Shop Hudson Valley Artisans at Makers Central

Three Woodworkers, a Ceramicist, a Knifemaker and a Printmaker Team Up

Garage/Workspace/Gallery

On a quiet stretch of Central Avenue in Tarrytown, there is a garage next to the New Hope Institutional Baptist Church. Well, at least it looks like a garage. But if you peek through the murky 1930s windowpanes what you’ll actually see is a cavernous space peopled by a whole bunch of cutting-edge craftspeople.

“I was looking for a space maybe the size of a two-car garage,” says ceramicist and Makers Central instigator Connor McGinn, standing in a room that could easily accommodate 20 Chevy Tahoes. “But I knew this was the spot.”

McGinn cooked and bartended at the lauded Restaurant North in Armonk before returning to ceramics three years ago; it’s a calling that hadn’t really left him since his teens. Nowadays he’s collaborating with chefs to create custom ceramics for a national roster of restaurants that include Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Taproot, The Musket Room, and Goosefeather, to name a few.

Having secured 10,000 square feet of raw space with partner Stetson Hundgen, co-founder of Makers Central, McGinn needed tenants to help shoulder the bills. But McGinn—who has a way of holding onto business nous while simultaneously creating fluid, touch-inviting ceramics—wanted tenants with a uniting purpose. He set about finding successful, high-end craftspeople whose varied work is all food adjacent.

Photo Credit: Damon Jacoby

Chef Dan Sabia, owner of the catering company Wood Fire Food Co, creating his custom cutting boards.Chef Dan Sabia, owner of the catering company Wood Fire Food Co, creating his custom cutting boards.

Making things happen. An outdoor event specialist, Chef Dan Sabia keeps busy in the offseason with woodworking. 

Natalia Woodward owner of a custom print making company in Tarrytown called Bat Flower Press.Natalia Woodward owner of a custom print making company in Tarrytown called Bat Flower Press.

ImPRESSive. Printmaker Natalia Woodward of Bat Flower Press at the 1903 press she named Greta.

How an oyster knife is created. Yazel Knizes at Makers Central in Tarrytown, NYHow an oyster knife is created. Yazel Knizes at Makers Central in Tarrytown, NY

Stay Sharp. Matt Yazel works on a blade for Yazel Knives.

Five Artisans Walk into a Bar

First to join was woodworker Chef Dan Sabia; besides crafting gorgeously laminated cutting boards, he caters elite wood-fired food events under his company, Wood Fire Food, and has worked under top chefs including Michael White, Andy Nusser, and Bill Taibe. “I knew Connor when we were kids. We’d go to hardcore shows and see concerts in people’s garages.” Years later Sabia reconnected: “I came here to source plates for my dinners … and by the end of the conversation, I was moving in.”

Carlos Chimborazo and Elena Krougliak of C-Los Carpentry worked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns before starting a business that allowed them to stay in the food world. Nowadays they build stunning dining tables and turn elegant bowls that celebrate the eccentric organic patterns of wood grain. Their clients include restaurants Cosmé and Maison Yaki in New York City.

A connection to McGinn’s business partner brought Matt Yazel of Yazel Knives into the fold. Yazel trained at the only bladesmithing program in the country, MassArt. A family move led him on the hunt for a new workspace. He’s grateful to have found Makers Central. “I thought I would wind up stuck in some dank basement with low ceilings, all by myself, spiders everywhere.”

Natalia Woodward creates elegant letterpress invitations, business cards and menus under the name Bat Flower Press. She arrived with her 1,200 pound, 1903 Chandler and Price press, affectionately named Greta. The machine was hauled into the space with the help of McGinn’s pickup truck plus some of the other makers’ brawn and ingenuity (using metal pipes for rollers). “This is what I love about this space: I came here with the press, a flat-file and myself, but the others really helped setting me up.”

Says McGinn of Makers Central’s founding ethos: “We want it to be a place where a big part of the value is the people you are surrounded with.”

Smoke, Chili and Brine

Chef Dan Sabia’s wood-smoked Castelvetrano olives are marinated in cold-pressed olive oil with herbs and pilacca, a sauce that he ferments from wood-smoked Hudson Valley chilis, vinegar and honey. They’re a Doorstep Market best seller—and just the thing at cocktail hour.

Hand printed greeting cards made by Bat Flower Press in Tarrytown, NY.Hand printed greeting cards made by Bat Flower Press in Tarrytown, NY.

All the pretty things. Sensual papers and crisp illustrations mark these cards by Natalia Woodward of Bat Flower Press.

Custom forged knives by Matt Yazel of Yazel Knives in Tarrytown, NY.Custom forged knives by Matt Yazel of Yazel Knives in Tarrytown, NY.

Blades of Glory. The wavy lines of Damascus steel among blades by Yazel Knives.

Hand turned bowl by C-Los Carpentry in Tarrytown, NY.Hand turned bowl by C-Los Carpentry in Tarrytown, NY.

Au Naturel. C-Los Carpentry celebrates the eccentricities of the natural world.