• Karen Seiger

Handmade on Peconic Bay: Historical Techniques Produce Modern Designs

I have been remiss in waiting this long to feature the amazing work of Matt Shapoff of Handmade on Peconic Bay. Matt uses early printing techniques to create some of the most unusual items you will find in the artisan markets, or anywhere for that matter. At first glance, they may look like rich blue silk scarves and prints, or tobacco brown totes and notecards, all with lovely natural images or various curiosities. But once you look closer and learn the story of each individually made piece, you realize that Matt’s collection features true works of art, innovation and technology.

Matt uses two printing techniques from the mid-1800’s, Cyanotype and Van Dyck Brown. His processes are complex yet beautifully simple, and they result in images with incredibly fine details. Matt’s subject matter is another important part of the story, from perfect shells, reeds and flowers, to historic images, feathers and even an image of his own skull (which, by the way, is a best selling design).

Many of these images have a distinct nautical feel, perhaps because of the blue color or because they actually are handmade on Peconic Bay, Long Island. The prints decorate many a beach house, that’s for sure. If you do have the good fortune to talk with Matt about his work, however, you will come to appreciate what he does even more, a wonderful combination of art, technique, technology, history and nature, with just touch of mad scientist for good measure.

You can find the Handmade on Peconic Bay collection every weekend at Artists & Fleas and through August 19th at the Independent Designer Pop Shop in Chelsea Market.

19th Century Sloop – Van Dyck Brown Print by Matt Shapoff

Long Island Wildflower Cyanotype Print by Matt Shapoff of Handmade on Peconic Bay

Van Dyck Brown Print by Matt Shapoff of His Own MRI Image

Buffalo Light House Image with a Lovely Secret by Matt Shapoff (All the lines are words in a poem.)

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