Arts / Roundups

Your favorite maker’s favorite maker: 12 of Brooklyn’s finest

We asked our favorite Brooklyn makers who their favorite makers are. Here's what they said.

The Ollie Chair by RockPaperRobot. (Image via Kickstarter)

Last month we made a list of 10 Brooklyn makers you should know. After we made the list we emailed everyone on it and asked who their favorite makers are in the borough.

One of the things that became clear is the overlap between designers and makers. Many of the people named as top makers also made our list of top designers, including Jessica Banks of RockPaperRobot, husband and wife duo CW&T and Jonathan Bobrow.

The list that follows shows how widely the word “maker” can be interpreted. Earlier this month, we tried to get to a universal definition of what a maker is, and made some progress toward that. Below we see people making physical products, food, art, and more.

Quotes, unless attributed, come from our designers. We’re keeping them anonymous because we think it’s more fun that way.

Jessica Banks

Jessica Banks, founder of RockPaperRobot.

Jessica Banks, founder of RockPaperRobot.

“I think Jessica Banks from RockPaperRobot is pretty great,” says one of our designers.

Banks is the founder of RockPaperRobot, a New Lab–based product design firm. The company’s premier product is the Ollie Chair, an upgrade on the traditional folding chair. The Ollie Chair raised an eye-popping $287,000 on Kickstarter earlier this year. Banks also made our April list of top Brooklyn designers.

Extraction Lab Alpha Dominche

“They use steampunk machines to make coffee. Every week they bring in a batch of new coffees carefully made by different roasters around the world.”


Che-Wei Wang, Taylor Levy and child show off their pendant light.

Che-Wei Wang, Taylor Levy and child show off their pendant light.

A husband-and-wife team, CW&T, aka Che-Wei Wang and Taylor Levy, have run their small design firm in Brooklyn for the last several years. Earlier this year they completed their fifth successful Kickstarter campaign for the Key Wrangler, a carabiner designed to better organize your key ring. Their previous Kickstarter, a series of 3D-printed pendant lamps, raised a whopping 12,000 percent of its Kickstarter goal. CW&T also made our list of Brooklyn designers you should know.

Matthias Pliessnig

“He makes these unbelievably beautiful steam bent wooden bench-sculptures.”

The Industry City–based Pliessnig has shown his work all over the country, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in D.C., and the Wexler Gallery, in Philadelphia.

Sara Camnasio

Sara Camnasio. (Courtesy photo)

Sara Camnasio. (Courtesy photo)

“Sara is a fellow grad student with me at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. She is an ex-astronomer, loves 3D printing and is currently working on a VR film project. Very passionate young lady that also teaches young kids maker skills on the weekends.”

Olivia Barr

Olivia Barr's Not-A-Camera.

Olivia Barr’s Not-A-Camera.

“Her  work, ‘Not a camera‘ is currently being sold at the Whitney museum and she has also been working really hard on collaborating with the Women’s March movement to continue efforts to raise awareness for underrepresented folk in politics, designing and fabricating kits to help people write to their representatives. She’s been a Brooklyn native for 16 years.”

Raaka Chocolate Factory

“Sweet, chocolately dreams are made of this. Plus they created a whole new way of making chocolate which is pretty neat.”

Raaka Chocolate is based in Red Hook. The name means “raw” in Finnish.

Matt Pinner

“He has an incredible imagination for working with LEDs, costumes as well as developing software systems for mostly anything you can imagine. A lot of his work has been for projects all around but he has moved to Brooklyn at the start of the year and has begun making things in NYC.”

Jonathan Bobrow

Troxes just went live on Kickstarter.

Troxes found success on Kickstarter.

Bobrow was also named in our list of favorite designers’ favorite designers in April. The founder of Move38, Bobrow successfully launched a new product, Troxes, on Kickstarter in May. As we wrote at the time, Troxes are “like a combination of Legos, blocks and high-end design prototyping — a toy for your kids that is imagination-intensive and screen-free.”

Jeff Crystal

Crystal does operations for Voltaic Systems, a company that makes backpacks and other gear with solar panels in them so that you can be generating electricity for your phone, laptop, or whatever else.

Brooklyn Glass

“They do fun glass-blowing workshops with cold beer and you can also learn to make you own neon signs.”

Blue Marble Ice Cream

“Blue Marble are able to create social impact through ice cream which is truly delicious.”

Series: Brooklyn

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