Dads + Art: How Father's Have Inspired NY Handmade Collective Team Members

Behind every artist is a group of influencers.  They may be past artists, current pop-stars, brothers, sisters, actors, friends, best friends, dogs, cats, fish, trees, cities, grandparents, cousins, moms, dads, etc. The list goes on. I'm personally influenced by trees.  I was also influenced by my deceased Dad. 

In honor of this upcoming Father's Day, two teammates tell us about their fathers and how they've influenced them and their art. Happy Father's Day to all the dads both alive and deceased. Please continue to inspire!

A tribute to my father!

By SandrineBJewelry

My father has been an inspiration to me.  He nurtured my creativity and incited my love for nature. A lot of my jewelry pieces are reminiscent of my childhood and inspired from nature.

I grew up in the urban city of Lyon in France.  As a child my father would take my sister and I on short trips over the week ends. He would drive us for a day to the beach three hours away or to the countryside where we would spend hours venturing into the forest and gather flowers. 

My father enjoyed gardening and he and I would spend time together in a community garden. I learnt so much about fruit, flowers and vegetables. To that day I love gardening and always thrive to find an outdoor area in New York City.

He also was a talented drawer. He loved watching westerns and I vividly remember his drawing of a cow boy for my German language class. A beautiful drawing! His free spirit and creativity are a true inspiration.

My father was very encouraging of my jewelry making.   I designed a custom signet ring with his initials for his 80th birthday: a ring commissioned by my mother and sister.  A pretty hefty ring that took weeks to make. One ounce gold!! The weight of the ring and the steps on the ring's top are reminiscent of the ancient Ashanti people of Africa. 

I am so happy to have been able to gift it to him before his death.


Because I Said So

By Sara Stroman, S2 Stationery & Design

Days before my dad passed away, I woke up from my sleep because I heard his voice say my name. I knew he was dying. I went to work the next day and told my boss I needed to take time off to go spend with my dad in the hospital.

A month after he passed away, I found myself in Rome, Italy running the marathon. I ran it in his honor. My dad was always proud that his daughter was independent and traveled the world. We bonded over episodes of "Globe Trekker" on PBS.  My time after running the marathon was spent traveling around Italy, trekking up to Barcelona for a day to spend with a good friend, and ended in Paris, cheering a good friend on her race in Paris. I also had a small amount of my dad's ashes to sprinkle in the town his mother had been born in, Orleans.

That trip was epic. It is still one of my absolute favorite trips of all time, but what made it truly special was a dream I had while visiting Cinque Terre. In my dream, I opened an envelope with a note. I don't recall the note; in fact, I never saw the message on the note, I only saw that the envelope was lined with a pattern similar to a pair of tights I owned. I woke up, startled, and said out loud, this is what I'm meant to do!

Days later, while stopped in Montpelier, France to catch a connection train to Paris, I came across what became my real sign - I was crumbling up a bag my lunch had been in and as I turned it, I noticed a small logo on the bottom. It was a recycling symbol around a tree and it said "Le Papier c'es la vie!" or "Paper is Life!" I tore that piece off of the bag and on the train to Paris, devised my plan for starting what is now S2 Stationery & Design.  In those moments, I knew my business was meant to be; that the Universe had brought it to be.

It has been eight years since my dad passed away and I started S2 Stationery & Design. It has been a long journey and an exhausting one, but I know that my dad is shining down wishing me well and supporting me. And I also know that he's helping me along. There is not a day that I don't remember that story and his influence. And I know that every day, he's watching over me, gently whispering to me, "Because I said so," a phrase he would tell me whenever I asked him a question questioning him. 

First Mondays Giveaway - Father's Day Edition!

Congratulations to Gina R of Smithtown, NY, the winner of last month's Mother's Day Giveaway giveaway, which included a necklace, a set of stationery and a pillow! This month, we have an amazing collection of items geared more towards the testosterone-producing types of humans. See below for rules and good luck! For the outdoorsman, a category that includes those grueling trips to the post office, an ear-warming handmade helmet hat by Projects by Carm. The genius of this little guy is that it can be worn as is or under a bike helmet. Carm specializes in knitting, crocheting and felting and uses these techniques to make all sorts of functional and adorable items. Click here for one of my favorites! Have you seen this show on Animal Planet called "Must Love Cats"? This cute guy travels the country to report on all things feline and even sings original songs about the cats he meets. I love this show. And if you feel the guy in your life "must love cats" then this print by Deborah Julian is just the ticket! Cats are definitely Deborah's muse - take a look at her reinterpretations of famous paintings that are made vastly improved - as is everything - by the addition of cats! To round up this month's Father's Day offerings, Letters That Wow has contributed a framed, personalized sports-themed artwork! You choose any 3-8 letter name and any theme in LTW's shop. What a great addition to an office or den! The winner of this giveaway will be announced on Monday, May 2 and our new June giveaway will be posted! To enter: 1. Make sure you are a follower of this blog. 2. Your comment is your entry. Only comments received by April 15 will be eligible. 3. One entry per person, but if you tweet, blog or facebook about this giveaway it gets you additional entries. Post a LINK back to your personal post right here in the comments section. 4. Winner picked at random. Winner must ship to USA address only (sorry!). 5. Items will be shipped individually. Best wishes. LuCrafts

Father's Day gifts from the {NewNew} team!

Here are some of the best Father's Day gifts, all handmade in New York by local artists. And all fit for a king!
If your Dad is a fancypants, he'll need a pair of cufflinks.
These are actually nickels with images on the Brooklyn Bridge on 'em. Wowza!
$45 at WabisabiBrooklyn.
I know my Dad was more forgiving of me having cookies for breakfast.
Give him a card and stay on his good side.
$3.50 at Gramkinpaperstudio.

What better way to honor Dad than to give him something to mark his territory?
Who rocks the potty?
$6.00 at LennyMud.
Uber cool and he can know what time it is, now all he needs is a remote and he's all set!
Made from an actual Iron Man comic... it really does tell the time, too.
$20.00 at CantAffordEmClocks.
Yep, Dads can be smelly.
But not if they use this scrubby soap made from sandalwood, vanilla and a hint of lime!
$7.00 at NordeaSoaperie.
Your Dad will remember the movie and think he's the coolest with this money clip.
You just want to make sure he'll have spare cash for that pony you always wanted.
$25 at Citybitz.
This is the cutest Dad-n-kid Robot t-shirt ever!
$23 at MamaRobot.
Do you have the coolest Dad? No?
Well you will when he wears this denim fedora. It's NYC coolness-in-a-hat.
$52 at RocksandSalt.

That brings this week's shopping spree to an end. You can find more great NYC-made stuff for Dads from the {NewNew} team on Etsy if you click here: Happy Father's Day!

Hope it's a great one!

Stephanie Maslow-Blackman

Daughter's Dancing by Father's Design

My father Luis Fernando Quintero moved to New York City more than 30 years ago. After a series of uninspiring jobs in Long Island City's factories, he decided to seek a job in the jewelry industry. He knew a thing or two about polishing from past jobs in his native city of Medellín, Colombia and recognized that he was a man of artistic abilities. After going door to door from jewelry company to jewelry company, his persistence paid off and he landed a job with the company Parisian Creations. His time at Parisian Creations would be long, but educational. When someone would leave, he would quickly learn to do their job until he had learned it all. There were other jobs in between, but in 2005, he used this expertise to design his own jewelry lines for his new independent business, Fernando Jewelry.

I had always admired my father's talent and secretly wished that I could work with him. It wasn't until this fall, when I decided to change careers and enrolled at the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance, that I would get my wish. Having quit my job to return to school, I faced the challenge of finding a job I could do while dancing. Given my demanding rehearsal schedule, I knew it had to be a job that would rely heavily on the internet. Short of a website, I noticed that my father's jewelry designs had virtually no online presence. I immediately had a vision for a father-daughter partnership. My father, with a talent for manipulating precious metals into any shape and pattern imaginable, would design all the jewelry and manufacture it by hand. I, with a talent for movement, would focus on moving his fine jewelry designs from where they live - his Manhattan workshop - into the online shops of the world. And so Fernando Jewelry's e-operations, a collaboration between a father and a daughter, began.

I never would have expected that the internet could bring my father and I closer together. While launching Fernando Jewelry's e-operations, I learned a lot about my how my father creates his jewelry masterpieces. He is a perfectionist and has been nicknamed by former co-workers the "jewelry doctor," for his amazing skill with restoring damaged jewelry. He is also someone who goes to great lengths to conserve. While collaborating with Meghan Myers at WedVert to develop a line of organic wedding bands, I learned that my father already habitually recycled and reused metal scraps and older jewelry to create his designs. Since then, he has agreed to make it a priority to incorporate these personal values and work practices into all of his designs.

So for this Father's Day, my father and I want you to join us in celebrating the internet - blogs, Etsy, Google groups and all - for the opportunity it gives jewelry artists to share their art with the world, while enabling a new dance artist in the process. Happy Father's Day!

by Karla Quintero

Sonora Who? - Don't Forget Your Dads

Germany's Father's Day falls on Ascension Day. So a few weeks ago I received a phone call from my dear dad who said: "Hello, today is Father's Day!" Much mumbling on my end of the phone that eventually ended in: "Happy Father's Day." So in order for you not to find yourself in a similar situation, here are some unique gifts for the fathers in your family:

How about a set of coasters depicting Rockaway's architectural landmarks from Bungaloe?

I've been eyeing these cufflinks for months now. Coney Island's Parachute Jump affixed to nickels made by Wabisabi Brooklyn. My husband's aunt actually jumped off that thing in her heyday.

For the athlete in your family, a tissue cozy from muppetloon. What, you don't already own one! Where do you keep your tissues? Wrapped in some plastic?

And finally a special something for the Lewis Black fan - found at E.Binard.

Also, don't forget to check out Karen's Monsters for t-shirts and cute monsters, Jes Switaj for ties, Ikyoto for more cool t-shirts, and yummy soaps from Nordea's Soaperie and Dirty Loves Clean.

By the way, Sonora Smart Dodd was the first to solicit support for a day honoring fathers in 1910.