Tag Archives: Hue Extra

TATTOO ARTISTS IN MOTION, PART ONE: VICTOR MODAFFERI

Hue’s fall 2013 issue profiled five FIT alumni who have become some of the most successful tattoo artists in New York City. In addition to being interviewed and getting photographed, each one offered a brief tattooing lesson on video. We’ll be posting one a week for the next five weeks.

First up is Victor Modafferi, Illustration ’94, who shows viewers his tattooing setup.

Modafferi tattoos exclusively in black and gray, which allows for subtle shading. An artist working in color would have a different set of ink caps.

Enjoy! — and let us know what you think.

THE RURAL LIFE IN QUEENS, PART TWO

As part of her effort to live off the land as much as she can, Ruth Harrigan ’87 keeps four chickens in her backyard.

“My kids asked for a dog; I got them chickens,” she explains.

Ruth Harrigan petting a hen. “They’re mostly feathers,” she says.

She buys one-day-old chicks from a farm in Ohio; they only cost $2 each, but it’s an extra $35 to ship them via a special USPS carrier who deals only in livestock. Local farms also sell chicks, but they don’t guarantee the sex–and New Yorkers are only allowed female chickens. She’s willing to pay extra to avoid a Moses scenario.

As opposed to bees, which can be tricky to take care of, chickens are a breeze. They’re gentle and they live off food scraps–watermelon rinds are a delicacy, apparently.

Chickens are also great for gardens. They scratch at the ground all day, aerating the soil, and they eat the grubs that prevent things from growing.

Not to mention that each chicken produces an egg every day or every other day. The eggs are tastier than your typical supermarket variety.

“The white, normally slippery, is textured,” she says. “The yolk is bright orange. Even the local eggs I buy aren’t this orange.”

These eggs sure get eaten: Harrigan has four kids. Plus a cat, who (surprise!) gets along with the chickens just fine.

“All my friends want chickens now because of me,” Harrigan boasts. “Not that I’m pushing it or anything.”

THE RURAL LIFE IN QUEENS, PART ONE

At first blush (and even after numerous blushes), New York City does not seem like a good place to keep bees and chickens. Hue believed that too, until we met Ruth Harrigan, Fashion Buying and Merchandising ’87.

Harrigan keeps 12 beehives near her home in Douglaston, Queens, and five more in Staten Island. She also has four chickens as pets (more on that in the next post). This summer, she showed Hue said beehives and chickens.

Ruth Harrigan fakes a forest fire.

She approaches the beehives from the back. Apparently, they only leave the hive in one direction, so there are no bees where she’s standing. She fills the bee smoker with pine needles and lights them on fire. A tan stream of smoke pours upward and diffuses, and the bees, sensing a forest fire, crawl back into the hive.

Then she pulls out a frame to show off the honey.

The golden honey is concentrated in the lower left quadrant.

The structure of the man-made hives makes it easier to harvest the honey, but it’s not necessary. Recently, she left some empty cardboard boxes next to the hives, and a feral hive took up residence inside. “For me, catching a swarm is like saving $100,” she says, referring to the cost of buying a new colony.

This beehive was formed in an empty cardboard box.

She’s found a number of uses for the honey. First off, the neighbors eat it to help mitigate their allergies. Prevailing wisdom suggests the pollen content of local raw honey acts as a kind of inoculation for people with a pollen allergy. Supermarket honey can’t do that. “Pasteurized honey has no pollen–it’s just sweet syrup,” she says.

Second, she sells it as HoneyGramz, cute 2-ounce bear-shaped bottles with a gift message. And third, she puts it in her line of skincare, Mee Beauty. Sadly, the intoxicating scent of real honey fades quickly, so the products don’t smell like honey. Buyer beware: any beauty product that smells like honey relies on an artificial scent.

Based on customer demand, though, Harrigan is adding a honey scent to her body wash. “It’s the most natural fake fragrance you can get.”

HARLEQUIN EDITOR FINDS HER OWN “HAPPILY EVER AFTER,” 25 YEARS LATER

In 1984, high-school-sophomore Patience Smith, wallflower and devourer of romance novels, gets ditched by her date at a formal dance. Sam Bloom, a popular, handsome, devilish senior she’s crushing on big time, whirls her into a dance. After he graduates that spring, she doesn’t think she’ll ever see him again.

Fast forward to 2009. Patience, now a senior editor at Harlequin, has “dated everyone in Manhattan” and is sick of it. She has passed the age of the standard romantic heroine whom she reads about every day at work. If she still holds out hope for true love, it’s the kind you put in a pretty little box in your attic and try not to think about every day.

From out of the blue, she gets a Facebook message from none other than Sam (a French professor who now teaches at FIT), to the tune of “Weren’t you that redhead I danced with all those years ago?” He produces this photo, taken at that formal, her dropped jaw not yet shut:

This story’s glass slipper: a photo of Patience Smith and Sam Bloom at a high-school dance in 1984.

They discover that their long-ago interest was mutual, and they quickly fall in love. Wedding bells ring in 2011.

She takes his last name, because, duh, “Patience Bloom” is like the most perfect name for this story, so perfect that when it appears in the upcoming memoir (did we mention that her memoir, Romance Is My Day Job, debuts in February from Dutton/Penguin?), readers will probably roll their eyes and decide it’s a pseudonym.

Cue the orangey sunset.

The cover of Hue magazine, Summer 2013.

SUCCESSFUL ROMANCE NOVEL COVER ILLUSTRATOR’S LIFE AFTER THE DEATH OF THE ROMANCE NOVEL COVER

For more than 20 years, Leslie Peck, Illustration ’87, painted the covers of romance novels, bodice ripper and genteel love story alike. Although the contents may have been tawdry (Hue wouldn’t know), the covers were often masterful. Take a look at some of those covers in Hue’s summer issue.

But they didn’t come cheap, and, as publishing houses looked to cut their spending, these lush paintings went by the wayside. Peck, looking for a new career, turned to painting the world around her: farm animals, still lifes, potraits. Hue thinks she gets them just right.

See more painted beauties on Leslie Peck’s website.