Thursday, October 23, 2014

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Brooklyn Designs Showcase Brings Out Borough's Best

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Brooklyn is kicking off its annual celebration of design this weekend and participants are getting their showcases ready. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.

Mark Jupiter custom builds furniture mostly from recycled materials. Wood from a sofa came from beams in Red Hook's old sugar refinery while a table was made from an ash tree that fell in Park Slope during a recent storm.

"The materials that I use are from old factories and water towers and floorings and buildings. I got some bridge pins from the Manhattan Bridge," Jupiter said.

Jupiter is one of 60 artisans taking part in this weekend's annual Brooklyn Designs at various venues around DUMBO including St Ann's Warehouse. Some are showing for the first time, like Brooklyn Fine Design Owner John Nickles.

"This is our first launch of our first prototypes there's three styles, three different finishes you can mix finishes and styles," Nickles said.

The annual event is put together by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. The one this year is the largest yet. A jury selects the participants, just about all of them Brooklyn-based.

"You have to design, create and produce in Brooklyn as part of coming in and being awarded a Brooklyn Design spot, the chamber gives you a membership," said Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Carlo Scissura.

"You can see a range of furniture, lighting, accessories. This is the next generation of Brooklyn designers coming up," said Brooklyn Designs Producer Karen Auster.

Among the items on display are a unique brass collection of chairs, cabinets, tables and artwork and other unique lines.

"To introduce a piece like this, it's called Esperanza," said one vendor.

"I design everything here in Brooklyn and everything is made in the U.S. My company is focused on socially responsible manufacturing," said another vendor.

Also participating this year is a Japanese contingent of designers who say Brooklyn inspired their work, from wooden skateboards to bowls made from coffee beans.

"People are really watching, keeping an eye out on Brooklyn to see what's happening in the design world," Auster said.

Brooklyn Designs takes place all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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