Flickinger Glassworks Newsletter
Our brief monthly newsletter about Red Hook, Brooklyn...
and other people, places & things we think you should know about.

Welcome to the September edition.

This month Charles Flickinger explains the key element for bending glass; it’s all about the molds. We also present a Red Hook artist whose giant kinetic sculptures will literally cross the U.S./Mexico border and we introduce you to a local plant nursery that we love for its unusual flora.
The Heart of Our Glass Bending Business
Charles Flickinger matches the mold to the project. [2:26]
Every job at Flickinger Glassworks begins with a steel mold. A spinning (metal bowl) for a light fixture, a cylindrical steel form for store fronts, an elliptical organic shape for an artist’s sculpture. Although we are fabricating new molds all the time, most of our 3,000 molds are over 100 years old and came from our mentors. The oldest molds? They were blacksmithed by John Morgan in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the 1840s. We still use his molds every day. Take a look at this video where Charles shows how molds are being used on 4 specific jobs.
Small oven molds
From the Mexican border to Red Hook and back
The robotic Border Crossers
Artist Chico MacMurtrie grew up in Naco, Arizona, close to the U.S./Mexico border, where he observed the effect of the border wall on nature, on Native American sacred sites and migrants. Today Chico is internationally known for his large scale, site-specific robotic installations that he creates in a former Norwegian Seamen’s church in Red Hook. With funding from the Guggenheim Museum, the University of Michigan, and the Academy of Allied Arts in Vienna, Chico is returning to his roots, sending six “Border Crosser” robots to the wall in Naco. In a display of solidarity, the 30 foot, inflatable, amorphic sculptures will extend themselves across the wall from both sides.

Although he is risking arrest, Chico will be filming this venture for a documentary involving the engineers, local activists and students working on the project, and the communities on the border that are affected. For more details on this project, view the two short videos below.

Chico MacMurtrie describing his work [:45]; Border Crosser on its way to AZ [:34]
Fall is a great time to plant
Michele Paladino gives a brief tour of the nursery. [4:22]
You might not notice the Gowanus Nursery in Red Hook. It’s tucked away at the corner of Carroll and Van Brunt Streets, largely hidden behind greenery. But what a find it is! Especially for those looking for native plants or unusual varieties. Michele Paladino opened the nursery in 2003 (originally located in Gowanus) to give home gardeners more diversity to pick from. She managed to stay afloat during the early days of the pandemic by offering catalogue shopping. But her doors are open again on Thursdays through Saturdays from 9A-6P.

They also offer evening workshops that focus on Native Plants, Watering, Perennials, and Seeding. Sign up online.