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COMMUNITY: Astoria Market, Queens, NY, NY

Posted in Community posts, company with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2011 by threeerincadigan
Astoria market

Early Morning Set Up

I spent my Sunday this weekend working a table at the not-quite-a-year-old Astoria Market in Queens. A small DYI market that has sprung up in a totally cute cultural center on a shady side street in the old Greek neighborhood. Not to confuse you but the cultural center is not Greek, it’s Czechoslovakian and Slovak. What can I say? Astoria, like much of the city, is a traditional melting pot. And like many other out-skirt neighborhoods with easy access to Manhattan, it’s slowly being infiltrated by people like myself; young, educated, artsy types looking for a price break, some trees and still great, city living, amenities.

Astoria Market is the latest in a borough wide rush for crafts, young designers and hand crafted art. I was invited to participate at  the July 10 market by Diane, one of the founders, who linked with me through the THREE Erin Cadigan shop on Etsy. I did a bit of research before plunging in. I found it to be a typical new school flea market sales venture with a mix of handmade, baked and vintage goods. The website was a bit less auspicious then I would have liked but I definitely understand the amount of time and energy getting any kind of business off the ground can require. At best it was easy to navigate, informational and had some great photos. I do think the address (which by the way is 29-19 24th St. Astoria Queens 11102 ) could be a bit more prominently displayed as I had a hard time locating it myself Sunday morning when I tried to mapquest directions. At any rate Diane and staff seemed to have it together enough for me to give it a shot. Again, part of my decision making process was an awareness that this market is not even a year old! I know through word of mouth from close friends that worked it at the beginning, that the amazing Brooklyn Flea, had it’s growth period as well.

When I arrived Sunday on the kind of gorgeous sunny summer morning that spoke of a hot city afternoon, I found the space to be delightfully spacious, organized and cool. Each vendor had their own space complete with table and chair with plenty of over hang should you have a rack, set of shelves or self made ladder contraption like my neighbors. I actually found the lack of welcoming committee or sign in staff a relief and just cruised around the well maintain rows until I found my name clearly marked on a table top. I was thrilled with my spot. A conspicuous table that backed up to a wall, right next to a door that led to the Bohemian Beer Garden the cultural center shares it’s land with. Hmmmm? What? OH! Did I forget to mention the world famous, century old Bohemian Beer Garden that’s part and parcel of this market? Yeah, it’s pretty epic. One of the most visited spots in Queens, it definitely helps the prepubescent market keep a steady flow of customers, especially as the day wears on.

So. How was the market? I found it to be very well curated. There was a perfect mix of jewelry, clothes (both vintage and new), paper goods, knit items and art. Perhaps you could throw in a few more craft food vendors but all in all it was an interesting and balanced mix of items, well placed to not compete with their immediate neighbors. Obviously a lot of attention to detail went into the planning of the space. The space itself was kept comfortably cool and was very well lit. Though it wasn’t ever ridiculously crowded, I more then made my fee back, handed out a nice amount of business cards and really enjoyed the other vendor interactions. It was a bit more then I was expecting in an outer borough on a summer afternoon. Word of mouth from some of the vendors who have been there since the beginning is that they killed it last fall in the holiday market lead up. If Astoria Market has been as well run and well curated since it’s inception, I find that unsurprising and am looking forward to participating more. I say give it another year and this market will be rivaling The Flea as one of the premier crafts spots in the city’s outer boroughs.

7/10/11 astoria market three erin cadigan booth

The Sweet Spot

booth astoria market three erin cadigan

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I made a bunch of great friends and connections at market on Sunday. The vendor camaraderie was high and that always makes for a fun day for vendors and shoppers alike. My two favorite co-conspirators were Roger and Melissa, and not just because Roger gave me free treats and Melissa purchased a shirt. These two shared a booth cadi-corner to mine, they were friendly, outgoing and had great products. Roger produces small quantity batches of haute couture rice crispie treats aptly named Rogers Crispie Treats, with Sunday’s selections being Peanutbutter Blueberry, S’Mores and my fav, Girl Scout cookie Samoa inspired, The Rock. Melissa does beautiful chunky gem stone and link jewelry under the name Lady M Designs.

lady m jewelry jewelry astoria market

Lady M

gourmet rice crispie treats flavored rice crispie treats

Captain Crispie

Some of the other great people and crafts to be found.

M Voli E by native New Yorker, Marijana Sprajic, who hand knits intricate and funky recycled jewelry and bags. She has been with Astoria Market from the get go.

Tella Press by Donatella Madrigal. Dontella makes elegantly simple letter press greeting cards, my favorite of which came with a skeleton key and read “May you find that all doors open”. Indeed.

Pistol Hot Jewels by Ariel Munzer. Adorable, funky, vintage upcycled jewelry with a twist of late 80s rave and punk rock. My husband bought me the most divine green jeweled puppy necklace, hard to describe but AMAZING!

Sue Stitch by new mother Sue Emara. Old school knit items like grandma would have made for you, true comfort art. I wish I had snagged a shot of her son because his brown baby eyes were captivating!

1AEON by Gabe. A really cool t shirt line combining electric colored hand dying with deep black photographic images.

Black Lamb by Rachel. A vintage, handmade and upcycled clothing and accessories brand for men and women.

Sanjules Art by Sandra and Julien. Very afro-centric, brightly colored line of tees and accessories. Their chain drop feathered earring were to die for!

Belle Ami Crochet by Mary Grabenstatter. Quite honestly if there is a better crafted, cuter line of crocheted characters out there, I don’t even want to see them. I’m in love!

Like I said earlier, it’s a melting pot just like the rest of this fabulous city. So drop by the website’ blog to see the upcoming market schedule and participating vendors. I know for sure the next one is July 24, open 2-7pm, swing by, shop, have a drink. Did I mention it’s right next door to an amazing Bohemian Beer garden???

Artist statement and product M Voli E

M voli E

Marijana at M Voli E

letterpress goods paper goods
Donatella and husband Mark

The adorable Ari of Pistol Haute Jewels

HAUTE!

Beautiful mom Sue Stitch

Black Lamb hand crafted vintage

great tshirts brooklyn local

Gabe and his outstanding 1AEON tees

awesome crochet dolls cute stuffed animals

Mary and her cast of crochet characters

Sweetie Sandra from Sanjules  

Really. Could you be any cuter????

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DESIGN MEANING: Life Death Mandala

Posted in collections, company, Design Meanings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2011 by threeerincadigan
erin cadigan mandala death skulls drawing

Spiral of Life and Death

Our beginning and our end operate with in the structure of strict universal laws. There is no common occurrence between the two that can be said, as much, to prove us all one people.

In the middle of the mandala is  an abridged version of of the stages of human development. The design works outward in a spiral, starting with the one cell zygote through to the fetus at 23 weeks. Continuing to spiral to the outer ring is the first stage of physical death as the soul leaves the body. Working from an ancient Japanese art form, kusozu, a graphic depiction of the nine stages of death and decay and information from videos about the Body Farm, a government compound where they study the decomposition of bodies left out on the grounds, I came up with five stages of physical death: soul departure, bloating, wasting, consumption by saprotrophs and finally bones.

After physical death comes the journey of the soul. Studying the the belief systems of world wide religions and cultures as well as recorded accounts of near death experiences I tried to the common themes into five stages.

In the first the soul is greeted with feelings of overwhelming peace and love. Symbolically there is often a tunnel or cave as well as a bright light. Next comes the experience of human emotion often categorized as “seeing your life flash before your eyes”. This stage can also involve outside entities that exert these feelings including family members, friends, angels or “guides”. The third stage is the concept of redemption or punishment also known as heaven and hell. For this I used loosely the imagery of Tibetan Buddhist THIRD bardo as it tied into many other belief systems. The spiritual vortexes are hell (fire and ice), the hungry ghost (need and desire), asura ( a place where those needing to exert power over others in life go to learn), animal world (for those souls who have through gluttony have devolved into an unreflective state of animal existence), and heaven (symbolized by a city of light and knowledge). The fourth stage moves us beyond human experience into a place of pure knowledge. This is symbolized by the ancient universal symbol of spiritual intelligence, the serpent. Lastly is the Cosmic, absorption into the presence of God or divine enlightenment, symbolized by the 1000 petal lotus, the all seeing eye of god and the celestial flame.

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mens short sleeve           mens long sleeve            womens tank          womens racer back          womens short sleeve          womens long sleeve

DESIGN MEANING: Unity

Posted in collections, company, Design Meanings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2011 by threeerincadigan

ONE GOD, MANY PATHS

UNITY

Know that there is only one God, one consciousness though spoken in different words,

and wisdom given by different people in many different ways.

                                                    –Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

This mandala is symbolic of the idea, One God, Many Paths.

There is so much hatred in the world today because of religious dogma and yet love is at

the root of all religions.

In the center of the mandala is the vesica piscis, a geometric shape created by the circumference

of two same size circles laying on the center point of the other. The mathematical ratio

of the width of the vesica piscis to its height is the square root of 3. The shape has played a part

in many forms of mysticism through out history. Inside of it is the all seeing eye of God.

Surrounding and protecting it is a dodecahedron, one of the platonic solids and

as remarked by Plato in Timaeus 55 …”the god used for arranging the constellations

on the whole heaven”.

The top hand is Buddha’s in it he holds a lotus bud. The hand is held in the position of

the Vitarka Mudra, symbolizing Intellectual argument, discussion.

To the right is the Hand of Fatima. Fatima was the prophet Mohammed’s daughter.

In the center of the eight petal holy flower of Islam is Allah’s name.

The bottom hand is the hand of Jesus Christ. On the wrist is the Rosicrucian rose.

The center of the rose bleeds the stigmata.

To the left is the Jewish Hand of Hamsa or Hand of Miriam. Like the hand of Fatima it is seen

as the hand of God and a protective amulet. In the palm is the Star of David and the implied

center of the Flower of Life.

The web symbolizes that we are all caught in this Earthly plane together.

Blue is considered a spiritual color in religions world wide.

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Mens Short Sleeve        Mens Long Sleeve        Unisex V Neck        Womens Tank         Womens Racerback         Womens Long Sleeve

DESIGN MEANING: Metatrons

Posted in collections, company, Design Meanings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2011 by threeerincadigan
Enoch metatron's cube erin cadigan

Enoch turns into Metatron

The sacred geometry symbol in this design is Metatron’s cube. Inherent in the cube are the five platonic solids. Platonic solids are congurent regular polygons. A regular polygon is a three dimmensional shape whose angles are all the same and whose sides are all equal. What makes them congruent is that their faces are all the same size and shape as well. The five Platonic Solids implied by the two dimensional Metatron’s cube are: Star Tetrahedron, Hexadron (cube), Octahedron, Dodecahedron, and Icosahedron.

The prophet Enoch is seen driving a fiery chariot into the the symbol. Enoch was the great-grandfather of Noah and the seventh generational decendent of Adam and Eve. He is written about in the Biblical book of Genesis and The New Testament as well as in the Book of Enoch, Enoch2 (Slavonic), and in one of the Dead Sea Scrolls known as Enoch 3. It is said in these historic accounts that Enoch never died. According to the records Enoch lived on Earth 365 years and was accended to Heaven with out ever dying. The records state that Enoch accended into Heaven and was returned bodily to Earth on several occassions before the final time he was taken up. The horses and fiery chariot is a reference to the specifics of the prophet Elijah’s ascension as the method of Enochs ascension is never described. The chariot itself is a reference to the “Winged Disk” motif found through out the ancient Middle East.

In Enoch 1 and Enoch 2 it is stated that Enoch was transformed into the angel Metatron before the face of God.  This creates for the Earthly Enoch a heavenly counter-part or twin, making him to be both Enoch and Metatron at once. In both Enoch 2 and Enoch 3 the “face of God” is described as a face of fire, “a glorious brilliance”.  Later Merkabah accounts catagorize Metatron as the Face of God. Medieval Jewish mystical texts refer to Metatron as the scribe of God, an angel of the highest power, who is the only angel allowed to sit in the presence of the Lord. He is seated to the right, behind the throne of God.

“This Enoch whose flesh was turned to flame, his veins to fire, his eyelashes to flashes of lightening, his eye balls to flaming torches and who God placed on a throne next to the throne of glory, recieved after this heavenly transformation the name of Metatron.

–Enoch 3

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Mens Short Sleeve        Mens Long Sleeve        Unisex V Neck        Womens Racerback        Womens Long Sleeve


References for this taken from:

Enoch 1, Enoch 2, Enoch 3, The Bible and  The Stairway to Heaven. Sitchin, Zecharia. Avon Books. ©1980

Why I use waterbased inks

Posted in company with tags , , on June 14, 2011 by threeerincadigan

Waterbased screen print inks are not the norm in the industrial fashion screen print world. Plastisol inks are what most screen printing studios and large scale fashion tshirt printers use. Most people like to use plastisol inks because of convenience and durability. They are easy to print, do not dry in the screen, can be very opaque on dark garments, and will adhere to most textiles. That being said, they are terrible for the environment, large printed areas of these inks will feel like plastic sheeting against the body and like all plastics they do not bio-degrade, even as the fabric they are on might. Plastisol is created by PVC which is a polyvinyl chloride and a known carcinogenic, meaning it can cause cancer. Plastisol also contains phthalates. Phthalates have been associated with medical issues including mental disorders and infertility. As these phthalates wash down the drains at commercial print shops, these small molecules and toxins enter our water supply. Even the clean up on these inks creates the need for more chemicals to break them down.

Waterbased inks are a whole different animal then plastisols. I won’t lie and say they are one hundred percent environmentally safe. There are few things in fashion or printing that are. However strides have been made by water based ink companies to create as environmentally sound a product as possible. The main concern in water based inks are the pigments used to color the inks. Pigments can be water bourne and be introduced into environments where they normally would not be found. The plus side is they have a very low impact, water based ink ingredients are lead-free, non-toxic and do not contain any heavy metals. They do not contain ozone-depleting chemicals such as CFC’s and HCF’s, or any volatile solvents. If used with a proper drainage system little to none of these very low toxic pigments will reach the water shed. Presently I use an earth-based drainage system allowing soil to trap and cleanse my waste water. I hope to build a charcoal, soil and grease trap custom drainage system for my studio soon.
Clean up of the water based inks off of the screens require no cleaners at all. Just water. All colors are water based so equipment can be easily cleaned up with water. Water based inks do not contain PVC or phthalates, nor does it contain any toxic chemicals. There is no need to use solvents to clean the screens.

As a designer I love the feel and look of a water based print. Waterbased inks will sink right into the fibers of a fabric leaving no decipherable stiffness or rough “hand” where printed. Sometimes the inks will start to dry a bit in the screens and create a stippled effect as you pull the ink through. If it’s slight I tend to leave it as I appreciate the look it lends the shirt. A small area of stippling can give the print a great vintage vibe. When learning printmaking in college we called this “happy accident” and learned to work with the look any medium was able to give. In early days of printmaking back when signs were hand pulled and newspapers hand set, printing was an imperfect art form. To me this feels more natural, real and interesting then the plastic uniform world we have come to know. Waterbased inks being less opaque then plastisols, which sit on top of the fabric, sometimes will also take on the hue of the shirt they are printed on giving a unity of design that’s beautiful. If printed on a light colored fabric colors in a water based print are often more vibrant than those in a similar plastisol print. Prints using waterbased inks can be just as durable as the plastisols. More so in fact. Plastisol inks can neither be ironed or dried in commercial dryers for concerns the print will crack, melt or burn. Waterbased inks can be cleaned any which way and the print which has sunk into the fibers and become one with the shirt, will last forever.

I do table top printing. It’s an old school way of printing t-shirts that doesn’t require a press. This allows for a lot more variation of print placement. It also makes it nearly impossible to register colors on top of each other. Some people say it’s hard to do multi color prints with water based inks in general. Many print shops won’t change over to safer inks for this reason alone. I would like to say that Life Work LLC in California proves this theory wrong. Back when I was contracting out some of my more complicated designs, this company consistently returned to me professional, bright, clear prints done all with water based inks.

Some information for this article was taken from : http://waterbasedscreenprinting.com

At this point my line is all done by me in my own studio, including the printing. In the past I have worked with large print shops.

If you don’t know how to screen print but would love to have your t-shirts printed environmentally. I have worked

with this company in the past and absolutely LOVE them. Please tell them you found them through me.  LIFE WORK LLC

Life Work used to be the only true environmentally sound printing shop I could find, however it seems these guys are coming up. I also got some of my information about waterbased inks from their website.  Though I have never worked with them, they seem to offer a great service.  THE EARTH FACTORY

multi color water based print
beautiful multi colored water based ink print on dark organic tee
hand illustrated, photo collage, screen print, sustainable materials and inks

full color water based ink print on organic cotton sweatshirt