5 day countdown till THE BLAK \ DESIGNMART...get ready!!! This is the REAL reason why you been putting off your holiday shopping...any last minute shopping should be saved for THIS out of the world expereince!
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Anthology just launched their lovely online Holiday issue and we're excited to be one of the contributers for them for the first time!!
For this issue, Meg (the editor) asked us to make a special holiday wreath for the "Holiday Hang Ups!" (pg 43) section featuring various handmade wreaths! I never make one before and thought "OK, why not!"
My vision was to make something that's simple, not too holiday-ey but still warm & cozy all at the same time. I was a bit worried that it would look too boring....but thanks to Anthology team who styled & shot everything so well that they made it feel extra nice & festive!
Check out the rest of the Holiday issue and get in on the festivities!
Here's the second half list of the participating studios!
13. Ladies & Gentlemen Studio: That's us... Jean & Dylan (also co-organizer of the popup, Brite Collective, and JOIN) like to keep a diverse array of things from chalkable piggy banks, to servers, to jewelery, to serving trays, and even lights. Some might call it lack of commitment, but they prefer to call it diversification!
14. Material Good: Founded on a vision that a company can include working for a cause in it's core vision, material good donates a portion of all sales to causes that promote curing and preventing cancer. Their "Little Shirley" vases are an homage to founder Lauren Burman's grandmother, who inspired the idea for Material Good.
15. Meet Me Here: Jonas DeVerona creates simple well-constructed bags, accessories and clothes with quality materials and a keen eye for details.
16. Metrode: Caitlin collaborates with skilled small town hobbyist & crafters to create products in their craft with her creative vision and aesthetic. The result is an elevation of traditional crafts beyond kitsch to the point of high design.
17. Object: Photographer Charlie Schuck is a man of many visions, but fortunately for us he has a soft spot for design. Through the opening of Object, a Belltown design store and event space he champions good design with a minimally curated collection of furniture, lighting, home goods, jewelry, accessories, and vintage objects.
18. Paper Hammer: A paper studio/shop founded by Ed Marquand (of Marquand Books - Seattle publishing company) that's all about bring back art of paper goods and book binding. Their studio based in Tieton (a small Eastern Washington town recently revitalized as an artist town) creates their goods with the loving care that few care to give to papergoods these days.
19. Perhacs Studio: Founded by Brandon Perhacs and based on Bainbridge Island, the studio creates graphically playful products many of which can be customized by their users.
20. R&L goods: Jean & Chika whip up a lovely collection of handmade wallets, notebooks, and other softgoods with prints in collaboration with Piano Nobile.
21. Studio Arno: A brand new company founded by Justin Lyle who makes sophisticated modern bolo ties using an array of exotic woods.
22. Ta+Ma: We love Designer Tamae Satsu's eye for details and materials in her line of simple soft goods made from high quality leather and felt.
23. Urbancase: Darin Montgomery of Urbancase is all about designing objects and spaces that contribute to a simpler, pared back lifestyle.
On behalf of Brite Collective & JOIN, I'd like to just share what all this VALUE SHOP excitement is about! We now have 20+ design studios which we'll feature at the VALUE (pop-up) SHOP for this coming weekend!!
We got some design "O.G."s, but also some new friends in the mix! Here's a sneak peak & a little something about each of the designers alphebetaically ordered starting with the first half of the list....
1. Ample: Is a modern furniture & lighting studio founded by Andy Johnson. The studio produces everything right here in Seattle, Washington with a strong preference for local materials and a deep conviction that furniture can and should be built to last a lifetime - or two.
2. Aleks Pollner: Ceramic porcelain artist who tests our perception of precoius porcelain objects and what it means when things are just meant to be broken.
4. Blkpine Workshop: Christa Thomas & Nin Troung (also the co-organizers of this popup) have this amazing knack for juggling multiple creative businesses and roles at once. They are the founders/designers of Blkpine Workshop (Seattle-made bags), Maiden Noir (menswear brand), Cafe Weekend (a delightful cafe), and on top of that Nin's a creative director for Stussy. And we think we're busy with just one studio!
5. Brackish: An up & coming furniture company founded by Forest Eckley & Andy Whitcomb. Their thoughtful approach to design is based on a simple balance of carefully salvaged materials to create one-of-a-kind furniture pieces that are equal parts warm and industrial.
7. fruitsuper: A seattle duo that puts the fun in fundamental with their simple, colorful, and functional products.
8. Glasswing: A collective founded by three roommates (Forest, also part of Brakish, Alisa, and Sean)who see eye-to-eye in all the little things that matter for living a quality life. They have a shared interest which sent them on a mission to gather the best sources for delightful everyday essentials from scented homemade candles, honey from nearby farms, accessories, and more.
9. Grain: Our Bainbridge Island-based friends whose thoughtful designs are dedicated to social and environmental responsibility. Their goods are produced in small batches at their island studio or through special collaborations with expert artisans in the US and abroad.
10. Herman Yu: A Seattle designer who creates beautiful printed cards and calendars featuring artfully manipulated natural images that are simultaneously graphic and ethereal.
11. Iacoli & McAllister: A collaboration between Jamie Iacoli and Brian McAllister that yields an impressive line up of lighting, furniture, jewelry, and small products. Their work never ceases to be an amazing intersection of materials and geometry.
12. Jessalin Beutler: A collection of accessories and clothes that are feature bold geographic patterns HAND-painted by Jessalin herself!
So yah......quite a list already, eh? This is like rounding up all the super hereos with all their super making powers!
Well, guess what? we're only at the half way point! More designers to follow for part 2!
I literally thought of the idea randomly while working on something else , texted Chelsea right away, she totally got on board with it, we bounced off some ideas over the phone, she painted and printed them, I got them in the mail, and VOILA! we got ourselves some beautiful BLANC prints made! She's amazing.
It's been super fun art directing the event, especially it gave me a great reason to collaborate with talented people to do fun special projects like this! But the main intent in making these posters is meant to offer something (like a special souvenir) to further extend the concept of BLANC even after the event ends.
As I started thinking about ideas for the posters, I was thinking more of what the sense of white means and what that could look like.
I started throwing out words to Chelsea and started thinking more about natural phenomenons like light, fog, cloud, fluffy, air, water, transparent, reflection....and gradually lead to other mood words like simple, pure, airy, austere, clean, calm, quiet, mysterious....
And final result is this...
Beautifully lightly washed watercolor in layers on slightly textured thick paper.
Looking directly from the front, you can only see the soft gray and light color hues over lapping each other.
and looking at the print from a different angle......
...The word "BLANC" printed in semi-transparent white paint appears as it catches the light.
I just REALLY love the subtlety and personally think the effect she did added a lot of depth. It's simply magical...
All these prints was SO spot-on in conveying all those concepts that I had in mind... It's as if Chelsea was able to read my mind better than I can!! creeepy~!
Each print is numbered and stamped by plainMADE.
Sorry to say that I get first dibs! yes!
I'm SUPER excited for this design Pop-Up shop that JOIN and Brite Collective are organizing, which will be happening next week! eek!!
Its been awhile since we've done an event for both JOIN & Brite in Seattle, and figured this is the perfect time to gather everyone and jumpstart the shopping season with lots of awesome work from independent designers!
We gathered 30+ designers and artists to do a special curated works under the theme BLANC.
Full details below!
BLANC-A Winter White Design Pop-up Shop
We're ready to ring in the winter holiday season with a one-of-a-kind market of great design. In celebration of winter, BLANC will feature a curated selection of limited edition objects that are white, blank, or otherwise achromous in color or spirit. Additionally, the pop-up shop will offer a cornucopia of other well-made goods from 30+ talented emerging designers from the West to the East.
DAY 1 / NOV. 18th / BLANC PREVIEW PARTY 8pm-12am
Celebrate independent design. Special preview of "BLANC" curated items, BLANC cocktail menu, live music, and more. Wear something white!
Time: 8:00pm - 9:30pm BLANC preview shopping event. 9:00pm - 12:00am DJ & special guest performance by NODDY.
Location: Sole Repair Shop 1001 East Pike Street Seattle, WA.
Suggested Donation: $5.00
DAY 2 / Nov 19th / Design BLANC Pop-Up Shop 11am-5pm
Support independent design by checking off your gift list early with items from the BLANC curated collection as well as other original design goods ranging from furniture, art, housewares, jewelry, accessories, ornaments, and more. Also enjoy special activities by Brite Collective holiday, hot beverages from Caffe Vita, pizza by Big Mario's, and more.
Time: 11:00am - 5:00pm
Location: Cafe Vita Bean Room 1005 East Pike Street Seattle, WA.
Get a sneak preview here!
Featuring Works from:
&c. Jewelry / Aleksandra Pollner / Alisha Louise / Ashley Helvey / Blk Pine Workshop / Brandon Perhacs / Cairo / Chadhaus / COATT / Elizabeth Patterson / Erich Ginder / Fleet Objects / Fort Standard / Free Time Industries / Fruitsuper / Grain / Herman Yu / Iacoli & McAllister / Jessaline Beutler / Kiel Mead / Ladies & Gentlemen Studio / Meet Me Here / Piano Nobile / plainMADE / R&L Goods / Studio Gorm / Thomas Im / Zanna Printed Textiles / Handpicked items from OBJECT and more...
Instroducing a new L&G item...Homestead Candlesticks!
We've heard that there's no place like home and got to thinking...does that apply to candles as well as people? Assuming this it does, we've created these sweet wood house-shaped candlesticks out of solid Hemlock and Copper tubing.
This is a combination of our love for wooden blocks, iconic houses, and copper!!
These Homstead candlesticks stems from some of the elements & pallet we're using for our kitchen re-design project (see below post). Even the shape of the candlessticks partially reflects the silhouette of our duplex as well!
Presented as a set of two, these Homestead Candlesticks add the right mix of homey charm and modern simplicity. Available HERE!
Our newest item, Rise Over Run hanging step stool we recently debut at the IDSwest show in Vancouver!
The idea to make this item came from the need that I (Jean) couldn't reach all the high and tall places...especially in our new kitchen with a floor-to-ceiling-pantry unit!...ooh la la! SO much storage!
And me being a storage maniac that I am, trying to reach to all the empty places to store things made me feel like a crazy 5 year old doing some risky business just to get to a cookie jar...and we all know how that usually ends...broken cookie jars, broken bones...or worst..a broken heart...
So to prevent me from pulling off some silly stunts just to reach the places I need, we came up with Rise Over Run!
This was inspired by the basic construction and elements of stairs in a home. We broke it down and turned it into a mini 3-step folding stool to then be transformed from the functional piece into an elemental abstract shape which can be displayed on the wall.
So the story ends with Jean being able to reach all the high places she needs to, no breaking anything, and a piece that we can appreciate on our wall. Hurray!
And check THIS quick fun thing I did... BOOM. gif power!
My very first attempt at making a gif animation... oh boy! This is totally SO mundane that it's making some sort of ironic statement?
NO? not convinced?....ok. yeah, me neither...
Just wanted an excuse to make a quick amateur gif clip!
In any case, Rise Over Run will be available online soon! We promise!
Here's a recap of the JOIN at the NYIGF for the 3rd time!
This time with us being in the lobby outside of the Accent on Design area turned out to be a MUCH more pleasant of a space to be in...especially when the sun is out! Just look at how everything shines on the table!
Here we got Chelsea H. from plainMADE getting a little sun tanning sesh at the Javits....
Photos above by Grain
New frame light colors from Iacoli & McAllister.
Also this time being next to AmDC made it 100 times more fun, too!
photo by Steph Mantis
Here are some highlights from AmDC's booth:
Chika & I got to trade with Patrick Kim for one of his clever wooden tons and these lovely cutting boards with a simple rubber band at the end to keep it from slipping around. Clever AND thoughtful...
Beautiful & sleek glass vessels from Felicia Ferrone based out of Chicago.
Playful two-headed animal necklaces in various metals by Steph Mantis! (and yes... exclamation mark is required when referring to Steph!)
...and of course, we wouldn't feel complete at the NYIGF until we have some sort of birthday celebration! and this year is no exception...
Here's Chika with her doughnut birthday cake composed by me and Christa (of blkPINE bags). This is second time celebrating Chika's bday at the Javits and we went all out and made a doughnut tower with yummy doughnuts from Doughnut Plant....surrounded with coconut macaroons, strawberry Pocky sticks, and flower pom pom with napkins provided by the Javits.
Yes...I know...only a master mind & a true artist can create such master piece such as this. Christa and I took MAD pride in carefully piling the doughnuts up and sprucing it all up...and all the grease spots on the box only shows how much thought went into this...
I had to work last Saturday to finish the VERY last item for FAB.
But it was seriously ROUGH....probably the roughest day I ever experienced.
I had to sit outside under the blinding sun...
And to make matter worse....
...this work environment is just plain absurd.
I think at some point I even fainted....but no one believed me and just said I looked like I was sun tanning...or got drunk and fell asleep!! They've never had to work in the sun, crocheting a rug while being intoxicated on a Saturday! What do they know!!
ok...MAYBE I doze off a bit...but not the whole time!
The much anticipated part two of my Back to the Land House post! The hardest part is not including every image of every interior of the book, but these are my top picks. These and more on Flickr.
Imagine a studio like this!
Or one of the many glorious geodesics.
Some inspiration for our kitchen!
I love the Japanese feeling of this space combined with the massive string art (the text caption is from the book...the way the whole thing is written...not sure what they're talking about most of the time)
These have me dreaming of an Adobe shack...
In the late seventies after a failed attempt to live out of a VW microbus, my Dad had the bright, romantic idea to drop the nomad lifestyle, move to the country, and live off the land. So he did the only sensible thing a twenty-something in that time period could think of, he bought a lone chicken coop on a couple of acres and decided to make it his home. So began years of trials and tribulations that are a prominent part of my family's folklore: a lost cow, brush fires, a roof-climbing goat named Jemima and the transformation of that chicken coop into a modest passive solar home worthy of his back to the land dream.
Like many similar utopian visions of that time, the romance inevitably wore off, practicality set in and we became city dwellers once again, but my Dad still shakes his head and says "I'm so glad I did that." I can't help but feel the same nostalgic romantic feeling from time to time myself. Should we drop everything and head for simple country life?? Could we cut it out in rural life? Scratch that. We'd probably go crazy, but it's fun to think about the possibilities.
While I try to dig up the few photos that were taken of my Dad's own chicken coop transformation, I thought I would share three amazing books that inspired him to take that plunge (and has got me thinking rustic myself). All Their Own, The Craftsman Builder, and Woodstock Handmade Houses
Below are some pic excerpts of some of the exteriors. Interiors (my fav) in part deux.
More scans on Flickr.
I'm just blown away by the creativity, thoughtfulness and resourcefulness that went into these homes. They were built over time and evolved organically with limited resources, but ultimate freedom...it's authentic rustic charm...not the kind you read about in real estate listings...it's genuine character. Geodesic dome on top of a cedar-shaked double-wide character!
(abv) Love the gesture of this structure's roof line...it was actually architect designed and built as his personal hippie home.
The above is built partially into the ground for heating/cooling. The slanted roof runs to the ground to head off the north winds another passive solar feature and one my Dad used on the chicken coop to ward off the Michigan winter winds.
Not exactly sure what's happening here, but I think this is his artist studio/workshop. I could definitely work there!
Sweet treehouse! Me want! The triangular window collage is such a cool feature. Not sure if that staircase is code...
Ok check out Flickr and stay tuned for Part Two.
I think I died and came back to life when I saw these ridiculously amazing leather bags by Nutsa Modebadze!
She makes each bag with the MOST beautiful leather.
Nutsa designs all her bags with a such great sensitivity to all the leather she uses by truly celebrating it's texture, color & shape.
I literally spent HOURS clicking through EVERY single page looking at EVERY single thing...
And all these photos here are just a small tiny percentage of all the things she's ever made....
You can see all her latest work and her process on her blog...she's currently working on some wonderful woven leather stuff...I simply can't wait....
If only I could even just touch one of these bags...I would die a happy person.
So we got some DOUBLE exciting news for L&G and for us!
We currently have some L&G goodies & hand selected vintage items at our friends' shop in Japan called Depot Cycle & Recycle. It's a charming family run bike & lifestyle shop in Ichikawa owned by THE MOST adorable, loving, & happy people we know!!
For the past month, We've been sending some fun things from L&G, R&L goods, and Piano Nobile goodies for their house & lifestyle area of the shop. They just sent me the photo of what it looks like and I'm already in love with all the things, the colors, and just the charming aesthetic of their shop!! I Especially love all these beautifully made ceramic ware.
Here is a photo of the lovely Minato Family. Seiya & Mami & their 3 adorable kids, Aika, Yume and Yuni!! ( I'd like to adopt all of them....yes please...) This is pretty much what they look like ALL the time....always happy and adorable....no joke.
The Minato family visited us in Seattle last summer at our duplex and between Dylan, Chika, Jared and I, we had such a blast with them hanging out around Seattle, Ballard and Guemes Island to show them the great NW.
It was especially fun experiencing everything through their eyes since pretty much wherever they go...birds would sing, people would smile, flowers would bloom, babies would laugh, and even total strangers would go up and talked to them and be compelled to be their BFFs...
It sounds like I'm making it up...but I am not exaggerating.
So in about a week, Dylan & I are actually going to Japan to visit them!!
We'll actually get to really see and experience what its really like to live like one of the happy Minatos!
We're especially excited to see Seiya & Mami shop in person and see L & G piggy banks, servers, and doily rugs!
I made couple of Mini-Mega Doilies (One 2.5 ft diameter and the other is 2ft diameter) for them since their space is limited, but I also think they might actually do well at that size in Japan since it can also be used seating pads for the floor or on a chair....I hope they do well!
At that size... it's actually pretty cute if I may say so myself! :)
I also made a little sewn look book for them of our work.
There's something so satisfying about the combination of thread & paper...
Here's what the inside looks like...I can't explain how excited to see them & also visit Japan!! I'm getting butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it!
It's been a LONG time (7 years!) for me since I was last in Japan studying abroad there, and Dylan on the other hand has never been!
We've been talking about it for couple of years now, and it's also been a long time since the two of us have taken a long personal vacation that's not family or work related!
So it's about time!
....now on with planning the trip......Oh boy!! Where do we even begin or stop!?!
've been MORE than obsessed with Annie Larson's knit brand, All Knitwear, for a long time now...and it's seriously amazing how she knits everything with a knitting machine. I totally get lost in time between looking at her blog with great photos of her space & process & her shop with all the fantastic wearables. Her sense of color & pattern and the way she puts it all together is simply beyond fantastic!
....and with Seattle's weather being so stupid cold & wet...I'm seriously considering getting these knitted sweater leggings! Just look how happy Annie is wearing that! I just love that photo. And of course THESE!: One of these adorable colorful hats wouldn't be too bad either....
It's all too good...
We were excited to see the friendly folks at the American Design Club (AmDC) and check out what new exciting works was at their booth.
Started by Kiel Mead around the same time as when Jamie started JOIN, AmDC is like the East coast version of JOIN; A grass root design collective with a common goal to promote and showcase emerging US design studios and designers. A wonderful collection of silver cast jewelery & accessories by Kiel Mead. I love his new "Pennant Flag" necklace where each flag is movable!
Simple & clever wooden tongs by Patrick Kim / Charming wooden "Merit Badge" necklaces by Fort Standard. Elegantly modern "Tool" pendant & rings by Silvia Bradhsaw / Faceted "Octagon Face" hanging lamp by Brendan Ravenhill.
Beautifully grotesque "Swell Vase" made with insulation foam & produce mesh by Chen Chen / Playful faceted wooden "Balancing Blocks" by Fort Standard / Flocked "Coatknob" by Brian Persico / "Tendril" lamps by Chen Chen. It's always so fun to connect with the delightful folks from AmDC and learning about them, what they do, and all that fun stuff. It made me realize that we actually have more in common than most people's perception about the east & the west coast...
As emerging designers, we have a lot in common in our situations, goals, values, and interest....and can totally geek out over tools, machines, materials, and other random topics like how the sound of falling wood blocks is oh so satisfying....
So really..we're not that different at all...we're all just people trying to make the best out of ourselves, pursue our creative dreams and live a fulfilling life...we're like a bunch of little fishies in the big ocean!...or in this particular case...in the big Javits convention center with way over-priced mediocre food & coffee...so at least, we can all bond over that....
Then on one of the days, we got to celebrate Chelsea from Grain's Birthday! ..or should I say...Happy Boozeday!
Hey...we all needed a little break for having to be at the Javits for 5 days straight!! This shall be a good bi-annual tradition from now on. :)
After a long day at the Javits...there's nothing like shoving good ol' greasy comfort food in our faces at the crazy Hill Country BBQ (This is as far to Texas as I'm willing to go....) along with the folks from AmDC.
and this was how it all went down.... greasy bbq ribs, cornbread, collard greens, and couple of sweet vodka with ginger ale...
....aaaaand I'm out.
Here are some images of the show in review.
It was so great to plan our own little "store" out of (free) wood vegetable crates from the ID and craft paper.