90 exhibitors in all will fill the Museum’s Beaux-Arts Court
Exhibitors of furniture as art at the fifth American Fine Craft Show at the Brooklyn Museum represent styles ranging from traditional and eclectic to contemporary and classic using materials such as wood and upholstery to glass, aluminum and steel. Some find new life in repurposed wood and highlight its natural beauty. Others add humor or imaginative color combinations to 19th Century style floral upholstery. Japanese design, jewelry, fine art, print and papermaking have inspired a few. The furniture makers will join glassmakers, ceramists, fine artists and sculptors as well as jewelers and fashion designers—90 exhibitors in all--in the majestic Beaux-Arts Court in the landmark museum.
- Custom furniture designer Steven Bennett, Keep Furniture, Brooklyn, hand makes tables, cabinets, stools and centerpieces from locally sourced, sustainable hardwood. His distinctive, ergonomic, minimalist designs showcase the wood’s beauty.
Sabra Richards, whose prize-winning pieces are in permanent collections of major corporations and universities, incorporates kiln-formed glass sculptures to steel designer tables. She also uses these elements in wall sculptures, paintings, indoor and outdoor installations. Richards previously worked as a painter, printmaker and papermaker. Her studios are in Aurora, N.Y. and Worton, Md.
- Weybridge, Vt.-based furniture designer Mary Lynn O’Shea’s fabrics—largely turn of the century floral patterns--for her line of Molly Rose Designs sofas, settees, chairs, divans, ottomans and decorative pillows, are woven for her in the U.S. on Jacquard looms. She artfully and playfully mixes patterns and color combinations that surprise—orange and teal or purple, red and teal for example—to achieve a fresh look. The frames are made in North Carolina of kiln-dried hardwood. She was just recognized by the Vermont State Craft Center for contributions to crafts over 40 years.
- “We design and make unique handcrafted furniture featuring marquetry and inlay to create imaginative visual stories,” said Michael and Alexandra Miller of Everyman Works, LLC, Brooklyn, sharing “a love of good design and humor.” Their first challenge was to “rescue the humble side table from obscurity and re-imagine it with imagery and wit.” They also design cabinets and mirrors.
Luke Malaney, Red Hook, Brooklyn, enjoys making coffee tables “as people usually hang out around them the most,” but also “mixes it up,” designing chairs, daybeds, couches and desks as well. He works in American hardwoods, harvested locally from reclaimed/dead or fallen trees. First intrigued in high school shop, Malaney studied carpentry/woodworking in the Catskills and for five years, with an “old time” Italian woodworker in Long Island. “I focus on lightness—inspired by the Japanese aesthetic--and negative space, adding subtle details for cohesiveness.”
- About one of his organic wood tables in local black walnut, Bok Read, Media, Pa., said: “If a tree grew out of the floor it might look like one of my tables. The top is removable. Trees don’t have horizontal flat parts so I had to make one.” He added, about a skill he uses on tabletops to achieve the look of a faux tablecloth: “I like the layering, a technique begun in the middle ages, when linenfold paneling became popular. Denmark, Germany and England each had a style that imitated, in wood, neatly folded linen. It covered entire rooms in 1’x 2’ panels made to show off the artisan’s layering skills.”
- When an interior designer asked then jewelry designer Peter Handler, Handler Studio, Philadelphia, to make a table in the same materials he was using--aluminium with epoxy resin inlays in color—he soon branched out to chairs and sofas. He earned an MFA at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he discovered aluminium and metal machining. “My goal is to have people look at my furniture 20 or 30 years from now, still love it, and see it as good furniture, and of an earlier time.”
For more information about the American Fine Craft Show at the Brooklyn Museum, visit www.brooklyncraftshow.com.
Fee includes general admission to the museum.
Discount tickets are available in advance on line: http://www.americanfinecraftshowbrooklyn.com/, $12 for everyone until Nov. 10 and $14 after that. Cash only at entrance: Adults - $16.00 Seniors -$14.00 Students - $10.00 Museum members with membership card -$8 Children under 10-Free. Hours: Saturday Nov. 19 and Sunday, Nov. 20: 11 am-6 pm. Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238. Directions: https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/visit/directions.php. For information visit www.brooklyncraftshow.com.
Richard and Joanna Rothbard, founders and directors of American Art Marketing, have launched and produced art fairs and craft shows for over 30 years. They established the American Fine Craft Show NYC, Contemporary Art Fair NYC and the Rockefeller Arts Festival in Manhattan. Currently they produce the annual American Fine Craft Show Washington DC in October; American Fine Craft Show Brooklyn Museum in November, Sarasota Craft Show in Florida in December, the Berkshires Arts Festival in Massachusetts in July and American Fine Craft Show Philadelphia in April.
The Rothbards also own An American Craftsman Galleries, http://www.anamericancraftsman.com/ with Manhattan locations—294 Columbus Avenue and 830 7th Avenue—as well as on Main Street in Stockbridge, Mass. Richard Rothbard, a craftsman who designs puzzle boxes of wood, owns Boxology (www.boxology.com), Slate Hill, NY.
J M Byington & Associates