art commerce: four artisan businesses grow in an old New Jersey industrial city (Hardcover)
Over a period of eight years, Steve Riskind photographed four small businesses located in or near Paterson, New Jersey. These "artisan businesses" are small, rely on skilled crafts people, and all are family owned. They are a specialty textile firm, jewelry manufacturer, pipe organ builder and stained glass studio. Each chapter focuses on one of these businesses. Introductions to the chapters are based largely on Riskind's interviews with owners of the firms. In some cases additional research supplements the interviews.
Following each introductory essay are approximately 20 photographs taken at the business. The goal in taking the photographs was to capture the intensity of workers engaging with the materials they use. These are not posed pictures showing workers holding products and smiling at the camera. Rather they are images of skilled artisans in the process of creation.