Feeling a bit like Marco Polo, I joined in the DLS’s full day tour of the studios of ‘Brooklyn Makers’ organized by Wanted Design founders Claire Pijoulat & Odile Hainaut.
While I had to keep checking a map to see where exactly we were, it was rewarding to meet and experience members of the rich creative community that’s developed in Brooklyn in recent years. Here are some of the craftsmen I found most interesting…
The beautiful and enviable reference library at Atelier Viollet
The first stop on our tour was the remarkable showroom, offices and workshop of Atelier Viollet. Old world French craftsman Jean Paul Viollet could hardly be called a young Brooklyn hipster. He brings extraordinary wisdom, study and skill to the extremely fine and sophisticated furniture and cabinetry he produces for many of the top interior designers in New York City and beyond. In the 7th generation of a family company, Viollet has revived the long dead art of marquetry, embellishing veneers with shagreen, straw, shell, parchment, and horn, adding unaffected luxury to our furniture.
Egg Collective is a New York design company committed to building American-made furniture. The firm was established in 2011 by three female designers – Stephanie Beamer, Crystal Ellis, and Hillary Petrie. Pulling from their backgrounds in architecture, art, and woodworking, they create work that highlights their collective fascination with sculptural/elemental forms and natural materials. All of pieces in their collection are handmade, and reflect the company’s commitment to creating heirloom-quality contemporary furniture.
Roll and Hill
Roll & Hill founder Jason Miller currently coordinates selling, fabricating, and shipping lighting by eleven different independent designers to wholesale and retail outlets all over the world. The four-year old innovative company is about to double their space to 20,000 square feet at Industry City.
Nick Cope, Najee Wilson and Rachel Mosler from Calico Wallpaper
The creative process at Calico Wallpaper starts with a very old world approach, and then combines the results through a 21st century lens and production processes. Our visit to their Home & Studio included a demonstration of the ancient process of marbling paper, and a detailed description of how they are able to produce massive installations of their wallpaper without repeats in custom colorations and scale.
Emrys Berkower and Will Kavesh – partners in Token
The partners at Token met the first day of college at Alfred University, and became immediate friends. After graduation they went separate paths developing different but ultimately complimentary skill sets, before becoming entrepreneurs and partners. They work in glass, metal, leather and wood – utilizing a wide range of manipulations to create their distinctive offerings.
The small studio that Elodie Blanchard designs and fabricates her textile projects
Details of the unique and personal details Elodie has created for custom projects
A couple of examples of the line Elodie created for HBF Textiles
Elodie Blanchard is a young, soft-spoken French ‘maker’ based in Brooklyn who operates out of a very small studio to create highly creative, unique and personal applications using textiles. The creative scouts at HBF Textiles kept watching Elodie’s developments at a variety of trade shows before asking her to create a line of textiles for them that stands out from the typical contract offerings.
The methodology of Sebastian Errazuriz at expressed in an expansive wall of sketches in his studio.
A closed ‘cabinet’ that can become very open!
Another highly engineered albeit handcrafted cabinet that can be transformed with a “flip of the wrist”
In comparison to many of the newer ‘Brooklyn Makers’ Sebastian Errazuriz has an expansive studio and exhibition space that fits his diverse projects and ambitions. His works are sought after by collectors of contemporary art and command significant prices.
Peering into one of Errazuriz’s cabinets that is modest, and simple on the exterior, which then becomes a true kaleidoscope wonderland on the interior seen through one of two peep holes on the ends of the cabinet.
The fantastic overview tour of Brooklyn Makers organized by Wanted Design had us traveling far and wide to visit nooks and crannies of the massive borough of Brooklyn. We got a taste of what the Maker Revolution is about, how many young designers have seen the great frontier of Brooklyn as a place of great opportunity. Certainly we will be seeing much more about Made In Brooklyn in the future!
I am grateful to have have attended 7 of the 9 Design Leadership Summits – Charleston, New Orleans, Copenhagen, Marrakech, Berlin, New York City and again in NYC this year. They have been rapid-paced, provocative, and very social.
It is fantastic to reconnect with some, and to meet other design industry colleagues for the first time from across the United States – sharing experiences, hearing how our industry looks from other geographical points, and developing friendships is a unique and wonderful experience I look forward to every year.