Thursday, September 30, 2010

Learning to survive in our own back yard!

This past weekend the Atelier received a true lesson on sustainability thanks to Dan Farella, another like minded forager. With his help we learned how to distinguish edible plants in our own back yard from poisonous ones. He taught us that plants we normally look at as weeds, in fact have great medicinal and culinary value.
Surprisingly, foraging for food didn't require a long hike or lots of effort, often, the grass around most driveways holds a multitude of edible plants. We picked pine needles from surrounding trees (mindful to not strip any one branch too much) and from that we made a delicious vitamin C filled sun tea.
Dandelions are not an annoying invader in our yard but rather as a tonic herb used to cleanse the liver and promote superior health.
We also became acquainted with plantain leaf. Not the large starchy bananas most of us know it as, but rather, a different plant with venous leaves and a stalk with seeds. A great plant to know about, it can be eaten, or turned into a poultice to cure any number of skin irritations from bee stings to poison ivy.
Right next to the plantain, sheep sorrel was also growing. This plant was very flavorful, its name alluding to its sour flavor.

A little closer to the pine tees that gave us our tea we stumbled upon yarrow, an ancient herb used by Caesar to heal his illnesses.

It was an awesome lesson in sustainability!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Exciting Way to Start Your Day

The newest member of our team, Brando!
Pete's idea of the daily grind.
Urban muralist Will Kasso.
"This is my distinguished face."

Hello everybody! Have I got a story for you. This morning, we were working at the Atelier on our myriad of projects, just know, artists. One of our associates, Mr.Will Kasso, began working on a mural for the Trenton Atelier on the face of the building.

However, apparently someone didn't like it and (follow me now) called the cops on an artist for making art on an art building that he was granted permission by the building's owner to work on. Hmm.

Will and Police Officer casually shooting the breeze about the absurdity of the situation.

I hate idiots.

Well, crisis averted. On to the next project.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekend Warriors

A weekend of creation at the Trenton Atelier! Many works were created this weekend by resident artists and TA members at large.

Resident Artist Tucker works on a master plan.

ABOVE and BELOW: Custom metalworking by Grahm. A functional lamp made entireles from salvaged and reclaimed materials, with no welds! A masterful transformation of found objects into an "Assembledge"

BELOW: Lia learns to weld! Erik took Lia through the ropes of welding and grinding so she could make her very own woven steel sculpture.

Lia cranked out this beautiful Woven Steel End Table with Erik's oversight!

Another successful weekend of makery and creativity!

Lovely Photography

Some pictures from this past week:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Mayor Stops In

Trenton Mayor Tony Mack visited the 220 Allen St. shop this morning to discuss future plans of the Trenton Atelier and how the City can support our efforts. The Trenton Atelier is not demanding any monetary donations or handouts - just an OK from the government to do something with one of the 1500 vacant and abandoned properties owned by the City.

Mayor Mack discussing the City's need for change-makers and people with great ideas for how to move Trenton forward.

So, it seems that the city is taking an interest in what we're doing here. This morning, Mayor Tony Mack popped in to see what was going on, and he seemed to enjoy it. We wil be seeing some more support from the City of Trenton in the future.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sunrise in Trenton.

Starting the day with a little sungazing from atop one of the many A.B.'s in Trenton.

Thank you Sun, for another beautiful day.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Abandoned Warehouses Galore! Photo/Video shoot for TA and Friends!

This past weekend the Trenton Atelier crew headed to the Roebling Complex for adventures and exploration. After some snip snip and choppy chop, the crew made its way into a Colosseum of the once thriving city center. Stoic and magnificent concrete columns support the massive structure; a scent of machine oil and mildew wafts through the air.

After picking their jaws up from the floor, the crew staged the area and began to film, shoot and record to their hearts' content. We all enjoyed the companionship, teamwork and support of one-another in such a mysterious and intriguing atmosphere.

Jeremy works the jib crane and HD Cam courtesy Tim Heath. Red Tape School hard at work!

The day gave all present an opportunity to promote, explore and expand our connections. Artworks Photographer Dave Cajio photographs Kelly Carvin for promotions with a backdrop of grunge and filth for the dirty-rocker look we all love!

Lia and Specs enjoy a break in the action.

Pete enjoys a personal moment with a relic of the Roebling dynasty. The massive metal object reads "JOHN A. ROEBLINGS SON TRENTON, NJ P.P.D."

With a long day of hauling gear, exploring the ruins of Roebling, and promoting our cause behind us, we packed our vehicles and headed home for some well-needed rest.

Until next time.

TA Out

Friday, September 17, 2010

Double birthday and new members!!!

Twins Bryan and Erik Hendrickson held birthday festivities all day at the shop yesterday.

Bryan was busy cutting off the back of the 63 Chevy dump - which finally came off late in the afternoon.

Next job - floorboard fabrication and door-frame rebuild.

Erik tacked away at a metal flower which is nearing completion.

The TA also warmly welcomes another member to the crew, Eric Tucker.

With many years working with his hands as a craftsman and industrial jewelry designer, Eric brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team.

Meggan Durst aka Gadget also began working on a fire fan to use in performance. Meggan is a culinary student at MCCC, and will be joining the TA full time upon graduation. Meanwhile she is helping with procurement of foods and hoola hoop lessons!

Somehow a praying mantis made her way into the shop during last night's festivities.

What an amazing looking insect!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Link To The Past

Recently uncovered documents reveal the plans and history for the Roebling complex.

Written in 1998, a recently uncovered web-document reveals detailed plans for redevelopment of the Roebling wire-rope building the Trenton Atelier now plans to revive.

The heading for the website reads: Roebling Complex, Trenton, New Jersey From Bridge Building to Bowling. At a projected cost of $35,000,000, this behemoth project would have created a 25-lane bowling alley and 14-screen theater in the heart of the former Roebling complex.


"That project would put you in the heart of Trenton, New Jersey, amidst the sprawling John A. Roebling and Sons complex of huge brick buildings and railroad sidings, dating back to 1848 and idle since 1974."

Since the December 1998 announcement in specialtyretail, the factory warehouse has remained a in a state of suspended decay, slowly breaking down into another monument in Trenton's urban gravyard.

The Trenton Atelier seeks to resurrect this property into a bustling artist's hub, at a fraction of the cost - only $350,000. Trenton's Atelier would be created from predominantly reclaimed and salvage materials with careful planning and foresight to meet the requirements of regulations, but with the thrift and creativity necessary to create a resilient, unique space.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cooch Styles provides Industrial Singers for TA.

We had the great privilege to meet William "COOCH" Mackson yesterday. In the 80's, William created the brand "Cooch Styles", a line of fashions that was the precursor to today's Hip Hop fashions on the street. Long before Hoodies and over-sized wear became en vogue and lines like Phat Pharm, Karl Kani and Echo Wear came out on the scene, William was what Little Richard was to Rock and Roll, An innovator and creator of the first Black Hip Hop clothing designs that helped to create the culture. Without a doubt, the first in the area of the small town of Lakewood, NJ.

William is now creating childrens books in an effort to help children learn to read and appreciate the art. Trenton Atelier has the pleasure of adding William Mackson to our family! He will be giving us weekly lessons on how to create our own clothing.

Expect to see TA clothing in 2011!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bryan teaches some culinary at the TA!

In an effort to scrounge up a delicious, nutritious dressing for a freegan salad courtesy Whole Earth, Bryan prepared an array of tastes from some left-over sauces.  Using combinations of rice vinegar, lemon, lime, garlic, Emeril's Original, dill pickle juice, and mustard, a pleasing aroma began to fill the kitchen air.

Jeanine watches as bryan explains how to properly separate the "yucky" parts of the lettuce and save the good pieces.  In this economy, one can be picky about the food they receive.  We should all be thankful for what we have been given, and we greatly appreciate the produce donations from our friends.

Nice work Bryan, and what a delicious salad it was.