MAKESHIFT 2013: CHAIR WORKSHOP
On Sunday, as part of MAKESHIFT 2013, we co-hosted a Chair Workshop, modeled after the MAKESHIFT 2012 workshop, Crafting Design, sponsored by Partners and Spade. This year we teamed up with Build It Green!NYC (BIG!NYC) and Krrb and invited an array of makers to join us for an afternoon of collaboration, innovation, and chair re-design. While our event at The Standard focused on conversation (though there was plenty of making going on as well), the chair event has evolved into a make-centered occasion where a community of designers work both independently and together through skill sharing and mutual encouragement.
The event was held at BIG!NYC’s restore facility in Brooklyn – a warehouse filled with doors, fireplace mantels, sinks, mirrors, tiles and a number of other goods, much of it vintage and antique, acquired through donations and offered at low prices for those looking to save money (and the landfill) in home renovations. Or in the case of friend Kerry Diamond (of Cherry Bombe Magazine) and her chef/partner Robert Newton, the interior of their third and most recent restaurant, Nightingale 9, was designed with salvage bought from BIG!NYC.
All chairs were donated to BIG!NYC and given to participants, who repaired them, embellished them, or in some cases, completely repurposed them by combining aspects from more than one chair into a singular new creation. The energy was high and creativity sparked.
Various supplies from the Alabama Chanin studio included 100% organic cotton jersey scraps and pulls, thread and needles, stencils, and tools. Build it Green! provided essential tools like hammers, nails, screws, drills, staple guns, heavy duty adhesive, paint, brushes, and even a hair dryer.
Amy Devers from “Fix This Yard” on A&E joined us to help guide designers in the nitty-gritty of furniture re-doing, along with Andrew Wagner of Krrb. Kristen Wentrcek of Wintercheck Factory came and made an awesome love-seat/bench from three chairs.
As our guests finished up their chairs, a DJ played, Brooklyn Brewery ales were imbibed, and local fare was devoured.
Most of our makers left their chairs with BIG!NYC to be auctioned off with 100% of proceeds going to help support the restore facility and staff in their efforts to keep landfills clear of reusable debris. Natalie and the Alabama Chanin team also worked on a chair – a bench actually – with the help of Amy Devers and friends Gael Towey and Kay Gardiner, which will be auctioned off as well.
A huge thanks to our co-sponsors, Build It Green!NYC and Krrb, and to all the designers who braved the drab weather to join us for this great event.
MAKESHIFT 2013 @ THE STANDARD
“Craft” might seem like it’s for the amateurs, and “fashion” for the auteurs. Yet we live in an age where creativity and innovation are increasingly found in collaborations between makers and users, crafters and designers, designers and manufacturers, and in the loosening of the boundaries between them. – MAKESHIFT 2012
The MAKESHIFT conversation began last year to discover where and how various creative industries can work together as one. The discussion continued last Thursday evening at The Standard, addressing the intersection of industries on the artisan level, where the interchanges occur, and how we can transform those intersections through innovation and collaboration for the greater good.
Several designers, filmmakers, authors, musicians, and makers joined us, alongside friends and panelists, Cathy Bailey of Heath Ceramics, singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash, Andrew Wagner of Krrb, Kristen Wentrcek of Wintercheck Factory, Natalie Jordi of People’s Pops, and singer/songwriter Tift Merritt. While we shared ideas, touching on subjects like the importance of maintaining authenticity when scaling a small business, we crafted our thoughts and experiences surrounding these issues onto 100% organic cotton Alabama Chanin totes. The results are beautiful, provocative, and insightful.
Collaboration and innovation begin with conversation, and we were able to capture some of the night’s most poignant thoughts, shared below.
“I love to do something that eliminates words and music, so that when I go back to music, it feels fresh.” – Rosanne Cash on creativity
“I’m someone who makes sense of my life by making things.” – Tift Merritt on creativity
“Handmade objects are all about things that retain a story…it’s all about the story.” – Father Andrew
“We’ve moved closer into the heart of things, making closer to where people are, not away from people, on a scale that feels like the craft and balance are still there.” – Cathy Bailey on scaling Heath Ceramics and their new factory in San Francisco
“The making is integral.” – Cathy Bailey
“You make things because something is imbedded in you, something that you miss. Why do people make? Do you need to make, or want to make?” – Jill Andresevic on creativity
“As long as you don’t sacrifice on [quality] ingredients then there aren’t that many factors negatively affected by machine.” – Natalie Jordi on scaling manufacturing
P.S.: Thank you to Cole Haan for providing the beautiful leather for crafting on our totes.
CRAFTING DESIGN: A MAKESHIFT Chair Workshop
CRAFTING DESIGN: A MAKESHIFT 2013 Chair WorkshopSunday, May 19, 2013Chairs, DIY tools, and materials providedHands-On Chair Workshop 2:00 - 5:00pm (limited space*)Exhibition, Sale + Party 5:00 - 8:00pm (open to all)*Limited space is available for our chair workshop.Reserve your workshop seat by May 7th:Build It Green!NYC, 69 9th St. Brooklyn, New York15% off all purchases at Build It Green!NYC’s Gowanus Reuse Center on May 19th from 2-8pm.All sales and donations from the evening go toward Sandy Recovery for Build It Green!NYC.Preview the Build it Green!NYC sale: Krrb.com/bignycRead about MAKESHIFT 2012 chair workshop in the New York Times.www.alabamachanin-makeshift.com