Archive for the ‘art/craft’ Category

reminder: crafts in chelsea, october 15

October 3, 2011

The Annual Fall Crafts in Chelsea Festival put on by Brooklyn Craft Central is less than 2 weeks away! I’ll be tabling with none other than Erica Rothchild of Pumpkin & Honey Bunny (and P&H Soda Co.). A wide range of Raganella’s Botanical Solutions will be on sale, including herbal remedies, body care goods & cleaning solutions. I’m really looking forward to being part of this great local event. More details below…

The Annual Fall Crafts in Chelsea Festival
Saturday, October 15, 2011
West 21st St. between 8th and 9th Aves.
10:00am – 5:00pm.  Rain or Shine.

Benefits PS11’s amazing arts programs.

All info: http://BKCraftCentral.com

 

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landscapes of extraction and e-waste recycling

January 4, 2011

Right on the heels of last night’s post about Manufactured Landscapes comes this, from Manhattan User’s Guide:

J Henry Fairs‘ extraordinary, consumptively beautiful, sickening photos of our ailing planet are gathered in a new book The Day After Tomorrow: Images of Our Earth in Crisis, released later this month. An exhibition of the photos, Landscapes of Extraction: The Collateral Damage of the Fossil Fuels Industries, will be at Cooper Union’s Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery starting January 20th.

I know I’ll be checking that out. It runs January 20 – February 26, 2011.

And to help reduce the need for extracting rare earth metals and other materials we scar the planet for, here are some opportunities for recycling your old electronics instead of kicking them to the curb (via Lower East Side Ecology Center, be sure to check their site for more details):

January 8, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Flyer(English) Flyer(Spanish) Directions
East 163 Street, between Southern Boulevard and Bruckner Boulevard, Bronx, NY

January 8, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Flyer Directions
Bowling Green Park east side, Broadway at Beaver Street, New York, NY

January 9, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Flyer Directions
Queens Botanical Garden, parking lot entrance on Crommelin Street, Queens, NY

January 15, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Flyer Directions
Tekserve, 119 West 23rd Street, New York, NY

January 16, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Flyer Directions
Prospect Park West and 3rd Street, Brooklyn, NY

January 22, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Flyer(English) Flyer(Spanish) Directions
Ring Garden, Riverside Drive between Dyckman Street and Seaman Avenue, New York, NY

January 22, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Flyer Directions
Habana Outpost, Fulton Street b/w South Portland Avenue and South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY

January 23, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Flyer Directions
Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 331 East 70th Street between First and Second Avenues, New York, NY

January 23, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Flyer Directions
West 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues, New York, NY

If you’re not in NYC, check out Earth911 for e-waste recycling near you.

what’s going on?

May 10, 2010

Yeah, I know. This blog has been very quiet. But that’s only because my life hasn’t been. A lot more doing and a little less documenting. So here, in a nutshell, is a rundown of some of the good stuff I’ve been up to.

Growing Power

If you haven’t heard of Will Allen or his magical agricultural oasis in Milwaukee called Growing Power yet, you must not be paying attention to the sustainable urban agriculture movement. Oh wait, according to Will it’s not a movement, it’s now a revolution! My understanding of revolutions is that they are loud… can’t you hear the roar, the passion in Will’s voice?

We went to one of his Growing From the Ground Up weekend workshops a few weeks back. I just got around to uploading the pictures. Check ’em out!

Master Composter Certification

Soil is the basis of life on earth. Without its nutrients and hard-working microorganisms, plants would not grow, we would all quickly starve. In the city, we’ve got some pretty horrendous soil. Poisoned with petrochemicals and heavy metals, compacted, often just dead. Compost brings life back to the soil. I’m having a great time learning all about decomposition, soil organisms, and all of the challenges city composters put up with in the Master Composter training through the NYC Compost Project in Brooklyn (at the lovely Brooklyn Botanic Garden). I’ve met some really cool, passionate people in the class who all love to geek-out on all things compost.

Rich compost from the Lower East Side Ecology Center site

Fellow Master Composters dig in and get dirty

In the next few weeks, I’ll be working with a classmate on some fun compost-related projects in order to fulfill our community outreach hours. And then there’s the Masters of Succession presence at the Figment Festival happening in the middle of June. Learn more about that here.

The Work Office (TWO)

These days I’ve got compost on the brain. So I’ve poured this love for black gold into creative expression.

The Work Office (TWO) is a project put together by Katarina Jerenic (aka Katsie) and Naomi Miller that mimics the Works Progress Administration’s (WPA) role in employing artists and other public workers around the time of the Great Depression. I worked for TWO last week in order to promote a new event – Compost Awareness Week – via mixed media poster made from upcycled and natural materials. You can visit the work at 156 William St (corner of Ann St) until next Thursday, May 20 (hours here).

Herbal Medicine Making

Wednesday nights are spent with Robin Rose Bennett at the Open Center making herbal tinctures, decoctions, and infusions. It’s a joy to make medicine with my own two hands while singing with my classmates and putting ‘good energy’ into our jars of botanical concoctions.

My growing herbal medicine collection

recreating wilderness with reclaimed materials

March 22, 2010

This past weekend, I participated in Urban Wilderness Action Day, part of Eyebeam’s ElectroSmog Festival. My friend Kris & her hubby Pascal put together this little video recapping my role in the day.

Check out some photos of the murals & other forest elements I put together with reclaimed materials and heaps o’ help from some good friends. Birds & abstract fragment

Big hugs and thank yous to everyone who helped (Eric, DeeDee, Marga, Kris, Ian, Lauren) and made it possible (Stephanie & the Eyebeam crew, Materials for the Arts).

urban wilderness action day – this saturday!

March 15, 2010

It’s been quiet on this little blog for the last couple of weeks. I’ve been hard at work on a project. An urban wilderness intervention project to be exact. It all goes down this Saturday, March 20, at 1pm at Eyebeam (540 W 21st St). And I won’t be the only one staging a public intervention. Curious? Come check it out! Details below:

You are invited to join the Urban Wilderness Action Center for a day of action where people from NYC, Berlin, Amsterdam and London will design and disseminate projects around the theme of “urban wilderness.”
UWAC DAY is Saturday, March 20. Each of four lead cities will host a day of free artist-led interventions that respond to urban wilderness. We will document the day through a live Twitter, Flickr, and video feed streamed through the UWAC website.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Live video chat with all four sites: 3PM EST
Ongoing live Twitter feed from each project site at #UWAClive

1–6PM EST, NYC:
Join us at Eyebeam for a series of FREE and open to the public events:

  • Eyebeam Student Residents Caroline Spivack, Jade Highleyman, Luther Cherry, Spencer Brown, and Zoe Penina Baker are working with artists Doris Cacoilo and Sonali Sridhar and gardener / window farmer Maya Nayak to workshop a guerrilla gardening andventure. Participants on UWAC Day will craft and distribute their own plant-based urban intervention.
  • Tattfoo Tan (artist) will be onsite at Eyebeam collecting pledges for environmental stewardship, and teaching people the basics of urban friendly, worm-based composting. Free worms!
  • Matthew Slaats (artist) will be at Eyebeam signing up participants to join Freespace, an initiative which will be made up of are forgotten spaces, private spaces, lost spaces. People are invited to go out and find and reclaim a space, or donate a space they control in some way for a period of time.
  • Boswyck Farms will be demonstrating hydroponic systems, and introducing their new Mobile Guerrilla Kitchen.
  • Liz Neves (that’s me!) will invite participants to re-establish wilderness in NYC by recreating a lost world where beavers dammed and turtles swam in flowing streams, and foxes frollicked under towering trees.
  • Safari 7 will invite participants to embark on a self-guided tour of urban wildlife along the No. 7 Subway line.  Listen in, grab a map, and go!
  • Jay Weichun (filmmaker/artist) will be onsite from 2-6PM making flower bombs. Using a simple mixture of regional wildflower seeds, soil and clay, flower bombs are a fun way to spread color and life to places of neglect. Participants are invited to make their own flower bombs and form their own flower bombing collectives!

Come out and play on Urban Wilderness Action Day!

The Urban Wilderness Action Center (UWAC) is a project initiated by artist Jon Cohrs, in collaboration with the Eyebeam Student Residents, Eyebeam education coordinator Stephanie Pereira, and UK-based artist Kai-Oi Jay Yung. Please visit Eyebeam’s website for a complete schedule of events in London, Berlin, and Amsterdam:http://eyebeam.org/events/electrosmog-festival-urban-wilderness-action-center

UWAC has been conceived of as part of ElectroSmog, a new, three-day, international festival that will introduce and explore of concept of “Sustainable Immobility”: a critique of current systems of hyper mobility of people and products in travel and transport, and their ecological unsustainability.

will barter for skills

January 28, 2010

This post is also featured on Greenopolis.

Skillsharing is hot right now. Maybe it’s because most everyone is on a budget or perhaps there’s been a great awakening where people feel compelled to share resources, time, and abilities.

If you’ve never been to a skillshare, here’s the gist: A group of people with various skills come together in the spirit of sharing. The skilled people teach a group of eager learners who either pay a small fee (like $10) to learn new skills or barter with their own skills or services.

Back in October, I attended the Brooklyn Skillshare and learned some great skills which I’ve since applied at home: upcycling glass bottles into vases, drinking glasses (and more) and making butter and ricotta. (You can check out the results here.)

Learning how to cast silver jewelry at the Brooklyn Skillshare.

If you’re interested in trying out one of these skillshares and you live in NYC, you’re in for a treat. From now until February 28 at Grand Opening (139 Norfolk St), you can learn a new skill every night at Trade School – as long as you’re able to give (barter) in return. There are some really cool skills being offered up, including foraging and preserving foods, fabric-making, community engagement, and composting.

Once you’re bitten by the skillsharing bug, it’s hard to quit. In fact, last year, after learning how to make soap, I felt compelled to teach others at a soap-making party. You can read more about my case of soap fever on the Handmade Soap Coach blog.

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my dad’s (local & upcycled) handiwork

January 20, 2010

For the last few Christmases, we’ve been taking advantage of my dad’s penchant for woodworking. The first year, he made us filing cabinets. The next, a TV stand. And then the following, a curio cabinet. While all of the pieces thus far have been beautiful and much appreciated, this year, he outdid himself.

Using locally grown and milled quartersawn white oak from Woodman’s Sawmill & Cabinetry in Long Valley, NJ, he built us a hall tree (kind of a funny name, but I guess it’s appropriate).

The lovely hall tree.

The back is even beautifully finished to conceal the mirror backs and hardware.

In addition to building us this great piece of furniture, my dad rescued a chifferobe from the neighbor’s trash. It turns out it was solid cedar, but whoever owned it before had painted it (!). My dad stripped it using a non-toxic soy-based solvent. And then he completely rebuilt it into this new cedar chest of drawers for my auntie.

He even fashioned the keyhole out of recycled tin.

Not bad, eh?

We’re a luckily lot to not have to depend on mass-manufactured furniture. On top of that, these pieces are instant family heirlooms, hand-crafted by my dad. (And I get to brag about it!)

from one product, many

January 14, 2010

When I set out today to disassemble our holiday wreath, I was only thinking of the beautiful dried flowers and how I could put them in a jar or vase as decoration. But as I tackled the job to take apart this one product, I discovered a vast array of possibilities.

In order to take something apart, it helps to understand how it was put together. Turning the wreath around, I saw this one was constructed over a round metal frame with wire attaching the bows of pine. I grabbed a wire cutter and started unraveling the wire.

As I made my way around the circle, I could see the arrangement was a series of sprays or bouquets with a range of botanicals. Some kind of magenta thistle-like flower, eucalyptus, a white star-like flower, wheat, pine, and some other plants I can’t identify (Leda, if you’re reading, I hope you’ll enlighten me!).

I started imagining all of the uses of these goods. Here are the elements of the wreath and a few ideas I came up with:

pine
This one was easy. Mulch. I’ll take the small pine branches down to the street trees for a nice covering. Or we can take them out to my bf’s sister & brother-in-law’s place to please the blueberries.

eucalyptus & other dried flowers & plants
I separated out all of the various plants into piles. Collating them this way, I thought of the person who gathered these plants and strung them together to make a lovely holiday wreath. I was undoing their work, but giving it new life. Now they’re in vases and various other vessels around the apartment.

wire
One could always use a bundle of wire. Crafts, jewelry, impromptu home repairs, tying up sagging houseplants, or maybe making a wreath of my own. How about a mobile?

Alexander Calder's handiwork

metal ring
A lamp or chandelier. An art project. Part of a plant stand. A tie or belt rack. A giant halo for a Halloween costume. Any other ideas?

blogging for greenopolis

January 11, 2010

I am tickled and honored to be blogging for Greenopolis. My first post may look familiar – it’s a rehash of the original Library of Trash post from early November. But just in case you missed it, or you wanted to see it in a new venue, here it is…

learnings for a new year

January 5, 2010

Happy New Year! Happy New Decade!

Taking the time to reflect back on 2009, I’ve realized that it was a very full year. I launched myself into so many different worlds: permaculture, food culture, crafting, Twitter, a new business endeavor, a renewed website. Along the way I’ve gathered skills and met some amazing people. Thinking back, it’s hard to believe that all of this happened in only one year (click on the pictures to visit related posts)…

Permaculture

Block printing


Jewelry making


Soap making


Glass bottle upcycling


Ricotta & butter making


Canning


Tweeting & meeting
I’ve met some amazing people & have had some great experiences because of Twitter


Brooklyn Food Coalition


Launching


So what will 2010 bring? Or maybe I should say, what will I bring to 2010? I’m not one for resolutions, especially at the beginning of a new year. I resolve to do things all year long, without really giving it a label. I try to have healthy expectations for what I can achieve. Here are a few things I have mapped out for this year…

  • A visit to Costa Rica
  • A learning experience in Milwaukee with Will Allen of Growing Power
  • The launch of a new endeavor – The Library of Trash (stay tuned!)
  • Blogging for Greenopolis & Aribra
  • Finding room to garden

I’ll be blogging about all of these developments as they happen, so keep your ear to the ground!