What does it take to be a maker? Guts? Ingenuity? Originality? Stamina? Delusion? Loose Screws? It’s likely a blend of these plus many more characteristics that may describe a maker you meet. Any single individual who practices a craft is not like another. This means any single piece made by a maker is unique in its own right. The world of small scale craft is the preservation of what it means to have heirloom products. To support this world means to support a way of life that produces goods meant to last for many lifetimes. It means to be involved in a world whose horizon is beyond what can be seen or contemplated. A community of people who create wares meant to be cherished and taken care of by generations is that of the small scale craftsperson.
Yes large scale production is a route to financial success but at what cost? Commonly this is at the cost of quality, and the cost of those who are employed to specialize in individual tasks. The craftsperson will think in terms of scale and will scale up their production without sacrificing the individual attention each unit of production requires.
Maker’s Central in Tarrytown, NY is a collaborative maker space for not one but six craft businesses all representing small scale craft. To visit this space means to step into a community of people differentiated by what they produce but are aligned by their values.
Among the makers is Natalia Woodward of Batflower Press (Medium - Fiber and Ink), a print maker who uses a printing press built in 1903 which she prints on papers she makes using natural fibers collected from the natural spaces of the North East.
Matt Yazel of Yazel Knives (Medium - Steel and Iron), a blade-smith who operates his collection of unique power-hammers, forges and hand tools to bend and fold steel into heirloom chefs knives and cutlery. You may be familiar with the term Damascus which references a style of layered steel material which he produces to then forge his knives from.
Carlos Chimborazo and Elena Krougliak of C-Los Carpentry (Medium - Hardwood) turn out a series of tabletop wood products. Bowls turned from solid pieces of hardwood on a lathe and cutting boards made from unique pieces of lumber they come across are some of what they offer. They also take on large format custom cabinetry projects and will build out your new kitchen with custom installation, which your space or desire may require.
Connor McGinn of Connor McGinn Studios (Medium - Clay), an individual who doesn’t shy from a challenge and doesn’t think twice about turning a ball of earth into a design forward platter you can eat off of or drink from for generations to come. From clay preparation and waste recycling, to turning pots on his wheel, to training newcomers to the craft, to mixing glazes and firing pots in his multi thousand degree gas and electric kilns he even works with his customers on custom projects as well as produces pots of his choice to sell at the occasional markets Maker’s Central hosts.
Matt and Hannah of Arbor Flora (Medium - Nature), are a new business and new to the space. They have a keen eye for floral design. They go beyond traditional flower arrangements and use natural materials foraged from the North East to liven up any occasion. From small tabletop pieces to formats that can cover a large wall in your home or outdoor space. Their earthy and seasonal style will liven up any festivity you plan while remaining humble.
Not least of all is Chef Dan Sabia of Wood Fire Food (Medium - Wood, Fire, Food). He uses his work space to build hardwood serving platters as well as custom iron cooking equipment that he uses to fuel his wood fired cooking operation. As a trained chef he specializes in open fire cooking and perhaps even more so in making sure his customers have a seamless and pleasant experience while planning and hosting their gathering of choice. He thinks of ingredients as “raw material” and forges them together over fire to create innovative dishes using age old techniques. Not dissimilar from the processes his fellow craftspeople execute with their own mediums.
It should be clear by now that Makers Central is a phenomenon. A space where often solitary crafts come together under one roof and create a community. If you are interested in heirloom quality goods and services and supporting small scale craft businesses, this is the absolute pinnacle of offerings. Stay tuned into their website to see when public experiences are organized or to make appointments with any or all of the makers!