If you're an OPB/NPR type, you are probably already familiar with Destination DIY, the radio show/podcast that covers all sorts of different stories about people's adventures in making things. The show, hosted by Julie Sabatier, is trying to up their game in the coming year, contributing shorter but more consistent monthly audio content along with supplementary info on a new website. "While Destination DIY airs on stations around the country, we are an independent show and not affiliated with any radio station. Our funding comes primarily from our listeners": so reads the—you guessed it—indiegogo page where they are raising money to put their plan into action. They have 16 days to reach their $20,000 goal, with so far just over $5,600 raised. If you're a fan and want to see them take this next evolutionary step, your donations could get you everything from a t-shirt to a (real) tattoo. If you watch their campaign video, make sure to stick with it until the very end, which is my favorite part (involves the second appearance of a cat in a top hat):
In related news, tomorrow is the next Makin’ It with Destination DIY project night/listening party (7-9 pm at ADX), where all are invited to take a break from crafting alone in your basement in favor of a group setting with free pizza, beer, advice, and a DJ. Sabatier is also a storyteller at Friday's Back Fence PDX (topic: "Recipe for Disaster"), so no complaining about a lack of opportunities to connect with Destination DIY this week, mmmkay?
Local champions of creative reuse S.C.R.A.P. are gearing up for this year's Rebel Craft Rumble, a competitive crafting event during which trash talking and bribery are encouraged. If you don't know what "competitive crafting" looks like, here's a mini bout between S.C.R.A.P. volunteers from last year, set to Explode into Colors (don't you miss them?):
This year's craft-off is scheduled for October 16 (that's a Wednesday) at the Hollywood Theater, with bouts judged by local personalities from qualified organizations like Destination DIY and CraftyPod, as well as a "Craft Cop," busting crafters for infractions like "lacking enthusiasm" and "poor penmanship." Plus: raffles and—of course—beer. Tickets!
We may be a crafty, DIY-forward sort of city in general, but the true motherload of all local craft events is the one and only, sometimes frighteningly huge Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale. Hundreds upon hundreds of local makers pack out a large Oregon Convention Center hall, and half the city swings through to do an often hefty portion of their holiday shopping over the course of the weekend. (This year it's taking place on December 14 and 15.)
Needless to say, it is pretty damn competitive to get a booth, especially if you are already working in a saturated market (hello jewelry), but it is completely worth a try. They just started taking applications for sellers a couple days ago, and the deadline is September 15, which... is not that big of a window! Directions and friendly advice on how to proceed are right here. Godspeed, noble crafters!
In April the Supportland/ADX collaboration Portland Made launched. It's a truly excellent, if complicated to explain, concept, so to quote myself back when my interview with Kelly Roy of ADX was still fresh in my mind:
It's an online hub that ultimately aims to include every single product that is manufactured in Portland (not just tea towels and stationary but mattresses, bikes, and eventually food products), where visitors to the site can browse maker profiles, connect with retailers, and even purchase items for later pickup. It's also a quasi-social networking service for its makers, designers, retails, and manufacturers to ask and field questions, pool resources, and form mutually beneficial partnerships... One of the most exciting things they are doing is pairing with researchers at PSU to create metrics tracking the job creation powers of local manufacturing, creating numbers that they can then bring to decision-makers in local and state government, with the idea of collecting evidence for the argument that the economic health of our community doesn't just live and die at the hands of biggies like Vestas and Adidas.
As you can see from my condescending bolding, that last bit is particularly tantalizing to me. But if you are currently occupied—as an individual or company—in making, manufacturing and/or retailing, registration is currently free. But it probably won't be forever, so...
Last summer Jen LaMastra—best know for making truly astonishing, detail heavy clothing out of garbage—did an artist's residence at the dump:
Since then, she's partnered with some of the people she worked alongside during the GLEAN project, Chandra Glaeseman and Sarah Wolf Newlands to create the collective (F)Utility, and this week they're taking over the Museum of Contemporary Craft for another, presumably cleaner, residency. Beginning today and running through Saturday (between 11 am and 6 pm) you can drop by (it's free) to check out a collaboration, "Defining the Grey Areas," that LaMastra describes as "nothing short of magical... Chandra is starting a new series of critters that will include a coyote and a series of rats, Sarah Wolf Newlands will practice non-traditional felting and provide old socks a new lease on life, and I will be working on a new Wearable Trash dress made out of a parachute and human hair scraps!"
Ack, hair scraps! Ewwww. They'll also be hosting daily workshops between 1 and 3 pm on the reuse of a variety of materials. (This part's not free: $10 per workshop.) Today is plastic, textiles are tomorrow, metal is on Thursday, natural materials are Friday, and paper is on Saturday. Theirs is the second to last in this summer's series of weeklong residencies at the museum: Next up is Surabhi Gosh's fabric-based installation project which, if I'm interpreting this correctly, will involve covering the museum's interior in pieced together pairs of old pants. Should be fun!
For the month of July Greg Pitters of HungryEyeball has curated "Stitchers", a group art show with the medium and theme of embroidery at the Redux Gallery. Participating artists include Bo Betsy, Cate Anevski, Cathy Zwicker, Emily Katz, Jaclyn Rose, Pamela Davis, Tripper Dungan, and Tyler Mackie. This is a well rounded group show, with the artists aesthetics ranging from girly and cute to head-scratchingly weird. The show will open with a reception this Friday (July 5th) from 6-9:30 pm.
If you're a crafter in Portland's metropolitan area, your career goals basically begin with showing at Crafty Wonderland, the huge, twice-yearly sale that packs out the Convention Center with makers and their patrons. It gets a ton of foot traffic, and this year's spring edition (happening May 11, 11 am-6 pm) is wisely tapping into the wedding industry, with a new section designated as "Wedding Wonderland." Competition to be included is fierce (the more esoteric your designs the better your chances; jewelers, for instance, are competing against a bazillion other jewelers and the show is committed to offering shoppers a wide variety of wares), and your time to apply is due: The application deadline is this Friday at midnight, so just do it now. We, the public, want to see some fresh crafting blood in this piece!
Attention crafters: The twice-yearly opportunity to take part in Portland biggest craft orgy, Crafty Wonderland, is upon us again. Their spring event, the Super Colossal Spring Sale, is taking place on Saturday, May 11 at the Convention Center, and they're now taking applications from prospective vendors. And! They're also adding a new component to the event, "Wedding Wonderland," so if wedding thangs are your jam, this could be your year. Competition for this is notoriously fierce, so read the guidelines carefully, and may the best crafters prevail.
Hit the jump for a few bonus tips from the organizers on how to improve your chances.
Crafty Wonderland is back with its biannual rotating line-up of regional vendors selling affordable handmade arts and crafts (your grandma in Wisconsin will be thrilled you sent her something that isn't made by slave children in Malaysia), supplementing the brick 'n' mortar version that tides us over in the meanwhiles. But there are many events connected to Crafty throughout the next month, such as:
~A Holiday Wacky Photo Booth!~
Want to send your relatives a Christmas card of you wearing tacky Christmas shit, but you don't actually have any tacky Christmas shit? Well let the Crafty Wonderland shop's Wacky Holiday Booth do the work for you! Bring your ugliest sweater (or they'll provide one), pick out a prop, and they'll photograph you in front of a green screen. Then you pick out your favorite/ugliest background, and FWOOSH! Your family can pretend that you're still a good Christian girl! (Prints are $4, or you can download it yourself later for $1.) Friday, noon-4 pm, Crafty Wonderland, 808 SW 10th.
Mudshark Studios, Portland's premiere ceramic production studio, will be opening its doors for most of the month of December to showcase local ceramic and clay designers' products. Clay artists include Victoria Christen, Chris Basken, Allie Benson, and numerous other people you probably have yet to hear of (unless you're hip to the clay scene).
Also, 10% of this "pop-up shop's" profit will go towards "p:ear," an organization that mentors homeless youth (what's not to like?). The event spans from November 23rd to December 24th, but with special events in the interim, such as a meet-and-greet with the artists, raffles, music events, and p:ear auctions.
Check out their Facebook page to find out about their upcoming events!
Do you fancy yourself a maker of awesome things but just don't really know how to sell your cool wares? For a long time now Etsy has helped many people with exactly the same problem, and many have gone on to have successful businesses. Some people, however, don't really know what they're doing (making-of-things-wise or business wise) and end ultimately end up on Regresty for us all to point and laugh at.
Don't fear becoming a laughing stock anymore because there is a FREE workshop on Sunday November 11th, put on by Siren Nation as part of it's 2012 Festival, that promises to get your Etsy shop up and running and ultimately make it a successful venture. The workshop will be led by Christine Claringbold, a graduate of Etsy's June 2012 Educator training, and she will discuss what you need to set up an Etsy shop, how to get started making your first sales, where to go when you need help, and the four keys to Etsy success. The workshop will be held at McMenamin's Kennedy School from 2PM-4PM. (Hit it up before you head to Content!) For more information on the work that Claringbold does click on over to her Etsy shop here.
Plywerk—those makers and mounters of bamboo panels for displaying art and photos—have become a local small-business classic, building on a surprisingly simple idea. Their team of "bike riding, tofu-eating Portlanders" has outgrown its former HQ, and the business just moved into new digs at 318 SE Main. Tonight, from 5-9 pm, they're hosting an open house/housewarming in the new space, with live music from Sidestreet Reny, a photo booth, FREE BEER and finger food, and a raffle of "Plywerk Schwag," 100% of the proceeds of which will go to benefit p:ear.
I know, it makes the whole town wince every time that Portlandia joke is referenced, but it's IN, not ON, and it's kinda clever: Put A Bird In It is a group show organized by We Make, debuting as part of Design Week Portland (ahoy, more registrations for events go live today), in which "local, national, and international artsits, makers, designers, agencies and more" have created nearly 100 one-of-kind birdhouses (ha!) that are set to be auctioned off to benefit All Hands Raised and the First Octave grant program (read: arts and music education in Portland Public Schools. Contributors include ADX, Amy Ruppel, BT Livermore, Chris Haberman, Emily Katz, Eric Hillerns, Makelike, Nemo, Portland Garment Factory, Sockeye, Tanner Goods, Union Pine, Ziba, and so many more. The event goes down on Friday, October 12 (7:30-midnight) at Union Pine, and unlike many of the Design Week events the "registration" process consists merely of clicking "Join" on Facebook. Just remember: functional birdhouses and house cats do not mix.
I am pretty pleased at the fact that design and craftsmanship seem poised to be the next big Portland selling point, with a new festival at hand and prominent outsiders looking in at us as a potential model. Danner Boots is one of the Pacific Northwest's elder statesmen of local production, and they're still kicking, with collaborations with the younger set (see: Tanner Goods), including an installation in collaboration with the Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC), debuting to the public at the school on Sept 20 (5-8 pm). It's a collection of giant letters—each an homage to something crafted locally, from coffee to music to bikes—spelling out "Crafted in Portland." It's a little cheesy, but it's good to see the old generation of local manufacturers connecting with the up and comers.
At this point I don't believe that festival season in Portland will ever actually come to an end, and that's okay with me. Design Week Portland is one of this year's new additions to the throng, premiering October 9 and running through the 13th. A joint effort between numerous design-oriented organizations, the not-quite-a-week-long schedule is brimming with presentations, tours, talks, and workshops that touch on virtually every department in the design world, and many of the events are free or very inexpensive (like $4) to attend (though space may be limited). Registration for most doesn't start until Tuesday, with more events opening up daily through the 22nd, but you can start planning your busy schedule now.
Even if you're not directly employed in the design world, you can still take advantage of the hands-on events and pick up new crafty skills. Em Space, for instance, is hosting the Print Make Share contest, in which individuals and teams can enter their original designs carved onto 18 x 24” linoleum blocks (basically giant stamps), prints of which will be auctioned off to benefit Em Space’s book arts workshop program. But even if you're like, "Linoleum what?" you can still get in. Em Space is also hosting the charmingly titled "Wino Cut," an evening of instruction and wine drinking on Sept 23 (5-8 pm) for free (though there's a $25 fee per team to join the competition). Get out there and learn something. With your hands!
This year's Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale is on the books for December 8 and 9 at the Oregon Convention Center, and they're currently accepting applications from prospective vendors. The heavily trafficked event is a prestigious one to be a part of—it's probably the hugest gathering of small batch makers in the city, and people come out in droves, dollars in hand and holiday shopping desperation in their eyes. Even though the event is equipped to house over 200 vendors, competition is fierce, so read the submission guidelines carefully, and submit your application by this Saturday, Sept 15. Keep in mind that the organizers choose not only based on quality of workmanship and originality of design, but also with an eye toward giving shoppers a diverse range of products. So, competition is going to be all the steeper if you make something a lot of other people make (tea towels, ceramics) versus something uncommon (decoupage butt plugs). May the best crafters prevail!*
By now you’re probs already obsessed with Instagram, but what is one supposed to do with all the awesome filtered photographs you’ve amassed over the last few months? Send a Postagram! Postagram allows users to upload pictures from their Instagram or computer library and turn them into postcards for just 99 cents. The picture pops out of the postcard so you can frame it, hang it up on the fridge, or keep it in your wallet. Perfect for saying “hi” to Mom and Dad while you’re on vacay, let your bestie know you miss them, and “I love you” to that someone special someone, Postagram has a sweet sense of nostalgia with a douse of modernity. So spread the love, send some snailmail and download the App here.
Don’t miss out on First Friday fun this Friday, August 3rd. Adventures in Milk is a special event taking place at Union Pine. As a little nugget myself I loved nothing more than eating all of the marshmallows out of my Lucky Charms and watching Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons with my brother on Saturday mornings. Bring back a rush of nostalgia with this “multi-disciplinary art event that celebrates the spirit of imagination, fun and the adventures that took place over a big bowl of cereal on a Saturday Morning. “ The event benefits The Friends of Outdoor School, a non- profit focused on keeping Outdoor School Programs in Multnomah County Public Schools. Adventures in Milk features local artists and creatives coming together for not only a good cause, but for a fun-loving night of live music, drinks, art and friends. For more deets scope the FB invite, and their Tumblr here. See you Friday!
I feel a little ashamed to admit it, but despite its close associations with other area institutions—most notably our incredible, progressive Museum of Contemporary Craft, whose gift shop is one of my favorite places to shop—I've never actually made the trek out to the Oregon College of Art and Craft mainly because it is on SW Barnes, and every time I have ever ventured anywhere off the grid in SW I become terribly lost, confused, and angry.
However, this weekend there will be a flurry of activity on campus, with their 19th Annual Tea Party happening on Friday from 2-4 pm, showcasing a project every third-year Metals Department student is tasked with: fashioning a functional tea pot out of flat metal. A display of all of this year's pots will be displayed at Steven Smith Teamaker June 1 through June 15, but the event will get you a first glimpse as well as first dibs on a new Steven Smith tea to mark the occasion (it is described as a "blend of herbs and flowers, including African rooibos, exotic spices, and Oregon-grown mint."
The action continues all weekend, too: Saturday and Sunday is also the spring art sale, with "functional, inventive, and sculptural ceramics, book arts and fibers pieces, as well as limited-edition original jewelry" from up-and-comers who are currently unknown, meaning original pieces you've likely never seen before can be snatched at low prices in the $10-50 range. Admission is free, and runs from 10 am-5 pm both days.
Succulents are seriously trending. For any green thumb planning on planting a garden this spring, try some succulents to spruce up your garden or living space. Whether you have a small patio, or large backyard, find inspiration in these gorgeous green plants. I found a few (click here, or here) different methods on how to DIY your very own vertical succulent wall. With the weather warming up, this is the perfect project for a sunny day. Even putting a few different types of succulents and cacti into a fun painted pot will do the trick. Check at local garden supply stores, or a greenhouse near you. I love to spend an afternoon admiring the flowers, and grabbing a few for my patio, out at The Portland Nursery on Stark.
Lately the fashion world cannot get enough of spikes, studs, and all things shiny and sharp. Enter the studded jean short. Perfect for summer and the upcoming slew of music festivals, this DIY is one of the more complicated projects I’ve tried, but totes worth it! These jorts took a few hours, and was quite the workout for my little fingers. I can’t wait to rock these bad boys at Coachella, and now I kind of want to stud everything. Here’s the lowdown:
-About 100 studs or more depending on what you are making/how many studs you prefer (I purchased 100 for about $5 at Oregon Leather Co)
1. I stopped by the a couple different craft stores before stumbling upon Oregon Leather Co., located downtown in Chinatown. This place full of awesome materials and much more than just leather. They have a lot of options for studs and spikes, but I went with #641, the medium-sized square silver option. They also sell a special tool that makes the perfect sized cut into whatever you are studding, but I just opted to use an exacto knife since I already have one.
2. You can stud just about anything, but I had an old pair of jorts that definitely needed some sprucing up. (Read: True Religion shorts circa 2007.) As I mentioned before you’ll need an exacto knife, pliers, or any tool you have that will make a small cut, and a tool that can fold down the prongs.
3. Figure out where you want the placement to be and then get studding! Once you have a pattern in mind make two small cuts where you’d like to stud to be, stick it through, and then fold the prongs down with pliers.
4. I went in a circular pattern around the pocket of my shorts, then filled in the center so the rows/columns would stay pretty even.
5. I thought a few studs on the front pocket would look cute, so continued on the front as well.
There have been murmurings about the existence of an organization made up of reps from the Portland chapter of Etsy, PNCA, and the Museum of Contemporary Craft, but its mission seemed rather nebulous. Called I Heart Art, it's a pilot project "to support and advocate for Portland’s vibrant community of makers by fostering dialogue, inspiring activity and offering access to resources that are otherwise difficult to find." Tomorrow, though is the official launch, where they will reveal the upcoming year of programming (think small business development workshops) over drinks and food provided by them. Whatever the project winds up looking like, every single one of the organizations involved is pretty kickass, so plugging in with them is probably a safe bet. The party is happening at the Jack London Bar, tomorrow from 6-9 pm, where you can network and pre-register for their workshops at a discounted rate.
This doesn't look good at all: It has been announced that TLC is introducing a new show in order to perpetuate the voluntary humiliation of average citizens that has become a disturbing bulk of our culture's entertainment. Firstly, it is called Craft Wars, because fucking everything has to be a fight now. Secondly, it is going to be hosted and executive produced by Tori Spelling, whose claim to fame is still that her daddy gave her a job on a (awesome) teen soap opera, but I guess she writes books full of drivel now or something, too.
“I love how crafting gives you the opportunity to really express yourself and show your creativity,” Tori said in Thursday’s announcement. “It’s an amazing outlet…nothing shows love more than homemade.”
The Opulent Project is a high-minded collective of jewelry makers that "investigates opulence within the context of our society’s obsession with material possessions. We seek to create a dialogue between the precious and non-precious and subvert mainstream preconceptions regarding value in material culture. To do so we are constantly questioning and considering where these ideologies originate and examining ways in which we may alter and intervene with this visual language. We value a conceptual approach to jewelry design that is rooted in a deep understanding of the making process."
For April's First Thursday (noon-9 pm),, they'll be opening their in-studio exhibition space, T.O.P. Crate, for a viewing of Mistakes Were Made, in which they'll display a selection of the last four years' worth of rejected wax models used to make their cast metal jewelry, as well as mistakes cast in silver and bronze. So says the event description, "It is not always possible to pull the perfect wax model out of a mold, so we are left with many, many rejects. Some are near perfect, some are hardly recognizable and others are anywhere in between. They are all accidents. Last month, we used our accidental waxes to create a variety of forms and objects which we cast in bronze and silver."
During this event the public will also be invited to help "re-craft" some of the mistakes into new objects, so you can "save a wax," make it permanent in metal and, naturally, make your own mistakes in the process. Or, you can just watch.
The other week I was at a friend's birthday bash at Dig a Pony, where my friend Lauren Black (of Brick & Black) received her first t-shirt from Tyler Short: An amazing Michael Jackson tribute, with aviators and all. I knew I had to find out more. Short is an illustrator who uses sharpies and his incredible drawing skills to make one-of-a-kind custom tees. He’s made shirts of icons ranging from Kate Moss to Biggie, Jimi Hendrix, Iggy Pop, and many more. Short gladly takes custom orders, and is currently hooking me up with my very own Mary-Kate Olsen tee (swoon). Rumor has it he’s teaming up with Solestruck for a pop-up shop this summer, but in the meantime you check out his site here, and order up the tee of your dreams.
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