For 15 years, Denise Carbonell and Derek Dominy lived above their L.E.S. shop, the Denise Carbonell Gallery, stocked with their handcrafted jewelry, furniture, and art. It was the perfect setup, until the vibe of the neighborhood changed.
“A lot of people kept saying our stuff looked too handmade, and we were like, Yeah, that’s the point,” says Carbonell. So last July the couple moved to Red Hook, where they know people will appreciate the things they make and sell in the boutique they now live above: Metal and Thread.
The new name better describes how they work as a team: Dominy is the metalsmith, welding all the steel bookcases in the store that double as display cases, and executing some of Carbonell’s jewelry designs, like stainless steel mesh earrings and lariat necklaces. Carbonell works with textiles, sewing beautiful silk baby quilts that can also be hung as tapestries. She also makes silk scarves, modern felt mobiles, carnelian stone earrings and her signature “hand” work: hands painted on scraps of wood, and hands sculpted from wire.
This time around, the pair will also sell other Brooklyn designers’ jewelry and housewares, like Marsha Trattner‘s forged metal bowls and the laser-etched Moleskin notebooks of Modofly. The rest of the store is stocked with antique and salvaged items, from 1940s industrial lamps to oddities like a piece of nautical rope, the porcelain hands and legs of a doll, and Japanese letterpress characters.
“I wanted to have a shop where if you only had $5, you could find something weird and quirky and be happy,” says Carbonell. Which makes Metal and Thread right at home on this stretch of Van Brunt that includes Saipua and Erie Basin, two other unique Red Hook stores that value the found and handmade over the new new bling.
Metal and Thread store opens this Saturday, March 29, at noon, with an opening party from 4-7 pm (live music by steel guitarist Smitty from 5-6). Hours are Thurs.-Sun., 12-6 pm. 398 Van Brunt St. between Dikeman and Coffey, 718-414-9651, metalandthread.etsy.com