Maker Spotlight: Rachel Soares of Ye Old Stamping Grounds

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Ola! I’m Rachel, and I’ve been a microbusiness owner for a little over three years. This is Ye Old Stamping Grounds’ origin story.

On a cold January day in 2015, I excitedly ripped open a package. Instead of a surge of satisfaction, I felt deflated as I realized the hand-stamped custom key chain I had ordered for my boyfriend, Josh, wasn't going to work. The font was way more flowery than I wanted, and the key chain tag was so thin, you could see the reverse imprint of the message on the back.

There was no way I could give this as a gift. So I channeled my disappointment, went into research mode, and figured out how to produce what I had originally envisioned. I wanted something with a clean and modern font – something gender neutral. I learned that each letter had to be stamped individually to create the design. How hard could that be, I thought.

I ordered all the supplies, waited for more packages to arrive, and finally set to work. The first time my brass hammer hit the stamp with a satisfying *thunk*, I knew I was hooked. It brought me back to my tap dancing days ... you just find your rhythm and bring in da noise!

Turns out, it’s pretty hard to keep the letters aligned and figure out spacing before you run out of room. But I kept practicing, watched YouTube tutorials, looked for tips online, and eventually felt confident enough to make Josh’s key chain.

After Josh loved his gift, I made more for friends. That's when I started to consider following my father's footsteps to open my own version of a small business. In reviewing e-commerce options, I looked back at my Etsy profile. I realized my very first purchase on Etsy, back in 2008, was a hand-stamped "lucky" penny - another gift for a friend. I took it as a sign, and officially opened my Etsy shop.

As a woman and a feminist, it is empowering to own my microbusiness. I have a creative outlet that I can share with the world, and have an income stream that helps pay the bills. Coming up with new designs is one of my favorite activities, and I treat each key chain as a small metal canvas. I draw inspiration from what I’m passionate about.

I’ve always found the expression ‘love you to the moon and back’ a well-intentioned but a little odd. After all, the moon is the closest object to Earth. My scientific and rational brain thought – why not Pluto? Aim farther away to more meaningfully demonstrate the depth of love. Enter the “I love you to Pluto and back” key chain design, which can be customized to any destination – in the Milky Way or in a galaxy far, far away (yes, please ask me about my fandoms).

I’ve worked as a diversity champion for over 8 years, and that influences my key chains. I can’t help but bring my admiration of feminist writers, like paying tribute to the late, great Maya Angelou through the “still I rise” design. One of her most famous poems, the quote is perfect for overcoming challenges and inspiring perseverance. I also love my feminist twist on the British Special Air Service motto with “She who dares, wins.” Who doesn’t need a reminder to embrace boldness and take some risks every now and then?

My designs help me make connections with people. At a craft market last year, a young girl and her father come up to my booth. My bell hooks “feminism is for everybody” design was on display, and she pointed to it, asking me what feminism meant. Now, I know the word feminism can be fraught with negative connotations, and glancing at her father’s face, he was a bit panicky. But I simply told her what I believe: that to be a feminist, you think that men and women should be equal. She thought about it and nodded her agreement. I like to think that I added a young woman, and maybe her dad, to the cause that day!

When creating my designs, I try to remember that a key chain is something people see and use every day. I firmly believe that it should be quirky and fun, reflecting your personal style and taste. Make your keys (and you) happy with a playful key chain from Ye Old Stamping Grounds.  Available 24/7 online:

SHOP: Etsy yeoldstampinggrounds.etsy.com.

VISUAL: Instagram @yeoldstampinggrounds and Pinterest @yeoldstamping

READ: Facebook @yeoldstamping

Maker Spotlight is part of a month long series during Maker/National Craft Month, where NY Handmade Collective artists and Etsy small business shop owners are featured. They share a bit about themselves and their craft, helping to create connection between them, the team, and our reader and customer base. We hope you enjoy learning about and seeing the people behind our multi-faceted handmade collective.

Women Who Inspire: Team Members Reflect on the Women who have Inspired their Art

March is National Women's History month and today is International Women's Day! 

"International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women's Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first March 8 IWD gathering supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom's Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women equality. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organisation specific." (https://www.internationalwomensday.com/)

The first time I heard of this "holiday" was on a visit to Italy back in 2001. It was a big deal over there and I had not heard anything about it in the US. Since that trip, I've become more aware of the day and the overall global growth of celebrating women. I find it inspiring and in joining the world in celebration today, want to share stories of female inspiration from NY Handmade Collective team members.

The NY Handmade Collective member base is almost exclusively women artists and business owners trying to change their economic path, do positive work for the health of our planet and our bodies, and make really amazing handmade art and goods for consumers predominantly in NYC, but beyond our borders. I should note that our team does have men - creative men, that own Etsy shops and make gorgeous art, and help run our team - who are deeply appreciated.

The stories below brought tears to my eyes, but even more, I was humbled. To share deeply personal stories about women is to share stories that shape us individually - not all stories are light and fun, but almost all of them leave you feeling connected and awed. I hope you enjoy these stories, as well as feel inspired. When you buy handmade, there is often a strong woman of the past celebrating not just your purchase, but the continuation of their lives, skills, and expertise from our hands to yours.


Remembering Dorothy Finkle Kaufman, 1905-1987 - By Jan Finnell, OverTheTop

"A woman who inspired me was my aunt, Dorothy Finkle Kaufman. Dorothy was unusual in her family of 8 siblings, as she contracted polio at the age of five in 1910 in Trenton, New Jersey. Her very devout Jewish father even brought her to the nuns at a local convent for prayers in the hopes of healing her. He parents were immigrants from Russia and Lithuania and her father owned a general store. Money was tight and he lost it during the Depression.    Dot was a vibrant and capable member of her family who was not content to stay at home and be cared for; she was a graduate of Rider College and went to work as a secretary, wearing special shoes, leg braces and using canes to walk. She helped other disabled people find employment while working for the State of New Jersey and in her forties, married her boss, Benjamin Kaufman, a highly decorated veteran of World War I and winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor and Croix de Guerre.    Despite her disability, she traveled worldwide with Ben both politically and socially, unlike her able-bodied brothers and sisters. She and Ben, who were married for over 30 years until his death in 1981, became parents to her parents, served as the foundation of her family, and built a home that accommodated their physical limitations. She was my father’s closest sister and confidante, and my surrogate mother. it was a pleasure to be a part of her world, as she had exquisite, sophisticated taste and was a lovely and gracious woman with a twinkle in her eye and lavished love and attention on me as if I were her own daughter (she had no children).    We had a special connection and I admired her for her fully realized life, despite a truly terrible health event. I like to think that my hours spent playing with her jewelry box, examining the decor in her home, its textures and colors and absorbing her many interests prepared me for my career as a designer, first in theatre, where I designed costumes for over 30 years, and now as a metalsmith, where the design journey continues. She died in 1987, but in the 30 years since she has been by my side, cheering me on, inspiring me to keep going and creating, no matter what.

"A woman who inspired me was my aunt, Dorothy Finkle Kaufman. Dorothy was unusual in her family of 8 siblings, as she contracted polio at the age of five in 1910 in Trenton, New Jersey. Her very devout Jewish father even brought her to the nuns at a local convent for prayers in the hopes of healing her. He parents were immigrants from Russia and Lithuania and her father owned a general store. Money was tight and he lost it during the Depression.

Dot was a vibrant and capable member of her family who was not content to stay at home and be cared for; she was a graduate of Rider College and went to work as a secretary, wearing special shoes, leg braces and using canes to walk. She helped other disabled people find employment while working for the State of New Jersey and in her forties, married her boss, Benjamin Kaufman, a highly decorated veteran of World War I and winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor and Croix de Guerre.

Despite her disability, she traveled worldwide with Ben both politically and socially, unlike her able-bodied brothers and sisters. She and Ben, who were married for over 30 years until his death in 1981, became parents to her parents, served as the foundation of her family, and built a home that accommodated their physical limitations. She was my father’s closest sister and confidante, and my surrogate mother. it was a pleasure to be a part of her world, as she had exquisite, sophisticated taste and was a lovely and gracious woman with a twinkle in her eye and lavished love and attention on me as if I were her own daughter (she had no children).

We had a special connection and I admired her for her fully realized life, despite a truly terrible health event. I like to think that my hours spent playing with her jewelry box, examining the decor in her home, its textures and colors and absorbing her many interests prepared me for my career as a designer, first in theatre, where I designed costumes for over 30 years, and now as a metalsmith, where the design journey continues. She died in 1987, but in the 30 years since she has been by my side, cheering me on, inspiring me to keep going and creating, no matter what.


Jewelry Inspired by My Grandmother and Mother - by Deirdre Bialo-Padin, Bialo Padin Designs

     My grandmother, Esther Meyerson Bialo, was a single parent. Born in the 1890’s, in addition to being a public school teacher in NYC, she was a theatrical costume designer. As a kid, I poured over her collection of books on the history of fashion, and spent many hours draping and pinning fabric she had collected from all over the world on a mannequin in her apartment.       My mother, Margarita Teresa Padin, as an underage teenager ran away from home and joined the army in WWII using someone else’s identity, and spent the war working as a truck dispatcher. She took courses in celestial navigation because she wanted to be in the Merchant Marines. After the war she obtained a degree in mechanical engineering. She collected tools and made repairs around the house. Because we had no money, and because I think she needed a creative outlet, she made all of our clothing when we were kids. Always practical, she used Velcro for fastening our clothing (to my mortification as a kid; as an adult I have to respect her engineer’s approach to problem solving), long before its use became popular.       Both of these women also loved and collected jewelry, and under their influence I did as well for years before I began making jewelry. I absorbed their aesthetics and their appreciation for color and texture, and I think their influence is reflected in my jewelry. My current display incorporates some of the fabric they collected. My mother’s sewing machine is in my studio, and I still use some of her tools. My memories of them keep me company when I’m in my studio.

 

My grandmother, Esther Meyerson Bialo, was a single parent. Born in the 1890’s, in addition to being a public school teacher in NYC, she was a theatrical costume designer. As a kid, I poured over her collection of books on the history of fashion, and spent many hours draping and pinning fabric she had collected from all over the world on a mannequin in her apartment.

My mother, Margarita Teresa Padin, as an underage teenager ran away from home and joined the army in WWII using someone else’s identity, and spent the war working as a truck dispatcher. She took courses in celestial navigation because she wanted to be in the Merchant Marines. After the war she obtained a degree in mechanical engineering. She collected tools and made repairs around the house. Because we had no money, and because I think she needed a creative outlet, she made all of our clothing when we were kids. Always practical, she used Velcro for fastening our clothing (to my mortification as a kid; as an adult I have to respect her engineer’s approach to problem solving), long before its use became popular.

Both of these women also loved and collected jewelry, and under their influence I did as well for years before I began making jewelry. I absorbed their aesthetics and their appreciation for color and texture, and I think their influence is reflected in my jewelry. My current display incorporates some of the fabric they collected. My mother’s sewing machine is in my studio, and I still use some of her tools. My memories of them keep me company when I’m in my studio.


Two Powerful Women: My Mom + My Wife - by Raquel Busa,  Maquina37

My name is Raquel. I just joined the team this February. My Etsy shop is  www.maquina37.etsy.com  and I specialize in making cloth doll caricatures of people. I also make quilts and greeting cards. A doll that is custom made to look like someone sends the message “I love you, just the way you are.” I would love to share the story of two women who have inspired me.        My mom was 26 when she came to the United States from the Dominican Republic. She had six children and was a widow. She also started working in factories (sewing) to make enough money to bring her children over one by one. She met my father, was remarried and had me. All seven children grew up together. But unfortunately, my mother was widowed a second time when I was ten. Despite all the sorrow she has faced, she keeps going, and she is always happy and graceful. She recently retired at 69 years old. She is now taking English classes, traveling and enjoying life.       The other woman who inspires me is my wife. My wife is a retired police officer. She joined the police department in the late 80's. She faced a lot of discrimination for being a woman and for being a lesbian. Despite the hardships she faced, she lived openly and had a successful career. I feel in love with her strength and courage. I asked her to marry me in 2014. We were married in August of that year. And in 2016, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. That same year, I ran the New York City Marathon and dedicated the race to her. At the finish line, a read this little speech I had prepared, "....Whenever I doubted myself, you were my confidence. And, you were always honest and nurturing. Over the last few months, you were struggling with your own race. And still, even when you weren't feeling good, you always managed to put us first. You were always selfless. You taught me that 'life is tough my darling, but so are you.' You were my strength...I dedicate my run to you. All 26.2 miles for my wife." I gave her a necklace with the pendant of the marathon with the inscription "for my wife" on the back. She beat cancer.       Oh my gosh, I rattled on for a long time. The point is, my mom's work ethic inspired me to create a business of my own. And, my wife's story encourages me to embrace who I am and do the things that truly make me happy. The first doll I ever made that looked like someone was of her.

My name is Raquel. I just joined the team this February. My Etsy shop is www.maquina37.etsy.com and I specialize in making cloth doll caricatures of people. I also make quilts and greeting cards. A doll that is custom made to look like someone sends the message “I love you, just the way you are.” I would love to share the story of two women who have inspired me. 

My mom was 26 when she came to the United States from the Dominican Republic. She had six children and was a widow. She also started working in factories (sewing) to make enough money to bring her children over one by one. She met my father, was remarried and had me. All seven children grew up together. But unfortunately, my mother was widowed a second time when I was ten. Despite all the sorrow she has faced, she keeps going, and she is always happy and graceful. She recently retired at 69 years old. She is now taking English classes, traveling and enjoying life.

The other woman who inspires me is my wife. My wife is a retired police officer. She joined the police department in the late 80's. She faced a lot of discrimination for being a woman and for being a lesbian. Despite the hardships she faced, she lived openly and had a successful career. I feel in love with her strength and courage. I asked her to marry me in 2014. We were married in August of that year. And in 2016, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. That same year, I ran the New York City Marathon and dedicated the race to her. At the finish line, a read this little speech I had prepared, "....Whenever I doubted myself, you were my confidence. And, you were always honest and nurturing. Over the last few months, you were struggling with your own race. And still, even when you weren't feeling good, you always managed to put us first. You were always selfless. You taught me that 'life is tough my darling, but so are you.' You were my strength...I dedicate my run to you. All 26.2 miles for my wife." I gave her a necklace with the pendant of the marathon with the inscription "for my wife" on the back. She beat cancer.

Oh my gosh, I rattled on for a long time. The point is, my mom's work ethic inspired me to create a business of my own. And, my wife's story encourages me to embrace who I am and do the things that truly make me happy. The first doll I ever made that looked like someone was of her.


Inspired by Nature and the Public Women Figures Who Fought for our Parks and Land - by Maha Saedaway, Sundrench

I am inspired by nature and every women who has worked to preserve and conserve nature, land, and parks such as  Eleanor Roosevelt , a Former First Lady of the United States of American, and also  Susan B. Anthony , a reformer, educator, and advocate of women's and human rights. Both women lived in NY State.        The preservation of nature is directly related to that of women's right and human rights. It's shown in patterns, color and the textures of the different seasons.       ETSY is a global market place that gives artists the right to engage and believe in humanity. It's also a place where a lot of women own small businesses.       HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY!

I am inspired by nature and every women who has worked to preserve and conserve nature, land, and parks such as Eleanor Roosevelt, a Former First Lady of the United States of American, and also Susan B. Anthony, a reformer, educator, and advocate of women's and human rights. Both women lived in NY State. 

The preservation of nature is directly related to that of women's right and human rights. It's shown in patterns, color and the textures of the different seasons.

ETSY is a global market place that gives artists the right to engage and believe in humanity. It's also a place where a lot of women own small businesses.

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY!


Creative Genes Run in the Family - by Phyllis C. Stevens, BlueRoseCards

I owe my inspiration to my mother and grandmothers, the latter of whom came to this country from Russia.  My grandmothers knew very little English and would speak to my mother and father in Yiddish, bits of which I picked up over the years.  Both grandmothers were very creative; and I remember how we'd put holiday stencils up on the windows, wrap and decorate Christmas gifts, etc., which were very innovative in their own right.      However, the most creative and imaginative was my mother; and I'm sure I inherited her craft genes. We didn't have extra money for toys and dolls' clothes; so even though she worked full-time, on weekends she'd fabricate all my dolls' outfits which she'd sew by hand and make wonderful paper doll families for me to play with.  I wish I had saved them. 

I owe my inspiration to my mother and grandmothers, the latter of whom came to this country from Russia.  My grandmothers knew very little English and would speak to my mother and father in Yiddish, bits of which I picked up over the years.  Both grandmothers were very creative; and I remember how we'd put holiday stencils up on the windows, wrap and decorate Christmas gifts, etc., which were very innovative in their own right.  

However, the most creative and imaginative was my mother; and I'm sure I inherited her craft genes. We didn't have extra money for toys and dolls' clothes; so even though she worked full-time, on weekends she'd fabricate all my dolls' outfits which she'd sew by hand and make wonderful paper doll families for me to play with.  I wish I had saved them. 

Give thanks to the women in your life. Celebrate their success, failures, and inspiration. Happy International Women's Day!

 
 

S2 Stationery & Design is owned by Sara Stroman, a NY Handmade Collective team member since 2010, and current Marketing Director. She believes in the power of written word in all sincere communication and designs cards and stationery to inspire people to put down their phones and pick up a pen and share honest emotion. Her work is inspired by her international travels, nature, and the words of people both famous and not, doing good, bad, and great things.

Holiday Handmade Cavalcade Sponsored By...

We could not do this without our generous sponsors. So many are such fierce champions of small, local artisans and some are small local artisans themselves. Below is just a taste of what our exceptional sponsors are about. We encourage everyone to check out their websites and promotional pages; so many stories are of folks just like you who took a dream and made it a thriving business.

Dreams can be achieved!


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Purl Soho

Since 2002, Purl Soho has been sharing their passion for beauty and exceptional design, for natural fibers and crafting traditions. They are a beloved resource for needle crafters of every ilk, from knitters and crocheters to quilters and embroiderers.


Social Ink

Social Ink started 10 years ago as a way to bridge existing connections between social justice, education, and the arts. From coffee shop-cubicles to their current DUMBO offices, they’ve maintained this commitment to their founding mission to work with a select group of clients and ensure a direct line of communication with their principals.

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Etsy, Inc.

Etsy is the global marketplace for unique and creative goods, connecting millions of people around the world both online and offline with a mission to “Keep Commerce Human.” Additionally, Etsy offers a wide range of Seller Services and tools to help creative entrepreneurs start, manage, and scale their businesses.


Blick Art Materials

Blick Art Materials supports the Visual Art Community by providing the widest selection of art supplies at the lowest prices and with extraordinary service and integrity.

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Fine & Raw

FINE & RAW was started in a notorious Williamsburg, Brooklyn artist loft by Daniel Sklaar, who is dedicated to fine craftsmanship and mastering the art of raw chocolate.


Rubin Museum

The Rubin Museum of Art is an arts and cultural hub in Chelsea NYC, that inspires visitors to make connections between contemporary life and the art and ideas of the Himalayas and neighboring regions including India. The Rubin is a space to contemplate ideas that extend across history and span human cultures with its diverse array of thought-provoking exhibitions and programs.

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Moo

Moo is passionate about great design and the difference it can make to their customers and the world. Moo launched in 2006 with the aim to disrupt the trillion-dollar global print industry and make great design available to all by combining professional design with the accessibility and reach of the web.


Driftaway Coffee

Driftaway Coffee started with an espresso machine and grinder given as a wedding gift and not much coffee knowledge or appreciation. After weekends of making cappuccinos and cortados and buying whole beans, the owners combined their budding love of coffee with a desire to start a company together. Driftaway Coffee was created as a freshly roasted coffee subscription company that has grown into something much larger and meaningful for employees, customers, and the two owners.

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Funky Finds

Established in March 2006, Funky Finds helps business owners make a living doing what they are most passionate about while enhancing their local community, and has remained dedicated to promoting the lifestyle of Shop Local, Shop Small. What began as a blog showcasing independent artists, crafters, designers, authors, and food makers has grown to include handmade shopping events in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as online resources aimed at promoting independent business.


Meg Pies

Megpies debuted in 2012 at Smorgasburg in NYC, but has its origins as a weekly bake sale on a Brooklyn stoop. Catering to busy commuters on their way to the subway, they created a hand pie with a flaky, buttery crust that didn't crumble when eaten, filled with specialty jam and topped with colorful icing-- perfect for an on-the-go snack. Now available nationally, Megpies are still available in local cafes and shops around NYC.

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Reachnow

ReachNow is the best way to get to the people and places they love. With their app, customers can easily get from point A to B whether they want to drive or ride. Powered by a fleet of more than 1,300 BMW and MINI vehicles, ensuring that customers always travel comfortably and in style.


Joann Fabrics

For 75 years, JOANN has inspired creativity in the hearts, hands and minds of its customers. From a single storefront in Cleveland, Ohio, the nation’s leading fabric and craft retailer has grown to include nearly 900 stores across 49 states, and an industry-leading e-commerce business. With the goal of helping every customer find their creative Happy Place, JOANN serves as a convenient single stop for all of the supplies, guidance and inspiration needed to achieve any project or passion.

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Textile Art Center

Textile Arts Center (TAC) is a NYC-based resource facility dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of textiles through creative educational programs for children and adults. At TAC, we aspire to unite the textile community and advocate for the handmade by providing accessible, skills-based classes that reinvigorate engagement with traditional crafts. Techniques like weaving, sewing, and dyeing are practical, connective, and process-driven -- common denominators for designers, artists, and creative practitioners around the world.

Meet Holiday Handmade Cavalcade Sponsor Purl Soho

We are incredibly fortunate to have Purl Soho as a Platinum sponsor of this year’s Holiday Handmade Cavalcade. Our next festive event will be held December 16-17 at the Brooklyn Historical Society in downtown Brooklyn.

Beloved by countless Etsy shop owners, Purl Soho supplies top quality materials for sewing, knitting, crocheting, and all embroidery needs. At its Soho store you will find an amazing array of pure and natural fibers and patterns for your next needlecraft project.

Since 2002, Purl has been sharing its passion for beauty and quality designs in its extremely customer-focused business. “At Purl Soho we have always worked to create a friendly and comfortable place for everyone: locals and tourists, beginners and experts, regulars and one-time shoppers,” says Purl’s Executive Assistant/Studio Manager, Laura Enos. “We foster an environment where customers become friends and our place is yours,” she adds.

Purl began as a tiny yarn shop on Sullivan Street, in the heart of New York City’s Soho neighborhood. Four years later in 2006, it opened a fabric store, Purl Patchwork, just a few doors down. And in 2010, the founders’ dream became a reality, when the present large and beautiful Purl Soho location opened its doors, furnishing all needlecraft materials under one roof.

Three co-owners, sisters Joelle and Jennifer Hoverson, and close friend, Page Marchese Norman, envision Purl as a home for crafters near and far, from around the corner and around the globe. Makers visit the Soho location as well as its online website. “We love to answer questions, share accomplishments, research solutions, and exchange inspiration,” say the owners, who are former editors and stylists. “It’s why we do what we do!”

In 2012, Purl proudly launched its own Purl Soho brand yarn, a super soft merino. They now boast nearly 20 yarns in their exclusive collection, plus linen fabrics, notions, and dozens of boxed kits.

And one of these learn-to- knit boxed kits could be yours, if you are a lucky Purl Soho raffle winner at this year’s Holiday Handmade Cavalcade. Every shopper at the holiday market will receive a raffle ticket with each purchase. Purl is also giving out a selection of its gorgeous super soft merino yarn in the Cavalcade goody bags this year. On any day of the Cavalcade, be one of the first 25 people to make a purchase from one of our talented local vendors and bring home this exceptional yarn in one of the complimentary Goody Bags!

Purl is excited to be such a large part of this year’s unique holiday event, and hopes you will visit its store online, or in person. They can’t wait to meet you!

“Making New York-A Hands-on History & Shopping Experience” at Chelsea Market is a Must for Holiday Gifts and More!

NY Handmade Collective artisans are back at it this holiday season in the beloved and coveted Chelsea Market, November 27-December 3, in the event space, with their “Making New York-A Hands-on History & Shopping Experience."  This holiday market has been picked by "Time Out New York" as one of the top five holiday markets to shop this season!

This highly curated week-long market will showcase the history of handmade makers/settlers to our team members today, bringing together some of the best brands in local handmade and will include some hands-on workshops/demonstrations.  A list of available workshops and times are below:

Monday, November 27th - 3pm-6pm

Cor Garcia-Held of Cor Pottery/Bklyn Kiln will bring her potter's wheel and demonstrate how pottery is made.

Tuesday, November 28th - 3pm-4pm

Joanie Brittingham of LittleJoanieSoaprano will give an introduce to how soap is made.

Wednesday, November 29th - 1pm-2pm

Watch Cindy Peng of Cindy Penguin Jewelry show her crocheted jewelry process.

Wednesday, November 29th - 3pm-4pm

Elena Kanidinc of SimplyNu will show how to make felt holiday ornaments.

Thursday, Novmber 30th - 11am-1pm

Cor Garcia-Held returns for another pottery demonstration.

Thursday, Novmber 30th - 3pm-5pm

Staff from Blick Art Materials will demonstrate a DIY craft

Friday, December 1st - 3pm-4pm

Meredith Stein of Private Picassos will demonstrate DIY stamp-making.

 

 

 

 

Glass Fusing Class

Glass Fusing Class

The tools of the trade

The tools of the trade

I love working with glass.  While I've done lamp working for many years, I had never done glass fusing, or kiln working, before and wasn't too interested until I found a new store opening along one of the streets I often used in Mamaroneck.  This turned out to be a new store, workshop and gallery for Bullseye Glass, an American art glass manufacturer based in Portland, OR.  I had to check this out. 

It is only a street away from the Mamaroneck Metro North Station.  Easy trip from Grand Central Terminal in the city!

It is only a street away from the Mamaroneck Metro North Station.  Easy trip from Grand Central Terminal in the city!

A veritable candy shop for glass fanatics!

A veritable candy shop for glass fanatics!

Samples of work and Bullseye is big on education.  There are classes for the complete beginner and the experienced glass artist, and you can rent time in their studio and kiln time for firing your projects after you take the proper classes.

Samples of work and Bullseye is big on education.  There are classes for the complete beginner and the experienced glass artist, and you can rent time in their studio and kiln time for firing your projects after you take the proper classes.

Part of the location is a spare and elegant gallery for contemporary glass artists

Part of the location is a spare and elegant gallery for contemporary glass artists

The Studio in the back, full of kilns and well lit work tables 

The Studio in the back, full of kilns and well lit work tables 

All the staff are incredibly helpful and friendly.  My introductory class was taught by James O'Neill

All the staff are incredibly helpful and friendly.  My introductory class was taught by James O'Neill

This is my worktable at home, but Bullseye provides all the tools and glass you need for the class

This is my worktable at home, but Bullseye provides all the tools and glass you need for the class

The class introduced us to the tools we needed to use and the different kinds and colors of glass we could use to make and decorate a plate.  A lot of glass was pre-cut, but we all practiced scoring glass with the cutter and breaking it with the splitting tool.  It was a lot easier to cut and break than I remember in high school stained glass class!  Glass came in sheets, in powder and frit, and in stringers - thin round sticks like vermicelli.  Everyone in the class thought of different ways to decorate their plate.  When we finished the plate went on a kiln board for it's first fusing in the kiln.  This was called a full fuse, as all the glass would melt together to make a single flat 6mm layer.  

My glass after firing in the kiln

My glass after firing in the kiln

After the full fuse, the glass would be put on a mold for the slump fuse and a second firing.  This time the kiln would be set to a lower temperature and the glass would just melt into the shape of the mold .

This is one of my glass plates atop a mold.  The molds are ceramic but specially coated to prevent the glass from sticking.

This is one of my glass plates atop a mold.  The molds are ceramic but specially coated to prevent the glass from sticking.

This is what my plate turned out like.  I used strips of glass, frit, and stringer.

This is what my plate turned out like.  I used strips of glass, frit, and stringer.

I got a lovely plate and another new hobby started!  I would highly recommend classes at Bullseye to anyone who is interested.  The introductory class is quite easy and very reasonably priced.  Glass makes great gifts!

www.http://www.bullseyeglass.com/products/resource-center-new-york.html

Jody Lee www.astudiobythesea.etsy.com

Jody Lee www.astudiobythesea.etsy.com

For Immediate Release: NY Handmade Collective (formerly Etsy NY Team) is back at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! with NYC’s handmade finest

Back for a seventh season, the NY Handmade Collective (formerly known as the Etsy New York Street Team), a local community of professional artisans, will again be the sole merchandise vendor for BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!, the premier outdoor summer festival concert series in Prospect Park.

From June 7th through August 12th, NYHC will give show attendees exclusive access to a diverse, all-handmade capsule market of goods made by local artists – your friendly staff during all of the shows. Come in and talk shop with any one of them to find out more about NYC and the handmade market collective, the techniques that go into producing their wares, or just to say hello!

With the products this year, you can: adorn yourself with a wide selection of jewelry featuring natural gemstones, textured enamels, and vintage-inspired metals; make a fashion statement with one-of-a-kind fascinators and headpieces along with unique upcycled clothing and handmade purses, adult neckties and t-shirts; unleash your child’s creativity with magical dragon monster toys, while updating their attire with clever onesies and tees.

You’ll also be inspired to treat your skin to all-natural bath and body products; beautify your meal with hand-sewn picnic blankets, and jazz up a party with personalized crocheted and sewn decorations; and write a heartfelt handwritten note on quirky cards or organic-inspired block printed stationery.

Whether a local Brooklynite or a visitor to the borough, anyone attending BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! this summer will be drawn to supporting the NYHC artisans by shopping local and taking home a one-of-a-kind gift as a tangible reminder of the experience.

And what an experience it will be! Headliners for the free concerts this year include big name headliners such as Andrew Bird with Esperanza Spalding, Yeasayer, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, and Amadou & Mariam. There will also be a handful of terrific benefit concerts to attend throughout the season, including The Shins, Fleet Foxes, and Conor Oberst. These benefit shows help to raise vital funds to provide for all of the other free world-class performing arts programming that happens at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!

About BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!

In its 38th season, BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! is one of New York City’s longest running free outdoor performing arts festivals. Launched in 1979 as a catalyst for a Brooklyn performing arts scene and to bring people back into Prospect Park after years of neglect, BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! was an early anchor in the park’s revitalization. Over its history, the festival has presented over 2,000 artists and ensembles reflective of the borough’s diversity. Most BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! performances are free.

About BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn

BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn is a multidisciplinary arts and media non-profit dedicated to presenting contemporary arts, performing arts, and community media programs that are reflective of Brooklyn’s diverse communities, and to providing resources and platforms to support the creative process.

About the NY Handmade Collective

Created in the summer of 2007, the NYHC is made up of over 250 artists, designers, and crafters based in the metro New York area who create and sell handmade items on Etsy.com, a global marketplace for handmade goods. NYHC is a vibrant, nonprofit group of regional artisans committed to educating the community and developing the potential of its members through mentorship, market opportunities, and small business development. By focusing on selling events, clarifying the creative process, and the promotion of quality handmade goods, NY Handmade Collective broadens individual possibility while bringing people together, expanding the circle of community in our wider world. To learn more about the NY Handmade Collective visit http://nyhandmadecollective.org.

What: NY Handmade Collective Back with BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!

When: June 7th – August 12th

Where: Prospect Park Bandshell - 9th Street and Prospect Park entrance - Park Slope, Brooklyn

Websites:    http://nyhandmadecollective.org/celebratebrooklyn/  

Contact:  Jenny Topolski, CBK Marketing Lead