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Friday, November 30, 2007

Bag the Habit collaboration with Kirk Bray

We met Liz Long, the owner of Bag the Habit, about a year ago. A neighbor of ours, who knew of our leather business and experience, asked if we could give some advice to a friend of hers who was starting a reusable shopping bag business. We were intrigued and decided to meet. Over some danish’s and coffee we shared our ideas and suggestions. Liz's business was essentially ready to launch and we really loved her ideas and the name “Bag the Habit.” We were both immediately struck by her focus and dedication. I think after that first meeting we both sort of knew her business would really take off despite any words of wisdom we might have bestowed.

Last summer, knowing Kirk was a painter, Liz asked if he would be interested in doing an artist collaboration piece with a natural canvas tote. There were around 25 artists who participated in the event. I think he was quite pleased with how his "City Bag" came out. He used oil paints and covered the whole bag. He removed the existing straps and added some natural, vegetable-tanned ones. It was a great event with a very important message. It was held at the Lex Leonard Gallery in Jersey City and the most of the proceeds were donated to the New York City’s Gaia Institute. The show was titled, REDUCE and it highlighted the impact of plastic shopping bags as well as other disposable products. Something we all need to be more mindful of.

“As people accept the fundamental importance of reduction, their buying habits will change. They’ll avoid wasteful products and by-products and the demand for responsible, low-impact choices will grow. The disposable culture won’t survive.” - Liz Long.

Please visit her web-site to see her new bags!

*Click on Images to enlarge.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Empire State Plaza buildings in Albany, NY

Coming back from a long weekend in Vermont we went through Albany, NY for the first time. As we approached the city these slender modernist buildings came into view. I was able to snap this shot as we went buy. They make for a really amazing backdrop. When we got back I did a bit of research and found out that they were built from 1968-1976 and were designed by the architect Wallace Harrison. Harrison was a modernist and influenced by the International Style. He also designed the Rockefeller Center, Time Life Building, Metropolitan Opera House, etc. The Rockefeller Apartment building, across from the Museum of Modern Art's sculpture garden and finished in 1939, is equally interesting and beautiful. Some say it may be one of the most completely designed buildings in the city. I attached a few images of the attention to detail that exists all over the Rockefeller Apartment building. He was friends with Moses, Chagall, Le Corbusier, and Léger. Andrew Calder's first show is said to have taken place at his home.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The leather patchwork guitar project *update

Here is the finished guitar. Approx. 120 hours went into it. It was shown at the Canco Lofts and the 4th Street Music Festival in Jersey City.

Once the body was complete I decided the natural maple neck needed something else so I put 5 coats of ebony stain and then a clear coat sealer on it. I also added some after market Strat chrome tuning knobs that were tumbled and a custom leather wrapped whammy bar. The sound is not effected by the nails. I am taking commissions so if you are interested please give me a call. Remember, leather comes in many different colors and textures. So if you crave a guitar that is wrapped in a shiny metallic leather or an authentic cobra texture then I can do it.

*Click on Images to enlarge.

Kirk 646 808 4701