2016 Holiday Show Schedule

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Thompson Street Studios Sale

WHEN: Saturday, December 3, from 12-5

WHERE: 522 N Thompson, Portland, OR 97227

WHO:  Sara Barner, Emily Katz/Modern Macrame, Wood & Faulk,  Minoux Jewelry, Andy Paiko, Le Cou, Caravan Pacific, Ginew, AK Studio, Uni Jewelry and Women’s Studies.

Enter our giveaway for $1000 of amazing merchandise!

Enjoy delicious drinks from Union Wine and Merit Badge Co.

HOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY: We want to make it easy for you to enter, so you can do it online! Follow the link below for one entry. For one additional bonus entry, attend the Saturday event and enter in person.You don’t need to be present to enter or win.
http://eepurl.com/coF4uD

GIVEAWAY ITEMS:
$100 gift certificate from Wood & Faulk
$100 gift certificate from Le Cou
Canvas Thompson Bag from Sara Barner
$125 gift certificate from Minoux Jewelry
Macrame Plant Hanger Kit and Macrame Wall Hanging Kit from Emily Katz at Modern Macrame
Mimosa Wall Charm from AK Vintage
Deja Planter and Women’s accessories from Caravan Pacific
Enola Necklace from Uni Jewelry
and more…

 

Slab Rolling Demo at the Portland Flea!

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Hi there!  I’ll be doing a short demo on slab rolling at Rejuvenation this Sunday as part of the line-up at Portland Flea.  I can’t wait to show you how fun this handy tool is and what you can do with it!

Slab rolling is a really easy and fun way to make shapes and textures with clay.  I’ll have clay and some tools and molds on hand for you to try it yourself.  Kids welcome, prepare to get your hands dirty!

Rejuvenation / Portland Flea
SE 6th & Salmon
Sunday, October 30th
12noon – 2pm
Demo inside Rejuvenation (Portland location)

 

 

 

 

 

NYNow 2016

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We’re excited to be showing several new designs at NYNow this summer.  Please visit us in Booth #3854 to view samples of our new Powell Table Lamp, Manzanita Glaze and Women’s Accessories.  Our boothmates Vitreluxe and Bean & Bailey will also be bringing some beautiful new wares to the show.  See you there!

On Creative Time

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Hi! I thought I’d start off the week with some books I’ve been reading on work-life balance. Recently, I was on a panel where someone asked, “How do you make time to be creative while running a business?” Having time to make things that I love is one of the reasons I started Caravan Pacific. But between balancing the books, managing employees, keeping up on orders and the myriad of other things you do to keep things running,  I sometimes feel lucky if I can pull my pants on in the morning much less think up a good idea for a new product. Luckily, I’ve found a few things that work for me in balancing my time and being creative:

• Focus and move towards one goal throughout the year

The book, The One Thing, outlines how to minimize distractions and focus on accomplishing creative and financial goals in a realistic way.  Last year, my main focus was on how to build a good inventory system for my business as it grew.  We’re still growing and adapting new technologies and strategies for this, but I feel we now have a good system in place that feels right for our business.

• Build a good team to help you manage your time

Hiring a studio manager who works full time at our company was a total game changer.  I was no longer struggling to ship out orders while on the phone with a vendor or juggling POs while going through our inventory.  Having someone to help out with a number of regular functions in the business has helped free up a significant amount of time so I could develop new products and start a family.  The book, E-Myth Revisited, is a great read if you’re new to scaling a business and breaking it down into positions to help manage growth.

•Work less or work more, just work at the tempo that feels right for you

I’ve realized that the pressure of a deadline sometimes helps me knock things out creatively and can be more satisfying for me than a steady stream of days each month that I’ve blocked out to focus on product design.  Realize that your schedule may have to be a little flexible to allow for creative growth.  Off-Balance is a great book on re-imagining work-life balance and what it takes to be satisfied as a creative individual.

• Practice patience

Something I wish I would have said in answer to that initial question of where to find creative time is: have patience with yourself and your craft.  Not everything you work towards is going to be a win.  If you don’t have a little struggle or some misses, I believe you’re creating a great deal of fragility, if not boredom, in your business and work.  I love stretching my boundaries, but have to remind myself that I’m not always going to see the success that I think is imminent.  Many of the crafts I focus on now (wood turning, slip-casting, electrical design) take years, sometimes a lifetime, to fully understand and master.  In Praise of Slowness is a great book on the wisdom of slowing down, personally and as a culture, to reap the rich benefits of a life more fully realized.  Carl Honore, the author, is one of my favorites and has a number of great books on the subject.

Hope you get to read at least one of these books!  I found them all to have moments of wisdom and inspiration for building my business.  Please share if you know of others or have feedback on the ones above.  Always looking for a good read…

Shannon

Gray Conversations // Wednesday, June 15

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Want to know what really makes a small product design company tick?  Have questions about how to become a furniture designer?  When do you jump from being a solo maker to a business with employees?  I’ll be joining several makers from Portland and Seattle this week for discussion on these topics moderated by Gray Magazine.  Details below, look forward to seeing you there!

Gray Magazine Conversations //  Hotel Lucia // June 15th // 6 – 9pm

Tickets at: http://www.graymag.com/gray-conversations.html

 

 

 

DESIGN WEEK PORTLAND EVENTS 2016

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We have a great line up of events this Design Week!

First, this Wednesday, April 20th :  We’ll be opening our new studio and maker space, Union Studios, to the public for the first time.  Come by, have a beer with our fellow makers and score some great deals and conversation!  Aubrey Ament will also be debuting her new line of modern commuter bags which we can’t wait to see!

On Thursday, join us for an event that’s already been picked by Portland Monthly as one of the must-see events of DWP:  Futurelandia!  20 local artists will be interpreting Portland’s future 100 years from now.  Come see what your hometown looks like in the next century!

This Friday, Woonwinkel will be exploding with color to celebrate it’s fifth anniversary!  Our studio mates Hank by Henry and Scout & Whistle will also be on hand with some bright new wares!

Caravan Pacific / Union Studios Open House / April 20th / 4 – 7pm / 3425 SE 18th Ave. Portland OR

Futurelandia / Union Pine / April 21st / 6 – 9pm / 525 SE Pine Street Portland OR

Celebrate Color! / Woonwinkel / April 22nd / 4 – 8pm / 935 SW Washington Portland OR

 

3rd Annual Spring Seconds Sale!

 

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Spring is almost upon us and it’s time to clean out our studio to make way for new projects!  Please join us with a group of great local makers at the Ace Cleaners for our 3rd Annual Spring Seconds Sale!  We’ll have 50 – 60% discounts on all our lighting styles, 70% off accessories and much more!  Come early for the best deals, and check out our Instagram for some of the beauties we’ll be offering!

Spring Seconds Sale
Location:  The Cleaners at The Ace Hotel
Date:  Sunday, February 7th
Sale Time:  11am – 4pm
Vendors: Another Feather, Bridge & Burn, Caravan Pacific, Barrow Jewelry, The Granite, Meadow Designs, Revolution Design House, Hank by Henry

Mid-Century Modern Master • Gordon Martz

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Recently I had a few people ask how I got started creating lamps.  It’s not an easy question to answer.  It’s kind of a funny thing, to stumble upon something that becomes intriguing… then a challenge, and finally a passion you cannot live without.  For most of my life I thought that working in film and television was going to be what I did with the rest of my life.  Now, I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t taken the jump to create my first lamp and start a business.  When I think about that vulnerable place between having an idea and taking the first steps towards turning it into a reality, it can be a lonely place full of self-doubt and hard realizations.  It really helps to have a good guide to steady you so you can make that first, precarious jump.

For me, one of those important guides was Gordon Martz.

I first stumbled on Gordon’s work online while doing research for my first lamp design.  I spent hours looking at different lighting styles but I couldn’t find much on how they were created.  When I clicked across a site featuring worn and weathered lighting catalogs from the mid-century era one night, it was like a lightning bolt struck me.  There was Gordon, captured in black + white in his studio in the 1950’s, finishing pieces on the wheel, pouring 3-foot-high plaster molds, brush glazing lamp bases, lampshades and patterns stacked endlessly behind him.  As I looked at the photos, my idea of making a lamp and starting a small company didn’t seem so far-fetched.  I wondered if he was still alive and sent an email out to the website archivist, Craig McCormick, that night.

Gordon and his wife Jane ran one of the seminal factories for table lighting production in the mid-century era, Marshall Studios.  The studio was famous for its large collection of table lighting and home wares made from earthy clay and glazes, as well as hand-loomed lampshades, which Jane sometimes decorated with natural materials and rooster feathers.  At its zenith, the studio had 50 employees and shipped out over 1,000 lamps per month.  Gordon designed much of the lighting, stamping “Martz” in his decisive script at the bottom, and was invited to be part of MOMA’s “Good Design” Exhibit in 1953, among other accolades.

Gordon and I struck up a relationship over emails and phone calls over the next few years as I slowly began to make my way through designing and making my first lamp.  I remember one time in particular; late in the studio one night, covered in slip that had spilled out of one of the molds and exhausted from pulling another 60-hour week at my day job, I called him with questions about a casting problem I was having.  Really I just wanted to hear his voice and know that someone had been there and done that.  Gordon could be a little aloof at times, I’m sure hearing about the trials of a novice ceramist was probably not how he wanted to live out his retirement, but he came through and offered several hours of advice and tips with a great deal of encouragement as I struggled to sort things out.

When I visited him with Craig in 2014, he had moved into an assisted living facility in the South.  He had somehow convinced the groundskeeper to convert one of the outbuildings into a ceramic studio.  A sprightly 94, he led us down the short path to his studio and showed us the different sculptures he was working on.  It seems like his hands were always in clay, that its textures and endless plasticity were never far from his mind.  A quick look around the studio offered glimpses into Gordon’s past and future. Old lamp bases were tucked away amongst the new sculptures he was carving and trimming.  After a lifetime of working in ceramics, he was still exploring, still searching for the perfect balance of shape and form.

Sadly, Gordon passed away this fall.  My sympathies go out to his family and to those who had the pleasure of knowing him.  He possessed the rare talent of being able to combine his vast practical knowledge with a unique artistic style that shaped America’s mid-century era and inspired many artists and designers today.  More than his legacy of work with Marshall Studios, I’m inspired by the true dedication and passion he showed for his craft throughout his life.  It seemed to give as much back to him as he gave to it.  Thanks Gordon.

 

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BLACK MAGIC • 11 / 27

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Hey everyone!  We’re excited to be part of this great event for Black Friday at the Ace Cleaners this year.  Join us along with Better Late Than Never, Sara Barner, AK Vintage, Barrow Jewelry, The Granite and many more fantastic makers for great deals this Friday.  We’ll be offering select goods at up to 15% off with free shipping!  Look forward to seeing you and getting this holiday started with a bang!

 

 

We’re Hiring!

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Caravan Pacific is growing and looking for a part-time Jeweler to help us build our women’s accessories department.  Do you have experience soldering metal and love making things?  This is the job for you!  Work with a team of young, dedicated makers who have a passion for making high-quality products.

The ideal candidate for this job has three years of soldering and torch experience, a sharp eye for details and enjoys working in a team environment.

Please download our Job Description for more details and how to apply.

PDF Version here.