Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SCRAP Artists and Designers Announced:

we're pleased to announce that the following designers and artists will be showing at next month's JOIN event, SCRAP, at fancy friday november 13th 6-9pm.

iacoli & mcallister
ladies & gentlemen studio
laura yeats
trey jones and darin montgomery urbancase
fortyfive09 and &c.

don't miss some mega amazing pieces!

fancy 1914 2nd ave
downtown seattle btwn stewart & virginia

Friday, October 23, 2009

Eat My Story Report Part II

At long last we get to our wrap up post on the latest greatest Brite event: Eat My Story.
Let me just start by saying this without a doubt this was most the delicious Brite event thus far. True, this was not so hard to do with Seattle pizza powerhouse Via Tribunali graciously hosting the event plus the creative (albeit amateur) culinary skills of all the event's participants. For every part deliciousness, Tricia Martin of Eating is Art and Food Loyal (her new venture!) added equal parts fascination, experience, and social interaction with her big picture concept:

How can a pizza tell a story?
The rules were simple (and the results awesome...more on that later):

  • Share a short story with the group (150 words or less).
  • Pick and bring pizza ingredients to the event that will tell you story.
  • Come to Via Tribunali the day of the event. Pick someone else's story at random.
  • Interpret that person's story on the pizza using their ingredients (adding or subtracting as necessary)...lotsa room for creativity here.
  • Cook your creation to perfection at 1000 degrees F in Via Tribunali's wood fired oven.
  • Share your the story and pizza with group...drink vino...converse...revel...enjoy.

To shake things up a bit, we added an improv edition at the last minute for those unprepared without stories. These were short stories, quotes, limericks, even tweets chosen at random from a hat.
The results were amazingly beautiful and delicious as well as accurate at telling their corresponding stories. Here's the play-by-play of the day: It was a perfect pizza day at lovely Georgetown (south Seattle). Via Tribunali was the perfect spot for the event with lots of rustic charm and "little slice of Italy" feel. The space was perfect: a long communal table and plenty of room to make some mess.

In true Brite style, Jean laser-cut some signs in cardboard and of course made Brite merit badges for each participants...neatly arranged at the sign in table. As people began too arrive, the ingredients table turned into a cornucopia of amazing ingredients. Everything from heirloom tomatoes to grapes to pork belly to chocolate and everything in between.
Tricia handmade and illustrated these amazing peels for every pizza including cute drawings of each ingredient and the story of the pizza.
Once we were situated, Via Trib brought out the wine and a parade of their signature pies and anti-pasti plates. Leonardo, their GM (and a real Italian of course) introduced us to the history of the resturant, telling the colorful story only as a true Italian can with great expressive hand gestures. We learned how pizza began, it's importance to Italian culture, and how Via Trib's owners had a dream of bringing that to Seattle, decided to buy a defunct pizzeria in Naples, shipped it here, and started their very own Napolian pizzeria right here in Seattle.

We were ready to leave our own mark. Everyone set out to work preparing their incredients and working out the details of their interpretations. There was a healthy buzz around the room as people shared their stories as well as their ingredients and offered eachother ideas and support. Go team! You could see the creative concoctions taking shape:
Jean was trying to make sense of the variety of purple ingredients in front of her.
Christa carefully cut up her ingredients to try to mimic the farm fields when seen from air.
Andrew was contemplating what would happen to Tortilla chips at 1000 degrees.
Chika was confidently crafting a pizza loosely based on a poor Elvis impersonation... Leonardo and his staff carefully showed us how work dough into a thin-crusted pie letting us try and succeed in some way, shape, or form in making our own vessels for our stories. 3 at a time we went to the dough station to try our hand at it and artfully arranging our ingredients.
Roughly 2 minutes after plunging each pizza into the via tribunali inferno, the group was blessed with steaming hot pizza...charred perfectly around the edges. Triumphantly, the pizza makers would reenter the dining hall proudly presenting their creations. After a photo op, each pizza had it's story read aloud to the group then we dug in. It was amazing just how much more each story resonated after tasting the pizza and going through the whole ritual Tricia had orchestrated. I've never tasted so many different types of pizzas in my life! I think everyone went home and took a pizza nap after the event, and some leftovers, too.
Next post will have all the stories and the individual pizzas!
Here is where you can see ALL hundred+ of yummy looking photos of the event!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Save the Date!

We are hosting an event next month with fancy in their adorable shop downtown.

fancy and JOIN present:


Design objects in scrap wood by Seattle artists and designers*

11 13. 2009

1914 2nd Ave
btwn Stewart & Virginia

*artists and designers to be announced October 17th.

JOIN's Design Shoppe Call for Submissions

JOIN: Design Seattle is planning a one day pre-holiday Pop-Up shop and we are looking for design objects to include. We are focusing on designers from the Pacific Northwest, but we've never been known to be exclusive, so you are free to interpret Pacific Northwest loosely. If you live here, lived here, visited here, aunt lived here in the 60's... you're welcome to apply!

The Details:
DATE: Saturday November 28th (one night only)
TIME: 7pm - 11pm
WHERE: Vermillion Art + Wine - 1508 11th Ave btwn Pike and Pine - Seattle,WA 98122
OTHER: In addition to the Pop-Up, there will be a Silent Auction to benefit JOIN and Nest Seattle. The sale and auction are cash and carry, no credit cards will be accepted. We will have dedicated "cashiers" to handle all transactions. In other words, you don't have to "man a booth," you can enjoy yourself. :)

Objects should fall into the following categories: table top, lighting, accessories, jewelry, soft goods. No furniture will be accepted.

Objects must be priced under $100 retail.

Please send submissions to info@joinDesignSeattle.com with the following:

Designer name
Name of piece
Number of pieces available to sell
1-3 images

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Midnight November 4th

FEE: Once your work has been chosen for inclusion in the Pop-Up, there is a $20 fee to sell. This fee will help offset marketing costs. Neither JOIN nor Vermillion will be taking a commission of sales.

If you have any questions please contact jamie@iacolimcallister.com

For more information about our organization, please visit:

JOIN promotes emerging independent American design by providing designers a forum to show work, get feedback and support. By organizing design shows, events and hosting an online design calendar, we strive to be the adhesive and a resource that binds a thriving, but fragmented, furniture and product design design community in Seattle.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Opening Tonight: Submaterial at Catherine Person Gallery

David Hamlin of Submaterial will be showing some exciting new work using recycled leather at Catherine Person Gallery.
David intricately cuts and assembles stunning wall art pieces with great precision and patience. We believe he's either a robot or an alien in disguise. Someday, we'll prove our suspicion!

Opening night (tonight!!) Oct 8th, 6-8pm

The show will be up through November 14.

Catherine Person Gallery
319 Third Avenue South @ South Jackson
Seattle, Washington 98104

Tel 206-763-5565

Vote for Seattle!

Henrybuilt's has been nominated for couple of categorizes on this year's Interior Design's 'Best of the Year 2009'.
How exciting!

One of the nominated work is under the Accessories category of HB's Workspace Component Group, (I'm proud to say that Dylan designed it himself!) which includes a cutting board, colander, and knife block designed to integrate with the Henrybuilt backsplash system. Vote Here!The other nominated work is their new line, ViolaPark, a cleverly designed versatile modular kitchen system.
Vote Here!
Also vote for our friends from Graypants who are the creators of the Scrap Lights! Vote here!
Voting ends Sunday,Oct 11 at midnight (EDT). Go Seattle!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

great events this weekend...

that you shouldn't miss:


proposals for acquired taste
oct 8th
new work in felt and recycled leather
by david hamlin for submaterial

runs through nov 14th.

catherine person gallery
319 third ave s @ s jackson
pioneer square - seattle - 98104
check the gallery's site for a preview.


fancy's 'plush you'
friday october 9th
a group exhibition of jewelry utilizing soft materials
1914 second ave - downtown seattle - 98101


new bags & clothing
by jonas devarona
saturday october 10th
art attack @ equionx studios
6555 5th ave s, ste304
georgetown - seattle -98108

Monday, October 5, 2009

Eat My Story Report:Part I

This last Saturday, Brite's collaboration with Tricia Martin of Eating is Art went super well! The event, EAT MY STORY:Make a Pizza, Tell A story, had a great turn out. Besides making and tasting some (actually A LOT) of pizzas, everyone also enjoyed some fantastic house wine, as well as delicious Via Tribunali appetizers donated to us.
Tricia made these wonderful individual pizza peels for each story submitted. It had the story, and all ingredients drawn on there. It made the experience that much more special.
Tricia is super diligent and did her homework of updating about the event already. So here are some photos from her. I'll have more updates later and TONS of delicious looking photos. Stay tuned.Everyone making their own dough. It's totally harder than it looks!
we got to taste 20+ never been tried pizza flavors!!
Plum jam+quince pizza/ peanut butter+almond butter+honey+apple pizza/ huevo ranchero pizza/ heirloom ketchup pizza/ pork belly+lotus root +cilantro oil pizza/ chocolate+coco nibs + habanero peppers pizza, ....and more.Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Design Profile No.2: Urbancase

Is it October already?! I guess that means it's time for another JOIN Design Profile interview!
On a quiet dead end off the main strip of Seattle's working-class South Park neighborhood sits the dynamic hub from which Darin Montgomery of Urbancase spins his creative web of multi-faceted design efforts. The Urbancase studio is well organized and compact, smaller than we expected for a predominantly furniture-centric studio. As we learn more about what goes on there we were convinced more and more that we've quite possibly stumbled upon a Utopian design studio. Here creativity is kept fresh by experimentation with materials, ideas, hands-on prototyping, and occasional contract work, but kept a sustainable business by smart, selective outsourcing to skilled local craftspeople and manufacturers. In a format reminiscent of Italy's post-war designers, Urbancase has managed to use it's local resources to create great products with minimal in-house manufacturing capabilities opting instead to use the services the Northwest has to offer. What was so striking was the ease at which Darin delegates his production work to others while keeping the critical creative functions firmly centered within his company. When asked if trusting others with the critical task of executing his vision was in any way problematic, Darin shrugs it off "I pick people who care about what they do. I try to work with others in a similar position to my own."
He went on to explain his belief that keeping production local and small scale has allowed him to replace a rigorous QC process with a level of trust and confidence in his suppliers. "I was inspecting every box they gave me and realized at a certain point it wasn't necessary. They cared about their work as much as I did." This absolutely shows in the work: curved cabinet edges executed seamlessly, beeswax candles (in the shapes of classic cameras) casted with precise details, finishes carefully applied and rubbed by hand. Can't wait to hear more:

Studio Name: Urbancase
Member(s): Darin Montgomery
Location: Seattle, WA
Website: urbancase.com
Started in: 2002

What's the story behind your company/studio? What made you finally realize that you wanted to start your own design company? Take us back to that exact moment when you thought "I'm gonna start my own freakin' design studio!"
I was in Vancouver, BC for a weekend getaway with my girlfriend Rachel. I left a job several months earlier with the intention of starting my own business but was still trying to figure out what direction to go. Rachel finally suggested I should just do what makes me happy. It seemed so obvious. Design makes me happy...so that's what I did.
What's your design philosophy and approach?
My philosophy is pretty basic and I try to apply it to every aspect of my life. Whatever I do...whether it's design, cooking, or interacting with people...it should be simple, functional, thoughtful, and beautiful.
What are some highlights (life changing events) you've experienced that influenced your current work or design?
Growing up, my Father owned an auto body shop and for many years it was the gathering place for my Dad and his buddies. He had a group of extremely talented friends and I spent countless hours working on projects with them. They would engineer everything from suspension systems for hot rods to enclosed motorcycle trailers with fold down seating and eating areas. Material and budget limitations were common and more often than not they would solve problems by committee. It was a great environment to grow up in. The experience of working with them influences every project I approach. The level of craftsmanship and functionality they achieved is something that is with me every day.What's your favorite place to visit and get inspiration?
We took a trip to Berlin two years ago and it had a huge impact on the way I look at design.
Unfortunately, I can't pop over every time I need inspiration. But...I have the photos to which I refer frequently. Any industrial or area in disrepair is a great source of ideas for me as well.

What do you like to do when you need a break from design?

I try to keep a project in the shop that I don't have to think too much about. Something that requires sanding or polishing. If I'm having difficulty resolving an idea or I've been on the computer all day, repetitive motion can be very relaxing.

Every Sunday Rachel and I have a ritual. We make breakfast, have coffee and listen to records then walk through Freeway Park on our way to the library. Even though I'm surrounded by incredible architecture, it's routine and comfortable so I don't even think about design. It's a great way to recharge my batteries.

We recently started learning French. I'm not very good so it takes all my brain power. I don't have the energy to think about anything else.
I also play guitar and even though I don't practice often enough, 10-20 minutes a day is a real treat.
In the winter I play hockey. When I'm on the ice, design is the FURTHEST thing from my mind.
What do you consider your most successful and or rewarding project?
The projects I rush through or don't resolve completely are the most successful. I learn so much from them and usually have one lying around to remind me of what not to do. Perhaps the most rewarding project was a wine glass rack I made for my parents when I was eight. I built it from scraps found in the garage. It was hideous. My Dad cried when it got knocked off the shelf and shattered.
What are the strengths of design in the Northwest? How do you see it becoming stronger?
I love that design in the Northwest has a feeling of honesty and sincerity. It's not arrogant or pretentious.
I believe if the design community in the Northwest continues to communicate, share information, ideas, and resources, it will only get better. JOIN is an awesome organization and the people involved are unbelievable. It's a great feeling when you pick up the phone or e-mail someone in the same discipline that you work and know they will share whatever information they have.

What's your favorite, well-designed food? why?I would say a seed of any kind. They're perfectly designed for their environment and have a little secret tucked away inside. Salsa is a pretty close second.

What's your favorite object? Why?
A micrometer that belonged to my Grandfather. It's beautiful, functional, and very satisfying to use. It doesn't give you a sense of how much effort it took to design. I love objects that conceal their complexity.

Tell us about your very first experience when you did ICFF. What was it like? How did you prepare yourself? Do you any tips or words of wisdom to all the baby designers out there who are thinking about ICFF?
It's funny to look back now, but I remember being very anxious at the time. My friend and I shared a booth and it was the first show for both of us. I arrived at the Jacob Javits Center bright and early with a box of postcards, order forms, and comfortable shoes. I was set. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the booth I found a big hole in the side of our crate. I have no idea what happened, but needless to say...I freaked out. I couldn't open it because my buddy had the cordless drill and was nowhere to be found. I ran around frantically trying to find a drill. Workers at the Javits Center won't loan tools and it seemed as though EVERY other exhibitor was wandering aimlessly looking for a cordless drill. It felt like complete mayhem. I called my friend continuously for the next two hours. Eventually...he answered the phone and the first thing he said was..."do you know the bars stay open until 4 AM?" When he finally arrived at the Javits center he'd forgotten to put the drill on the charger. All we could do was laugh. Once we got the crate open all was good. That was my first three hours of ICFF.

I was naive enough to think my product would sell itself and underestimated the importance of booth design. I'm still learning because there's a science to the dynamics of a trade show. The booth layout has a huge impact on how people approach you. It's sort of like being alone on a dance floor waiting for the music to start. All it takes is one person to join you and others will follow.
I would strongly encourage anyone who feels their product(s) are suited for ICFF to figure out a way to make it happen. There are opportunities you won't find anywhere else. And...if you go one year, plan on going the next. It's an incredible experience, lots of energy, inspiration, and seriously cool people.

For anyone thinking of going I would suggest:

1. Hook up with someone who has done the show. They can help with simple things like finding a hardware store, shipping facilities, and ways to cut through the red tape at the Javits Center.
2. Set aside plenty of time to design your booth and presentation materials. Some people want postcards, some want electronic communication. You should have several options.
3. Most of the rumors you've heard about the staff at the Javits Center are true. They're not on your schedule, you're on theirs. It's all good if you roll with it. Fight it and you'll be miserable (it took more than a year for me to figure that out).
4. Try to have two people in the booth. It's exhausting to do it by yourself. And...somehow it makes your booth more approachable.
5. Eat right, brush your teeth, and don't run with scissors.

What other design shows have you done or would like to do in the future?
ICFF is the only show we've done. Milan is on the radar. We're shooting for 2011.