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WaterFire Arts Center Store Featured Artists

Over the past few months the Store at the WaterFire Arts Center has grown, showcasing local companies and artists, many of whom work right across the Woonasquatucket River. Here’s a selection of artists that recently started to display work in the Store. Stop by the Store in the WaterFire Arts Center (475 Valley Street Providence, RI | Hours info) to see their work in person and you may find a piece that you’d like to call your own!

Jenna Goldberg

Jenna Goldberg works primarily making furniture and Jewelry Boxes. She received her BFA in Illustration from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and got her MFA in Furniture Design from Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been shown in numerous solo, group, and museum shows around the country. It can be found in the Fidelity Corporate Collection as well as the permanent collection of the Mint Museum of Art and Design in Charlotte, NC and the Renwick Gallery in Washington DC. She has also participated in several artist residencies and received multiple awards, including the Rhode Island Council on the Arts award for Crafts. Goldberg now teaches part time at Rhode Island School of Design in the Industrial Design department and runs Milkcan Industries.

e: jenna@jennagoldbergstudio.com | ig: milkcanindustries

Jewelry Boxes and Graphic Wares

Influenced by her time in the Middle East, Goldberg crafts expertly made and colorfully ornamented boxes and more. These intricately patterned and gorgeously shaped jewelry boxes feature several compartments and removable pieces. She also runs Milkcan Industries, making fun and funky graphic tees, mugs, and magnets.

 

Dan Trottier

Dan Trottier studied Fine Arts at the Community College of Rhode Island, and Furniture Design at the Maine College of Art. He has had work featured at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York and in Metropolis Magazine. Trottier currently operates out of a small woodworking studio in Central Falls, RI and works for WaterFire.

e: dptrottier@gmail.com | ig: d.p.trottier

Phage Cabinet

Phage is the first in a planned series of “curious cabinets.” A twist on the Renaissance era Cabinets of Curiosities, used to theatrically display indefinable objects, the furniture itself is the oddity here. Irreverent and playful, but still useful. It was titled retroactively after numerous people commented on its resemblance to the bacteriophage virus.

 

Jenny Rachel Sparks

Jenny Rachel Sparks received a BFA, with Honors, in Sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design and a B.A. in Geological Sciences at Brown University through the Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program. She centers on a place-based artistic practice, influenced by her travels and study of geology. She is the Client Relations Manager and Art Production Manager Assistant for the Steel Yard and an artist of many mediums. Sparks has been featured in many exhibitions and has received multiple scholarships for her work.

e: jsparks@risd.edu | ig: jennyrachel_clay

Ceramics

These ceramics feature a range of functions, from mugs to jars to flower pots. Gorgeously designed, each ceramic object is richly painted and colored, carefully formed by hand, and perfect for daily use and admiration.

 

Laura White Carpenter

Laura White Carpenter is an Artist in Residence at the Steel Yard, Providence, R.I. She holds a degree in art therapy and works daily as an occupational therapist, using art to connect hospitalized patients with their individual healing journeys. She is highly involved in the intersection of art and healing and serves as the chairperson of the Visual Arts sub-committee of Butler Hospital’s Art+History and Healing Arts Committee. She also focuses on formulating artistic responses to the organic and built materials available within the cultural experience, often incorporating found materials. White Carpenter has been recognized and honored with awards in a variety of media: sculpture, mixed media decorative and functional pieces, painting and photography. In recent years, her work has been accepted into many nationally-recognized competitive and juried exhibits throughout the country.

Sculptures

These pieces, ranging from metal and ceramic sculptures to found assemblages, display White Carpenter’s love of found materials and form.

 

Cathy Catudal

Cathy Catudal is an Artist in Residence at the Steel Yard in Providence, R.I. working in ceramics. She typically uses the wheel, but also hand forms uniquely shaped objects that push the limits of form. Her playful piggy banks and abstract vessels alike display her talent and eye for creating delightful and elegant objects.

ig: cathylovesclay

Ceramics

These lovely ceramics take on a number of uses, be it for dips and veggies, hot drinks or soups, or for displaying objects. They are stunningly painted and formed pieces, perfect for adding a touch of sophistication to any home.

 

Jerry Oliveira

Jerry Oliveira is an Artist in Residence at the Steel Yard in Providence, R.I. He typically works with metals, wood, and found objects and is constantly searching for the next, the new, and the provocative. His work is excellently designed and finished, unique in form and aesthetic. He makes furniture, decorative, and practical objects, including elaborate cat trees.

e: alleycatforge@gmail.com | ig: alleycatforge

1920s Gear Coffee Table*

This steampunk gears coffee table reuses an incredible set of found 1920s gears from Brooklyn, N.Y. and features a hand-forged steel base, perfect for spunking up any home.

*SOLD! This wonderful piece was sold at our Holiday Pop Up shopping event!

 

Brijette Marie Jewelry

Brijette is a local Rhode Island jeweler with her roots in agriculture. As a fourth generation woman farmer, the earth, farming, and metals deeply influence her jewelry. She prioritizes wearability and craft-womanship and attempts to capture the precious unfolding of plant and human life with each piece of jewelry. Brijette believes that the earth’s precious minerals and materials connect us with a power beyond ourselves, and her goal as a jeweler is to create pieces that reflect and honor that.

e: bmstamp@gmail.com | ig: brijettemarie

 

 

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12 Days of Holiday Reads

Our Symposium Books outpost at the WaterFire Arts Center Store is teeming with the best new reads. We’re so grateful to the American Booksellers Association for sharing our opening!

From Symposium Books itself, here are this holiday season’s top twelve! Each book is something stunning, unheard of, familiar, eye-opening, and wonderful, and we hope you’ll stop in to check them out. We’re open Monday-Friday, 10AM-5PM, at 475 Valley St.

And don’t forget that Saturday, December 8th, from 10AM-6PM, is our Holiday Pop-Up! We’ll have all these books and more, including works from these amazing artists. We’ll see you there!

 

On the first day…

Killing Commendatore, by Haruki Murakami

In Killing Commendatore, a thirty-something portrait painter in Tokyo is abandoned by his wife and finds himself holed up in the mountain home of a famous artist, Tomohiko Amada. When he discovers a previously unseen painting in the attic, he unintentionally opens a circle of mysterious circumstances. To close it, he must complete a journey that involves a mysterious ringing bell, a two-foot-high physical manifestation of an Idea, a dapper businessman who lives across the valley, a precocious thirteen-year-old girl, a Nazi assassination attempt during World War II in Vienna, a pit in the woods behind the artist’s home, and an underworld haunted by Double Metaphors. A tour de force of love and loneliness, war and art—as well as a loving homage to The Great GatsbyKilling Commendatore is a stunning work of imagination from one of our greatest writers.

 

On the second day…

21 Lessons for the 21st Century, by Yuval Noah Harari

“If there were such a thing as a required instruction manual for politicians and thought leaders, Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century would deserve serious consideration. In this collection of provocative essays, Harari, author of the critically praised Sapiens and Homo Deus, tackles a daunting array of issues, endeavoring to answer a persistent question: ‘What is happening in the world today, and what is the deep meaning of these events?’ . . . Harari makes a passionate argument for reshaping our educational systems and replacing our current emphasis on quickly outdated substantive knowledge with the ‘four Cs’—critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. . . . Thoughtful readers will find 21 Lessons for the 21st Century to be a mind-expanding experience.”—BookPage

 

On the third day…

How to be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals, by Sy Montgomery

Understanding someone who belongs to another species can be transformative. No one knows this better than author, naturalist, and adventurer Sy Montgomery. To research her books, Sy has traveled the world and encountered some of the planet’s rarest and most beautiful animals. From tarantulas to tigers, Sy’s life continually intersects with and is informed by the creatures she meets.

This restorative memoir reflects on the personalities and quirks of thirteen animals—Sy’s friends—and the truths revealed by their grace. It also explores vast themes: the otherness and sameness of people and animals; the various ways we learn to love and become empathetic; how we find our passion; how we create our families; coping with loss and despair; gratitude; forgiveness; and most of all, how to be a good creature in the world.

National Book Award finalist Sy Montgomery reflects on the 13 animals who have profoundly affected her in this stunning, poetic, and life-affirming memoir, featuring illustrations by Rebecca Green.

 

On the fourth day…

The Day You Begin, by Jacqueline Woodson

There will be times when you walk into a room
and no one there is quite like you.

National Book Award winner and 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jacqueline Woodson and two-time Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner Rafael López have teamed up to create a poignant, heartening book about finding courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone. Woodson’s lyrical text and López’s dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.

 

On the fifth day…

The Lonesome Body Builder, by Yukiko Motoya

A housewife takes up bodybuilding and sees radical changes to her physique, which her workaholic husband fails to notice. A boy waits at a bus stop, mocking commuters struggling to keep their umbrellas open in a typhoon, until an old man shows him that they hold the secret to flying. A saleswoman in a clothing boutique waits endlessly on a customer who won’t come out of the fitting room, and who may or may not be human. A newlywed notices that her spouse’s features are beginning to slide around his face to match her own.

In these eleven stories, the individuals who lift the curtains of their orderly homes and workplaces are confronted with the bizarre, the grotesque, the fantastic, the alien―and find a doorway to liberation. The English-language debut of one of Japan’s most fearlessly inventive young writers and winner of the Akutagawa Prize and the Kenzaburo Oe Prize.

 

On the sixth day…

Almost Everything, by Anne Lamott

From Anne Lamott, the New York Times-bestselling author of Help, Thanks, Wow, comes the book we need from her now: How to bring hope back into our lives.

“I am stockpiling antibiotics for the Apocalypse, even as I await the blossoming of paperwhites on the windowsill in the kitchen,” Anne Lamott admits at the beginning of Almost Everything. Despair and uncertainty surround us: in the news, in our families, and in ourselves. But even when life is at its bleakest–when we are, as she puts it, “doomed, stunned, exhausted, and over-caffeinated”–the seeds of rejuvenation are at hand. “All truth is paradox,” Lamott writes, “and this turns out to be a reason for hope. If you arrive at a place in life that is miserable, it will change.” That is the time when we must pledge not to give up but “to do what Wendell Berry wrote: ‘Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.'”

Candid and caring, insightful and sometimes hilarious, Almost Everything is the book we need and that only Anne Lamott can write.

 

On the seventh day…

So Far, So Good, by Ursula LeGuin

Legendary author Ursula K. Le Guin actually began as a poet and wrote across genres for her entire career. In this clarifying and sublime collection―completed shortly before her death in 2018―Le Guin is unflinching in the face of mortality, and full of wonder for the mysteries beyond. Redolent of the lush natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, with rich sounds playfully echoing myth and nursery rhyme, Le Guin bookends a long, daring, and prolific career.

Ursula K. Le Guin is the author of over 60 novels, short fiction works, translations, and volumes of poetry. She is known mostly for her works of science fiction and fantasy, including the acclaimed novels The Left Hand of Darkness, and The Dispossessed. Le Guin is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, and her books continue to sell millions of copies worldwide. An author of singular imagination and resolve, Le Guin passed away in 2018.

 

On the eighth day…

Friday Black, by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

From the start of this extraordinary debut, loved by the NYT Book Review, George Saunders, Roxane Gay, and all of us at Symposium Books, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage and invigorate you. With a treacherously surreal, and, at times, heartbreakingly satirical look, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that Black people contend with every day in this country.

These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In “The Finkelstein Five,” Adjei-Brenyah gives us an unforgettable reckoning of the brutal prejudice of our justice system. In “Zimmer Land,” we see a far-too-easy-to-believe imagining of racism as sport. “Friday Black” and “How to Sell a Jacket as Told by Ice King” show the horrors of consumerism and the toll it takes on us all.

Entirely fresh in its style and perspective, and sure to appeal to fans of Colson Whitehead, Marlon James, and George Saunders, Friday Black confronts readers with a complicated, insistent, wrenching chorus of emotions, the final note of which, remarkably, is hope.

 

On the ninth day…

Social Practices, by Chris Kraus

A border isn’t a metaphor. Knowing each other for over a decade makes us witnesses to each other’s lives. My escape is his prison. We meet in a bar and smoke Marlboros.

Mixing biography, autobiography, fiction, criticism, and conversations among friends, with Social Practices Chris Kraus continues the anthropological exploration of artistic lives and the art world begun in 2004 with Video Green: Los Angeles Art and the Triumph of Nothingness.

Social Practices includes writings from and around the legendary “Chance Event―Three Days in the Desert with Jean Baudrillard” (1996), and “Radical Localism,” an exhibition of art and media from Puerto Nuevo’s Mexicali Rose that Kraus co-organized with Marco Vera and Richard Birkett in 2012. Attuned to the odd and the anomalous, Kraus profiles Elias Fontes, an Imperial Valley hay merchant who has become an important collector of contemporary Mexican art and chronicles the demise of a rural convenience store in northern Minnesota. She considers the work of such major contemporary artists as Jason Rhoades, Channa Horowitz, Simon Denny, Yayoi Kusama, Henry Taylor, Julie Becker, Ryan McGinley, and Leigh Ledare. Although Kraus casts a skeptical eye at the genre that’s come to be known as “social practice,” her book is less a critique than a proposition as to how art might be read through desire and circumstance, delirium, gossip, coincidence, and revenge. All art, she implies, is a social practice.

 

On the tenth day…

The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid, by Dylan Thuras

Created by the team behind the #1 New York Times bestselling Atlas Obscura, The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid is a thrilling expedition to one hundred of the most surprising, mysterious, and weird-but-true places on earth. 

For curious kids, this is the chance to embark on the journey of a lifetime—and see how faraway countries have more in common than you might expect! Hopscotch from country to country in a chain of connecting attractions: Explore Mexico’s glittering cave of crystals, then visit the world’s largest cave in Vietnam. Peer over a 355-foot waterfall in Zambia, then learn how Antarctica’s Blood Falls got their mysterious color. Or see mysterious mummies in Japan and France, then majestic ice caves in Argentina and Austria! As you climb mountains, zip-line over forests, and dive into oceans, this book is your passport to a world of hidden wonders, illuminated by gorgeous art.

 

On the eleventh day…

The Noma Guide to Fermentation, by René Redzepi and David Zilber

At Noma—four times named the world’s best restaurant—every dish includes some form of fermentation, whether it’s a bright hit of vinegar, a deeply savory miso, an electrifying drop of garum, or the sweet intensity of black garlic. Fermentation is one of the foundations behind Noma’s extraordinary flavor profiles.

Now René Redzepi, chef and co-owner of Noma, and David Zilber, the chef who runs the restaurant’s acclaimed fermentation lab, share never-before-revealed techniques to creating Noma’s extensive pantry of ferments. And they do so with a book conceived specifically to share their knowledge and techniques with home cooks. With more than 500 step-by-step photographs and illustrations, and with every recipe approachably written and meticulously tested, The Noma Guide to Fermentation takes readers far beyond the typical kimchi and sauerkraut to include koji, kombuchas, shoyus, misos, lacto-ferments, vinegars, garums, and black fruits and vegetables. And—perhaps even more important—it shows how to use these game-changing pantry ingredients in more than 100 original recipes.

Fermentation is already building as the most significant new direction in food (and health). With The Noma Guide to Fermentation, it’s about to be taken to a whole new level.

 

On the twelfth day…

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, by Anthony Bourdain.

A sentimental pick, written by one of the most beloved chefs and food writers of all time, this book is the perfect celebration of a wonderful man. A deliciously funny, delectably shocking banquet of wild-but-true tales of life in the culinary trade from Chef Anthony Bourdain, laying out his more than a quarter-century experience of drugs, sex, and haute cuisine—now with all-new, never-before-published material.

 

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Symposium Books at the WaterFire Arts Store

New Store & New Books

You can now shop at the WaterFire Store all year round! Find us at the WaterFire Arts Center, 475 Valley Street, now open from 10 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. 

The WaterFire Store is proud to partner with Symposium Books to offer a curated collection of Art Books at an affordable price. Come check out the selection and explore our new space!

     

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know that the design for the WaterFire Arts Center was inspired by modernist painter, Piet Mondrian’s completed work “Composition No. III, with Red, Blue, Yellow, and Black”! Both the WaterFire building and Mondrian’s work were created in 1929. The geometric patterns in the painting are mimicked in the extensive floor-to-ceiling windows and the bold primary colors in the large contemporary fixtures throughout the building

Part of the Mondrian basic art series, Mondrian by Susan Deicer explores the pioneering works of Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), an extraordinary painter and leading art theoretician whose influence resonates to this day.

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Product Picks: Summer 2016 Intern Edition!

Amazing WaterFire UnisexSo much new merchandise has been added to the WaterFire shop this summer that we just couldn’t resist doing a photoshoot to show off our favorites!  We asked summer interns from various departments for their thoughts and recommendations, and today we’re sharing it all with you!

Greg Miller, Video Intern: I modeled the Amazing WaterFire Tee, and I felt that’s just what it was! I loved how it fit and it was the most comfortable cotton shirt. It brings a nostalgic, carnival-like feeling to WaterFire, and it was totally breathable in the humid New England summer.

Raglan and Embroidered Hat

Melissa Bassett, Special Events and Operations Intern: One of the products I modeled was the new Raglan and that was my favorite! It’s so cute and comfy… I know what I’m asking for for Christmas! I think it works for both males and females, and I was super excited that I got to be the one to model it!  Other WaterFire products that I really like are the black hats, especially the one with the brazier and flame on the front and WaterFire’s name on the back. 

Sarah Daebler, Video Intern: I modeled the Raglan Tee too and I liked how it was so comfortable and I also loved the colors that it used, I thought it made the shirt so cute! Other WaterFire products that I like are the Clear Currents Tees because they are so unique, and the hats because they are so cute.

Navy Mesh HatEva Gabrielson, Graphic Design Intern: My favorite product is the trucker hats, OBVIOUSLY. There is no contest. They make you feel like a baller… Plus the colors are limitless! Well, three colors is almost limitless…

Marissa Pesak, Special Events and Operations Intern: I am head over heels in love with the baseball cap with the fire embroidery. It is so lovely and simple. Would 10/10 come in handy on event days. I absolutely loved the Donna Lee bracelet I modeled. It is so subtly WaterFire, but also wearable for everyday.

Horace Robinson, Management Intern: I personally like the colors of the products (like the 2016 Clear Currents and Amazing WaterFire tees). I often do not wear bright colors but these products really pop with the color contrast, the material is quite soft also.

Clear Currents TeeAli Fortier, Branding and Merchandise Intern: Honestly, the hardest part about working with Merchandise is resisting the urge to buy it all!  I don’t think I could pick just one favorite!  I love all of the shirts that the other interns have been mentioning, but I’ve also been obsessed with all of our ScreenCraft products – from jewelry and wine charms, to marble magnets! 

Thank you to all of the interns who participated in the photoshoot and shared their thoughts on the merchandise!  We hope all the WaterFire fans out there are just as excited as we are about these new products!

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Partner Spotlight: ScreenCraft Tileworks

“Any factory can make stuff, we make gifts that celebrate your town or favorite place.”Tanya Bernard

ScreenCraft EmployeesShopping local has played a big role in the partnerships WaterFire has fostered, ScreenCraft Tileworks being one of them.  As a community-based organization, supporting other local businesses is at the core of who we are, and we’re proud to work with these partners to create WaterFire souvenirs for our many national and international visitors.  The WaterFire-ScreenCraft partnership began at the end of 2014 with the launch of the marble magnets, and since then, ScreenCraft has supplied WaterFire with 620 magnets, 461 bracelets, and various other products like the new Wine Charms!

What makes ScreenCraft especially unique is the fact that each item gets made one at a time from real, authentic marble as opposed to resin molds which many other companies opt for.  The tile is all unique, with each piece different from the last.  “Everything is created and assembled here,” says Tanya, starting with the marble prep process in which each tile is hand-cleaned and quality-checked.  Even picking the perfect marble has become a crucial part of the process.  In fact, ScreenCraft has created relationships with the families in Italy and Turkey who run the marble quarries.  For ScreenCraft, a company with many long term employees, these personal relationships with other family-run companies are so important.  

ScreenCraft Tileworks didn’t always go by that name, and it wasn’t always focused on tiles!  The Champagne family-run, third generation business actually found its initial success in custom signage and photography, which influenced the customizable nature of its current tile business. Nowadays, Tanya explains that the company is “very much about place and making finer souvenirs people keep,” and even people’s pride in place, which is at the heart of what WaterFire does.  

Making CharmsScreenCraft equally enjoys its partnership with WaterFire, explaining: “I love that you’re a Rhode Island event and organization, and I love that our product is Rhode Island made, and I think that’s the epitome of shopping local…it’s a very arts-oriented state.”  Both ScreenCraft and WaterFire agree that it’s great to support other local businesses as well as the Rhode Island community through events like WaterFire, where every ounce of the proceeds is going back to support the event itself.  Being able to bring pride to the state of Rhode Island and the city of Providence is such a special experience.

“When I think of WaterFire, I think of how it celebrates Providence…there’s nothing like it, it’s very, very special” -Tanya Bernard

Click here to shop the entire WaterFire line of ScreenCraft products.

All Marble Magnets

Thank you to the ScreenCraft team for giving us a behind the scenes look at how these fantastic products are made.

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Partner Spotlight: Gather Glass

“Similar to WaterFire, at the root of Gather Glass there is a passion for art, community, and of course fire.” – Benjamin Giguere, artist at Gather Glass

At WaterFire we proudly collaborate with local artists to create unique pieces for our store and spread our passion for art and culture. One of our partners is Providence glassblowing business Gather Glass, who became one of our vendors shortly after forming in 2010. There have been countless hours spent conceptualizing, designing, creating, packaging, and producing a variety of products from jewelry to glassware all inspired by the water and flames of WaterFire.

The artists at Gather Glass are very passionate about community, and WaterFire is an ideal setting for sharing their work on-site during the fires and connecting the audience with their process. They joined us by the river over six years ago to show the city the art of glassblowing and have been working alongside our store every lighting since.

Merch 019 

“From the very first lighting we attended, we felt something very special was happening.  Between the crackling of the river fires, the sound of the flame from our torch and the meditative music in the air, we began to seamlessly melt into the backdrop of a city transformed into an art scape. We immediately felt at home.”

 

“Each time you look into your glass pendant or earring, we hope you remember the smell of wood burning or feel the heat of the fires against your skin. It is these sensations that inspired our work; we hope they inspire you in the same way. We feel honored and inspired to be part of this evolving art event and look forward to all the creative possibilities that lie ahead.”

Gather Glass WaterFire tumblers

Click here to see all of the Gather Glass WaterFire products

Thank you Matt Stone and Benjamin Giguere for your dedication in creatively transforming the city.

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Showing Off Our WaterFire Style

This past Friday, Sarah and I posed in the WaterFire merchandise to get updated photographs for the store website. In the two photographs, we are sporting the cozier options since the Winter weather is (unfortunately) fast approaching. Believe it or not, this is Sarah’s and my first modeling gig. I know, I know, we look like professionals, but we owe it all to the WaterFire merchandise, and our awesome supervisor/photographer Laura for making us look great! 🙂

SARAHS
Sarah to the left is wearing the black embroidered WaterFire hoodie in size small, while Sarah to the right is wearing the NEW navy brazier crew neck sweatshirt in medium.

It wasn’t hard to find some great backdrops for the pictures. We simply walked out of WaterFire’s new temporary storage building here in Providence, The Plant, just minutes away from the future WaterFire Arts Center at 475 Valley Street. There is a beautiful courtyard surrounded by old brick walls, plants, and benches, which added depth to our photographs. Keep your eyes out for more shots of us and purchase WaterFire merchandise for your friends, family, loved ones and yourself this holiday season!

SARAHS2
From right to left: Sarah is wearing the Orange Long sleeve RI tee in a medium size, while the other Sarah is sporting the WaterFire Zip Hoodie in a small.
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Partner Spotlight: MasterCast

Both myself and my wife (an artist and high school art teacher) have been big fans of WaterFire right from the start. We think it’s a perfect blend of artistry and commerce …and a lot of the weekend tourism in Providence owes a big thanks to WaterFire.” -David Katseff, owner of MasterCast Ltd.

It has been wonderful to work with David Katseff and his MasterCast team to create some fun, classic pieces to add to the WaterFire Store. With over 20 years of experience in making and marketing lucite/acrylic products, David has been a great local resource for us. Here’s how our partnership began:

My connection to the organization began after I made a donation to WaterFire Providence’s annual fund and was lucky enough to be selected for their gift giveaway for donors that year. As a long-time fan, I decided to grow my donor relationship even further by inquiring about partnering with WaterFire through my business MasterCast Ltd. With the capabilities of MasterCast Ltd I knew their was a great opportunity to help support WaterFire by making products for sales and marketing purposes and for thank you gifts.”

WaterFire Providence Letter Opener in Gift BoxWaterFire Providence Bottle OpenerWith both our roots in Providence supporting the local economy is a win win! The proceeds from the WaterFire Store go directly to the organization to help fund our annual and event related costs.

MasterCast Ltd was originally based in Providence and we moved to Pawtucket in 1996. We continue to promote Made-in-USA emblematic and acrylic products, although we also have custom products manufactured overseas. We are proud to be a vendor for the WaterFire lapel pin and brass keytag. This year we have worked with the Marketing department to add some nice gift items to our WaterFire line of products, like our bottle openers and letter openers. We look forward to expanding our relationship with WaterFire in its next 20 years of production of these unique events on the river in Providence.

To check out all four MasterCast WaterFire products in this line click here.

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Intern Product Picks!

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 4.34.02 PMHi, everyone!! My name is Sarah Quinn and I’m one of the Branding & Merchandising interns here at WaterFire! You can read more about me here, but I think you’re probably more interested in the merchandise than me (and rightfully so)! Even though it’s getting chilly and tank top season is TECHNICALLY over, I’m still obsessed with this Brazier tank top from the WaterFire Store. This was a huge hit at our fires this season (only PARTIALLY due to my shameless plugs), and I’m not surprised; the contrast between the bright orange and the deep blue pops so nicely against the crisp white tank. This shirt is truly a work of art. If you’re already looking ahead to next summer, this tank will make the cold months ahead fly by. Check it out here!

RI Brazier Longsleeve TeeHi, I’m Sarah Wojtusik, the other Branding & Merchandising intern! More about me here. By far my favorite product WaterFire Providence offers is the RI Brazier Long Sleeve Tee. It is a fan favorite at the events and I can tell why. As an intern, I get very familiar with all of the merchandise, and I’ve had my eye on this tee for a while! For one, it is cozy, but also light weight enough that I can style it up with a fun flannel in the fall. I also think this shirt is great because WaterFire is celebrating the whole state of Rhode Island.

 

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Partner Spotlight: Photon Fabrications

For several years, Joseph “JJ” Strong of Photon Fabrications has designed some of our most beautiful WaterFire gifts found in the WaterFire Merchandise Store. Photon Fabrications combines art, engineering, and modern technology with a laser cutting machine. Our relationship with JJ Strong began after being introduced through Gather Glass (another fabulous merchandise partner!) who had just collaborated with JJ on another project. Our first product collaboration with JJ was the creation of the WaterFire Wooden Magnet which continues to be a WaterFire Fan favorite! Over the past few years we’ve created many different designs and products. Including: Ornaments, “Matchbox Memories”, and the new Brazier and City Skyline Bamboo Key Chains!  We hope every challenge we give him will allow him to feed his passion and talent as a laser cut designer. (Check out all the WaterFire Photon Fabrications products here!)

Photon Fabrications Wooden Magnets (Photo by Jen Bonin)

“At WaterFire Providence I’ve found a group of fellow artisans that concern themselves with quality of design as much as I do. The folks at WaterFire work hard to maintain a high standard.  As a young artist – just starting college when I created those first magnets – my experience with WaterFire has taught me a lot.  I’ve been lucky to be a part of a great Rhode Island tradition and I look forward to many more WaterFire projects down the road!”
-JJ Strong of Photon Fabrications

We are excited to share our support and admiration of JJ’s wonderful laser cut designs. Today, JJ is creating laser cut designs for every occasion available on his website and at local art fairs in Rhode Island.

Want to know more about the process? Here’s a clip from photonfabrications.com:

A piece usually begins life as a model in Solid Works, a 3D engineering program, where the basic form is created. The model is then translated into a 2D art program, Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator, or both where I add all of the detail that the laser will engrave. This software allows for a huge range of detail to be added and manipulated. Finally to take the art from a digital image to a physical object a Versa Laser CNC machine, which cuts out the components to make the final pieces, which are then assembled into the finished product.

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