My neighbors and friends Amy & Jae took a brave step in March 2005 when they opened a small design shop named Greenjeans in Park Slope’s southern frontier. With a passion for sustainable design and an eye for “green” craft, the store has since developed into one of the city’s premier craft shops featuring artists from across the country.
I have to admit to being a little bit of a skeptic and wondered if the shop would fly, since location is everything when it comes to retail and the South Slope (as Park Slope’s southern part is referred to) wasn’t a magnet for foot traffic or chichi boutiques at the time.
As one customer who walked in today mentioned, “I’m looking for something for a friend’s birthday…everyone loves things from shops in Brooklyn nowadays”–how true.
SHAKER CHAIR BONANZA: If you need to know anything about Greenjeans and their impressive stable of craftspeople, I would suggest taking a look at the Shaker furniture by Brian Braskie (Canterbury, NH).
A furniture making genius, as Amy would say, his masterfully built objects can be custom ordered and available in months. He continues a revered tradition he learned from the last two elderesses of the Canterbury Shaker village in New Hampshire–talk about pedigree.
PERSONAL FAVORITE: I feel in love with Jane Kaufmann’s (Durham, NH) rough ceramic objects the moment I laid eyes on them. Fortunately, she has been a staple of Greenjeans from their first day and continues to display new imaginative objects she concocts in her New England workshop.
Stemming from what appears to be a very personal passion for clay, her objects sometimes veer to the political and are often infused with her own Quaker faith. Her finished objects display a sensitivity to human flaws and their awkward beauty.
Her latest series “10 Least Wanted Men” is wonderfully quirky. Composed of giant dice-like forms, the series features portraits of these somewhat (and sometimes completely) despicable males who irk a lot of people–the Donald Trump die is pictured in the image above.
Better know for her floral orbs that bulge with pastoral scenes or her clay finger puppets, she also makes tiles, columns and other fantastical things that inevitably make you smile.
- Humpty Dumpty dolls made from reused vintage quilts & adorable vintage-looking teddy bears by Judy Geagley (Tallesboro, KY),
- fine handmade books by Dennis Yuen (Brooklyn),
- Pine Journal Quilts by Merrilyn San Soucie (Newmarket, NH) which are small hangings based on poems by the artisan, and
- limited edition resin busts of President George W. Bush by James Williamson (Brooklyn) named “It’s Hard Work“–they make the commander-in-chief appear half chimpanzee, half Roman citizen.
Greenjeans, 449 Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215 — 718-907-5835 — the official blog: http://greenjeansbrooklyn.blogspot.com
CORRECTED: Greenjeans co-owner, Amy, informed me that she misspoke when she told me that Braskie’s furniture takes years to complete…thankfully they are available within months of your order.