City and country have been dating seriously in Upstate New York lately, and the couple went public recently for Field+Supply, a fresh take on an old-fashioned idea.
Billed as a Modern Makers Craft Fair, Field+Supply attracted two dozen or so vendors to High Falls, a historic hamlet in the heart of the Hudson Valley.
Hailing mostly from either the local area or New York City, the exhibitors, all “makers” of one sort or another, set up shop in a newish barn and in two rows of tents in an adjacent field, with bales of hay plopped here and there for seating around informal tables. A fire pit flamed beside the barn, providing just the right aroma and warmth for an autumn day.
There were jewelry makers, farmers, a hard-cider maker, a baker, barbecue and oyster caterers, textile designers, ceramicists and lots of furniture makers, including Egg Collective of Brooklyn, one of DWR’s newest design stars.
That range of disciplines may seem largely disconnected, but the exhibitors, no matter their trade, exuded passion for great modern design, entrepreneurial spirits and an apparent belief that things designed and made well are best.
Egg Collective, for example, are three women making furniture in their own shop in Brooklyn, defying the general maxim that profits are scarce in the handmade furniture trade. The three – Stephanie Beamer, Crystal Ellis and Hillary Petrie – showed a range of pieces in their corner of the barn, including the solid-walnut Fern Table with its delightfully eccentric aspect ratio of 10 feet long by 2 feet deep.
Alongside Fern, they showed a coffee table, a marble-top dining table and the signature Densen Dining Chair, which features an upholstered cowhide cushion with an artfully tufted seam down the middle.
Next door to Egg Collective, The Future Perfect, a design retailer with showrooms in New York City and San Francisco, featured the Waste Table in Scrapwood, made, just as its name implies, from hundreds of scraps of reclaimed wood puzzled together by a meticulous Dutch craftsman.
Outside, more great design spilled out of tents under a sunny fall sky. The North Curved-Back Armchair by Mark Naylon of Modern Living Supplies in New York City recalled work by Hans Wegner with its subtle V-shape, or even Milo Baughman.
The Serenade Dining Table by Asher Israelow, an architect and designer working out of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, sparkled with hundreds of brass dots of varying sizes embedded in a solid walnut top, a suggestion the night sky.
Throw pillows and blankets from D. Bryant Archie of New York City vibrated with patterns woven by “global artisans” and enhanced with overlaid embroidery to lend a modern bent.
“Field+Supply was a massive hit!” says organizer Brad Ford, adding that attendance was around 2,000 people over the two days and included architects, designers and artists from New York City and representatives from Architectural Digest, Vogue and House Beautiful magazines.
“I think we’ll definitely do another one,” Ford says, “and probably develop some other arms to the idea of Field+Supply so that it’s not just a singular event once a year.”
Across the field, Sawkille of Rhinebeck showed its “farmhouse modern” chairs against a backdrop of wood slats applied to a frame inside the tent, transforming an ordinary popup into a rustic cabin.
Down the line, the Cortland Dining Chair by Fern, a company that started out in Brooklyn but now manufactures its furniture in Germantown and shows it in Hudson, sported angular lines that Matthew Hilton might appreciate.
Even vegetables, maple syrup and jam got into the act, smartly labeled and displayed in a tent with offerings from Ravenwood, a fledgling farm in the Hudson Valley owned and operated by a husband and wife from Brooklyn, the perfect expression of the weekend’s city-meets-country romance.