I stopped by to visit our friend Pete at Signworks earlier this week. Exploring this workshop is always an adventure.
I’ve known Pete for a good 12 years now, and I’ve had many interesting conversations about design and typography.
It was Pete who introduced me to gold leaf. If you see a particularly lovely sign in a window in Portland, you can be certain it was the work of “Knuckles.”
Likely you’ve seen his work on the windows of Stumptown or Woodsman.
Each window is a a work of art, inviting passerby to examine the details. They are often created with a depth and dimension that evades first inspection. The black borders around the windows at The Woodsman work exceptionally well, as they seem to act as picture frames.
We’ve been encouraging Pete to put together a portfolio, and someday we hope to share it with you here.
Fair warning: We’ve been spending large chunks of time working on a soon-to-be-unveiled work for fashion magazine, Savoir Flair. In homage to the fine ladies at SF and their stunning coverage of NY Fashion Week, the following is an admittedly geek attempt at focusing on fashion.
Getting ready to hit the studio/office for the day shouldn’t mean chunky bags and clunky hardware. Goodbye messenger bags and bulky laptop cases; after years of trial and error, this is a guide to the perfect techno-fashion combo.
For me, cooking is a process that not only takes me away from the computer to a relaxed space, but also brings out my most creative self; I find that getting out of the studio and using my hands to make meals inevitable leads me to be a better, if not well-fed, designer. This past weekend, team Needmore headed to the Oregon coast and spent some time in the kitchen with our dear friend Jesse who schooled us in the art of hand-crafting something decidedly delicious: fresh pasta.
Hooray, December is here! This is one of my favorite months of the year, filled with crafts, baking, friends & family. These simple, fragrant wreaths were a perfect starter project. (One of the bonus parts of living in Portland is the abundance of rosemary; thus any project utilizing rosemary translates to pieces of our yard reclaimed.)
A little over a week ago, The Woodsman Tavern opened in a quiet neighborhood corner in Southeast Portland. The ambiance is delightfully and unmistakably Prohibition-esque and discussed in satisfying detail in Part 01 of our interview with Duane Sorenson. There is much more to this watering hole than design, though; from your fist step in, you can feel the calling of bright oysters, country ham, pink steak and plentiful whiskey. The sweet fig bread pudding is a bonus, pleasantly surprising revelation.
Duane spent some time chatting with us about his focus on uncovering and showcasing the steallar ingredients that grace the menu.
After a long day of web design, I’ve found that my drink of choice for relaxing is a Rye and Ginger. Before I go into specifics about how I like them, however, let me provide a bit of history.
If you could ask the guys under the fedoras in all those old black-and-white pictures of New York what they’ll have, odds are very high they’d tell you rye. Straight rye whiskey was the whiskey of working America. If you built skyscrapers or puddled steel, walked a beat or booked bets (we’re not gonna be the ones to tell you that’s not work), you drank rye. Sharp, musky, slightly oily, rye has got to be one of the manliest items humankind has ever created (although plenty of dolls liked it too). Back before Prohibition, though, no self-respecting saloon habitué would dream of poisoning it with ginger ale. (Brandy, sure; whiskey, no.) Unless he was a man of fancy habits, he’d take his rye straight, or at worst with a splash of soda. [Esquire]
I have a guest blog post on Honey Kennedy today. It is an interview with the über talented jeweler/metalsmith Amy Tavern.
There is something unbelievably charming and nostalgic about The Woodsman Tavern on a wind-swept Portland evening. On my most recent visit, I was transported to another time and place. Perhaps it was Neil Young crooning or the flowing whiskey. Maybe it was the juxtaposition of lovers seated at high tables whilst families nestled into sturdy wood benches. It is difficult to put your finger on just what is so darned right about the place. And then, it dawns—you can feel the love that has been poured into every meticulous detail, from the oil paintings and incandescent lights, to the Oregon coast oysters and Tennessee ham; you intuitively know that someone has spent sleepless nights dreaming and tinkering, thinking and obsessing until the place was just right. That someone is Duane Sorenson.
On a recent chilly Portland afternoon, Duane met us down at the Horse Brass and, over a beer (or two), talked design with us. Below is the first of a two-part interview, focused on design, that kicks off a new feature here on Needmore Notes called Taste. (You can also jump to the second part of the interview to hear about the menu.)