Meet Your Maker at Brooklyn’s (Makers) Market

December 13th, 2010 by Stuart White

The sign above the (Makers) Market, located at 3rd St. & 3rd Ave. in Gowanus.

By Stuart White

The people behind the Old American Can Factory—a Brooklyn artists’ community located in a converted cannery—are inviting New Yorkers to meet their maker.

Despite the phrase’s ominous overtones, the (Makers) Market’s goal is to put people directly in contact with the craftsmen that make the goods they buy.

“Really our criteria is enduring design, quality materials and the makers’ methods,” said Carrie Luckner-Zimmerman, who is in charge of market development. “We want the makers making at least 50% of each item, but I would say most of the makers here are making 90% of each item.”

“It’s about shopping local and meeting your maker,” she added.

The (Makers) Market website lists “overall social accountability” as one of it’s goals for its participants, and a quick overview of the market’s vendors reveals just that. From jewelry made from recycled metals, to stuffed animals made from secondhand sweaters, most of the goods on display are fabricated with sustainability in mind.

The market has certainly made a positive impression on its patrons.

“It’s terrific,” said first-time market-goer Kate Bieger, of Park Slope. “I just love seeing everyone’s handmade crafts. It’s just beautiful.”

Bieger said she was impressed by the quality of the goods of display.

“A lot of the work seems very professional, which, to be honest, I didn’t expect,” she said. “It’s like stuff in a fancy boutique.”

Though it’s only in its second season—the first was last fall—the (Makers) Market is drawing artists and artisans from all over the city and state. To see some of the market’s wares and hear from the artists themselves, check out the audio slideshow below, then take a look at the interactive map to see where the artists hail from.

View (Makers) Market Participants in a larger map

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