be funded with the proceeds.  As an artist who can't imagine going to school without an art class... this is a great way to support a child's creativity while also showing them the huge range of things that can be done with it.

Just a few of the amazing items that will be for sale: