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From OKCupid to retro Americana // An interview with artist Lizzie Gill

Lizzie Gill is a mixed media artist and 3rd Ward member who works out of Port Chester, NY. Her work will be featured at Friday's ArtArray: a free showcase bringing together artists across dramatically different styles. Check out our Q&A with Lizzie and learn about her creative process. RSVP for ArtArray here

How do you land on the titles for your mixed media pieces? For instance, "OKCupid Match" doesn't appear to line up with the specific piece you've created. What inspires your titles?
I draw inspiration for titles from everyday life, peculiar interactions and eavesdropping, I'll usually jot something down if it strikes me, if it doesn't just stick. "Ok Cupid Match" is a reference to a poem I wrote called "Everyone is Moving to the Internet." In regards to that specific piece, I'm considering the building of your physical life alongside the dichotomy of your cyber self. 

OK Cupid Match by Lizzie Gill | mixed media on wood panel

At what point in life did you decide you want to be an artist? What was your first brush with creating something original?
Actually being an artist confronted me when I didn't get into graduate school. That's when I had to break my 17-year streak in the education system and figure out what it meant to be an artist. It's been an ever-evolving head spin. My first brush with creating something original was a family portrait in the second grade on non-archival paper.   

In your new media pieces, it looks like you're cutting out pieces of Americana that aren't typically seen as art to create art. For instance, we can see tool records and textbook excerpts in your work. Is there something specific about these items that motivate you to create your art? 
I find interest In all types of Americana. The textbook references are vestiges of former schools of thought, that are just as dated as the images they accompany. These writings, charts and graphics encapsule a time period, for me, sometimes more than the figurative imagery.  


Did you attempt to do anything else in life other than create art? What did you try to do?
Creating art is something I choose to live with, how that works is an ever evolving process. I've worked a few stints in art galleries and curating online galleries for media blogs, but experiencing that side of the art world can not only be confronting, but also frustrating due to the fickle trends in the art world and the bandwagon mentality.  

fat cat by Lizzie Gill | new media
How has the Internet impacted what you do in terms of creating art?
I believe that the internet has compromised the terms of a piece after it has been created. Upon graduating school, the internet has become the virtual validation in lieu of  a classroom. The underscore of a piece used to be when it was finished, now uploading, tweeting, face-booking and blogging are the necessary steps in order to consider a work "done." The internet has made everyone an anonymous critic, which is nice if you're an art darling, but a Facebook "like" is hardly a constructive critique. Even if you're lucky enough to get your work in front of someone via the internet, you still face the task of capturing their interest long enough to take a second look at your work. Often, after this brief window of opportunity, your work is quickly overlooked. As far as creating art, other than my copy of Photoshop which I'm thankful for, my imagery is physically sourced from thrifted, re-appropriated, dumpster dived Americana, it's part of the fun.  
You're a 3rd Ward member. What's the best thing about being a part of this community?

It's a great support base for artists. It's easy to feel disconnected from your peers working in a studio alone, it brings discourse about art back into reality.



Addicted to LEDs: An Arduino interview by Johanna Beyenbach

It has been over a month since my Arduino class ended, and I have already taken another – Intro to Circuits & Electronics (I am hooked). My Arduino instructor, Michael Doherty, was gracious enough to let me interview him for this post. Thanks Michael!

How did you first get into electronics?
Technology in general has played a big part in my life. My dad and I always did electronics projects for school, with LEDs and buttons and stuff.

Me too! I had one of those kids' electronics kits, where you could connect wires and make lights turn on.
I think there was a phase where we were the last of that generation of makers for a while, and then I think it really fell off for a period. All this creating and making stuff was based around the ideas - you don't have to buy anything new, you just have to fix things you have and make them better. This hit rock bottom in the '90s; a big indication of that was RadioShack. It became a place where you'd buy already assembled things, and no longer things like radio components. How can you as a kid be inspired by engineering if you don't have these things to play with? It completely cut off innovation. Fortunately, in the past year, it's swung the other way a ton. Now RadioShack carries Arduinos and they have kits and stuff.

I love that a mainstream consumer brand has shifted to support the maker movement. How about programming - when and how did that happen?
I studied Design and Media Art in UCLA. In that program, I was introduced to Processing, because one of the language's creators (Casey Reas) is faculty there. Casey's class really introduced me to programming and interactivity. While I was taking one of his classes, I came across Daniel Shiffman (Assistant Arts Professor at ITP)'s website. The stuff he was doing - interactivity, multiple screens, etc. - was really out there at the time; it made me really excited about the program.

How did all of this translate to what you did after college?
I moved to New York in the bad year (2008). When I first got here, I got an amazing job through ITP - at diller scofidio + renfro (a multidisciplinary design studio that does a lot of stuff that crosses of boundaries, like designing the High Line and Lincoln Center). I was doing data visualization for an exhibition in France about global trends, population, carbon emissions and disease. But after that, there was just nothing - I spent 6 months or so just trying to get by. Then this opportunity to go to ITP came up, so I enrolled. One of the foundation courses of the first semester is physical computing. After the 1st semester, people tend to go into a particular direction & take classes to facilitate that direction.

What did you focus on?
I focused on using technology to advance sustainable living and understanding our environment. Technology can be used as a way of understanding our world that's deeper than what we can do just with our senses. How can we use that information to inform better decisions around how we live our lives, and help us to live our lives in this way? I'm working on a project right now called Bitponics; it's about using technology to help you grow food. Hopefully I can launch it at the end of October.

How did you learn Arduino? And how did teaching it come into the mix?
While I was unemployed, I taught myself Arduino, learning mostly by example. Putting it together is not a big deal, it just took a while to really deeply understand the concepts behind what's going on. I still wouldn't say I'm by any means an expert, but for the types of things I'm doing it's okay. Most of the stuff I do is digital electronics - a lot of that is sending messages from one component to another.

At 3rd Ward, there was an opening to teach DVD Studio. I wanted to teach Processing too, but we weren't sure it would draw a crowd. So we positioned it as a free workshop to gauge interest. We had the workshop in a small photo studio with 20-25 chairs, and the room was packed. So I started teaching a Processing class! At the time, there were no other electronics or programming classes at 3rd Ward. After that, I started teaching Arduino.

So, that Processing lecture was basically the cornerstone of electronics at 3rd Ward.
It's a small world, but there are a lot of people in that small world. I would recommend people to teach classes so there would be more of them. That's one of the benefits of going to ITP - the connections.

What's your favorite Arduino project that you've seen lately?
Definitely the Rocket Ship Treehouse.

Interested in learning more about Arduino or physical computing? Check out 3rd Ward's full offering of classes here.

You can catch up Johanna's adventures in physical computing and New York City life by following her on Twitter.


The Science of Ice Cream 


liquid nitrogen is far cooler (literally) than freezing water. This makes for ice cream that's creamy because of the intense coldness of the liquid nitrogen

What is ice cream? The question seems ridiculous; it's creamy and good, period. But there's the science behind it, that the acolytes of Molecular Gastronomy are more than well versed in than you or I. We had chef and molecular gastronomist Mihir Desai come by 3rd Ward and teach us about The Science of Ice Cream and Sonication, or cooking with sound.

Mihir Desai is the chef of the xSpecies Adventure Club, a roving supper club which explores themes of biodiversity, sustainability and urban agriculture through molecular cuisine. He consults internationally with restaurants keen to expand their experimental kitchens. Presently, Mihir is also a doctoral candidate in political philosophy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

I didn't know much about what to expect, as I'm not a self-proclaimed foodie or chemist, nor the type to get lost in a pint of ice cream.

Mihir Desai, chef, gastronomy adventurer, and PhD student.  

Once Mihir gave us a comprehensive overview of gastronomy, in simple terms via Peter Barham, "the application of scientific princiles to the understanding and improvement of domestic and gastronomic food preparation." Or, more in my lingo, a la the beloved Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, says it's the "scientific study of deliciousness." This methodology and its techniques encompass natural history, physics, chemistry, cookery, business, and political economy. 

Something as simple as ice cream is made by freezing milkfat and sugar while stirring. The different methods we employed throughout the class, gave rise to a variety of consistencies--creamy vs. grainy, fluffy vs. icy, slow melting vs. fast melting. 

Variables made for interesting differences. If you use olive oil, your ice cream's more likely to melt quicker, as olive oil has a lower fat content than milkfat. Ice cream has a minimum of 10% fat while gelato traditionally has about 6% fat. Gelato has less air whipped into it than ice cream, which can result in a denser dessert. Haagen Dazs has zero air in production, which is why it's so expensive.

Sorbets are dairy free, made from fruit juice or flavored water. We made some bluberry sorbet with cardomum and basil--which lingered in my mouth like an indian chutney. Granitas are pretty much the same as sorbets except they're hand churned. As the name suggests, it's much more grainy. 

innovations in ice cream flavors: white tea/white chocolate; chocolate/whiskey; chocolate/Guinness

 "popcorn" --liquid mix quickly cooled with liquid nitrogen. burned my tongue with how cold it was!

ice cream churned with ice; less creamy that ice cream made with liquid nitrogen, as it's not as cold. More grit, which I like.

chocolate Guinness goodness, courtesy of the a liquid nitrogen churn

Sorbet of blueberries, cardamom and basil is yum.








Chioke Nassor's TV on the Radio Documentary

Moviehouse returns to 3rd Ward on Saturday, 10/13, with an ultra special screening of Minor/Major, a documentary about Brooklyn (and beyond) superstars, TV on the Radio. I had a chance to hit up the film's writer/director Chioke Nassor for a phone interview. The bi-coastal filmmaker directed and co-wrote short films starring Steve Buscemi, Gina Gershon, and Kieran Culkin, including “The Gina Gershon Sex Tape”.  He is currently in post production for his feature film debut: How to Follow Strangers.

TNI: What's your favorite part of your TV on the Radio documentary, Minor/Major?

CN: I think it probably the closest that i've seen --to them just being comfortable on camera. They're funny and they joke around, i don't know if that's been captured before; maybe [it has] more recently. It doesnt feel like theyre trying to be anything except being themselves. 

TNI: I love that. They seem like lovely guys. How'd you get in touch with TV on the Radio?

CN: I met Tunde randomly at Verb, the coffee shop on Williamsburg (On Bedford btwn North 4th/5th). He was a star in a movie that hadn't come out yet, Jump Tomorrow. I said, "oh that's awesome, i really want to see that're in the film i want to see."  Then we traded music and film, he showed me some of his work, I showed him mine. We became artistic friends, and then we became actual friends. 



TNI: Who are your influences as a filmmaker?

CN: First thing that popped into my head is Robert Altman. I like that style-- improv loose form content, stylized. One of the reasons that the TV on the Radio documentary felt somewhat comfortable to me, was because I was a lover of their music. While I'm editing, it's like I'm picturing beats of a song, like a symphony. [I'll think,] this part should go slow, this part should be choppy and fast. I think who i'm most influenced by, right now anyway, are my peers.

TNI: Who are some folks we can check out?
CN: The Color Wheel, by Alex Roth Perry; the guys at Olde English make work (along with Chioke, who's one of the writers) that's really emotional and also engaging and fun, like the The Exquisite Corpse Project. It's not only navel-gazing, not just trying to make a movie that I like. I try to say new things with the form. It's something that people want to watch that's fun. [There's also] Broad City, the web series by Avi Jacobson. Sasheer Zamata (the stand up comedienne)--her stand up is very visual. Trying to express an idea, plus be funny and engaging, that's who I like. I like people who don't seem like someone else. While on one hand I'm an amalgamation of my influences, they themselves say something singular.


TNI: What's Your Fave TV on the Radio song--

CN: Live? I was going to say, Staring at the Sun, but I dunno. There's a tune on the video--that isn't a single--I dunno.

TNI: I really love Halfway Home live.

CN: Oh yea, that song's beautiful. Yeah, let me get back to you.

TNI: Where did you grow up?

CN: I was born in NY, and moved around a lot as a kid--France, New Mexico, Florida, California. I came back to NY for college (at NYU, class of '01). I'm bicoastal between NY and LA for my feature film, How to Follow Strangers. I'm in Manhattan, East Village. In LA, I'm in Silver Lake.

TNI: What's Chioke mean?

Chioke: Gift from God. In Nigerian.

TNI: I think my homegirl Ngozi's name means that.

Chioke: I think every Nigerian name means that. (We chuckle)

Follow Chioke on Twitter // @chiokenassor

Interview w/ Tanwi Nandini : @tanwinandini


Sonicate Your Food 

PolyScience SonicPrep Ultrasonic Homogenizer AKA The Sonicator.

After my experience in our Science of Ice Cream class, Mihir had more tricks up his sleeve: a PolyScience SonicPrep Ultrasonic Homogenizer. (You can buy one for $5K). He was lucky enough to have this wondrous bit of culinary technology gifted to him by a supportive dinner guest/patron.

Sonication applies ultrasonic energy to agitate particles in a sample. A probe touches the liquid (a long metal needle) and the ultrasonic waves have numerous effects on whatever's cooking inside. Some common applications include emulsifications, infusions, de-gassed liquids, intensifed stocks (shrimp based sauces get more red as enzymes are released). You can marinate meat, too.

Our first foray into sonicating was to make a simple oil and vinegar salad dressing. Within seconds, the oil and water were mixed into a pale “milk”, source liquids totally emulsified. The sonicator makes a strange, tinny sound--it literally feels like the sound is just beyond your hearing, but somehow gets into your bones. I'm not sure other people in the class had this reaction, but I suppose this is what they mean by ultrasonic.


sonicating salad dressing. the oil and vinegar will not separate for two weeks. #defygravity

Class is right in the middle of happy hour, right? So we got an early start in sonicating some whiskey. Mihir had me char some oak chips. We dumped them into some Knob Creek whiskey, and let the ultrasonic probe do its magic on the mixture. 

whiskey, charred woodchips, and ultrasonic waves = Barrel Aged. More than a decade in less than two minutes.

Indeed, the mixture was as tasty as you'd expect whiskey to taste after several years sitting in a barrel. Was this the next big thing in the liquor business? You could create whiskey that had all the flavor of a barrel aged bottle, but with none of the wait time of a traditional enterprise. One gentleman pondered, "Maybe we're being conned. Maybe it's all sonicated already."

It was an interesting thought.

After happy hour's dinner, and Mihir had us covered. He'd concoted a watermelon and pork fat glissage, which yes, we sonicated:

Watermelon for the glissage

He basted the halibut steaks with the stuff, and after 10-15 minutes baking in the oven, voilà

Halibut, made with a watermelon and pork fat glissage.

It was quite a delicious way to end the class.

*Cool Wikipedia fact: Sonication is used to extract microfossils from rocks. Whoa!?


A Day at Maker Faire // As Seen by Joanna Beltowska 

Created by Make Magazine in 2006, Maker Faire 2012 is actually the 15th installation of the event which celebrates science, engineering, arts and crafts, and do-it-yourself enthusiasm. 


The Maker Movement encompasses a wide variety of disciplines and interests

my favorite part of Maker Faire

As we make our way into the event area, it strikes me that this could be the world’s biggest gathering of creative minds – aside from the Internet, of course – and they are surprisingly diverse. There are seemingly as many men as women in attendance, many with excited children in tow. The crowd is wonderfully eclectic: I see Park Slope parents mixed with geeky hobby tinkerers, steampunks, robot lovers (many times accompanied by robots that they’ve built themselves), japanese cyber-punks, and the odd eccentric (Metrocard Man , I am looking at you).

 The Social Gumball Machine dispenses candy via texts and Twitter messages

Our first course of action is to find some food (a long car drives makes wonders for the appetite). While waiting in line to the Asia Dog stand, we have our first encounter with a maker project. The Social Gumball Machine is activated via Twitter messages and texts. A young boy struggles to figure out how to open it, almost desperately tugging at its lid. A friendly Maker Faire visitor explains the mechanism to him, urging him to ask his parents for assistance. A short moment later, the boy gets his candy, and in doing so reveals the wonder of the machine to the latest newcomers in line, who quickly pull up their phones to score their share of free candy. Maker projects certainly make for great conversation starters and catalysts for interaction.

Interviewing a wheeled cupcake

Fed and satisfied, we walk over to the Auditorium, passing super-sized wheeled cupcakes and bicycles disguised as giant bees and butterflies. Two famous thinkers are about to speak about the Maker Movement; Seth Godin, and Chris Anderson, both authors and entrepreneurs, the latter also editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine  and co-founder of robotic manufacturing company 3D Robotics. Anderson is accompanied by Bre Pettis , co-founder and CEO of MakerBot Industries; the two are giving a talk on how the Maker Movement, and 3-D printing in particular, might spark a new age of manufacturing in the US.

But first, Godin. 

We arrive a bit early, catching the tail-end of Massimo Banzi and Alf-Egil Bogentalk’s Arduino  hour. The Auditorium is filling up with a white noise of muffled, disruptive sounds produced by visitors shuffling about, trying to find space for the upcoming big-name attractions. We get lucky and find seats in the center. Godin’s talk addresses the transformational effect that industrialism has had on our culture. While its contributions cannot be understated, industrialism has also helped shape a society obsessed with optimization, constantly striving to make things faster, stronger, smoother, better. Such a society designs for compliance; it processes the risk-taking makers poorly.

This risk-taking stems from the very nature of hacking and science, which are about doing things over and over again and failing until you succeed. Our industrial heritage has brainwashed us to do things right; we balk at uncertainty. But without a willingness to fail, one cannot innovate. Godin concludes that what we need isn’t a new wave of industrialization but rather ways of becoming more human. The Internet, being a platform for making connections and making things that matter, is the most powerful tool to help us do so.

Chris Anderson and Bre Pettis’s Q&A.

Chris Anderson’s talk mirrors the narrative of his new book on the Maker Movement, suitably titled “Makers” . Anderson too explores the impact that manufacturing revolutions have had on our lives. He hypothesizes that we’re currently experiencing the infancy of a third industrial revolution, sparked by the advent of affordable advanced desktop 3-D printers.

This new revolution has been made possible via the democratization of creation (thanks to the 2-D printer) and distribution (thanks to the Internet), which we’re now beginning to see applied to manufacturing. 3-D printers provide alternatives that lower the barrier for innovators to become entrepreneurs, enabling them to opt out of the traditional innovation model that is structured around economies of scale. The implication is that the biggest shift doesn’t like in how things are being made, but in who is making them.

Bre Pettis, Makerbot Co-Founder and CEO of MakerBot Industries

(The 3-D printers and MakerBot in particular are, by the way, clearly the cool kids of Maker Faire. The 3-D printing section is perpetually jam-packed and applications of this new exciting technology are sprinkled throughout the many maker stations; Bre Pettis speculates that 30% of Maker Faire is MakerBot.)

While we leave the Auditorium and stroll towards the Arduino station, I ponder over my Maker Faire experience. Anderson’s prediction that the Maker Movement could be the Next Big Thing, boosting American manufacturing, surely is a very compelling vision for the future. But the reality of course is that people have always been making things. The radical difference today, and what has swung the gates wide open for things like the Maker Movement and Maker Faire, is that it’s never been easier to find good and useful resources for free or very cheap. More importantly, it’s never been so easy to find and connect with others who share your interests, however nerdy and niche they may be. 

Butterflies on Bikes

Every Child is a Maker

Follow Joanna // @jbeltowska  



Hey, Weekend! (September ends with a bang!)

#1 Nicky Carvell's Rainbow Rev- Friday, 9/28 7-10pm 

TONIGHT!! Last Fall's Open Call winner, Nicky Carvell, wowed us with her 80s inspired symphonic color palette--think Keith Haring, Warhol, with a dash of Lisa Frank. It's been a pleasure to run into Nicky as they use the metal shop space for her magical, eye-popping car doors. The space looks as glam as a psychedelic car garage--check it out!

RSVP: Nicky's solo show on Friday, September 28th at 3rd Ward.  

#2 MoMa PS1 NY Art Book Fair- Saturday + Sunday 9/29, 9/30

Printed Matter presents the seventh annual NY Art Book Fair, from September 28 to 30, at MoMA PS1, Long Island City, Queens. It's FREE AND OPEN to the public. This is the hugest event for "artists' books, catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines presented by 283 international presses, booksellers, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers from twenty-six countries."

If you've never been to this event, it's well worth it. You'll see books stiched up like quilts, made out of archival paper, or as common as a comic book. Get to PS1 before it shuts down for the next wave of installations.

#3 World Maker Faire- Friday-Sunday 9/29-9/30 

We'll be here. Hear our CEO/Co-Founder Jason Goodman speak on a panel about Makerspaces, and take in the wildly imaginative and futurist maker scene up close. To plan your time at Maker Faire, check out the schedule below, download the printed program guide, view a map of the Event Center, and get the app for your smartphone (please note the app will update to accommodate last-minute changes).

#4 DUMBO Arts Festival - Saturday + Sunday 9/29-9/30

'Nuff said right?  DUMBO Arts Festival is a hotbed of "outdoor and indoor visual art installations and exhibitions, digital art and large scale projections, visiting artists in their studios or making murals on the street, musicians, dancers, poets, performance and circus artists throughout the neighborhood, on street corners, and in the park."

#5 Bye, bye SHOPBOX ! - Friday-Sunday @ DeKalb Market 11 am- 7 pm // 138 Willoughby Street @ Flatbush Avenue

We're closing up shop this weekend at Dekalb Market. This is your last weekend to check out member made goods. Nestled among food sellers and other retail shops, SHOPBOX gives denizens of Dekalb Market’s surrounding neighborhoods, a taste of 3rd Ward’s Member Made products. Source materials are reclaimed, repurposed, sustainable--a mantra among the makers who work out of 3rd Ward’s wood and metal shops.


Burdastyle + 3rd Ward: Our Interview w/ Editor Jamie Lau

Our favorite fashion patterns are from BurdaStyle. If you're not hip to this awesome website, it's definitely worth perusing their Pattern Store, which allows you to purchase and download PDF files of anything from jackets and shirts to lingerie and swimwear! Whoa.

One of BurdaStyle's editors, Jamie Lau, will be teaching a Peplum Top Sewing Class @ 3rd Ward, starting Monday, October 8th, from 7-10 pm. Jamie's a talented designer in her own right, and we love the peplum top trend that reminds us of the 1940s, 1980s, and if every 40 years is the "pattern" for a fashion comeback, it's right on schedule. For some Peplum Top inspiration, check out this roundup by our friends at Refinery29.

This is Jamie Lau.

I had a chance to catch up with Jamie before her class starts, and now I'm more excited than ever for her class!

TNI: Tell us a little bit about when you started sewing? What did you make?

JL: I sewed my first stitch in August 2007, but didn’t become a regular until I received a sewing machine for my birthday in 2008. I had just moved from New York to San Francisco in 2007 for a new job and had just this much more free time on my hands. I discovered a DIY sewing school near work called Stitch Lounge and signed up for their basic sewing class making handbags. Once I got through the trauma of threading my new machine and winding a bobbin on my own sans teacher, I kept making reversible tote bags and fabric covered notebooks for friends over and over again to practice stitching in a straight line.

TNI: BurdaStyle is a vibrant online community of sewing lovers. How'd you get involved?

JL: Before becoming the site’s Editorial and E-commerce Manager, I first learned of BurdaStyle through a friend I bumped into while vending at Renegade Craft Fair the summer of 2010. I complimented her outfit and asked where she got it. Excitedly, she did a twirl modeling her contour bust dress and told me that she made it herself from a free online BurdaStyle pattern. I was instantly impressed and checked out the site.

For a while, I was debating a career change from my legal job to do something more creative in fashion. I had a Masters degree from Columbia where I studied public policy and social work and was working for the court system at the time. I was good at my job and had quite a successful career, but all I could think of during the day was going home after work to sew a new dress, drafting a new pattern at the library during lunch, or going to the fabric store for my next project inspiration.

Fast forward to a few months later, I made the decision to leave my day job and moved back to New York to start interning for BurdaStyle doing creative and editorial work. Eventually, a position opened up to spearhead an exciting new project: the company’s second fashion sewing book! I was hired and became the Co-Author, Lead Designer, Art Director, and Project Manager of the forthcoming book BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern: Mastering Iconic Looks From the 1920s to 1980s, which comes out this December, and the rest is history.

TNI: That's an awesome story. I definitely identify with giving up an unfulfilling day job with one that matches what actually makes me feel creative. What creation of yours are you the most proud of?

JL: Creating BurdaSyle Sewing Vintage Modern is definitely one of my biggest accomplishments to date. Regarding specific sewing and design projects, it’s so hard to choose one! My favorite project of all time is probably a striped wool pinafore dress I made two years ago.  

photo by Victor Castro

JL: It was my first time sewing a collar and quite a challenge to match up all the stripes, which made it even more rewarding when the dress turned out near perfect - lining, pockets, and all.

I also recently got married and in addition to designing my own wedding dress, I also sewed my bridesmaid dresses and made both my rehearsal dinner dress and bachelorette party dress. (In case you didn’t catch on yet, I really love sewing dresses!)

Jamie in her rehearsal dinner dress

TNI: Who are your top 5 designers?

JL: I design with four simple tenets - clean, simple, and functional with quality craftsmanship, so I tend to gravitate in that direction for favorite designers. In no (real) particular order:

1 - I love Miuccia Prada. She just symbolizes smart dressing and “structured” femininity for me.
2 - I also love Rachel Comey for her amazing prints and shoes (I wear her clogs and boots all the time).
3 - I really dig the colors and prints by Cacharel. There’s always something very crisp and youthful about each collection. Must be that effortless Parisian chic.
4 - Courrèges has always been a true inspiration for me. I love the Sixties and I most certainly love shift dresses and the geometry of design.
5 - Tied for #5 are A.P.C. and Steven Alan, my wardrobe staples aside from what I sew. In sum, I love garments that do not bear any time stamp that can be worn over and over again.

TNI: You'll be teaching the Peplum Top sewing class at 3rd Ward. What can folks expect to get out of the class?

JL: This pattern is so popular on our site right now and totally on trend. I can’t help but notice all the peplums I see everyday while riding the subway. In addition to learning how to make a really cool top, students will also walk away with fundamental sewing skills that are essential to future sewing projects - how to sew an invisible zipper, how to sew darts, how to work with facings, etc. But most of all, students should definitely have fun while reinforcing their knowledge of sewing basics – from cutting on grain to pressing as you go.

TNI: Oh yea, Jamie can you also make me a dress for my birthday? ;-)

Now, for all the rest of you's-- SIGN UP FOR JAMIE'S CLASS >>>

For more of Jamie's designs, LIKE her on Facebook >>>

We're on the Twitterverse:





Rainbow Rev: Nicky Carvell's 9/28 Art Show


We love supporting artists at 3rd Ward. Our Open Calls (we'd done a bunch with our sister org, Artists Wanted) have been a space for the up-and-coming visualists to showcase their work. Last Fall's winner, Nicky Carvell, wowed us with her 80s inspired symphonic color palette--think Keith Haring, Warhol, with a dash of Lisa Frank. It's been a pleasure to run into Nicky (and her super supportive bf) as they use the metal shop space for her magical, eye-popping car doors (see above!)

RSVP: for Nicky's solo show on Friday, September 28th at 3rd Ward.  

Here's our exclusive interview with Nicky!

TNI: You use a lot of bright colors, seemingly inspired by street art or the 1980s--what/who do you consider influential in your work?

NC As is probably dazzlingly apparent I love Stella, Haring and Warhol! Not only is their work direct, bold and dynamic but it embodys them as charismatic characters who have a distinct attitude and an edge on everyday life; they lived their work. As I was born in the 80s, these Wild Style graphics evoke feelings of empowerment and optimism; you can create your own colourful realm without needing to feel enclosed by the existing system - they escape themselves. A British ironic twist then enters from my passion for 90s Band East 17 who influence my dress sense and overall cheeky outlook on things too!

TNI: What do you hope viewers walk away with after seeing your work?

NC: Hopefully they will have gone completely colour blind! Seriously though, my work does hold a strong positive message and I want to energise viewers by creating a space pulsating with colour which they can absorb and enjoy. I want my work to emanate rather than illustrate! Also I'm going to be making some CD NIXTAPES for my upcoming show 'Rainbow Rev' at 3rd Ward, so people should defo leave with one of them to give them an earbashing!

TNI: What is your favorite medium to work with? Do you see your work changing or branching into new forms?

NC: I think this may come from my fascination with Terminator 2, but I have a real affinity with metal. I love the way it glints and can be really strong yet malleable. Also you can print onto it and get a highly opulent surface which carries my 'no messin' message really well. For Rainbow Rev I will be trying a new method of Wrapping used car metal in my Naff Graphics, which is hugely exciting as I hope a novel narrative between object and construct will be ignited!

TNI: How is the art scene in the UK different from the one in Brooklyn (Bushwick)?

NC: Having just arrived here I cant speak in depth about this, but I have noticed the more relaxed atmosphere in Bushwick. In London you can sometimes feel locked into a certain way of making work, or even behaving at Private Views as the scene seems very 'knowing'. As the spaces are so gargantuan here, there is a sense of freedom which you don't get as much in London as everywhere seems taken and overinhabited. It may be because I went through the UK Art School system, but there seems to be more possibility for experimentation in Brooklyn whereas London feels very prescribed and overpriced for me at the moment.

TNI: Where can we purchase your work (or prints of it?)

NC: I run everything myself so please check my website!

TNI: What do you do to feel creative? Any cool rituals or music?

NC: Whilst digitally drawing I either have on East 17 or some Old Skool Club music to work with; that or daytime TV! However I don't see the creative process as just being in that moment; real life stimulation is just as important. As well as visiting Galleries, a walk through London's East End where my family are originally from is just as powerful and adds a street edge and sense of ownership to my whole practice.


Flutter, by Nicky Carvell



Food, Color + Holistic Living @ 3rd Ward

It's a huge perk to be able to take a classes at a place I love. I'm a pretty analog person-- mostly a writer and visual artist-- but have lately been wondering about things like sustainability, nutrition and general health (30 awaits, in like two weeks!) That said, I recently took nutritionist Ashley Spivak's class "Nutrition // Take Control of Your Health" --as a shot in the dark at "activating" myself. As a lot of you probably can relate, hitting the reset button sometimes can help balance out "the grind." It's different for each of us--for some, it's 9-5 no matter what we do, whether it's in an office or as an artist/maker, for others it's super-freelance style, on-the-go. Either way, it gets easier to eat out, order in, sit at the desk, and never feel like you're drinking enough water!

Ashley teaches numerous workshops throughout NYC, and is the nutritional consultant for Clean Plates. She was once a vegetarian (13 yrs!), but learned the hard way that no one prescribed diet works for every body. Check out Ashley's website, Wholistic Habits, for more information!

She started the class off with a lecture with A LOT of info about what happens to food in our bodies. Some key points:

  • Food is in our stomach for 2-6 hrs
  • Food doesn't come out of us until 24-72 hrs (OMG?)
  • Barley malt, fruit juice, fructors, maltose, sorghum syprup, srbiton, molasses, raw sugar ALL EQUAL THE WORD SUGAR. There's another 50 words that mean that. Womp.
  • For some people, an elimination diet is the only way to figure out what makes you feel like crap. Gluten, dairy, red meat (or all meat) corn, tomatoes, nuts, soda, coffee, dried fruit--prime offenders. Cutting things out for a week, then reintroducing them can help you figure out what works for you, and what really DOES NOT.

We then shared food journals -- a diary of what we'd eaten for the last few days, and the created food palettes--basically you give colors to different food groups. Gray = processed foods, sugars, soda, coffee, tea ; Green: leafy goodness, Pink = Meats; Blue--blueberries and anything else that might be blue...etc. Things like hummus (chickpeas) and pecans (nuts/legumes) would be the same color (I picked yellow for these).

Here's my palette:

Tanwi's Food Palette = Lots of Gray! :-/As you can see, my days were gray. It's hard to eat around here in Bushwick (as any of you know that cowork here or chill/live around here) Newtown's falafel/hummus plate is a saving grace, or Gringa Taqueria or Roberta's. But eating a pizza midday doesn't always feel quite...right.

Sooooo. What to do? We were given a bunch of options to remix and eat as we liked: cucumber, hummus, pecans, spelt wheat bread, raisins, feta, mint leaves, squash, plums. Easy things to eat, a nice mix of colors (green, yellow, yellow, brown, gray, white, green, green, purple)

Here's a fellow class takers version of what to eat:

Ashley summarized this process of eating as living in a way where our palettes had variety--of color, of type (if you cook with olive oil, try sesame or peanut), steamed veggies vs. raw, different grains (try quinoa or millet instead of whole grain or oat).

Seems basic, but sometimes jumpstarts what you need. Since the class, I've not had coffee or soda (two of my faves, but also a main culprit in my dietary woes). I've also (for now) cut out the red meat. I love me some steak or a side of bacon, but the fat and grease just isn't worth it. 

What's your feeling about what you eat? Learn how to eat in a way that transforms some habits, and bring lots of color to your life--Ashley will be teaching this class again on October 1st. Check it out! 


Tanwi is 3rd Ward's Brand Manager, which means she connects our community to 3rd Ward's social media and blog, and PR. When she's not writing here, she's been working on a novel, BRIGHT LINES, forthcoming from Viking in 2013. Her writing has appeared in  CURA: A Literary Magazine for Art and Action, Escape into Life, Thought Catalog,  Dash Literary Journal  and   Brooklyn Bodega; her play, Nayana's Passing , debuted at Dixon Place's HOT! Festival in 2005. She received her B.A. in Women's Studies from Vassar College, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College. 

Follow her on Twitter // @tanwinandini // Follow 3rd Ward on Twitter // @3rdWardBrooklyn