Where Craft Artists Unwind

The {NewNew} talented craft artists work long days and long nights to create their top-notch wares. But as the summer heats up, how do they keep from burning out? We asked a number of these craft artists to share their favorite NYC summer spots to unwind. Looking for new sources of inspiration? Here are their suggestions for where you can go to restore your creative energies.

Stephanie Bellomo of Bungaloe

I live in Rockaway, a tiny beach town in Southern Queens. In the summertime, I spend the better part of my weekend on the beach. Swimming and lying in the sun helps to re-energize me. The majority of my work is inspired by my surroundings here in Rockaway. The beach, the bay, and national parks located here are surrounded by urban decay; there are abandoned houses and buildings, empty lots--New York City has left its mark all over. This comes through in my photography, which is screenprinted onto my work.

Luis Quintero
of Fernando Jewelry

Even on days when I have to work extremely long hours, I always like to take time to walk to nearby Queensbridge Park. There, with a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline, I do some core exercises to keep myself in shape and relax my mind. Giving myself some time in the day like this to not think about crafting jewelry keeps me sane and gives me the energy I need to create my designs fresh.

Maya Swedowsky
of Owliday Inn

I am lucky enough to live near the recently opened High Line, a great place to eat a bagel, sip an iced coffee and do some serious people watching. My favorite feature is the amphitheater, which allows you to sit over 10th Avenue and watch the cars whizzing by. I recommend checking it out, preferably during the weekdays when it is less crowded.

Joshua Martens
of Dripstick Artwork

Getting out of the studio for a change of scenery, some fresh air and exercise helps to renew me. I draw inspiration from the waterfront park by Ikea in Red Hook. I can sit on the bench there for hours and read and let my mind dream big dreams. The boats coming and going, the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop--large bodies of water do that to me. I also like to go to Prospect Park because it is close, it is the best park in Brooklyn and there are free outdoor concerts all summer long.

Karin Persan of Better than Jam

I always need to remind myself to take time off. When I do, I like to take off on my bike. Usually, I give myself a destination point: Central Park, Red Hook, Fort Tryon Park, Coney Island; but I never plan a route. I bring a sketch pad along with me to draw or write down ideas. This city is full of so much inspiration. The color combinations, the bolts that hold the buildings together, trinkets on the side of the street--it is hard not to grab ideas from everything you see around you. Most of the time, however, I just allow myself to think on my rides.

Photo Credits: BridgeandTunnelClub.com, Edward Studentas, Friends of the Highline, Lane Johnson (AMNY), Streetsblog.org

Items from (left to right): Dripstick Artwork, Bungaloe, Fernando Jewelry, Better than Jam, Owliday Inn

by Karla Quintero