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The Modern Maker: Inspiration from Field + Supply

It’s been a topic of conversation amongst my creative friends of late, about what constitutes an artist, artisan and maker, and at what point does one become commercial.  So I was primed to visit Field + Supply: A Modern Maker Craft Fair over Columbus Day Weekend.  Intrigued by the gorgeous preview photos, and its mission as described by creator Brad Fordto create a “modern interpretation of a traditional arts and craft fair”,  I set out on a trek to upstate New York on a quintessential Fall day.

In it’s third year, the fair moved to a new venue, to the charming Hasbrouck House. Located in Stone Ridge, it’s situated in the gorgeous Hudson River Valley, about 80 miles north of where I live on the Hudson, 2 hours north of Manhattan.

 

The region is known for it’s farm to table culture so it makes sense Field + Supply chose this as a locale.  What I didn’t know is how many artisans have studios in the region.  The fair featured many local artists and food purveyors while also bringing talented makers from Brooklyn and sources that Brad curated from his interior design business.

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I first met Brad on the WithIt NY Design Tour in May at a presentation with Erin Connelly from The Commons at his showroom called FAIR in the New York Design Center. The concept for this showroom grew out of Field + Supply, he wanted to create an interior design resource to showcase artisans and makers.

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Sailor Craft Knots used as coasters and napkin rings at The Commons pop-up shop at Field + Supply

One of the Brooklyn artists Michelle Quan, of Mquan Studio,  exhibited her ceramics.  These stunning curtains / wall hangings were multi media, using stoneware, hemp and white oak, united by a macrame technique.

 

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We are granola connoisseurs in my family and this mix at Outdated Cafe with shaved coconut and paper thin dried banana was the ultimate food find. I will definitely make a special trip to Kingston to visit this cafe which combines a mutual passion of vegetarian baking and antiques.
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Local food vendors were sprinkled throughout the grounds. I followed the scent of robust coffee to the Outdated Cafe. Based in Kingston, NY they sell antiques in a cafe setting. I spotted these rare spools of vintage metallic yarns and bought a few to make tassels.

 

This woven Euclid bench by Kate Casey of Peg Woodworking stopped traffic.  Kate walked me through her process and one can see her experience as a sculptor.  She has studied both Peruvian and American Indian weaving techniques and the convergence of her skills as an artist, artisan and craftsman, shines in this exquisite piece.

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Made with coopered solid white oak each bench is hand woven with braided cotton cord. Peg Woodworking at Field + Supply

“I felt so lucky to be able to meet the makers behind all the beautiful collections that were represented. With social media, it’s become very easy to familiarize yourself with someone’s body of work while never actually meeting face to face to have mutually beneficial conversations, important to makers.

The beautiful setting had a tendency to put people at ease, which for me allowed for a less rigorous pace than the traditional design fair. ”

— Kate Casey of Peg Woodworking

The pompoms and tassels on the accessories at Faherty drew me into to a brand that already has a cult following. The brother team of Mike and Alex Faherty, with experience at Ralph Lauren, hit a luxury note of rugged yet refined.  They employ sustainable practices using eco-friendly fabrics, making product at family-owned factories worldwide.  With stores in Soho, Nantucket and Malibu, their pop-up was the most polished with a relaxed vibe.

 

 

Another local maker at the show was SawkilleFounders and designers Jonah Meyer and Tara DeLisio have a showroom in Rhinebeck, NY with an aesthetic considered “Farmhouse Modern” but more importantly consider themselves part of a Rural American Design movement.  They are furniture makers and also represent other artisans they admire; these Japanese cups were so elegant yet functional.  See a video of their furniture making here>> Sawkille.

 

 


“We draw from the heritage of the Hudson Valley; from people creating and working to build a life around what is meaningful to them.”

— Sawkille Rhinebeck, NY

 

Another partner of the event was MERIDAmaker of rugs and textiles. I had visited their mill in Fall River, MA last year, so I knew up-close their dedication to craftsmanship and their purposefulness in using the finest natural materials.  I loved their rug and yarn displays that told the visual story of who they are, a collaborative brand with integrity.

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Beautiful examples of custom designed rugs from Merida. Note the linen cord inset on the sisal, one of the many types of edge finishes that they offer.

“At Merida, we are passionate about the artistry of textile design and value the hand work of our craftsmen. It is a special synergy between the two that makes what we do so unique. At Field + Supply, we were surrounded by so many like-minded companies that share in our enthusiasm. Brad created a very special community and we were honored to be a part of it.”

— Roxanne Hanna, Creative Director at Merida

Morgan Spaulding of Phaedo Design, based in Kingston, NY, designs everything from sculpture to seating, mirrors and case goods, with intention and purpose.  Josiah Clark gave me an enthusiastic tour of their space.

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Phaedo Design’s signature detail echoes through all materials in their collection, made to order.

With patrons playing around with the slingshot and pompom, I couldn’t help but stop at Northern Grade.  Then I noticed the beautiful knives of a local Peeskill artist Geoff Feder that has a studio near mine though we have yet to meet. What I didn’t know is that Northern Grade, a “roving market” having landed in 27 cities, now has a flagship space in the Seaport District of Manhattan.  All products Made In America, I will definitely check this out next time I am downtown.

Kim Rosen, owner and designer at FAYCE TEXTILES was working as an illustrator until she turned her talent and sensibility to fabrics and wallpapers.  Using printed and embroidery techniques on Belgian linen, grasscloth and paper using earth-friendly water based inks, she has earned representation in showrooms throughout the country, and in Canada and Australia too. Everything about her display evoked “made by hand” with care for the earth.

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“I exhibited at Field & Supply simply because it is a beautiful show filled with vendors that I admire. I was happy to show my work amongst so much talent in a beautiful upstate setting. I also think it’s the right clientele for my work and the work of my booth mates: Taylor Ceramics and Sticks and Bricks.”

— Kim Rosen of Fayce Textiles

These JWB Bows were so artful, I just stood in admiration of them as objet.  Located in the Catskills, they profess “communion with nature, admiration of world cultures, and appreciation for primitive techniques and tools”.  They hosted an archery course for the children which was fascinating to observe.  The kids felt a sense of power and accomplishment hitting the target.

Talk about a renaissance man, Jon Giswold is someone who cannot stop creating, just check out his websiteHis energy was expansive and inclusive, drawing people close to admire his work.  He learned to knit from his mother at age 10 who allowed his creative spirit to explore.  He elaborates on his idea of a maker and artist:

“My idea of a maker is the fulfillment of an order or commission through a craft that is considered art.

Art is that divine idea that I stitch passionately in each project and reminisce with my history.

I tend to my passion as it moves into a business or maker category, all while keeping my attention pure so that this art in making doesn’t turn into something else. ”

— Jon Giswold

Jay Teske started working in leather, creating upholstery for motorcycles and grew his business with his wife Hadas Liebermann once they moved to Kingston, NY.  Another creative, Made in USA, maker with a great inspirational story of moving outside of NYC.

Bartelby Objects grew out of designer Mary Chan’s gift making for her interior design clients.  Working out of a studio in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, she uses artisan techniques and materials that promote conscious consumption.

As a trimmings designer, I brake for textiles. I stopped to meet D Bryant Archie to talk shop and of course had to buy a piece.  She is based in Westchester, NY working globally with artisans to preserve indigenous techniques.

 

This year, workshops were added to the fair.  See all the offerings here>> Maker WorkshopsNext year I’ll plan a family weekend bringing the kids to take advantage of the maker sessions and enjoy the fair unhurriedly.

 

 

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WATCH maple sugar COTTON CANDY making from Maple Leaf Sugaring of Ghent, NY

{This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the exhibitors at the fair, click here for a complete list.}

Meeting and connecting with the makers at Field + Supply is further informing my thoughts about the joys and challenges of pursuing a creative life. I am so grateful to all that shared themselves and their work and especially to Brad Ford for his vision to bring people together to celebrate the pursuit of authenticity.

Thanks for joining me on this inspirational tour.
fashion to decor trimmings

 

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WATCH my LIVE report from Field + Supply on Facebook.
1 COMMENT
  • deborah@deborahmaindesigns.com
    Reply

    Fabulous post!! Incredibly talented makers you featured. Brings back SO many memories of growing up in Kingston. My mother was born in Hudson and my grandparents and Great Uncles and Aunts lived there too. My parents had their wedding reception at Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck. My Great Grandfather Robert Main started the Main brick company in Saugherties and he and my Great Grandmother Fannie Main lived in a gorgeous Victorian home called Brightbank along the Hudson. (Jim Henson’s younger brother bought the home to fully restore it, but tragically he died a few years ago). My Great Aunt Adelaide Main lived in the Governor Clinton Hotel when it was turned into apts. I grew up on Main Street in Kingston and sang in the choir at the Old Dutch Church. But mainly in my youth, I hung out in Woodstock and the Ashoken Reservoir driving all the back roads. The Hudson River Valley historically has been and always will be a mecca for artists. Too bad my only choices as a teen back then were to work at IBM or go to the community college….that’s the only reason I left. But I did earn enough money babysitting to purchase my Gibson guitar (which I still have) at Abrams Music Store in Kingston. I truly miss the aura of the Hudson River Valley every day!! A part of me will always be there. Its nice to see a new wave of artisans and makers keeping its history alive through fine craftsmanship. Thank you for writing about them and sharing their stories. Its very inspiring and meaningful to me and my family history. ❤

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