Posts Tagged ‘portland’

Bobby and the Big Leaf Maple

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

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When I started my business a few years ago, I had a vision of what it would look like.  Mostly just me, in a garage, puttering away happily, making lamps one by one.   In the last year, we’ve grown to three employees, several contractors and a list of over 50 vendors that we work with on a steady basis.  In other words: still a small business, but much larger than my vision of a sole maker hammering away in the night.  The last year has really taken my breath away in how we’ve expanded and the things we’ve been able to do.  And I’ve realized that, as the business evolves and grows – so do I.  When the business gets busier and life gets more hectic, I find myself going back to the basic reasons of why I started my company.

One of them is Bobby , a woodturner I met when I was creating my first lamp prototype.  Bobby turns 90 this month and hasn’t slowed down a bit.  When I visited him earlier this month at his shop, he was wrestling a 100 lb. block of Big Leaf Maple onto his bandsaw.  A quick look around Bobby’s shop will tell you that he’s been doing anything but retiring.  Gouges are stacked up near his old pulley-driven lathe, sawdust covers the floor, and fresh piles of wood scraps creep up knee-high in some places.  As we hoist the chunk of wood up onto the bandsaw, Bobby tells me that it comes from the third largest Big Leaf Maple tree in Oregon.  “Look at this,” he says pointing to a beautiful velvet-black ribbon of spalt threading it’s way through the wood, a characteristic highly prized by turners.  “This piece really says something!”  I love that after all his years around wood, he still gets excited and shares his victories.

When I’m in Bobby’s shop, time seems to melt away, the steady hum of the lathe and the scent of sawdust are a calming balm from all my daily thoughts and worries.  Just being around Bobby teaches me the lesson I have the hardest time remembering, to slow down and enjoy life.  He moves with purpose around the floor of his shop, carrying the block of the Big Leaf with him to the jointer.  “I’ve been around this long because I love what I do!  When you love what you do, it’s not work.  There’s not a lot of people in this world that can say that.”

I turn 40 this year, less than half of Bobby’s age.  Whenever I feel like I’m straying from my true path in life, I feel lucky to know Bobby and I think of him at his lathe.  Turning Big Leaf Maple into piles of sawdust and gold.

 

The Makery Winter Market

Monday, December 1st, 2014

 

Made Here Opening, 11 / 6

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Please join us and our fellow makers for the opening of Made Here, a destination for local design and goods in downtown Portland!

Portland Supply Co. Interview

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Photo Credit:  Mikola Accuardi / Portland Supply Co.

It was wonderful meeting the team behind Portland Supply Co. during their visit to my studio last month.  I love the idea of their blog – interviewing Portland makers on their work and exploring their spaces to catch a glimpse of what happens behind the curtain.  Thank you so much for the interview Mikola and Jacquelyn!  Look forward to reading more soon!

 

Turned Bowls and Vessels by Kevin Poest

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

 

 

I’m so excited to introduce to you the work of Kevin Poest, a good friend of mine and one of the wood turners I work with.  Over the last two years, Kevin has been one of my biggest supporters and teachers in the world of wood turning*.  Whenever I visit his studio, a large hunk of wood is usually suspended on his lathe, with a knee-high pile of wood shavings resting underneath.  No project is too big.  Or too intricate.  Shelves full of turned vases, urns, bowls and objects du bois line the walls of his studio.  He turns paper-thin vessels out of walnut, plum, alder, oak, plum, pear, cedar, fir and black locust…  Nearly anything that comes out of the ground is fair game for Kevin’s lathe, and usually comes out looking better for it.

His work and the way he approaches turning, with a deep respect and joy for the trees his work comes from, has been a real inspiration to me.

From now until the end of August, several of Kevin’s beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces will be available for purchase in the Shop.  Each piece has been crafted from local woods in Portland and is sealed with a food-safe finish. It gives me a lot of happiness to see such beautiful craftsmanship and to share it with you.  Enjoy!

* You can follow my progress on Instagram with the hashtag #turningprogress

 

First Thursday Open House • Sneak Peek of our new lamp and more!

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

 

 

We’re having a great Open House this Thursday!  Our newest lighting design, The Sullivan, will be on display (available on our website in mid-April) and we’ll have lots of other good stuff happening:  Woodturner Kevin Poest will be displaying some new work, including several lovely mini-vessels, we’ll have more prints by United Thread on display and Genki-Su will be offering an array of their fine Japanese drinking vinegars.

Caravan Pacific Showroom Address:
Lovejoy Activspace Building
1720 NW Lovejoy
Suite #120, Ground floor
Entrance on NW 18th Street

All items and artwork in the showroom are for sale.  Please inquire at info@caravan-pacific.com for pricing and delivery.

 

(Above:  Mini-vessels by Kevin Poest  ///   Genki-Su Japanese Drinking Vinegar in Yuzu Tangerine)

Bee Local

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

 

I’ve been meeting some really inspiring people in Portland lately, one of them is Damian Magista of Bee Local Honey.  Damian harvests honey from hives from Portland’s many neighborhoods to create artisinal honey with distinctive flavors.  The honey looks incredible and I love how he inspires whole communities to help him create his product.  Check out his great line of homegrown honey here:  www.beelocal.com

Showroom Spotlight : Lynn Read of Vitreluxe Studios

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

 

I’m very excited to have Vitreluxe Studio’s beautiful glass vases in our Showroom this month.  Glassblower Lynn Read brings each shape into being in his Sellwood studio, combining smooth organic shapes with bright colors.  His work has been honored for many years in the design community and I’m honored to show his glassware this month.  Here’s a short Q + A with Lynn on his work and what inspires him:

LYNN READ // VITRELUXE STUDIOS

What inspires the shapes of your glassware?  

I think negative shape is as important as the positive space.  I like to see a dialog between the two.  I love implied lines that converge within a shape or shift the eye’s focus.  I work with a blown material, so I like to allow that tension and compression to be part of the shape.  I design for those to be the details of the shape.

Who first inspired you to make something?

I would give credit to my older brother for teaching me how to improve.  We would build choppers from BMXs, rockets from cardboard tubes, forts with tumbleweeds, and rafts from salvaged materials- then float the Willamette River from Mission Park to Sprongs Landing.

How has your work grown over the years? 

Working with glass is very challenging.  It requires serious dedication and patience.  Along the way, my ideas have evolved and I now enjoy the freedom to explore sculpture as well as vessels.  I have always struggled with the narrative in my work, but it has become easier with age.  Recently, I have allowed that into my work.  I think it’s interesting now because I’ve developed a heightened awareness of the physics of glass… liberation!

 What’s the most satisfying thing about your work?

Being able to work with my hands and body within the choreography of a team.  I enjoy teaching glassblowing and working with my friends in the studio as a career.

 

XOXO Fest

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Come visit us at the Kickstarter booth at the XOXO Festival this weekend!

We were so pleased when Kickstarter asked us to be part of their
booth at the upcoming XOXO Festival in Portland.  The founders
 behind Kickstarter and Build have created an event that brings 
together two great creative forces- the people who create things and 
the people who create the technology to make them available to the 
world.  With speakers from 20×200, Canvas, Etsy,
 Simple, Studio Neat, Metafilter, and the TV show 
Community, it looks like this is going to be an incredible event 
that sparks plenty of ideas and dialogue within the creative enclave 
here in Portland and beyond.

XOXO FEST
September 13th – 16th
YU Contemporary Building
800 SE 10th Avenue
Portland, OR 97214

 

 

First Friday at Union / Pine

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Friday’s almost here (yes!) and so is First Friday– Southeast Portland’s Gallery Night.  Robert Rahm from Beam & Anchor will be curating an event at Union/Pine featuring several manly vignettes with the help of some of our favorite designers and friends:  Phloem Studios, Earthbound Industries, Wood & Faulk, Revive, Hankbuilt, Eric Trine, Indian vs Indian and Boys Fort.  We’ll also be displaying a few of our lamps as well.  Come on down and put a little hair on your chest!

Friday, September 7th
Union/Pine
525 SE Pine Street
Portland, OR 97214
7pm – 12am
www.unionpine.com