The Pratt Creativexchange
Pratt CreativeXchange is a maker space for the exchange of design ideas and practices shared between local artisans and Kingston High School students, facilitated by members of Pratt's School of Design interdisciplinary research team. The goal of the CreativeXchange is to give creative career paths to local high school students that are creatively inclined during school but often not pursuing further work in a creative field. This goal is achieved through a five week intensive internship in which the high school students are taught about interior, industrial, and communication design through the lens of their own home town. The pieces designed for this internship are made in production methods of local makers that are brought into the internship to tell their story as a creative professional. Students leave the internship knowing local opportunities and production methods while also expanding their own creative practice.
Much of the internship focused around the production of soap and slip cast ceramics that both tell a material story of the city of Kingston. Kingston point beach is a small beach that extends into the Hudson River and is at risk of erosion from the Hudson’s current. In order to fight against the erosion, the Hutton Brickyards have scattered their retired bricks on the shoreline, creating an incredible material situation. For years, the current of the Hudson River has been wearing these bricks down into beautiful organic shapes. The fine red dust that has resulted from the erosion process stripes across the yellow sand of Kingston Point Beach, regenerating into the soil from which it came.
The vessels are slip cast using a custom method that captures particles of the actual Hutton Bricks within the slip. Depending on the way this method is executed, the composition and arrangement of the brick particles differs across all of the pieces. The soap is made of local beeswax from Fox Farm Apiary, a local bee farm, in the shape of bricks. As users wash hands with the soap, they will act as the Hudson River’s current and erode the brick shapes into unique natural forms.