Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Artists and craftsmen at Think Long Island First

Think Long Island First logo
We are approaching the end of the year and the closure of our third month in operation. We are truly grateful for the wonderful support of the Long Island public and the Long Island artists and craftsmen. It has been a pleasure to work with All!

Please accept our best wishes of health, happiness and prosperity for the holiday season and the approaching New Year.

Jolanta and Ewa

We would like to take this opportunity to list the talented artists and craftsmen of Long Island whose work you have admired at Think Long Island First.

Mollie Eckelberry, Muttontown
Natasha Guruleva, Mastic Beach
John Hammond, Oyster Bay
John Ross, Southold

East End Candle Company, Riverhead

Character Bears
Meryl Friedberg Ambrose of Q Branch Ltd, North Merrick

Diane Bard of Know Peace Soap, Sea Cliff
Catapano Goat Farm, Peconic
Barbara Karlowich, Sea Cliff
Frédérique Keller of BeePharm, Northport
Susan Linares of Naturally Handmade by Susan, Franklin Square
Lidia Zacharska of Lilas Herbs, Westbury

A Taste of the North Fork, Cutchogue
Jennifer Hochberg of Stone Ridge Farm, East Norwich
Nicole Basso of The Tea Plant, Huntington
North Fork Potato Chips, Mattituck

Jane Cairns Irvine of Glassworks by Jane Cairns Irvine, Glen Head

Mary Baker, Glen Cove
Ellen Davis of Bagg-E, Long Beach
Donna Lee Trunk of Donna Lee Fiber Arts, Shoreham
Teresa Ricciardelli, Glen Cove

Donna Barrett of Donna Barrett Jewelry Inc., Sea Cliff
Jane Cairns Irvine of Glassworks by Jane Cairns Irvine, Glen Head
Heather Campbell, Syosset
Cynthia Chuang and Erh-Ping Tsai of Jewelry 10, Locust Valley
Kate Gilmore of Kate Sydney, Northport
Gea Hines of Dinky Beads, Greenlawn
Alice Rhodes Farber, Huntington Station
Gail Vassiliades, Northport
Debra Warlan of Maake & Co, Huntington 

Knits, fabric arts
Mary Johnson, Bethpage
Donna Lee Trunk of Donna Lee Fiber Arts, Shoreham 
Gail Ryan, Mount Sinai
Rosemarie Taylor, Miller Place
Theresa Wasserman of Puddin Heart Treasures, Hicksville
Carrie Wood of Temptress Yarn, Baldwin

Homa Monassebian, Oyster Bay

Kokila Jodi Bennett, Roslyn Heights
Eric Marten, Franklin Square

Yvonne Dagger, Massapequa
Caitlyn Dailey, Huntington Station
Susie Gach Peelle, Locust Valley
James Johansen, East Northport
Cathy Nichols, Centerport
Gerhard Richter, Floral Park
Alice Rhodes Farber, Huntington Station

Paper cuts
Frank Cammarata of Mr C's Paper Cuttings, Holbrook

Gerry Corrigan, Merrick
Scott Cushing, East Meadow
Harvey Hellering, Riverhead
Christina Kneer of Christina Kneer Fine Art Photography, Massapequa
Mark Strodl, West Babylon
Irene Treiber, Sea Cliff

Bettina Marks of cPillow Talk, East Atlantic Beach
Alice Rhodes Farber, Huntington Station

Diane Craft, Oyster Bay

Sue Adler, Locust Valley
Deborah Del Vecchio of Fire Works Pottery by Deb, Brightwaters
Donna Ferrara of Maple Leaf Pottery, Sea Cliff
Denise Randall of Contemporary Artifacts, Massapequa

Jane Pearlson of Quilts of Distinction, Huntington
Sherry Phelps of Nana's Quilted Hugs, Glen Cove

Thomas Malloy, Glen Head

Sports - baseball bats
Bill Cardinale, Massapequa

Robert Ambrose of Q Branch Ltd, North Merrick
Gerry Corrigan, Merrick
Beth Costello of My Inner Child Doll, Glenwood Landing
Mollie Eckelberry, Muttontown
Yolande Epstein of Lavender by the Bay, East Marion
Susie Gach Peelle, Locust Valley
Diane Hanna of Bello Marco Polo, East Norwich
Christina Kneer of Christina Kneer Fine Art Photography, Massapequa
Annemarie Levin, Oyster Bay
Ralph Pugliese of East End Greetings, Cutchogue

Beth Costello of My Inner Child Doll, Glenwood Landing

Natasha Guruleva, Mastic Beach
Dawn Stewart-Lookkin of Tako Kids, Queens

Wood objects
Robert Ambrose of Q Branch Ltd, North Merrick
Don Dailey, Huntington Station
Mike Denaro, Oyster Bay
Paul Lieberman, Melville
Harry Wicks, Cutchogue

Writing pens
Robert Ambrose of Q Branch Ltd, North Merrick 
Paul Lieberman, Melville

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Think Long Island First on local TV

We have been graced with media attention in the recent days. We want to share that with you.

News 12 anchor, Carol Silva, wanted to present gifts carried by Think Long Island First in her seasonal Gift Guide for the holidays.

We were asked to provide five representative items out of the great selection of arts, crafts, food, candles, etc, we had in store. Not an easy task, we assure you.

When Carol came to the store to pick up the items she was so impressed with the wonderful things we carried she kept on selecting more and more items to present. She loved hearing about the people behind the gifts.

If you have problems viewing this clip online, this link will take you to the Long Island Gift Guide 2010 on News 12.

Waldo Cabrera, president / anchor / director at My Long Island TV,, interviewed us and filmed our store a few weeks back.

Even though we talk about our mission to anybody who stands still longer than few seconds, it was exciting to present Think Long Island First on camera. We were very grateful to Waldo for filming the store and for interviewing our customers.

If you have problems viewing the clip here, this link will take you to the Think Long Island First video on

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

John Specce of Oyster Bay Railroad Museum

John Specce and Jolanta Zamecka
Photo by Ewa Rumprecht
Jolanta and I wanted something really festive in our display window for the holidays. We have approached John Specce, President of the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum and a neighbor in town. John set up for us a small oval layout (gauge O for the initiated) with a Diesel locomotive and a few cargo cars. As a finishing touch he sat a Santa with two cute mice in one of the cars, long tails and all. Children of all ages stop by our window and gaze at the train. We love sounding the horn for them; it feels rather special.

Oyster Bay Railroad Museum, located at 102 Audrey Avenue in Oyster Bay, collects and preserves Long Island railroad artifacts with the historic Locomotive #35, one of two steam locomotives on Long Island, among them. The museum also displays signaling equipment, signs, station master's desk with an old telephone and telegraph, railroad workers' uniforms and hats, and many other items.

The museum is open every weekend between 12 pm and 4 pm. It is well worth a visit on any weekend, but it is even more so this coming Saturday and Sunday, December 11th and 12th, when the museum hosts the Holiday Express event with special attractions.

John Specce grew up in Kew Garden, 500 feet from the Kew Garden station and with the family's third floor apartment allowing a full view of the passing trains. The trains fired John's imagination. The interest was kept by his parents who used to magically transform John's small room into a train kingdom every Christmas night.

After moving to Oyster Bay in the 70's John used to take his lunch break at the station to watch the trains arrive and leave Oyster Bay. Mill Neck station was another great watching place, he would bring his young sons with him there. Even today John may hop on the train to the city, walk to Grand Central, and take a train on a line he had not yet explored.

One day John attended a presentation about the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum organized by one of the civic communities in Oyster Bay. He embraced the organization and its mission. He is now its President and an acting administrator. All the staff members on board of the museum are volunteers devoting countless hours to preservation, reconstruction and education in all matters related to local railroads. The worthy organization welcomes members and volunteers, accepts donations and sponsorship.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Whimsical jewelry by Cynthia Chuang and Erh-Ping Tsai

Artists Cynthia Chuang and Erh-Ping Tsai of Jewelry 10 create brilliant jewelry in their Long Island studio. Flappers, skippers, feathery creatures, land roamers, and many other colorful, whimsical creatures come from their kilns to the amusement and admiration of all.

Lizard by Cynthia Chuang and Erh-Ping Tsai of Jewelry 10
Photo by Ewa Rumprecht

Cynthia and Erh-Ping were college sweethearts. They met at the National Taiwan Academy of Arts while studying ceramics. They have both arrived to New York to study at Parsons The New School for Design. There could not have been a biggest contrast between their technically rigorous Taiwan training and the mind stretching approach at Parsons. Cynthia and Erh-Ping were the lucky recipients of the benefits of both systems. They have made New York a permanent home, eventually settling in Locust Valley.

Cynthia Chuang with a lizard
on her shoulder
Photo by Ewa Rumprecht
Looking at their awesome creations, perfectly finished, almost effortless, it is difficult to imagine the amount of work going into each piece. Every item is made of porcelain clay inlays; the dyed clays make the design. Considering the small size of each element, great precision is required in assembling the tiny patterns. Imagine putting together a miniature checkerboard.

Porcelain parts are first bisque fired and then fired with a clear glaze over them. Some colors require multiple firing to different temperatures, for instance, the cheerful red ladybugs featured below require up to 5 firings. Every firing may take from 5 to 10 hours. Metal parts are attached at the end. There are many things that can go wrong in the process - the clay may be inconsistent, the colors may bleed, a piece may explode inside the kiln, the opening for the metal part may glaze over.

Ladybugs by Jewelry 10
Photo by Ewa Rumprecht
Overcoming the technical challenges are only a part of the creative process. Design is even more difficult. It takes an experienced eye to start with a nature's small critter and turn it into an eye catching and interesting piece of jewelry. Countless hours of design and experimentation are spent on this stage.

I must say that after learning about their technology and the creative process I have gained even greater appreciation for the work of the couple and I was already an admirer! Jewelry 10 has a steady following with collectors picking their favorite pieces throughout the years.

The couple's website includes a very interesting section "The Way We Were" describing the stages of their artistic development. The site also displays what the future may bring - the couple is experimenting with metal as a creative medium.