November 27, 2012

Gamblin Colors

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Gamblin got its start in a humble garage in 1980 by founder Robert Gamblin; who sought to make sustainable, safe, as well as contemporary oil-based paints and inks for painters and printmakers. Now located on the East bank of the Willamette River, Gamblin continues to create beautiful paints and inks made in small, quality-controlled batches by a close team of only 25 people. It seemed amazing to me that such a well-known, nationally recognized company was still comprised of so few people and that they manage everything so perfectly (and are pretty fantastic people to boot). Walking around Gamblin headquarters is a visual bombardment of color - colors staining all of the fantastic machinery, being mixed in vats, covering everyone's aprons, and on the shiny labels carefully put on each tube of paint. One of the aforementioned color-stained pieces of machinery is used to fill paint tubes, though it is actually a vintage toothpaste-filling machine! While I was visiting, Gamblin was in the midst of judging their annual "Torrit Grey" competition, in which they invite artists to submit work that has involved their Torrit Grey paint - a color made by recycling all the trapped pigment dust in Gamblin's air filtration system. I was also able to check out the color lab Robert Gamblin uses for "Conservation Colors," a line of oil paints he specifically developed in order to restore the works of old masters such as Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael. Such a multi-layered and fascinating place! As you can see, below.

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click to visit Gamblin's website



February 20, 2012

Esque Studio

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Esque Studio is an eco-minded glass blowing studio tucked away in St. Johns and brimming with beautiful and oddly shaped designs that speak both of functionality and creativity. Glassblowers Andi Kovel and Justin Parker began working with glass as a medium by doing renderings for artists like Kiki Smith, and now they create custom glassworks for Anthropologie, Ralph Lauren Home, Sephora, and more. They moved from Brooklyn, NY to land at this glorious old warehouse-studio, and have been churning out lighting, terrariums, vases, sculptures and the like daily. Each piece is made to order, using wind-energy and the most amazing techniques! When I visited, Andi and Justin were creating beautiful and realistic hearts from vibrant blue and red glass, just in time for Valentines Day. All around are curvaceous and colorful pieces glistening on tables and hung from the walls, and amidst all this, Andi's sweet old dog Shadow watches in the glow of their electric furnace (which sits at around 2000 degrees farenheit!). Their wares can be found locally at Woonwinkel and Design Within Reach as well as through their website: Esque-Studio.com.

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click to visit Esque Studio's website



November 4, 2011

Hinged Strung Stitched

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Hinged Strung Stitched is a book bindery located in the lovely mustard-yellow Olympic Mills Building. In their sunny studio, bookbinders Molly Lewis and Michelle Johnson cut, glue, bind, and hand sew books and boxes that will eventually become beloved vessels for the memories of people all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond! Molly started Hinged Strung Stitched after seventeen years devoted to bookbinding, and utilizes techniques that have been practiced for centuries. Each book is handmade in every possible way, beginning as loose pages, fabric, and book board, and then transforming into gorgeous full-fledged books, just waiting to be filled with thoughts and knowledge. Hinged Strung Stitched currently makes photo albums, guestbooks, and coffee table books that are for sale through their website, and Molly and Michelle love to make unique custom orders for anyone and everyone! Check out their beautiful studio below, and be sure to look through their array of gorgeous books!

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click to visit the Hinged Strung Stitched site



October 27, 2011

Egg Press

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Egg Press is a letterpress (and sometimes screenprinting) print shop which specializes in creative and adorable greeting cards, baby tees, and posters. Started by designer extraordinaire Tess Darrow exactly 12 years ago, Egg Press now lives in the gorgeous, brick Schoolhouse Electric building and employs an expert team of printers and other creatives. Besides designing and printing a seriously impressive array of cards for every possible sentiment and occasion, Egg Press also does custom work for weddings, announcements, and anything else you can think of! Almost all of the paper used at Egg Press is tree-free (cotton-based paper) and they do a stellar job of recycling just about everything they can, in the hopes of making environmentally friendly printing an industry standard. They recently partnered with Schoolhouse Electric and Adam Arnold (talk about a dream team..) to create some unique and wonderfully Portland-esque slip covers, which will soon be available through Schoolhouse Electric's new retail space. You can find their cards locally at Oblation Papers & Press, Powells Books, and a variety of other shops and boutiques nationwide.

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click to visit Egg Press' lovely site



September 16, 2011

Kate Bingaman-Burt

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Kate Bingaman-Burt is one of the bubbliest, multi-talented people I have ever met; excitedly delving into design and craft in every way she possibly can! An example of this vivid creativity is her book, Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today? which was released last year, and details every purchase she made between 2004-2010 in illustration form.
Her current undertakings include being Assistant Professor of graphic design at Portland State University and working along side ADX Portland's "Gang of Ten" which includes her husband Clifton Burt, friend and colleague Will Bryant, and Nicole Lavelle( who you may recognize from our archives..), among others! She is also a sometimes curator, author, speaker, work-shop giver, and a great supporter of the indie-craft and craftivism movements. Check out her amazing array of work, and her hyper-colorful work space below!

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click to visit Kate's website



September 7, 2011

Tanner Goods

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Tanner Goods is a locally made/designed leather-craft shop and studio. Owned by Sam Huff and Mark Perusich, the shop specializes in heritage leather techniques; drawing inspiration from a member of their team, a heritage saddle maker who has been sewing saddles since 1964. The leather is crafted into classy and simple belts, wallets, and wristbands using antique tools and a whole lot of dedication. Their gorgeous workshop resides in the ground floor of the LeftBank building, and is full of giant leather hides and the specialized tools that shape them into such amazing goods. Each member of the team works away sewing, skiving, and tooling thick leather pieces while the shop's loping leather-colored dog watches on.
Their flagship store opened this year on 13th and W.Burnside, where you can find all of their amazing products as well as scrap leather by the pound! So stop on over and get yourself a beautiful handmade piece!

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click to visit the Tanner Goods website



August 4, 2011

Chelsea Heffner of plainMADE

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Chelsea Heffner is a multi-disciplinary artist from the sunny land of Encinitas, California (of which I am strangely and coincidentally also from!) who learned her trades from the Hodgeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht, The Rhode Island School of Design, and The Pacific Northwest College of Art. She is also the founder of plainMADE; a textile design brand for which Chelsea creates hand silk-screened "false-knit" silk scarves, knit dresses created by hand with her fabulous knitting machine, and hand-waxed, silkscreened tote bags with beautiful leather handles. When I visited, Chelsea was readying a batch of the "false knit" scarves for local boutique Sword and Fern, which entailed using the biggest screen I have ever seen to print on vibrant, floaty silks that were soon draped all over. Her studio (located in the lovely Ford Building) is truly inspirational - full of light, plants, projects, and a small chihuahua-mini greyhound mix named Will who looks on nervously over all of Chelsea's work. Check out Chelsea's beautiful wares via the plainMADE site, and find them locally at Sword and Fern and Nationale, as well as in small boutiques nation-wide!

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click to visit Chelsea's website



July 29, 2011

Laura Liebe and Aaron Montaigne of Galerie Salome

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Laura Liebe is an artist who works mostly with large-scale figurative drawings and paintings. Aaron Montaigne is a painter, photographer, and the lead-singer in local dark/new wave/dance band The Dangerous Boys Club. Together they are the owners of Galerie Salome, a dark and mysterious art gallery located in the Everett Street Lofts. Within Salome, Montaigne and Liebe make their home, studios, and gallery-space exist harmoniously along with their sprightly, one-eyed black pug, Valentino. Within the brick walls of the space hang Aaron's paintings in progress, Laura's vast collections (dried flowers from every bouquet Aaron as brought her, locks of hair from every era of her life, etc), and their altar for practicing witchcraft. They currently have a joint show hanging at Gloss Gallery on Alberta and will be hosting an opening for First Thursday at Salome featuring work by Eric Mast (also known as E*Rock).

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click to visit Galerie Salome's website



July 18, 2011

Heather Sielaff and OLO

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OLO is a fragrance line created by local perfumer, Heather Sielaff. She mixes each bottle by hand in a dreamy, softly-lit room in her home, joined by brother-cats Boots and Hoover and her husband, Jonathan. Each scent was either created specifically for a Portland person or establishment (as with Lightning Paw, Palace, and Nationale 6/7) or was lovingly made, trial-and-error style by Heather utilizing pleasantly unique mixtures like Violet and Leather. The fragrances themselves are incredibly reminiscent of Portland; earthy, musky, and unlike any other. Foret is literally inspired by the forests of Oregon, and has a spicy, mossy feel that smells perfectly like a walk in the woods. Her creations can be found locally at Palace, Nationale, and Frances May, as well as online and in small shops within select cities.

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click to visit OLO's website



July 11, 2011

Carson Ellis

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Carson Ellis is a prolific illustrator well-known for her work for Pacific NW band, The Decemberists. Her whimsical and detailed style often speaks of charming narratives and characters; dragons, cabarets, badgers with rickshaws in tow. These playful elements are put to wonderful use in her album artwork, and will soon be featured in a series of novels called Wildwood, a wondrous story about a brother and sister in Portland who find magic and mystery in the nearby woods of Forest Park. A collaboration with husband Colin Meloy (lead singer of The Decemberists) who penned the novel, it will be released at the end of August!
Until then, Carson's days are filled with illustrating; while I visited she sketched ideas for Laura Veir's upcoming album and worked on a new poster for The Decemberists. She does this happily and comfortably in her home in Linnton (right in between Portland and Sauvies Island) with Colin, her amazing son Hank, and two cats Fortinbras and Window. She also occasionally lends out her artistic genius to teach a fall illustration class for teenagers at The Portland Art Museum. Be sure to keep a look out for Wildwood, and Carson's other illustrations which can be found most easily below!

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click to visit Carson's website







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