January 5, 2010

Logging Antiques and a Shack my Family Built

Eighteen years ago, my family built a small building on our property in the Columbia River Gorge. We salvaged flooring from a nearby house and used wood from a fir tree on our property to construct the the one room, 180 square foot building. At first, we intended to use the building as a sauna, however its single layer wood walls held heat like a pair of wet cotton gloves. For the better part of the next two decades, the building housed my grandmother on her frequent visits, numerous middle school sleep overs, teenage debauchery, and most recently, my mom’s shit.

Upon returning home for the holidays in mid December, I undertook the project of clearing out the building and setting it up with some antiques and furniture. Inspired by Skamania County’s logging heritage and the rugged nature of the building I decorated the the walls with old logging equipment and camping gear as an ode to the logging camps that once occupied the surrounding woods.

Paul Bunyan?

I love augers.

This basalt column acts as a step and a reminder of the building’s close proximity the area’s iconic basalt formations.

These old gas cans were used on Jeeps during the second World War and since have been adapted to all sorts of applications including carrying water and fuel throughout the world. The raw steel shows through wear in the red paint, resembling the worn teeth of the eight foot saw blades.

My mom bought the Coleman Lantern at the Catlin Gabel Rummage Sale a few years back. The Yellow newspaper can visible in the lower left dates back to the 50s.

These tripods were originally used for surveying equipment and large format photography. My mom and I plan on converting them to lamps. I like the 50’s aluminum helmet on the raw fir.

Despite my affinity for vintage clothing and Americana antiques, my furniture taste lends itself to modern Scandinavian design. The juxtaposition between the old logging axes and raw wood of the building and the Scandinavian couch works for me.
As my college career quickly winds to a close, the immense prospect of spending less and less time in the place where I grew up hangs in my mind like lingering email that I need to respond to. This building will serve as a reminder of my rural roots on the few days a year that I will be able make the three-thousand mile trip back to the Northwest.

Here are some more links,
My Happy Place (Picasa).

December 15, 2008

The Obama Logo


Obama’s is incredibly effective at conveying his story. Its value donned on me when my roommate quickly sketched it on our whiteboard on our door. Any one who saw the drawing immediately recognized the red, white and blue stripes and sunrise. Needless to say, my roommate is no graphic artist but the crude drawing on our door was unmistakable. The ability to easily recreate a logo while retaining its message consecrates its effectivness.

Here is a two part interview with Sol Sender (who names their kid that?), a creative director at VSA Partners, describing the development of the Hope Logo.

My First Apartment and Inspiration: Ace Hotel and Minimalism

Yesterday, I moved into my first apartment on the second floor of a Victorian house. Complete with leather wallpaper, the house was built in the teens as a single-family house and converted into a two-unit house in the late fifties. A built-in cabinet, closet and dresser furnish my 100 square foot room. I picked this room because of my recent interest in efficient spaces and simplistic minimalism. I envision the limited closet and dresser space forcing me to further thin my wardrobe and thus help reform my consumerist urges. (I strive towards minimalism however I still need to find space for my three garbage bags full of shoes).

Growing up, I shared a slightly larger room with my brother up until the age of thirteen. Everything in this room was built in, including the beds (and dressers underneath them).
Last summer I swung by the Ace Hotel in downtown Portland (Oregon). Their minimalist rooms with built-ins furnishings are awesome. During my time at Rogues Gallery, I flipped through many architecture and sailing books looking for rustic rooms for brand inspiration. My recent trip to the Wharton Esherick house over Thanksgiving reiterated affirmed much of my architectural and interior design taste. For example, I am going to put my mattress directly on the floor sans box spring or frame.

Here are some photos from the Ace Hotel in Portland Oregon and other minimalist dwelling that I hope will inspire my new room. Unfortunately, I imagine that these photos will merely expose contradictions between what I do and what I want.

December 2, 2008

Wharton Esherick

Last Saturday, my family and I toured the Wharton Esherick Studio in Marvelen Pennsylvania, half an hour from Philadelphia on the Main Line. The Studio documents the life and work of the acclaimed sculptor Wharton Esherick, famous for his Arts and Crafts movement inspired furniture. The central house’s design with trap doors and built-ins alludes to a captain’s cabin. The hour long tour was truly an inspiration both aesthetically and also as a minimalist lifestyle. Everything in the house has a practical application in addition to aesthetic appeal. I urge anyone visiting to the Philadelphia area to make the trip to see the House/Studio.

When my yuppie career gets rolling, a Wharton Esherick stool will be my first piece of art. Here are some photos from my tour and some I found on Google.