For the third year in a row, Brad Ford hosted his shindig Field + Supply near Ulster County's High Falls. Makers from Brooklyn and the surrounding area showed off their wares in white tents and pop-up shoppes across the backyard of the Hasbrouck House. Gravel-lined paths carried enchanted people along their routes toward the next beautiful thing. Woodsmoke and Dave Nelson's trombone filled the air, along with the laughter of children and the amiable chatter of adults. It was a good day to care about design and live in the Hudson Valley.
Field + Supply is a celebration of a burgeoning group of Hudson Valley "makers"—a word that has recently joined the lexicon of this American moment we're living through together. The gathering's subtitle is "A Modern Makers Craft Fair." The word aspires to a certain humility even as it admits a pinch of conceit. It even popped up as the sole music credit for a particularly hip music artist in his most recent album.
What, then, is a maker?
Makers are a class of people valuing autonomy, sustainability, craftsmanship, and a sense of place, who make things with their hands. They often then promote or sell these things through the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, which allow these goods to be photographed and presented with a compelling, gorgeous visual identity. The ideological underpinnings of this troupe recall the edicts of woodsy, stoic 19th-century American folk-philosophers like Emerson & Thoreau. Makers want to make things with their hands for a living and make good money doing it. They're passionate about design and detail.
Many of the things we felt, tasted, smelled, sat in, and saw this weekend definitely evinced these principles; they were a joy for the senses.
Simplicity, organic form, and traces of imperfection are all hallmarks of this style. As much as local self-made autonomy is a key to their identity, the support of community is intrinsic as well.
That essential quality of community was on display at the third annual Field + Supply over this past weekend, October 7-9, in Stone Ridge, around the corner from its previous location in the sleepy hamlet of High Falls. (Together, the two hamlets comprise Marbletown). Happy and hip people of all ages were hosting their tents and boasting their wares, while similarly hip and happy people of all ages were sauntering about feeling, appraising, and buying goods while chatting up these makers, co-owners, and brand representatives.
Though the first one was two years ago, many of the same qualities were manifest: geometric, faceted, sculptural, evidently handmade, wooden, clay kilned. Fine materials again were in abundance—American cashmere, grey linen, black walnut, mellow brass, smooth oak, fine leather, woven horse hair, green velvet, thickly textured patterns across a variety of textiles. Hand-stamped packaging. Sailor's knots. Smoked glass. Cones, hexagons, and other organic shapes, whittled to a minimalist simplicity that smacks of sophistication and a certain urban polish.
As locals and city dwellers mingled about, drinking cocktails on haybales, woodsmoke wafting on the air, sun breaking through clouds to dazzle breeze-blown autumnal leaves mid-change in color, it was a fine day to be in Upstate New York.
Thinking of spending some time in the Hudson Valley while peak foliage is afoot? Check out Field + Supply sponsor And North's write-up of five places to stay here.