North School Studio: A Creative Consultancy

Until 2015 this was the website for the North School Studio. Content on this page was created from the original site's archive pages. North School Studio's Facebook page is still active.

North School Studio is a creative consultancy that approaches economic development through education and design.

NSS is currently building a humble campus in the heart of Callicoon, NY. Our spaces provide practical resources, fresh air and laughter.

We generate projects through an extensive outreach process, building relationships with citizens, local government, institutions, businesses and organizations.

We apply our creative services in unconventional places. This allows us to connect innovative problem solving to public initiatives responding to environmental concerns, shifting demographics, stronger communication with government and new technologies.

Founded in 2010, North School Studio was conceived on 35 acres of forest and field at the top of Robisch Hill in rural Callicoon, NY. The land was bare, but inspired visions of hope; a school without walls, rendered from the responsibility to be a good steward, and the opportunity to pioneer.

Developing a responsible relationship with the land was the first step toward a more comprehensive understanding of the political and economic mechanisms that shape American society. This awareness led to increasing levels of involvement with larger scales of community and government, looking at all levels of human interaction from the village to the planet.

 

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North School Studio supports creative projects with 35 acres of land in upstate New York, by facilitating exchanges between design, technology and the arts.

NSS was founded in 2010, and is built and managed by a diverse group of collaborators and guided by a revolving board of curators.

We are committed to being responsive to issues and concerns of Sullivan County and the connected world.

North School Studio's 35 acres is located in the Town of Delaware in Sullivan County, New York at the top of Robisch Hill, in an area locals call “the beechwoods”.

There is no structure, electricity or plumbing. There are two piles of old barn wood, a broken 1989 Black GMC Suburban, two bonfire pits for gatherings, several stone walls and an old road that circles the crown of the hill.

From the top of the hill, through thick layers of pine, birch, chestnut, hemlock, maple, beech and oak you will find a broad view that faces all directions.

Robisch Hill rises from the North Branch of Callicoon Creek, which is one of many tributaries that feeds the Delaware River. The same water that passes Robisch Hill flows south to Trenton, NJ, to Philadelphia, PA, to Delaware Bay, DE, to the Atlantic Ocean.

Pine trees, 130 feet in length and 4 feet in width once occupied these farmlands only 200 years ago. They were chopped and sent down the Delaware River to help build early industrial cities like Trenton and Philadelphia.

“the largest raft ever assembled in the vicinity of Callicoon, so far as is known, was gotten together about 1870... It was a raft of wharf timber, 210 feet long by 75 feet wide... secured, the monster was heavily laden with several thousand feet of hardwood planks... the craft was piloted with safety to Philadelphia, where there was at that time a sharp business in wharf timber.” (page 5, Stories of the Raftsman, Charles T. Curtis, 1922)

Robisch Hill sits 800 feet above water level and rises to 1500 feet.

The beginning of the hill is steep and thick with trees. Robisch Hill Road, the only road on the hill, cuts diagonally across, twisting its way up the beginning, then stretching out as the hill levels. Hay fields, which are still farmed, checker either side of the road.

Frank Robisch died in September, 2012. He was the last Robisch to live on Robisch Hill. Frank left his land to a nearby farming family, who have lived at the bottom of the hill for generations, to continue the tradition of farming. The hill was originally named Robisch Hill by the US post office for convenience.

Frank spent his entire life farming, growing potatoes and keeping chickens for eggs, with his brother Charlie. They lived off the land and drank water from their well behind the house. Together, the brothers operated their small farm with a few sheds, a couple of cinder-block chicken coops, and a small house that today barely hangs onto the hill.

“Daniel Webster said that arts follow the farmer. That is true; but the saw mill generally preceded the farmer, or rather accompanied him for quite frequently the owner of the mill cleared first a small patch about his mill, then a larger patch and a still larger one until he had subdued and had a farm under cultivation.

It takes a vivid imagination for one to stand today and gaze upon the cultivated hillside and vale and believe that the felling of the forest giants that once covered the landscape was largely the work of the ax. During the early years of the lumbering industry the cross-cut saw was unknown.

Consequently the woodsman's ax is to be credited with the greater part of the vast labor of transformation. In those early days the song of the saw was unheard; the steady whack of the ax wielded by the sturdy, hard-and-sure striking choppers afforded the music of the forest. To this was added, of course, the voices of the teamsters, that of the choppers themselves and the crashing climaxes of the falling giants.” (page 3, Stories of the Raftsman, Charles T. Curtis, 1922)

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News 3D printers

Thread Global brought 3D printers to the 3D Printing Lab in Callicoon, NY, organized by North School Studio.

By Isabel Braverman

January 28, 2015 — CALLICOON, NY — Can you imagine: 3D printing in Sullivan County? That is what North School Studio envisions, and they brought that vision to life with a 3D printing lab workshop this past weekend in Callicoon.

Isaac Green Diebboll and Michael Carpenter organized the workshop and brought in Thread Global from Brooklyn to give talks about what they do, how 3D printing works, and what we can do with this technology, among other topics of discussion.

The workshop began with an introduction to 3D printing by Thread Global team members at Callicoon Trading. Stations were set up around the room with the themes “scanning,” “design” and “printers and materials.” Two 3D printers were in action, and objects made by 3D printers were on display, such as a shoe. Zachary Bromberg was on hand to scan people and upload the scans to a computer to create 3D versions of them, which could be printed out. Nate Kolbeck, founder and chief executive officer of Thread Global, talked about how to create a design to be 3D printed: design it using a program such as CAD, scan an object, or Google it.

After the presentations, the attendees talked about themselves. There were many community members, as well as some people from New York City. Legislator Cora Edwards was there and gave a talk about putting small business in Sullivan County at the forefront of the economic plan. Then, led by Thomas Bosket of North School Studio, brainstorming groups were formed under the themes of “industry,” “sustainability” and “dreams.” People gathered to talk about ways that 3D printing can be useful to our community.

What is 3D printing and how does it work?

3D printing is a process of making three dimensional objects from a digital file. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created. Although many 3D printed objects are made out of plastic, other materials can be used, such as wood, metals and even sugar.

Step 1: Create a design.
Step 2: Choose the material.
Step 3: Feed the material into the 3D printer, upload the design, and let the printer do the work.

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An Aside: I attended this workshop. If a picture were taken of the attendees, I would have stuck out since I was wearing my favorite Batman T-shirt It had a sublimated print of Batman in the rain standing atop a partial image of a gargoyle with skyscrapers in the background. It's a pretty dramatic image that glows with contrast between light and dark vibrant colors. Although it is super soft, light weight, a classic fitting tee, I really like its advanced moisture management and odor control features. I received a lot of comments at the workshop regarding it. I was working on a Batman project for an art project where I wanted to utilize a 3D printer. I wasn't really interested in the discussions about a Sullivan County economic plan. I just wanted to see a demonstration of the 3D printer. Update: I ended up working with someone who took my idea and created the CAD file that would be used with a 3D printer. I am now learning how to use the stereolithography CAD software so I can created my own files. It's a steep learning curve.

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