Paola + Murray
Beloved makers Fair Field + Supply is back in full swing with its Spring MRKT in Kingston, New York, this Memorial Day weekend. To get ready for the newest iteration of the event, we went behind the scenes to see how its vendors create homewares that have folks flocking to shop in person — and revisited some standout makers from fairs past. Read on to learn more about some of our favorite vendors, learn more about the fair here, and purchase tickets to this year’s here.
Want to see more artisan behind-the-scenes? Check out Beautiful House’s Beautiful Things video series here.
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“I like learning how to use new materials — what works and what doesn’t. ” This experimental attitude is the foundation behind the textile company White Lodge Studio, which Adam Seirup founded with his partner, Sara Mazdzer, last year. Everything the brand produces, from pillows to table linens, is handmade in Brooklyn, where Seirup and Mazdzer find inspiration in the urban landscape and discover new techniques to bring handmade goods to a wide audience. “We’re relatively new to fabric dyeing, so we’re in the rule-breaking and problem-solving stage,” Seirup says. “You have to allow yourself to make mistakes — but the results are so encouraging.” –Hadley Keller
“I try to make something every day, even if it’s small and even if it’s not to be saved,” says Jane Yang-D’Haene, the Korea-born founder of Brooklyn-based D-Haene Studio. Motivated by memory, history, nature, and the minimalist forms of traditional Korean pottery, the ceramist finds calmness in the process of hand building and wheel throwing. Her newest collection, Imprint, has an organic spirit, with each piece showcasing marks left by her fingerprints and nails. “Figuring out how to create texture using all sorts of different glazes is tricky yet scientific,” Yang-D’Haene explains. “But the feeling you get when you open your kiln after a long firing is so satisfying. The entire process makes me want to do it all over again every day. ” –Medgina Saint-Elien
Ken Landauer was working as a high-end custom art and furniture maker when the Occupy Wall Street movement reframed his worldview. “I challenged myself to use 99 percent of a sheet of plywood to make desirable furniture for the 99 percent,” recalls the designer, who got access to a CNC machine (a computer numerically controlled router table) and started designing no-waste seating and storage in Stone Ridge, New York. FN Furniture was born, but Landauer aimed higher: “The pieces needed to be comfortable, long-lasting, and -Brooklyn-cool, but more affordable than what I was seeing at makers markets.” When the Museum of Arts and Design acquired 35 pieces from him in 2017, his new career path was cemented. As Landauer puts it, “The best design problem has only one solution, I’ve heard.” –Amanda Sims Clifford
Donna Livingston’s first trip to Marrakech changed everything. “It was August. It was 100 degrees. The humidity was awful. And I didn’t want to leave! ” she says. Enthralled by the indigenous crafts, Livingston filled her luggage and realized there might be a business in it. Under the name Spirited Cloth (“All things made by hand hold spirit,” she says), she now employs artisans not just in Morocco but also Ethiopia. She travels from New York to ideate with them in person, resulting in a unique (and ethically sourced) collection ranging from pillows to wall hangings to -bedcovers — and soon, tabletop. –Carisha Swanson
For industrial designer Amy Adams Ratliff, work is meditative. “I have a 4-year-old, so these past two years have been -challenging with childcare,” she admits. “But I just need 20 -minutes in my studio to forget about whatever is crazy that day!” As the founder of Perch Objects, Ratliff makes wood lamps as well as sculptures hewn from brass, ceramic, or concrete. Each piece is modeled in paper and cardboard by hand, then scanned into Adobe Illustrator and waterjet cut. “I’ve always made things with my hands,” says Ratliff, who after graduating from Iowa State with a BFA and Pratt Institute with a Master in Industrial Design, worked for lighting designer David Weeks for five -formative years. “To master a craft takes years, ”she says. “Not that you need to be a master craftsman to be a designer, but if you do find a great fit, material, or process, learn all you can.” –MSE
Arati Rao first became enchanted with handwoven textiles as a child, when she was mesmerized by her mother’s saris. Years later, working as an interior designer, she found herself in search of that same tactile connection. Rao traveled to northern India, where she connected with a family who has been weaving for seven generations. Now, she works with them to create Tantuvi’s graphic patterns, modern riffs on a centuries old-tradition — still made the old fashioned way, on hand-operated looms. –HK
Johanna Howard’s luxurious blankets and pillows are a tale of two places: Howard’s native Sweden, where she learned to value handmade design at an early age, and Peru, where her fibers are dyed into enticing colors and spun into super-soft home goods. She’s most famous for her Dip-Dyed Throw whose ombré motif is emblematic of the subtly imperfect quality of her handmade goods. –HK
For Ronni Robinson, daydreaming at work is OK — in fact, it’s a big part of the process. Robinson, a Philadelphia native, has earned a cult following for her “flower fossils,” unique works of plaster made from molds of real, fresh flowers, which she creates over a deliberate, days-long process.
Robinson has long been fascinated by flowers: “I remember being five or six and our teacher asked us to draw anything we wanted,” she recalls. “I picked the tulip on a vase on her desk. It didn’t take long for me to realize that it was really good. I was surprised by it, but I was a little bit embarrassed. I just kind of folded it up, but I knew then that I was connected to flowers. ” –HK
Read more about Ron Nicole here.
Alum: Jay Teske Leather Co.
Jay Teske, the founder of Jay Teske Leather Co., has been creating custom leather goods, including handrails, shelving, handles, and door pulls since 2008. “I was inspired to start the business because I’ve always been good with my hands,” he explains, “and when I started working with leather, I saw the possibilities. ”
Soon after, he began incorporating metal pieces, “machining them and then combining the leather with the machined parts.” Jay Teske Leather Co. was born. And while leather-crafting is an age-old practice, one of Teske’s most popular items is a relatively unusual one: a leather swing. –Mary Elizabeth Andriotis
Read more about Jay Teske Leather Co. here.
For Chad Davis, working with glass is a rewarding practice. Not only is the material a wonder to play with, but the finished products — craft beer glasses, mixing bowls, cheese domes, and carafes — are all objects he knows people genuinely enjoy using.
Based in Woodstock, New York, Davis has been blowing glass since he started his company Catskill Glassworks in 2017 after paying off the last of his college loans. He works out of Woodstock Art Exchange, a community glassblowing studio that he has access to when he needs it. From the moment he started glass blowing to now, the glasses he’s made have changed dramatically — and he continues to hone his craft. –Kelly Allen
Read more about Chad Davis here.
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