Get Some Everyday Inspo With Carolyn A’Hearn

Her walk around Greenpoint is on-point.

The commute from Carolyn A’Hearn’s apartment to the studio she shares with about a dozen other jewelers is, oh, maybe ten minutes. But that quick stroll is enough to spark a collection’s worth of ideas. “I know it sounds sort of corny, but I am so inspired by New York City,” she explains. And she doesn’t mean just mean the bright lights and big city—nah, Carolyn’s drawn to cracks in the sidewalks and piles of unexpected rubble. Here, Carolyn shows us the things in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, you might not have noticed—but she definitely did. —jane-claire quigley

image

“I love to walk as much as I can because I find New York City so visually stimulating—for the density and also just the sheer amount of stuff everywhere. Sometimes on my walks I will come across broken bits and discarded things strewn across the ground, like this tiny fractured mirror. I always like thinking about how little cast-off shapes might be re-imagined as something brand-new. “

image

“My studio is in an old brick building near McCarren Park. It was built in 1930, and the structure has a wonderfully substantial feel to it. These cylindrical shapes were drilled from the solid brick walls. The silhouette changes from each angle, and each becomes several different shapes.”

image

“Wandering in Greenpoint, sometimes I will get lucky enough to peek into one of the warehouses and find a hidden treasure. I love the way these slender arches stack one on top of the other, and how the gentle curve has a softness to it. I like how the idea of softness and structure can interact in jewelry, and I’m always trying to create pieces that have a very tactile quality.”

image

“This bit of plaster is so great because it is actually a part of the wall where some tile fell off and revealed this pattern underneath. Not only is it scraped over its foundation in such a pretty, unintentional pattern but it also reveals an interesting history and craftsmanship that isn’t always immediately visible when looking at something so ordinary and everyday.”

image

“At dusk, I walk from my studio to my apartment, and I always love looking up at the beautiful trees that line my street. I’m always trying to bring out that feeling of organized asymmetry in my work in subtle, unexpected ways.”

Carolyn made us a pair of rose gold earrings that are pretty major.

comments, reblogs & likes

Notes

3 notes

Teresa Kahres Unearths the Very Best Spots in Carroll Gardens

Many of her faves have been in the neighborhood as long as she has.

“I’m a very loyal person,” says Teresa Kahres, who’s spent the vast majority of her time in NYC—14 years, but who’s counting?—living in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens. Which obviously means she should be your go-to girl when looking for recs in the ‘hood—and we’re not just talking about the fancy new joints. —meghana gandhi

image

A rack just waiting to be scoured at Olive’s.

3 Places You Have to Hit for Vintage

Olive’s Very Vintage
“Jen, who owns this store, has had it for 15 years. I love going in there and always find stuff. She has a bunch of shoes and loves dresses.”
(434 Court St.)

Bopkat Vintage
“The owner actually does styling for movies. She has a bunch of fabric—I’ve covered a chair in her fabric.”
(117 Union St.)

Yesterday’s News
“This is an antique and used furniture shop that my studio mates, fiancé, and I are all obsessed with and visit constantly. We’ve gotten pieces there for the apartment and the studio. They say that a truck arrives every Tuesday with more inventory.”
(428 Court St.)

image

Look for this sign for your caffeine fix.

9 Spots to Fill Your Belly With Amazingness

Court Street Grocers
“They make the best breakfast egg sandwich for $5.50. Plus, they have a bunch of funky groceries: spicy peanut butter, weird jams, Japanese mayo.”
(485 Court St.)

Union Market
“My fiancé and I spend so much money here that we should own stock in the company.”
(288 Court St.)

D’Amico Foods
“This place has been here since the forties and does old-school coffee. They make their own and roast it there. It has no style, which kind of makes it stylish.”
(309 Court St.)

Mazzola Bakery and Café
“We used to go late at night and buzz the doorbell. We would give the guy $5 for piping-hot bread and would put butter on it at home.”
(192 Union St.)

Carroll Gardens Fish Market
“This market is run by a super-cute Korean couple. It’s very clean, and the fish is beautiful.”
(359 Court St.)

Ferdinando’s Focacceria
“This Italian restaurant has been around for a hundred years. It’s a dinky place that you’d never normally go into, but they have this panelle sandwich—crushed chickpeas in a soft bun with ricotta—that’s delicious.”
(151 Union St.)

Lucali
“They make my favorite pizza. They only serve pizza and calzones—there’s no dessert or appetizers. It is dark and cute and makes you feel like you’re in Italy. It’s constantly packed; as soon as it opens, there’s a line.”
(575 Henry St.)

Petite Crevette
“This restaurant is in an old flower shop on the side of a building—it’s a fish place run by a French guy who’s there every night. The food is simple and easy.”
(144 Union St.)

G. Esposito & Sons
“It’s basically an Italian specialty shop, family-owned. The sandwiches are completely and utterly delicious—the sweet sausage, broccoli rabe, and gorgonzola hero is one of my favorites—and are great to take in the car on a road trip or to the beach.”
(357 Court St.)

Snag a pair of Teresa’s so-good sapphire studs here!

comments, reblogs & likes

Notes

23 notes

Step Inside Bernice Kelly’s Homey Greenpoint Studio

Here’s to making the most of a chalkboard wall.

A good workspace—one with positive vibes that encourages productivity—is not so easy to come by. “I had been looking for studios for about a year when I fell in love with the old-style building and its view,” says Bernice Kelly of the rustic-yet-warm space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where she set up ops for her jewelry line Macha. We’ll let her show you around (and, if you want her to make your engagement ring or something, you can check out the spot in-person!). —alisha prakash

image

“This is a view from the door of the studio. I’m blessed to have such a big space to work in—and amazing assistants!”

image

“We painted a chalkboard on the wall of our showroom area. An artist friend, Matt Huynh, came by to visit one afternoon, and after I left him alone for ten minutes, the entire wall was covered with these incredible sketches.”

image

“I had this workbench custom-made for the space to encourage a collaborative environment. We all share ideas and inspiration and keep each other entertained.”

image

We built this meeting table ourselves from reclaimed scaffolding. This is where we meet with clients and chat about our ideas.”

image

“We built shelves inside an old medicine cabinet to keep the fine jewelry collection safe.”

image

“What can I say!? We never tire of looking out the window. It’s the icing on the cake.”

The most adorable ring straight out of Bernice’s studio—check it out!

comments, reblogs & likes

Notes

9 notes

Head to the Valley of Ashes With Chen Chen and Kai Williams

Talk about an unlikely spot for inspiration.

All right, time to bust out your high-school copy of The Great Gatsby (or your Baz Luhrman DVD, no judgments), because that mythological Valley of Ashes? It’s a real place. In Queens. Chen Chen and Kai Williams, the guys behind the home-and-accessories line of the same name, sometimes make the trip to the spot—officially called Willet’s Point—to get a little perspective. “It’s crazy,” says Chen. “It’s seriously like a third-world country out there.” Go on a tour with him and see just what he means. —jane-claire quigley

image

“We discovered this neighborhood when we had our old van taken to a junkyard there, and we were immediately drawn to it. I think our underlying interest in Willet’s Point is that everyone there is making the best possible solutions to deal with scarcity of capital. There’s the right way to do something, and then there are ways that make do with what’s available. That thought process exists in all of our work.

image

“You find all sorts of ad-hoc solutions people create out of necessity. Once we saw a man in a Dodge Caravan, side door open, with a shoe display inside, slowly cruising down the street, calling out to potential customers.”

image

“This image of the Cadillac in the mud is a common sight. The neighborhood isn’t hooked up to the plumbing system, so when it rains, these giant puddles form in the once-paved street. Each giant pothole becomes a small pond.”

image

“In general, I think it’s surprising for most people to find that a place like this exists in New York City, especially under the shadow of the brand-new Citi Field. Fitzgerald called it a Valley of Ashes, but at its very basic level, Willet’s Point is about being able to imbue something with value using your abilities. That’s pretty inspiring.”

These two made the prettiest cement planters we’ve ever seen.

comments, reblogs & likes

Notes

0 notes

Seven Seriously Gripping Photos from Helen Levi’s Portfolio

This potter’s a master behind the lens, too.

Before Helen Levi started making ceramics—that kind that make us want to replace every cup and dish in our cupboards—she was a photographer who spent her time trailing volunteer firemen and breaking into abandoned mansions. “I learned photography in a wet darkroom, and I always worked with it that way—I never had a digital camera,” Helen explains. “I always appreciated the craft of it, and that’s what I love about ceramics, too. It’s a total craft.” Dive into some of her most stunning photos below. —caitlin petreycik

Civil Servants

image

“This is from one of the buildings of the law department of the City of New York. When you think about cubicles, they’re very generic and nondescript. The way that people set them up to feel like home, or to feel a little more familiar, I find really intriguing.”

image

“This looks like it could be from any decade. The tear in the panel on the cubicle—why wouldn’t anyone have repaired that? I found the pink and the green and the blue so striking.”

image

“This is almost like an unfinished task. Like someone was about to bring that plant home, and put it up there and forgot about it. I like photographs that lead you to a narrative where maybe you’re not sure what happens.”

Mr. Bender’s Machines

image

“Mr. Bender was my neighbor when I lived in Queens after college. We grew very close because our buildings were right next to each other. He had this sweater-knitting factory that he inherited from his dad, and it’s been sitting there unused for like 10 or 15 years. He still—because it’s his routine—goes in, sweeps up, fusses around.”

image

“I met Mr. Bender because I was curious about the space, and he was like, ‘Do you know how to use computers? Do you know how to use eBay?’ He was trying to sell his machines. So I sold like 11 machines for him. This series documents our relationship and the process of moving out these big machines.”

The Mansion

image

“I had heard stories that Mike Tyson had a house in Ohio. I had read about it on different blogs, and I thought it was a great excuse to go break into a celebrity’s mansion. It was 2010 or 2011 when I was photographing it—the height of the housing-bubble collapse.  There were all of these ridiculous opulent things just sitting there. It looks like there are live green plants by the indoor pool, but they’re actually fake. They’re all wilted, but they’re still bright green.”

image

“This room had a gold-paneled ceiling and matching gold curtains. That roll of toilet paper is not staged. I think there was a squatter living at the house.”

Helen made a mug for your soup and tea—check it out!

comments, reblogs & likes

Notes

8 notes

Walk to Work with the Man Behind Workaday Handmade

And go ahead and grab a cup of coffee on the way.

image

When Workaday Handmade’s Forrest Lewinger needs inspiration, he forgoes traditional transportation and hoofs it across Brooklyn, from his Williamsburg home and his Bed-Stuy studio—a 30-minute stroll that always sparks something for the ceramicist. Here’s what he passes on his path from Leonard to Powers to Lorimer to Flushing. —jackie varriano

image

Gimme is the first place I stop in the morning—for a cappuccino. Great coffee!”

image

“You will see a lot of these little vitrines and alters with saints or the Virgin Mary inside of them. I really love how outwardly decorative they can be around here. It’s not about taste or style but more about tradition and family.”

image

“When I am walking around the city, I’m looking for unexpected color combinations and patterns that may find their way into my work. There are a few patterns on my pots that have come directly from something I saw while walking around.”

image

“Going under the tracks at Lorimer and Broadway represents a big shift in not only cultural and religious communities but architecture as well. My studio is right in the middle of the largest Hasidic Jewish community in the world. It is a very autonomous community, with shops and places of gathering and worship. I love watching how the people connect to the city that surrounds them. ”

image

“Sometimes you really feel transported to another place and time in this area. I imagine that I could have seen the same scene 100 years ago.”

image

“When you walk through the ‘hood, you can really get lost in the details and juxtapositions of everyday objects and words and activity. It’s a mess—and that’s what I love about it and where I find inspiration. I look for the handmade wherever I can. Having something handmade, whether it’s a pot, some food, or a sign, gives the thing character even if it’s almost perfect.”

Forrest made the prettiest darn tumblers for your home—get the set now.

comments, reblogs & likes

Notes

1 note

Get a Load of the Communal Jewelry Studio Elizabeth Thompson Created

900 square feet just bursting with creativity.

“We are a tribe that sees the beauty in small things,” says Elizabeth Thompson, the hyper-talented jewelry designer behind Elizabeth Knight, of her clan of 13 like-minded makers at the open-24/7 workspace FluxWork Studio, which she founded in 2008 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. What do you get if you’re part of Elizabeth’s posse? A bench—i.e., the jewelry-world equivalent of a cubicle—and access to come-one-come-all workspaces for tackling projects like grinding, polishing, and soldering. Go on—take a look around. —alisha prakash

image

“The studio in the morning. As you walk in, you can feel the calm and the potential in the air. Throughout the day, people come and go. Some days the studio is empty, and others people will be working through the night. I love the company of my studio mates—sharing ideas and tools. I also love these silent mornings accompanied by the unspoken magic in the room.”

image

“Many people don’t know jewelers’ benches are raised so that one can sit eye-level with their project. Making jewelry is a very close, intimate experience that requires an extreme eye for detail. Often I find that working in this way can be very meditative and calming. I love to work by my favorite window that gets the best sunlight throughout the day.”

image

“These are my girls. How I love them. On the left is Emma—who was an intern for the summer—working at the soldering table with my assistant, Nina, on the right.”

image

“In December, we had a wildly successful event with Jean-Noel from Top Notch Faceting and his partner, Dale. The pair came to New York to discuss the process of ethically mining stones in Africa and to present stunning stones cut by Jean himself. Jewelers from New York, Philadelphia, and across the East Coast came to FluxWork to hear Jean and Dale speak. It was a sincere pleasure to host these guys at the studio and was very rewarding to have the support from a wide community of jewelers.”

image

“One of my many boxes of treasures. Texture, color, and pattern from natural objects have always been my inspiration. You can find small collections, just like this, all around the studio.”

image

“Working at the soldering bench is always a thrill—the powerful rush from transforming and fusing metal can make a jeweler want to consider being an alchemist. We have a few different tank set-ups at FluxWork, providing different combinations of oxygen, acetylene, and propane gas. Each option allows us to control the heat and metal in a specific way.”

image

“This was an awesome find on Bedford Avenue! While meandering to the studio, I cruised a record selection laid out on the sidewalk. When I set my eyes on Patti, I knew I wasn’t going to leave her there—this is my very first Patti Smith record. Music is a big deal in the studio. When I am in the studio alone, I turn to my favorite music blog, Left As Rain.”

image

“This is the grinding wheel, the machine we use to take down large sprues from our castings. You must keep a focused eye on the wheel as it removes metal—and fingernails—very quickly. This is how I look when I am in the zone.”

Select photos courtesy of Jacob Pritchard.

The necklace that Elizabeth made in this rad studio is a keeper—see it now.

comments, reblogs & likes

Notes

8 notes

Head Home With Lia Cinquegrano of Thomas IV

There’s LOTS to see here.

Back in 2006, Lia Cinquegrano, the super-skilled designer behind the bag line Thomas IV, was living in a closet on 18th and 3rd in Manhattan. No, like actually a closet: “It was off my roommate’s room and had a children’s twin lofted bed, which touched three of the walls,” says the ex-Floridian. After a stint in Chinatown, she packed her bags for Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in 2012, moving into a 1,400-square-foot space with her BF Nick. See what she’s done with those seven beyond-spacious rooms here. —alisha prakash

image

“A Lego VW van—one of Nick’s pieces—on a custom slanted tabletop behind our living-room couch. In the background is the Pez collection Nick inherited from his grandma and a flocked portrait by the artist Virgil Marti.”

image

“This is our crazy wall of art right by our front door. Nick has a very extensive collection. My brother, Tommy, designed the three larger black-and-white architectural prints in the center. He makes photo montages of warehouses and has them screen-printed by Kayrock Screenprinting in Greenpoint.”

image

“I love my dining table. I bought it at a church thrift shop on Gramercy Park. I recently painted the chairs and table legs bright teal. Also, it has our autumnal arrangement on it.”

image

“This is a view of the kitchen—and our magnet collection. The magnets are from around the world. Atop the fridge are three cast pineapples by Nick Paparone.”

image

“My favorite spice rack is a converted ‘Doctor Scholl’s Foot Comfort Remedies’ display shelf. Above it is a replica of a Van Gogh painting by my mother, Marilynn.”

image

“This is my sewing machine with some inspiration on the wall behind it—images of the crystal cave in Chihuahua, Mexico, and of the Tarahumara people of northwestern Mexico in pre-Easter costumes. Also, an illustration of one of my bags by Emily Rose Bartley!”

image

“A large banner by Nick hangs behind the bed, and a rug he designed lies below.”

image

“I love my cuckoo clock and branch shelf, displaying a collection of tiny tchotchkes, on the wall opposite our bed. The rattan loveseat formerly had more of a Golden Girls vibe. I recovered the cushions in toile and painted the bamboo a high-gloss red.”

Get your hands on Lia’s new jacquard clutch before someone else does!

comments, reblogs & likes

Notes

11 notes

Weather Vain: Phoenicia, New York - 46 With a Chance of Rain

Autumn and all that FALL FOLIAGE just makes us wanna hop in the car (ok, a Zipcar) and go for a drive. Here’s what we’d wear (and do) 120 miles north of Manhattan. —erica

Clockwise from top left: 

+ High tops, c/o Common Projects, that might not be ready for a Mt. Tremper hike but could totally handle a nature-y stroll.

+ Earrings by K/LLER that feel just-jazzy enough for martinis at Ricciardella’s.

+ Nothing says escape from the city like some Ace & Jig.

+ Mother jeans the color of the marshmallows you can roast at Peekamoose post-dinner.

+ A Girl by Band of Outsiders anorak—with a hood, in case it starts to drizzle.

+ The sort of Orly Genger by Jaclyn Mayer bracelet that would fit in with the minimalist goodness at Scandinavian Grace.

+ As cozy as a farmer’s skillet breakfast at Phoenicia Diner, this Eayrslee bag.

+ A.J. Morgan sunglasses the color of some crazy-stunning maple leaves.

All “Weather Vain,” all the time. Right here!

comments, reblogs & likes

Notes

9 notes

Watch Morgan Carper Fix Up Her Fort Greene Casa

Extreme Makeover: Designer Home Edition

When Morgan Carper—the force behind the textile-fueled apparel line of the same name—and her hubby, Chris Bradford, got their hands on a 125-year-old Fort Greene brownstone in February 2013, they were pumped to dive in and make it their own. “There’s still work to be done, but this house will constantly be a work in progress,” she says of her (very major) renovation. “I love the idea of growing and evolving into our home.” See what she’s done with the place so far. —alisha prakash

image

Before!

image

After!

The Living Room
“This is the parlor-floor living room—beautiful bones, but so dark. Because the house is so extremely narrow, we wanted to lighten up the space as much as possible. Bringing down a few walls, painting everything bright white, and laying down white oak floors was our solution. The old floors were actually quite beautiful, but they weren’t original to the house—and the red oak made the space dark. New flooring transformed the space, while adding a personal element to make it our own. I have always loved the classic look of herringbone flooring—the lines elongate the room, and the light finish brightens it.”

image

Before!

image

After!

The Study
“We removed a wall with double doors, opening up the space. The restoration of the moldings was painstakingly time-consuming but incredibly rewarding to preserve such detail and character. Chipping away at all the years of paint was like going back in time. I loved thinking about the families that lived in this house and what was happening during that time, color by color.”

image

Before!

image

After!

The Kitchen
“We wanted to make the space as light as possible, so we gutted it and replaced the dark cherry cabinets with black countertops with white cabinets and Carrera marble. We splurged on the countertops while maintaining low costs with the Ikea white lacquer cabinets—it’s all about balance. Getting to see the skeleton of the house was amazing. The beams and foundation are so stout and solid—they just don’t make them like they used to!”

Talk about amazing, Morgan’s latest cape will seriously step up your outerwear game.

comments, reblogs & likes

Notes

19 notes