Whether you go for ideas on how to make
the most of your home’s tight quarters, you go to hire the designer
who can custom make the piece of furniture you’ve been fantasizing
about, or you go just to order a set of mugs, Brooklyn Designs
has something to offer anyone who has a home, office or home
The home furnishings show, an initiative of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, will fill St. Ann’s Warehouse in DUMBO June 13-15 with the work of dozens of Brooklyn-based artisans displaying lighting, linens, rugs, furniture and decorative accessories.
· Brooklyn Navy Yard-based furniture designer Robert Martin, who creates an assortment of sleek furnishings including steel-and-wood dining tables, workstations and garden furniture.
· Williamsburg-based Milder Office, whose artists fashion products for the office, home, institutional and retail environments.
· Bushwick-based Elseware atelier, whose artists don’t shy from injecting a bit of humor into the home, like the aquarium-toilet combo, "the Aquariass."
· Williamsburg-based interior designer Dominic Gasparoly, who has also created his own contemporary furniture collection incorporating African and Asian influences.
· Navy Yard-based furniture designer Evan Hughes, who sculpts seemingly impossible curves out of wood as can be seen in his oval-shaped satinwood maple bureau and cherry wood "Mathews Library Shelving Unit."
"This is a chance for us to showcase Brooklyn’s vital creative economy," said Brooklyn Chamber President Kenneth Adams. "Our exhibitors come from across the borough. Attendees will get a chance to visit DUMBO, New York’s newest home furnishings destination, to see what’s new in lighting, furniture, rugs, linens and accessories from designers and manufacturers working across Brooklyn."
Brooklyn Designs is also hosting a series of seminars, which are free with admission.
On June 13, from 10 am to 5 pm, the show is open to trade persons only, who can register for free at www.brookl
On June 14, the show will be open from 11 am to 7 pm. At noon, Julie Parchesky, director of product development for West Elm, will present a talk on "Adding the Contemporary Touch." West Elm is a subsidiary of Williams Sonoma that operates its mail order catalog of contemporary home furnishings out of 55 Washington St. in DUMBO.
At 2 pm, the senior buyer for ABC Carpet & Home, Chris Kraig, will talk on the topic of "The New Baroque." The Manhattan-based store took a 10-year lease on 40,000 square feet of retail space in 20 Jay St. at Plymouth Street in DUMBO last October.
At 4 pm, a Furniture New York panel discussion will address "Commissioning Work: The Rewards and Mysteries of Custom Furniture." Furniture New York is a not-for-profit organization that supports the city’s furniture trade. Led by moderator and "furnituremaker" Michael Puryear, designers Robert Martin and Scott Braun will present some of their recent custom projects and discuss the process of creating them.
Braun, vice president and programs chair of Furniture New York, manufactures his furniture in East Williamsburg. He believes the public needs to be educated about - and encouraged to explore - the commissioning process. Braun says most designers not only do custom work but also enjoy it.
"We’ve been planning to do some kind of event trying to help demystify the custom commissioning process," Braun told GO Brooklyn. "People often don’t even know I can do [custom work]. If a client likes someone’s aesthetic, they should pursue it. Fully 90 percent of us - if not more - derive most of our income from custom commissioned work. We are willing to work with people."
Braun’s 10,000-square-foot shop is open by appointment.
"Talk to the designer, tell them about your needs, what’s important to you," said Braun. "For some, it’s budget; others longevity; for others, high style. These are all things the designer can help you with. That conversation is crucial." Braun also explained that when you pick out a piece from a store, you have to pay in advance and wait - often four to 12 weeks - for it to be delivered.
"A custom designer will take that much time, but there’s a built-in layaway plan," said Braun. "Only 50 percent down until you get that piece. You don’t have to pay in advance, so it’s more affordable."
Among the items Braun will have on display are his "ebonized" ("chemically altered") mahogany and calfskin chairs, a new commission in progress, a "highly carved" waterfall table, a colorful child’s rocker, a desk, nightstands, a coffee table and a bench.
Joel Hoag, one of the four designers who make up the Bushwick-based Elseware design collective says his artists come up with made-to-order product ideas based on gallery show themes they generate. The collective is also a creative consultancy.
"For example, an entrepreneur came to us who wanted a toothpaste dispenser," said Hoag. "We also recently designed a line of soft-sided coolers for a piece goods company, where we just did the design work."
"All four of us will be exhibiting at Brooklyn Designs," said Hoag. "’Mazellaneous,’ [a wood shelf designed like a maze] by Perry Dixon, came from one of the gallery shows surrounding the word ’fuse.’ ’Mazellaneous’ came from things that confuse and how much junk you collect and how confusing it can get."
In addition, Elseware’s booth will feature Daniel Harper’s ceramic set of six tear-drop-shaped mugs in a circle, "Mugpie," and Hoag’s own "Squish Sink," a flexible sink made of silicone rubber.
"It came from our very first show, ’Watershed,’ featuring objects for the bathroom. This challenged the idea that sinks are hard and cold," said Hoag, adding that he’s had some success with the "Squish Sink."
"It’s in someone’s apartment now in the Village."
Elseware will also display Oliver Deckert’s "Aquariass," a Plexiglas fish tank cum toilet. "The fish are safe," assured Hoag. "There’s a separate container."
Hoag explained the group’s originality with the tagline, "Everybody starts somewhere, we start Elseware."
Caila Rossi says her partner, the artist, architect and blacksmith Walter Rossi, has a showroom in Manhattan, but makes and designs his furniture in Crown Heights.
The Walter Rossi works that will be on display at Brooklyn Designs will include new works and "a glass screen on wheels made out of neon glass tubes and a brushed metal frame; a really sleek-looking stainless steel dining room table and chairs; and some classics; like a new version of our love seat," said Caila Rossi.
Brooklyn Designs promises to not only be a showcase of fine home and office furnishings, but an exciting opportunity to meet and quiz dozens of the borough’s talented artisans, who have enough advice and skill to fill a DUMBO warehouse.
Guide to exhibitors
Brooklyn Designs will be on display at St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water St. at Dock Street in DUMBO) June 13-15. The show is open June 13, 10 am-5 pm (for trade persons only) and 5-8 pm (to the public); on June 14, 11 am-7 pm; and on June 15, 11 am-3 pm. Tickets are $10 for the general public and free for trade persons. All seminars are free with admission. Trade persons can register at www.brookl
Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketweb.com, or at the St. Ann’s Warehouse box office.
Many of the exhibitors’ workshops and ateliers are open to the public by appointment only. Call for locations and appointments.
Brooklyn Designs exhibitors:
3 Square Design, (212) 989-4341
A Loomful of Hues, (718) 757-8572
Burgeoning Studios Inc. (917) 494-7994, www.burgeo
Chris Ross Furniture, (718) 599-6016
City Joinery, (718) 596-6502, www.cityjoinery.com
Dform, (718) 384-6887, www.dformdesign.com
Dominic Gasparoly Furniture, (718) 486-8166
DYAD Studio, (917) 612-4570, www.dyad.com
Elseware, (718) 366-0888, www.elsewareinc.com
Epoche Studios, (718) 387-6888
Eric Manigian Studio, (718) 855-9097, www.ericma
Ethan Ames Builder, (917) 449-0515
Evan Hughes Furniture, (718) 643-0561, www.evanhu
Hive Mind, (718) 782-3539, www.hivemi
Kea Carpets & Kilim, (718) 222-8087, www.keacar
Martel Fab, (718) 963-4780, www.martelfab.com
Matt Gagnon, (646) 226-7859, www.mattstudio.com
Michael Puryear Furnituremaker, (212) 620-9607
Milder Office Inc., (718) 382-0767, www.milder
Modern Modular by resolution: 4 architecture, (212) 675-9266
Rico, (718) 797-2077, www.shoprico.com
Robert Martin Designs, (718) 797-1183, www.robert
Robert Russell Furniture, (718) 388-3055
Scott Braun Furniture, (718) 381-9200, www.scottb
Scott Jordan Furniture, (718) 852-4935, www.scottjordan.com
Siegal Arts, (718) 855-8757
Space Manufacturers Corp, (718) 599-6722, www.spacemfrs.com
Walter Rossi, (212) 228-5840, www.walterrossi.com
Zia-Priven, (718) 398-6777