New Design, and Inspiration at Gallery North

This past weekend we attended the

Opening Celebration of Gallery North’s new Arts Center

What a great space to expand on this vibrant arts community on the

North shore of Long Island

Many were getting their artistic groove on with the instructors who were doing demonstrations, and attendees enthusiastically partipating

If you are in the neighborhood, check out the exhibitions and great gift shop at Gallery North

and sign up for a class in printmaking, batik, textiles or clay

And yea, it was COLD! I got to wear my new shearling vest, one of our new designs we worked on over the summer.

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Here is a breif slideshow of the Event

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The Weekend:Gallery North

We have the wonderful Gallery North here on the north shore, in Setauket, offering some very fine art and craft for fifty years.  I became a volunteer this year, and this weekend was assigned to the information desk, at the annual

“Joseph Reboli Wet Paint Festival”

where artists set up their easels on the gallery grounds or the Historical Society across the street, and interpret the view.

Their works will be on view at The Gallery July 15th-17th

A Silent Auction of the works will be held on Friday July 17th, followed by the Auction Reception from 6-8

Good Luck bidding!

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Gallery North

Friday evening I volunteered at Gallery North in Setauket, to help their 50th Anniversary Gala be a smashing success.

The Gallery was started in 1965 by two women with a vision to bring contemporary art to an area of Long Island between the Hamptons and New York City, as it turned out, the area was not quite ready for the “shocking” work to be shown!

Read more history in NY Times in 1999

I have visited the gallery many times over the years, and their outdoor art show was one of the first shows we exhibited in when we started out.  I will never forget the year Hurricane Gloria hit our area of Long Island………..

The sun came out the next day, the Annual Gallery North Outdoor Art Show went on amid downed power lines (not live!) and we had a great show! The perseverance to “go on with the show” shows the strength of The Gallery Volunteers and why it has survived and grown into such a reputable gallery.

The Gala was held at The Simons Center for Geomety and Physics, on the campus of Stony Brook University

A good time was had by all, and $ was raised thru silent & live auctions, ticket sales and donations.

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Detail of The Iconic Wall

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The dessert table featured creme brulee backed in eggshells!

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Only Boston Area Show in 2015, Coming Up!

Shows can be so much fun, it completes your work in wearables when the perfect fit happens.

Stephanie and I had an impromptu photo shoot in the booth last weekend, as she fell in love with our work.

Doesn’t she look amazing?

Come find Yours, this weekend at

Paradise City Arts in Marlborough

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Discount Admission Coupon Here

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Weekend Update, Looking for Inspiration

We walked the streets of New York this weekend to see what was going on uptown in fashion, in display, something to move us mentally forward

as we begin the new year. The city itself is always inspiring, but the takeaway was, HANDMADE rules.

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The pussy willows on Central Park South made us pause

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As did the Dodo Boutique, with its fabulous wall of flowers

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But the absolutely BEST was Vogue Knitting Live, if you are a fiber lover,

Met up with fellow makers, jeweler Cara Romano who incorporates fiber into her pieces

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Long Island Livestock Co., who have a line of wonderful natural yarns, and truth be told I visit their farm whenever possible to see the gorgeous creatures, Llamas, Alpacas, Sheep their fibers come from

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And the BEST of all Felt Makers, Miriam Carter, whose collection of Hats and Garment are beyond compare!

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tbt to Last Week!-New Years Eve, Feeling Refreshed

Ending the year with good friends, good food, art, and a walk on the beach.

We are ready to design anew, create a new collection!

To get the juices flowing we visited The Parrish Museum in Water Mill on the East End of Long Island, to see

Steven and William Ladd:Mary Queen of the Universe

Alan Sheilds:In Motion

and wandering all the exhibits in this wonderful space

Here’s a review in the NY Times

Take a peek at our day, or better yet, get there yourself before January 19

and check our 2015 show schedule……updated as we know!

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Black Friday Productivity!

The studio was open and buzzing away on orders, getting ready for our New York show next weekend,  and mentoring a future intern?

Jane always comes for Thanksgiving and stays over to do something fun (last year it was fishing)

This year she wanted to make some toys to donate, so this admitted “hobby hopper” learned to sew in about 5 minutes under the guidance of the expert Toshiki!

And here it is finished, right before dinner!

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But we did take a break to get some fresh air and walk among the fiber creatures at

Long Island Livestock Company

Such a wonderful place, and they are having an Open House to visit Tomorrow, November 30!

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The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City

Have you ever seen the largest Cathedral in the world?

Even many of my NYC friends have not been! So here is a chance to explore History, Architecture & Crafts at the annual

Crafts at the Cathedral!

Holiday shopping in the most inspiring environment!

See our shearlings in Booth #5 Upstairs

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Photo: Helena Kubicka de Bragança

Leather, Shearling, Fall!

Fashion Week, Fall in the air, always inspiring, refreshing………doesn’t it feel so good to get something fresh to wear to brave the harsh weather to come?

Last week I went to the leather show, to choose some new skins, and just be inspired!

Now it’s your turn to be inspired!

I will be bringing our new work this weekend to Tarrytown NY, along with many other fine artisans in all media

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Click for Info & admission Coupon

What colors do you like?  See you this weekend!

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Art & Design in New York

New York City, there is just so much going on creatively in May that it is just bursting at the seams. There is Frieze New York, on Randalls Island, there is The International Comtemporary Furniture Fair, ICFF, at Javits, there is WANTED Design at the Terminal Stores on 11th Avene, to name just a few.  And the mother of them all, The Whitney Biennial is on, which is the last one to be held in the historic Marcel Breuer building on Madison Ave. before the Whitney moves to its new location in Chelsea next spring.  I was glad I went, to see the space so crowded with art that the new space indeed seems like a refreshing idea. Who was shown is another story I will leave to critics, but I have Craft in my soul so these appeal to me, thou I can’t really explain their inclusion in the show.  For some reading on the show, The New Yorker ,  The Times,  among many.

My Favorites!

Shio Kusaka

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Sheila Hicks

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Peter Schuyff

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The Uncommon Tourist

A whirlwind of three days of a visit from my good friend Bärbel from the Telluride Gallery of Art

She is from Germany, resides in Colorado, first trip to Long Island, arrived by Ferry

Always so invigorating to spend time, even in familiar places, with a friend who is so alive with enthusiasm for every morsel of life

A day out east gave us Art & Nature

The rest was girl time, long talks and shopping, and of course good meals with Toshiki

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At The Parrish, Tokyo Brushstroke

April 1=Show Applications Deadline

Many of you see us again and again at the same shows, and may think its a given that we will be there, but that is far from how it works, or how lucky we could be. Every year we create new work that we must photograph and submit with an application and jury fee to be judged once again, and either accepted or rejected from shows………I guess its like your boss reviewing how you are doing on the job, but in our case even if we are doing consistently better work, we may not be able to keep the “job” next year as we have a handful of “bosses”, or jurors, that constantly change, in an effort to keep a show “fresh” with new sets of eyes picking the work.

As you can imagine, this has its ups and downs. Are all jurors knowledgeable in all media, and able to objectively select good work? Are they able to determine from an image on a computer screen what the actual piece of glass, wood, jewelry or wearable item is?

We have often thought that jurors should walk the show “live” with their ballots to rethink their scores as to what they actually see, and be able to make comments. Inconsistencies could be recorded in a national juror database to make artists more accountable to exhibit work consistent with their images, not camouflaged by fancy photos, and to weed out derivative work.

We jury into the Leather Wearable category.

We happen to take our own images, because we can.

We shoot on a mannequin, rather than a model, to keep the focus on our work, on the details we stitch, which sets us apart from mass produced items.

Models are expensive, and really, with a great model, what are the jurors eyes focused on?

What do you think? For the jury process, use of models, a distraction?

4 applications done, about 3 more to do! Wish us luck!

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Baltimore Wrap

ACC Baltimore is a big show.

Over the years we have many repeat customers who come thru, and it is always fun for them to dress the part, wearing some of their favorite acquisitions as they browse

for the latest item that makes their heart pound. We have been lucky to see & hear of our work passing thru, and it does not go unnoticed!

This year we had two come by wearing one of a kind pieces from our days of quilting Leather.

Both loved and well worn, no one could remember if it was 10, 15 or 20 years ago?  And still enjoying them!

Do you have a “Vintage” piece of ours?

Send a pic, or wear it to the next show, and I will take one!

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John wore a vest he commissioned, and Melissa had on a vest and a jacket! Thanks for stopping by!

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Vogue Knitting Live! NYC

I am going to the opening of Vogue Knitting Live  tonight at the New York Marriott Marquis,

for inspiration, and to see the beautiful yarns from Long Island Livestock Company,

(remember those Llamas and Alpacas I am in love with at her farm?)

textile inspired Jewelry by Cara Romano,

felted work by Miriam Carter,

and so much more I don’t even know about yet!

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This is my first time, so excited!

tonight the marketplace is open 5-8

check their website for more info, demostrations, millions of classes

it all sounds so interesting!

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Happy New Year!

This picture I took at the Post Office on 34th St. saturday has nothing to do with anything but COLD, and that is our inspiration.

I love the cold (when I am dressed for it)

2˚ saturday, 57˚ today

Shockingly cold forecast for tonight.

If you didn’t pop for that shearling at a show this fall, we are working on new designs and colors to kick off the season at ACC Baltimore

Can’t wait till then?

Give us a call.  212.475.8324 or email m@veryspecialjackets.com

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Long Island Livestock Company to Craft Boston

What an incredible way to end a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, a visit to The Long Island Livestock Company’s  holiday open house

We met Tabbethia & her wonderful company making all lotions lanolin and beautiful yarns when we were both exhibiting at The Hampton Classic

The visuals of these beautiful animals, their big eyes and curious looks, are captivating and take you to another place

I feel so rejuvenated as I pack up our shearling coats and head to Craft Boston, this weekend, at

The Hynes Convention Center

Thank-You!

I got this great testimonial from a gentleman who purchased a coat for his wife at the Preview Opening wednesday nite.

They come to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show to celebrate craft, to celebrate each other, to celebrate life.

True connoisseurs!  Thank you so much for supporting the arts and helping to keep America creative!

Hi, Toshiki & Maryszka!

Loved meeting you both at the preview, and Joyce loves the very special jacket
which Toshiki picked out just for her..I hope you are having as wonderful a time in Philadelphia at the Craft Show as we had; this was our 30th Philadelphia Craft Show Preview as visitors, as well as our 39th Wedding Anniversary “date night”..

If you have an opportunity, I hope you can drop by Meghan Patrice Riley’s booth;
she is a young, very talented designer & maker of jewelry, who now lives in Greenwich Village, NYC, not all that far from you…. Meghan has a wonderful, contagious kind of energy, and an abiding love of design. Joyce bought some everyday earrings from her this year, which will also go with the three tiny, yellow diamond eternity rings we ordered from Namu Cho, and the amazing suede & fleece jacket from both of you…

Thanks for making the evening, and the event, very special for us!
Peace, Love, Et Joie De Vivre!
David and Joyce Randolph

From Cat Walk to Craft Show

There is not a better way to get your head into place for one of your most important shows of the year, The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, than to be in the company of a great designer at one of his most import shows of his life time, John Paul Gaultier, at The Brooklyn Museum.

Oh I wish I had that French accent and exuberance!

It pushed us forward.

Slideshow  of the show

Note the teddy bear. At age 7, Jean Paul made his first cone bra for his bear. Madonna was next!

It was the beginning!

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The mannequin video is a must see. 30 sec, wait till the end.

Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui

I slipped into Brooklyn on thursday to check one more thing off my list.

So glad I did.

I got to see the work of Ghanaian artist El Anatsui

These multi faceted voluminous draping and standing pieces transform rough metal waste such as tin can lids, bottle tops, bottle neck wrappers………multiples of found objects, into such warm and sensual work,  bring a whole new dimension to the possibilities of “green”.

The revelation came to him when he found a discarded bag of bottle tops, and has been using many hands in his home base in Nigeria to create these masterful pieces.

Ends today, at The Brooklyn Museum. Not sure if it travels.

Also on The Highline, thru the end of the month.

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The Silent Barn

This weekend I was invited to a private party at the Silent Barn, the very hip groundbreaking music venue founded by the son of very good friends of mine, G Lucas Crane, and his cohorts.  Youth + Creative Energy, so exciting to see the space they created to showcase the many talents and trials that may wander thru. Out of town musicians who need a place to crash can stay in the “Canned Ham” in the outdoor space. Besides a legal bar in the front, the back is divided up into cubbies that can be rented out like mini studios where you can launch your dream, or exhibition space, or storage for donated recycled art supplies. There is a barber shop. A hand bag designer.  A photographer. Some a little rough around the edges, some more fine tuned.

The mix, all with sparkles in their eyes.

When I arrived, a drummer was playing in the courtyard.

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The Mural

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The Canned Ham

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Bags by Gear & Needle

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Lucas Crane’s studio /Nova Drone headquarters

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 At the very end the small exhibiton  space of CSAA.

This work blew me away, and I will follow this artist, Chris Russell,

who draws who he see on the subway.

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If you love the idea of the Silent Barn, follow them

Visual Art