Decorating & Entertaining Ideas

Made in Brooklyn: Six Artisans You Need to Know

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Sarah Ritz of Freundeskreis

(Freundeskreis means “circle of friends”)
KNOWN FOR: Handcrafted ceramics in rich, earthy tones
MATERIALS: High-fire clay and food-safe glazes

“I work in a large shared ceramics studio in Brooklyn, which has been such a positive experience. It’s an incredibly supportive atmosphere, and we’re constantly learning new techniques from one another. For me, working with clay is therapeutic and satisfying but also very challenging. I like to create simple, basic forms and have a little more fun with the glaze process. I believe it’s very important to find a balance between the form and the glaze, and I consider my glaze designs to be the ying to my simple forms’ yang.”


Clockwise from top left: Feld Tray, Elbe; Small Berg Planter;Spring Landschaft Vase; Moos Bowl.

Sara Gates of Cook & Gates

KNOWN FOR: Canvas totes hand-dyed to create graphic Rorschach-style patterns
MATERIALS: Canvas with indigo, plants, and roots for dyeing

“I love the individuality of hand-dyeing because it means that I can never truly reproduce the same exact bag. The idea of a one-off is really appealing to me. I might stick to a certain form—like the classic shape of our totes—but the look and feel of each one will be totally different. And I love experimentation. Right now I’m obsessed with indigo and exploring methods of dyeing with plants and roots.”

Clockwise from top left: Caribou 2.0 Tote; Midnight Tote; Grid Tote.

Clockwise from top left: Caribou 2.0 Tote; Midnight Tote; Grid Tote.

Tamara Jerardo of Brooklyn Candle Studio

KNOWN FOR: Irresistibly scented, eco-friendly candles designed with 19th-century apothecaries in mind
MATERIALS: Soy wax, cotton wicks, mason jars, and hand-stamped muslin pouches

“I’ve always loved working with my hands, but I never expected candle-making to become such a big part of my life. After teaching myself how to make them as holiday gifts for my giant family, I found myself unable to stop. Everyone can benefit from essential-oil candles. Lavender and lemongrass do wonders for your state of mind. And if you’re a creative person, grapefruit can help inspire and energize.”


From top: Sweet Fig Mason Jar Candle; Best of BCS: Travel Tins, Set of 3; Fleura Set: Lavender & Rose Botanica.

Gregory Buntain and Ian Collings of Fort Standard

KNOWN FOR: Functional, everyday items that turn form on its head
MATERIALS: Regularly stone, wood, and metal; occasionally glass and leather

“All of our products are born out of an exciting and constructive conversation between two minds. As the balance shifts from side to side, the designs evolve into something neither one of us could have expected. At first it seemed unique that we were able to keep it up, but now it’s always our approach. Our process is an ongoing conversation that we’ve learned to focus and refocus around each new project.”

Clockwise from top left: White Carrera Triangle Trivet; Crown Bottle Opener I; White Oak Set, 3 Pcs.; Crest Bottle Opener II.

Sara Berks of Minna

KNOWN FOR: One-of-a-kind wall hangings that recall dusky desert nights
MATERIALS: Yarn, simple frame looms, Navajo combs

“Prior to weaving, my artwork was primarily 2-D line drawings that were very pattern based. But I’ve always been inspired by yarn, fibers, and texture. Now I might have a tiny addiction to yarn and am always on the lookout for a good yarn store. I try to explore something new with each piece or collection I make. Typically I start with a color palette and a rough idea in my head and just see where it takes me on the loom. The less I plan, the better I feel. I like that I’m using a traditional, age-old technique to explore nontraditional patterns and ideas.”


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