Are you sitting down?
You should probably sit down for this. Because today we’re going to shatter your preconceived perceptions of the Steel City. Starting with the fact that we don’t make that much steel in Pittsburgh anymore.
Okay, now that you’ve come to grips with that little nugget of news, you might be thinking something like, “Well, what do you make in Pittsburgh?”
Since no explanation can do Pittsburgh’s creative community justice, we’ll simply refer you to the experts. Check out these 22 makers who are redefining what it means to be Made in PGH.
In the basement of his east Pittsburgh home, metalsmith Michael Studebaker makes incredible hand-forged metal good, including bracelets, razors, keychains and combs.
Working with forgotten and worn materials, the Reclaimed Things duo of Jenny Lee and Jeremy pour love and hard work into each piece of custom furniture. In doing so they breath life into old materials to create new furnishings and a new centerpiece in your room.
Reiko Yamamoto Ceramics
Simple, modern and organic design. These are a few words that describe Reiko Yamamoto’s ceramic tablewares. All of which are shaped and fired in her Lawrenceville studio.
These meticulously handcrafted wood cuts begin as a pencil sketch that are then carved into a wood block before being inked and sent through the press with paper. No words.
High quality cottons, caps, and vintage fabrics from a streetwear and art collective, representing a new generation of graffiti writers, skateboarders and hip hop artists emerging in Pittsburgh.
Carry your gear in style with a durable canvas bag, cute clutch or minimalist wallet from the fine folks of Moop.
Bones and All
Channeling the regions manufacturing roots, this Rust Belt workshop specializes using salvaged and domestic hardwoods to design and fabricate furniture, home goods and other decorative objects.
Since 2006 Redraven has been creating handmade porcelain keepsakes, like jewelry and wedding decor, for special moments and meaningful events. Each piece is a tangible keepsakes for generations to come.
Jenny N. backpack
Inside her Pittsburgh studio Jenny Nemlekar makes, photographs, markets, sells and ships handmade leather and canvas bags, while her husband, Shay, runs point on strategy and operations.
Steel is still alive at Maestro Frameworks. That’s where you’ll find bike builder Michael Brown, who uses steel to build custom bicycle frames based on the owner;s unique specs and requests.
Kim Fox, the worker bird herself, creates custom quilts with a twist. Instead sewing a patchwork of cloth, Kim nails deconstructed tin to salvaged wood to “tin quits” wall art and other unique pieces.
“Simple things done well” is a mantra many designers aspire after, but few achieve. Justin Lacey and Miriam Devlin, the team behind Day Shift, are among the few. The result: modern, sustainable furniture that is built-by-hand to be highly functional and long lasting.
Paying homage to the blue collar work ethic and steel era ideals that run deep in Pittsburgh, John Fischer created Homestead Supply Co. – hand crafted heirloom accessories and durable goods like wallets, belts and key chains of quality and meaning.
Chris Bencivenga and Becki Hollen are the resident printmakers and illustrators at everyday balloon who work with their hands to create cute things for you to wear, share or hang on your walls.
If you’re in need of a logo, some hand-lettering or a legit design, look to Daniel Gurwin – he’s an illustrator, designer and letterer whose portfolio features work for some of the makers on this list.
Inside Stak’s Pittsburgh studio, the husband and wife team of Myles and Heather Geyman throw, mold and cast handmade housewares with a focus on quality, contemporary aesthetic and purposeful everyday use.
What if you had the power to alter history? If you want to know what it’s like just ask Matthew Buchholz. He remakes history with monsters and robots, adding touches of pop culture and sci-fi to historic images.
Lisa Cairns Krowinski is a self-proclaimed “typography-lovin’ graphic designer” who turned a love for ink and paper into a real life letterpressing print shop, known for minimalist cards and stationery, with a serving of wit and humor.
Emily Walley, an artist and craftsperson, creates handmade, hand cut and hand screen printed jewelry in her Pittsburgh studio. A focus on fearless design produces pieces that are bold, distinct and architecturally inspired.
This art, design and screenprint studio is the work of Brad and Stephanie Towell, whose creative offerings include graphic design and custom screen prints, as well as mural design, installations, custom wall coverings and more.
Take handmade posters and prints, done the old fashion way. Combine them with custom illustrations and vibrant art. There you’ll find strawberryluna – a custom design and silkscreen studio.
JM Custom Builds
John Malecki is the “J. M.” behind these custom, rustic and reclaimed-meets-industrial builds. At first, these custom builds were a creative hobby. But when Big John ran out of things to build for himself, he started building epic things for others. And they liked it. A lot.[join]What do you think about these local makers? Would you buy their products? Let us know with a comment here on facebook. [button text=”Click Here to Comment” link=”https://www.facebook.com/madepgh/posts/850514575022153″ target=”blank” width=”full” color=”black” size=”small”][/join] This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.