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Homage to Nourishment - pg. 12 | California Greening - pg. 20 | Into the Woods - pg. 32 | Yellow Owl Workshop - pg. 6

ISSUE 69 $5.95 US

69 12345 67890


6 Yellow Owl Workshop

Avid printmaker and owner of a craft workshop, Christine Schmidt waxes
poetic on the versatility of stamps, creative childhoods, and ice cream
within walking distance.

12 Homage to Nourishment
Fresh and seasonal ingredients abound in the recipes from The Vibrant Table:
Recipes from My Always Vegetarian, Mostly Vegan, and Sometimes Raw
Kitchen by Anya Kassoff (Roost Books, 2014).

20 California Greening
Garden Apothecary founder Jennifer Lee Segale has made organic
gardening and design her lifes work, including a bath and body
product line.

24 Painting the Pedestrian

Artist Michael Ward paints to document and bear witness to life, and
chooses subjects often overlooked to force people to see.

32 Into the Woods

James Rills architecture is informed by the environment, integrating
outdoor elements into the design of the home.

38 Bourbon with a Twist

Craftsman Tony Davis transforms Kentucky bourbon barrels into
useful household items, like cutting boards, lazy Susans, and art easels.

44 Treasure on Couch Street

Mike Eadies extroverted personality and love of peoples stories make
him an ideal shop owner of a much-loved antiques store on Portlands
Couch Street.
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I remember my house being full of creative
things. I have three sisters, and my mom was
active in making us do crafts. Year-round, we
were always making things with our hands.
My mom actually ended up becoming an art
teacher after that, and taught me in school
(she was also the only teacher to send me to
the principals office). Just having those op-
tions and creative resources readily available
really gave me the confidence to make art
my career.


I grew up in the Midwest (I am from Kansas
City) before moving to Washington, D.C. to
go to art school. Once I was in Washington
D.C., I was surrounded by so many amazing
museums, many of which were free. Even a
broke art student could go in and explore
all of the wonderful treasures there. Once I
moved to the coast, I became more interested
in coastal imagery and would spend my time
exploring the shores of Maryland. I then
moved to New York, which was a big change
from D.C. because everything in D.C. has to
be smaller than the Capitol building. It was
there where I finally found more verticality
in my work. While living in this denser
population, elements like bikes and little

Yellow Owl Workshop

corner stores became an influence. Now that
Im on the West Coast, I find the landscape
to be just staggeringly beautiful. There is so
much drama to it that isnt present on the
S TA M P S A N D C A R D S A N D T O T E S , O H M Y ! East Coast.
Avid printmaker and owner of a craft workshop, Christine Schmidt waxes poetic on the WHAT ART SCHOOL DID YOU ATTEND?
versatility of stamps, creative childhoods, and ice cream within walking distance.
I went to a small, four-year art school in
Washington, D.C. called Corcoran School
of Art and Design. I studied fine art and did
everything from photography to ceramics
to printmaking. I really wanted to try my
hand at everything I could while I had the
facilities available.

6 AL 7
You can use the entire
motif and create a really
large scene, or you can use
just one of the stamps and
HOW WOULD OTHERS DESCRIBE YOU? create a gift tag. I think
I am really not the most organized. I laugh a stamps are also really
DID YOU ALWAYS SEE YOURSELF PURSUING lot. I am pretty outgoing, but I can also be an accessible because people
THE FINE ARTS? introvert. I come from a big family, and ev-
eryone just laughs all the time. I tend to sur-
are familiar with them. It is
I did, thanks to my mom. I think a lot of
parents are probably not that excited that round myself with creative people who like to an approachable medium,
their kid is going to art school. It isnt neces- have a good time. and when people sit down
sarily the greatest career move. But my mom and allow themselves
has always been very supportive of that. I WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT STAMPS?
I love the versatility of the medium, especially
to play with it, they can
have had a lot of random jobs trying to sup-
port myself while I got this business started. the way I create my stamps. It is more fun for come up with a variety of
I was a cake decorator and a mural painter me to see what other people make with them. different things.
and finisher. I worked as a gallery attendant. I I use individual unitsfor instance, my land-
like to think that each of those random expe- scape stamp set that is made up of five stamps.
riences did help to inform my creative work You can use the entire motif and create a re-
and also my entrepreneurial sense as a small ally large scene, or you can use just one of the
business owner. stamps and create a gift tag. I think stamps WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR
are also really accessible because people are YOUR STAMP DESIGNS AND NOTECARDS?

WHAT ART MEDIUMS DO YOU FIND familiar with them. It is an approachable It really varies. Most recently, I have been
YOURSELF DRAWN TO AND WHY? medium, and when people sit down and al- working on getting more texture into my
I am most drawn to printmaking because it low themselves to play with it, they can come work. In the previous seasons, I was playing
is amazing that with these humble materials, up with a variety of different things. It really around with watercolors, and this season, I
you can create so many different looks using excites me to see what other people create have been using mark making to create add-
so many different techniques. With print- with them. ed depth into the two-dimensional pieces. I
making, you can do surface design and textile put out seasonal designs that interest me at
design. You can adorn three-dimensional ob- WHICH PART OF THE PROCESS DO YOU You are very likely to hear a food radio show, the time. I recently put out stamps that work
jects with two-dimensional designs through ENJOY MORECREATING THE PATTERNS Radiolab, or This American Life playing as we with two-color ink pads. You can ink differ-
image transfer. Printmaking, for me, is the OF THE ACTUAL STAMPS OR USING THE work. A lot of the people we employ are cre- ent areas of the stamp with varying colors to
most flexible, and I can do it in a confined STAMPS TO CREATE DESIGNS/ART? ative folks themselves, so it is a plus for us to create different looks. I had a fun time play-
space. It doesnt require a lot of facilities, like I think they go hand in hand because I am know that we are creating employment that is ing around with the color palette on that.
a ceramic studio or a traditional photography always thinking about how they will be used supporting other peoples creative lives while
studio would. by the person who is stamping. I always try to they support mine. WHERE DO YOU GO WHEN YOU ARE
keep versatility in mind. I would say, for me, FEELING CREATIVELY BLOCKED? IS THERE A


WHEN GIVEN GUIDELINES OR WHEN YOU especially when the finished product is some- Currently, we have a staff of five, which some- I wish it was a travel destination! I will take
ARE GIVEN A BLANK CANVAS? thing I wouldnt have thought of myself. That times increases during the holiday orders. my kid to Dolores Park, which is a great
I actually work both ways. For instance, I is the most rewarding aspect. Making some- They are all tremendous people. Although I big open park. I will just take a break, walk
create a lot of custom goods for Crate and thing that allows someone else to be creative often work from homeI have a two-year- around, and go shopping there. There are so
Barrel. They come to me with a specific is the best prize. old, so I work by myself at timesit is always many cool shops, specifically in the Mission
holiday, event, or function in mind, and that fun to be in the studio in this communal at- District of San Francisco, which is where my
can be a good jumping-off point. For my DESCRIBE THE ATMOSPHERE WHERE YOU mosphere. Everyone has become friends, and studio is. There are a ton of cool stores run
own work, I usually take a meandering path. WORK. WHAT KIND OF ENVIRONMENT DO we are this little community. We have old em- by other small makers from around the coun-
Maybe I am spurred on by a specific image, YOU TRY TO FOSTER? ployees stopping by for lunch. It is a pretty try. I find it inspiring to know that people are
or I am really enjoying a specific technique The team is made up of all women who are positive place, and I feel lucky. It also helps supporting handmade American goods. Just
and I want to see what that looks like on a very friendly. We get all of our goods from lo- to have people with different skills surround looking at something that isnt my own work
different scale. I tend to look at a drawing and cal suppliers and small, US-based companies. me, which is a tremendous plus because I is a treat too.
think, What would this look cool on? and All of our products are then assembled on tend to be a little disorganized.
then I figure out a way to make that happen. two long tables in our San Francisco studio.

8 AL 9
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE favorite thing is to stamp on fabric. We have FAVORITE FOOD PLACE IN YOUR
FOR YOU? these ink pads that work on paper and fabric, NEIGHBORHOOD:
My daughter gets up at six thirty or seven and they are very vibrant colors that work on La Palma is delicious. Its a taqueria that spe-
oclock, and we get her ready for school. My a variety of different surfaces. Because you cializes in making their own tortillas, which
husband works at City Hall downtown. He can stamp on a T-shirt or a canvas lunch bag results in serving amazing tacos and burritos.
takes a train down there, and that is when or a table runner or a napkin, it becomes the
I start my day. I will check e-mails and In- most versatile surface to work with. It is good DESIGNERS OR ARTISTS YOU ADMIRE AND
stagram, have way too much tea, and pretty for occasions and small events. It is kind of a HAVE SHAPED YOU:
much just work until around one or two way of branding yourself. I think that changes so frequently. Today, I
oclock before stopping for lunch. I might go was looking at Paul Klee, Agnes Martin, and
out for a burrito. Then I will come back and IF YOU WERENT THE OWNER OF YELLOW the paintings of Henri Rousseau. It really var-
finish working until about five oclock, and OWL, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING? ies. Since I am in the business of always hav-
then make dinner. After dinner, I just crash. Getting a lot more sleep than I currently do! ing to create new products, I have to get new
I think I would still be doing something in inspiration just to keep myself interested, and
DESCRIBE YOUR HAPPY PLACE, EITHER a creative field. But I just cant imagine not to keep the attention of the people who buy
AS A TANGIBLE PLACE OR A SET OF doing this right now, especially since I have my wares.
CIRCUMSTANCES: been working nonstop the last three months.
Besides spending time with my family, Maybe I would like working in the kitchen. I DO YOU HAVE A DREAM CAREER GOAL?
friends, and my daughter, I am most happy also like science, so maybe I would be a scien- I am living it. I feel really lucky to have the
when I am in the middle of working and I tist. (Oh, I could never be a scientist!) job that I have. I cant imagine anything bet-
get that feeling that I am in the zone. You can ter, except more time off.
feel it, but youre not working for itit is just HOW DO YOU FILL YOUR FREE TIME?
flowing with you. That is my happy place, and Running a business takes up a lot of time, so WHATS PLAYING ON YOUR IPOD?
that can happen anywheresketching at a often my free time is watching terrible televi- Right now, Radiolab, but it changes fre-
park bench, while I am in my studio, or even sion. We will go walk around North Beach on quently. I listen to a lot of talk radio when
on an airplane as an idea strikes me. the weekend, or we will go to the beach. We Im working, so I love public radio shows. I
am also listening to a band called Architecture
I dont have a good answer for that. I oddly WHERE DO YOU SEE YELLOW OWL
had the business name before I had the busi- will go back to Kansas City where my fam- WORKSHOP IN FIVE YEARS?
ness. I just knew I wanted to do something ily lives, or head to New Jersey and visit my We had a tremendous response with our
with my hands. I liked the repetition of the husbands family. Carve-a-Stamp kit, which is a product I was
letters. Yellow owls dont exist (that I know making myself for use. It is two river blocks
of). Yellow Owl just suited me. I wasnt think- WHAT IS IT LIKE LIVING IN SAN glued to a stamp block for even carving and
ing that it would be the longest website name FRANCISCO? CAN YOU IMAGINE LIVING impressions for solid printing. We also just
ever. And now that I have to say it twenty ANYWHERE ELSE? released these stencil kits that allow people
times a day, it was perhaps not the best busi- I have lived in a bunch of places. And since to use drawing stencils on totes and decals.
ness decision Ive ever made, but it suits me. San Francisco has no winter, it is hard to beat. I find myself thinking more and more about
It is a really great, very vibrant town that is craft kits.
WAS THE TERM WORKSHOP CHOSEN very supportive of small business. It is an AL ::
ON PURPOSE? ecologically aware town, so they also pride
Yes, I knew I was going to make stuff myself. themselves on local produce and locally pro-
It wasnt going to be a design studio. It was duced goods.
going to be an approachable workshop where
we took care of business. It is changing a lot. We are seeing a second
wave of technology moving in that is push-
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE STAMP SET AND ing the younger creative people out. But it is
YOUR FAVORITE THING TO STAMP? a great place in general. I think that I would
That is tough. It is always the one that I just always want to live in a walkable city. If I cant
did. I have a rose stamp that is new that I re- walk to the corner store and get a pint of ice
ally like. I have been into florals lately, and cream, I dont want to live there.
it makes me happy to look at it. I think my

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From The Vibrant Table by Anya Kassoff, 2014. Photographs by Masha Davydova. Reprinted by
arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications Inc., Boston, MA.

Homage to Nourishment FOOD

Fresh and seasonal ingredients abound in the recipes from The Vibrant Table:
Recipes from My Always Vegetarian, Mostly Vegan, and Sometimes Raw
Kitchen by Anya Kassoff (Roost Books, 2014).

I love cooking with tofu, as its texture

and ability to absorb any flavor allow
citrus broccolini
so much creativity in the kitchen.
The flavor of this marinade is
sensationalthe combination of
with cardamom tofu SERVES 4

cardamom and citrus is vibrant and

sunny, perfect for a summer meal.

ingredients: cooking instructions:

1 package (14 ounces) firm tofu 1. Drain the tofu, and place it on a plate. Cover with another plate, and put
1 bunch (about 10 ounces) broccolini some weight on it, such as a glass jar filled with water. Let it drain for
about 2 hours.
For the marinade
2. In a medium bowl, mix the citrus juices, cardamom, red pepper flakes,
Juice and zest of 2 limes
coconut sugar, olive oil, and salt. Pour into a food processor, add the cilantro
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
and water, and pulse to incorporate. Reserve cup of the dressing for later.
Seeds of 7 cardamom pods, crushed in a mortar

and pestle
3. Pour away the water drained from the tofu. In a medium dish, crumble
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
the tofu with your fingers. Pour the remaining dressing over the tofu, and
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
leave to marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. (You can do these steps in advance
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing and marinate the tofu overnight.)
the baking dish

teaspoon sea salt
4. Preheat the oven to 425F.
1 bunch cilantro, leaves and stems (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon purified water 5. Blanch the broccolini in a large pot full of well-salted water for 4 to 5
Handful almonds, toasted and chopped minutes. Transfer to an ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Remove the
broccolini from the water once cool, squeeze out the excess water, and pat dry
with paper towels.

6. Place the broccolini in a lightly oiled baking dish, drizzle the reserved
cup of dressing over it, and top with marinated tofu. Bake for 10 minutes.

7. Sprinkle with the toasted and chopped almonds, and serve immediately.

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When I first made this salad, it was
nothing more than an attempt to put
summer bounty
together the produce I had on hand
into one meal. It turned out so well
that everyone who tried it declared it
salad SERVES 4-6

was one of the best salads theyd ever

had. I dont think anyone has changed
their mind since.

ingredients: cooking instructions:

Sea salt 1. Blanch the green beans in a pot of well-salted boiling water for about 4
About 10 ounces young green beans or French minutes, until crisp-tender, and shock them in an ice-water bath. In the same
beans, ends trimmed water, blanch the peas for about 20 seconds, until crisp-tender, and shock
About 6 ounces fresh shelled green peas them in the ice water. Remove the vegetables from the ice water when cool,
1 small carrot, shaved with a vegetable peeler and gently dry them with a dish towel or paper towels.
1 small head radicchio, thinly sliced
2. In a large bowl, combine the green beans, peas, carrot, radicchio, radishes,
About 10 radishes, thinly sliced
zest of the lemon, parsley, and dill.
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3. In a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder, coarsely grind the coriander,
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
cumin, mustard, and fenugreek seeds. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over
2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds medium-low heat, add the crushed seeds and garlic, and cook for 2 to 3
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds minutes, until fragrant. Pour the hot oil over the salad, season with salt, and
1 teaspoon whole yellow mustard seeds add a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Mix gently, add the berries, if using,
teaspoon whole fenugreek seeds (optional) and serve immediately.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed with a knife
Handful of berries, such as cherries and
raspberries (optional)

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I have a deep fondness for vegetable
pancakes or fritters; they were one of the
tastiest and simplest meals of my
childhood. My mother made them with
zucchini in summer and pumpkin in fall
and winter.To make them with zucchini, just butternut squash
squeeze out the excess water, eliminate the
sage and nutmeg, add 1 tablespoon each
and sage fritters MAKES 12

minced mint and dill, and use almond flour

rather than hazelnut flour.

ingredients: cooking instructions:

1 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1. Warm tablespoon of the olive oil in a small saut pan over medium-low
medium yellow onion, finely chopped heat. Add the onion and garlic, and saut for 4 to 5 minutes, until translucent.
1 large garlic clove, minced Set aside to cool.
2 cups packed finely shredded butternut squash
2. Preheat the oven to 400F.
1 large egg
Large pinch of sea salt
3. Wrap the shredded butternut squash in several layers of paper towels, and
Freshly ground black pepper
squeeze gently so the paper towels can absorb the excess liquid. Remove the
1 tablespoons minced fresh sage (from about paper towels, and place the squash in a medium bowl with the egg, salt,
5 sage leaves)
pepper, sage, parsley, paprika, nutmeg, cheese, and hazelnut flour. Add the
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
onion and garlic, and mix to combine.
teaspoon smoked paprika
Dash of freshly grated nutmeg 4. Line a baking sheet with lightly oiled parchment paper. With your hands,
1 ounces feta cheese, preferably goats milk shape the squash mixture into patties, and arrange them on the baking sheet
and/or sheeps milk feta, crumbled about 1 inches apart. If the batter doesnt stick together or is too wet,
cup hazelnut flour or almond flour add a little more flour. Brush the patties with half of the remaining olive oil,
and bake for 10 minutes.

5. Remove the sheet from the oven, and flip the patties using a thin
spatula. Brush the other side of the patties with the remaining olive oil, and
bake for another 10 minutes. Serve with sour cream or yogurt, and/or a
simple green salad on the side.

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Halva is one of my favorite desserts.
Whenever I see those irregularly
shaped blocks of nuts and sugar at
Middle Eastern markets, I lose all
willpower. I cant ever pick just one
kindsesame, sunflower, pistachio everything
they are all delicious in their own way.
Its no surprise that I wanted to create

a healthier alternative so I wouldnt

feel a sugar overload after every burst
of indulgence.

ingredients: cooking instructions:

5 large soft dates 1. Place the dates in a medium bowl, and cover with purified water. Let them
1 cup raw walnuts soak while you follow the next few steps. Make sure your dates are very fresh,
1 cup raw hazelnuts soft, and moist; if theyre not, soak them for several hours.
cup raw sunflower seeds
cup rolled oats 2. Preheat the oven to 350F.
cup raw Brazil nuts
Pinch of sea salt 3. Spread the walnuts and hazelnuts on a baking sheet, place it in the
2 tablespoons maca powder (optional) oven, and toast the nuts for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let cool.
Meanwhile, spread the sunflower seeds on a separate baking sheet, and toast
3 tablespoons coconut butter or coconut oil
them for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let cool. Rub the toasted
2 tablespoons sesame tahini
walnuts and hazelnuts with a kitchen towel to remove their skins.
cup pumpkin seeds

cup unhulled or hulled raw sesame seeds 4. Pulse the rolled oats in a food processor to partially grind them, about 10
cup hemp seeds pulses. Transfer into a large bowl. Add the walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower
cup chia seeds seeds, Brazil nuts, and salt to the food processor, and grind to the consistency
2 tablespoons quinoa puffs of breadcrumbs. Drain the dates, remove the pits, and add to the nut mixture
1/3 cup goji berries in the food processor, along with the maca powder, if using, the coconut
1 heaping tablespoon cacao nibs butter, and tahini. Grind until well combined and as smooth as possible.
tablespoon bee pollen
3 tablespoons honey 5. Add the remaining ingredients to the large bowl with the rolled oats,
followed by the nut-date mixture. Using your hands, combine everything
very well. The mixture should be sticky and hold together when pressed
between your fingers.

6. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper extending up the
sides. Press the mixture into the pan in an even layer, and freeze for 1 hour.
Remove the pan from the freezer, lift the halva out with the parchment paper,
and place the halva on a cutting board. Carefully slice it into bars with a large,
sharp knife. It will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
You can also store the bars in the freezer; they dont harden completely, so
you can eat them straight from the freezer.

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much as possible. I also work with my clients

long after to maintain their landscapes so
the gardens stay chemical-free, sustainable,
and beautiful!


Like a lot of professions, horticulture can be
self-taught hands-on or by going to school
and getting a degree or degrees. I have done
all of the above, but I find that nothing is a
better teacher of nature than nature. My fa-
vorite quote is, Study nature, not books.


My favorite jobs are when I work privately
Half Moon Bay, California, is a chill coastal with most or all of the creative freedom. I like
town, deeply rooted in an agricultural com- to see inside a persons home or office to get a

California Greening
munity. I can walk to the beach and coastal sense of their taste and color choices, but oth-
bluff, and I can look out my window and see er than that, my job is to design with the land.
horses, cows, and a tractor pulling hay. Our One job that I maintain each month (in San
biggest crops here are artichokes, pumpkins, Francisco, California) is located near the bay,
A N O R G A N I C H O R T I C U LT U R I S T S TA L E and brussel sprouts, so there are always great so we deal with a lot of salt, wind, and sun.
text: JENNIFER LEE SEGALE photography: ROB CO fresh vegetables here. Its heaven! We have a beautiful layer of native perenni-
Garden Apothecary founder Jennifer Lee Segale has made organic gardening and als, shrubs, and trees, and every few months,
design her lifes work, including a bath and body product line. WHAT CONSTITUTES ORGANIC
I plant containers around their house to hold
the high-flowering annuals. We have a lovely
Organic landscape design is when you de- patchwork mix of sustainable natives, as well
sign and implement a garden, using organic as pockets of color and texture.
practices. I grow my own plants organically,
and buy from organically certified compa- DO YOU HAVE A DREAM PROJECT?
nies. I fertilize with compost that is certi- My dream job is to work on an estate where
fied organic. When I design a garden, I am I can plant hillsides of lavender. How gor-
sure to study the natural habitat and climate geous would 1,000 lavender plants in full
before we come in and work with it. I look bloom look each summer? Id love to be on a
for a shady, soggy area on the property, and property that had some history and some es-
plant accordingly. I plant drought-tolerant as tablished trees, as well as areas for transition
and new plantings. Masses of lavender always
intrigue me. Vegetable gardens are always fun
to install too.

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My dream job is to work on an estate where I can plant hillsides of lavender. How gorgeous
would 1,000 lavender plants in full bloom look each summer?

I READ THAT YOU RAISE BEES. HOW DID the dirt out from under my nails after gar-
YOU GET INVOLVED IN THAT? dening, but its ended up being fabulous for
I do raise honeybees. I have just a small hive so much more!
(less than 20,000 bees) in my back garden,
close to where I make my organic bath and DID YOU HAVE WILLING FRIENDS TO TEST
beauty products. From my office, I can hear YOUR PRODUCTS?
the buzzing! I wanted to work with bees be- Early on, I made my products in my kitchen
cause of the amazing beneficial properties of and did a lot of family and friend testing!
honey. I also wanted to help support our lo- It really started as something indulgent for
cal bee colonies, and add biodiversity to my myself and a few close friends. But after a
garden and neighborhood. holiday season of everyone wanting some, I
decided to turn it into a business. It was off
DO YOU TAKE CARE OF OTHER ANIMALS? to the races from there! I noticed a hole in
I have four rescue mutts from various rescue the beauty market, as none of the products
organizationsSprout, Patootie, Lucky, and I could find had actual plants or flowers in
Whiskey. They are all adorable, and a giant themjust oils and chemicals. I find that
pain in the rear! They each have a different, Garden Apothecarys best sellers and most
entertaining personality, so they always keep indulgent products are the ones I add a lot
me on my toes! of botanicals to, like our vanilla and balsam
scrub that includes one whole organic va-
I also own chickens, though they dont have nilla bean in the jar.
special names; I call them all Mama. They
are sweet little pets, but we mostly have them DID YOU ALSO CREATE YOUR OWN LABELS
for egg production. I have four chickens, so AND PACKAGING?
we (pretty regularly) get four eggs a day. My I created all of my labels and packaging. Its
friends and neighbors reap the benefits, and I been a painstaking process that took me
always have eggs on hand for cookie making. about two years, but I love the outcome and
find the labels to be very fitting for the prod- type of plant research I can do in whatever FAVORITE PRODUCT: football shaped. The taste and scent from the
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO LAUNCH ucts and my brand. I work with a designer country we are traveling to. Belize is perfect Its tough to have favorites since I handcraft beans is incredibleeven magical. Its found
GARDEN APOTHECARY? and printing company who I give my ideas to. since Matt loves to scuba dive while I am each product, but if I had to choose, it would to have a tremendous amount of antioxidants
I was inspired to start Garden Apothecary They make sure its printable, and constantly trekking in the jungle. Id say that is where be our cacao and cardamom oil. Its a rich, and other medicinal properties for the body,
about six years ago. My sister and I were help with my perennial grammar issues! we have had our best memoriesjump- grounding scent that feels luxurious on the mind, and spirit.
walking through the Ferry Building Farmers ing off waterfalls, cave exploration, rid- body; its our best-selling item. AL ::
Market in San Francisco, and I saw a plethora WHERE DID YOUR LOVE OF TRAVEL ing horses in a mahogany farm, and eating
of bath products, but none were organic or all STEM FROM? great local foods at the Belizean farmers WHAT IS CAPTURING YOUR ATTENTION
that interesting. I decided it would be fun to My love for travel came when I met my hus- markets. My favorite times are just driving THESE DAYS?
make products for the body from the plants I band, Matt. He has always been a constant for hours down the Hummingbird High- Right now, I have been doing a lot of
knew and loved and researched. Plus, it was a traveler, and after we took our first month- way in Belize and listening to our favorite hands-on studying of theobroma cacao.
perk to be able to get dirty from one company long trip, I was hooked. If I dont make it podcasts. We speed by the beautiful land- This is the namesake of chocolate. Its a small,
(my landscaping) and clean up with another! to Belize a couple times a year, I get pretty scape, stop whenever there is something in- tropical tree that loves to grow in the under-
My cacao body scrub was created for getting antsy. I tend to tailor my trips around what teresting to see, and enjoy our time together. brush in jungles. The pods are large, almost

22 AL 23
Painting the Pedestrian

Artist Michael Ward paints to document and bear witness to life, and chooses
subjects often overlooked to force people to see.

JOURNEY AS AN ARTIST: I got distracted with a girlfriend (later wife)
Id like to say I knew from an early age I and stepson, and put my brushes down for
wanted to be an artist, but thats not quite the a decade or so. I regretted selling Pink El-
case. In my youth, I wanted to be an architect, ephant, and one day decided to get it back
and got as far as studying architecture in high by painting it again. Then I painted another
school before diverting into creative writing work and another, and havent stopped since.
in college. In 1974, I spent a summer with my I draw from my now-ancient archive of slides
cousin in Maine, who put me to work doing from the 70s and 80s, and more recent im-
pen and ink sketches of houses for friends. I ages as well.
earned $15 a drawing, and by summers end,
I had a couple hundred bucks in my pocket. I went along the typical amateur path, show-
That led me to do more pen and ink draw- ing in community art shows and county fairs,
ings of historic architecture, which abounds gradually climbing the emerging artist ladder
in Maine. to group shows at galleries, then a solo show
in 2008, and then gallery representation and
Back home in Long Beach, California, I went more group and solo shows. Though I still
searching for more historical buildings to have a day job, painting occupies more and
draw. Pickings were slim, but in the course more of my time.
of my wanderings, I photographed whatever
caught my eye, old and new. I was friends AS AN ARTIST, WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION
with a couple professional photographers, FOR CREATING?
who encouraged my amateur efforts. In the For me, painting is about bearing witness.
early 80s, I tried painting some of these. Its about documenting the life I live and
I used gouache on illustration board, just have lived, the places Ive been, and the
because thats what I had on hand from my sights I have seen. I concentrate on what is
day job as a graphic artist. The results were normally overlooked: the everyday, the com-
encouraging, and I even managed to sell a monplace, the stuff we take for granted. Alan
painting (Pink Elephant) for a modest price. Watts calls it, The mystery of the ordinary.

24 AL 25
I concentrate on what is normally
overlooked: the everyday, the
commonplace, the stuff we take
for granted. Alan Watts calls it,
The mystery of the ordinary.
I believe there is a grace in
everyday things that we
usually overlook.

I believe there is a grace in everyday things HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK? TALK US THROUGH THE PROCESS OF
that we usually overlook. My paintings are a In art historical terms, youd probably call CREATING YOUR AVERAGE WORK OF ART:
way of making people pay attention to whats what I do photorealism. Id be happy just I start by picking an image from my archive,
around them. My hope is that people look at calling it realism. The paintings look photo- either a slide from the 70s or 80s, or a digital
my paintings and see something of their own graphic to the untrained eye, but my level of shot from this century. I crop it in Photoshop,
experience in them, and that prompts them detail is not as great as some. And though I and do any necessary editingremoving or
to look at something theyve never seen be- sometimes wish it were looser, it never quite adding elements, moving stuff around, modi-
fore and say, I know this. gets to an impressionist level. A curator once fying colors. Then I make a full-size printout
described my work as abstract realism. That that gets traced onto the canvas. I work back
HOW HAS YOUR ART EVOLVED OVER may explain my affinity for Richard Dieben- to front, and top to bottom. A small piece
THE YEARS? korn. My fascination with the ordinary might takes a couple weeks, working two to three
In the early days, I was copying my photo- put me in the Ashcan School, though it would hours a day. A more complex piece may take
graphs exactly, only leaving out stuff that was have to be updated to the Plastic Recycling two months. One painting took me a year, but
too complex to paint. At some point, I began Bin School. that was in my early days when I was slower
adding figures to images that needed them, and less devoted to painting. I generally dont
or other elements such as cars or trees. And WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR WORK, ARE varnish my paintings, so when the last detail
I might change the color of a building or re- THERE ANY BOUNDARIES THAT YOU ARE is painted, theyre done.
position things for the sake of composition. NOT AFRAID OF CROSSING?
I have dabbled with wholly fictional scenes, If there are any boundaries, they are ones Ive WHAT INSPIRES THE SUBJECT MATTER OF
but always come back to a more documen- set myself. I shy away from painting pretty YOUR ART?
tary approach. Over the years, Ive learned to picturestouristy scenes, flowers, pets, car- Im always looking for subject matter, but its
become braver in cropping tighter and mak- ousel horses, etc. (though I have done all of hard to articulate exactly what Im looking
ing changes for the sake of composition. So those at some point, and theyve been well for. It usually boils down to, I know it when
Im probably somewhere between documen- received). But I would rather not paint the I see it. People sometimes send me images
tary and reality TV. stuff thats already been painted over and they think could be Michael Ward paintings.
over. There is so much in the world that is
overlookedI feel a duty to document it.

26 AL 27
They may be way off base, but sometimes
theyre right on. Thats satisfyingto know
that other people share my aesthetic.


PLACES TO DRAW INSPIRATION FROM? In art historical terms,
Museums are always energizing for me, as
youd probably call what
is the study of other artists in general. And
travel, of course. Lately, Ive been traveling I do photorealism. Id
repeatedly to the same places (because of be happy just calling it
family): Montana, Michigan, and Mexico. realism. The paintings
Ive gotten a lot of material from all of them.
look photographic to
the untrained eye, but
CREATIVE PROCESS? my level of detail is not
I like the entire process: finding an image, as great as some.
preparing it for the canvas, and executing the
work. I guess a favorite aspect for me is find-
ing the unexpected and overlooked details in
an image as I paint it. For instance, I found
a slide in my archive that had a girl leaning
against a light pole at an odd angle. When
I began painting, I noticed she was wearing
roller skates, so that painting became Rollin
Down Pico after the location, Pico and West-
ern in Los Angeles. Another image I painted
contained a bank building in downtown Long
Beach built in the twenties; a couple of old
cars appear in the slide I took in the 1970s,
and an elderly woman in the foreground is
clutching her sack lunch. That became the
painting called Persistence.

28 AL 29
My most recent revelation came when I
did a painting of a VW bug parked outside
an art deco apartment building, based on a
slide I took back in the 1970s. I discovered
that the VW had snow tires, not usually

needed in Southern California. The VW was
a 1968 model, the same one my father had
when he left Montana in the 1960s to reset-
tle in Long Beach. So there was a personal
symbolism for me, though I didnt realize it
when I took the photo or started the painting.
These themes often only present themselves
after hours of study, which painting allows
I could repaint it. That has freed me up, which means I can paint faster.
HOW WOULD YOU SAY YOUR ART DIFFERS Theres no pressure to get it right the first time.
Im self-taught, so I havent been influenced
much by art schools or art trends. I dont feel
the need to express any inner demons. I dont
think Im consciously emulating anyone,
though there are many contemporary artists
I admire, such as Robert Bechtle, Richard Es-
tes, Ralph Goings, and John Register.
DESCRIBE FOR US THE ATMOSPHERE WHEN Los Angeles, and Orange County. Just as a
HOW DO YOU CONTINUE TO CHALLENGE YOU ARE AT WORK: walkabout is a coming of age, these paintings
YOURSELF AS AN ARTIST? I can paint anywhere, and have, but I have a represent my ongoing journey of discovery
For a long time, I resisted doing commis- purpose-built studio attached to my house and maturation as an artist, and simultane-
sions, though Im often asked to do them. where I do most of my painting. My cat, Milo, ously, my examination in detail of where Ive
Somehow, it seems too much like work. But keeps me company, and I listen to podcasts been, and by extension, who I was and who I
lately, Ive been more open, as commissions (mostly current affairs programs) to engage have become.
often take me in directions I would not oth- that part of my brain not engaged in painting.
erwise have gone. And as my skills improve, TALK ABOUT THE HOME IS WHERE THE
I have tackled images that I once considered TALK ABOUT YOUR LIFE OUTSIDE OF HOUSE IS SERIES:
too hard to paint. YOUR WORK: I am currently working on a series of paint-
Theres travel, reading, taking care of cats, ings of simple, ordinary housesones with-
Lately, Ive tried to include more people in and being a graphic designer. But Im always out grand architectural pretensions. Rather,
my paintings, which often means combining thinking about paintingwhether it is the their importance derives from the lives lived
images. Having a person in a scene changes project Im working on at the moment or within them, of which we see very little. The
the dynamic entirely. what I want to paint next. paintings are all of a common size, four-
teen inches by eighteen inches. The houses
WHAT HAVE BEEN THE MOST VALUABLE WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IN are from a variety of locations in the United
LESSONS LEARNED? TEN YEARS? States and Mexico. They are, in a sense, the
It took me a long time to realize that if some- Id like to still be above ground, painting full places we all grew up inplaces of nurture,
thing didnt come out right, I could repaint time in some picturesque location (or sev- experience, trial, memory, and forgiveness.
it. That has freed me up, which means I can eral), reluctantly jetting off for the occasional AL ::
paint faster. Theres no pressure to get it right museum retrospective.
the first time. Another thing Ive learned is
that often a composition can be improved TALK ABOUT THE WALKABOUT SERIES:
by cropping the original image. I found this These paintings are from my 2008 solo
out more or less by accident while trying to show, with ongoing additions. They are all
fit the image of one of my paintings onto a city scenes, based on photographs taken
business card. while roaming the streets of Long Beach,

30 AL 31
I dont think there was a specific moment.
There was nothing so glorious as getting hit
in the head with an apple and coming up HOW DOES LOCATION TRANSLATE INTO
with a theory. I was always interested in tin- INSPIRATION FOR A HOMES DESIGN?
kering and building with things, and had re- The environment around you provides con-
ally liked being around construction as I was text, which includes factors like the views,
growing up. the sun, the wind, the trees, and the terrain.
There are next-door neighbors, backdoor
I played football while attending an Ivy neighbors, and front-door neighbors. There
League college to earn a liberal arts degree. is streetscape. All of these elements play into
I pursued a pretty well-rounded degree be- how you respond and how you begin the pro-
cause I didnt know exactly what I wanted to cess. You need to know all the pieces so you
doat that time, my mind-set was fixated on can incorporate it into your design.
pretending that I might be able to play pro-
fessional football in the future. I started out The other context is the client. Our clients
studying engineering, but found that I was have a lot to say about what they want in their
more interested in putting things together homes. We want to base our design off of how
and seeing how they were modeled rather they live, and not how I live or anyone in our
than learning about how things stressed. So firm lives since we are not the people who are
I ended up becoming a visual arts major, going to live in the project. We find out what-

Into the Woods

which I excelled at but wasnt focused on. ever their needs and wishes are and incorpo-
rate those into our plan as we are designing a
Although I did end up getting signed by a project. If you came to us with your house, we
professional football team, I got cut fairly would ask questions like, How do you enter-
photography: JAMES RAY SPAHN quickly. Returning home, I took a job as a tain? Who wakes up first? How much space
do-everything gofer with an architecture do you have for your closets? Who cooks?
James Rills architecture is informed by the environment, integrating
firm, just to see if I would like it, and coached These are a lot of personal questions. By tak-
outdoor elements into the design of the home.
football for a high school team. Through that ing your cues from the site and the clients,
experience, I was offered a couple teaching every project you work on is differentevery
positions from a local high school; however, site is different, every personality is differ-
I decided to follow my fathers advice and entso it never gets old.
attend graduate school before jumping into
a teaching position. I applied and got into ONCE YOUVE SELECTED A DIRECTION FOR
graduate school to study architecture, and it HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR THE DESIGN, WHAT IS YOUR PLANNING
Naturesque, which to me means it responds It is always evolving. There is no selection to
WHAT ABOUT ARCHITECTURE WERE YOU to its environment. It brings nature into the the design. There is something called a parti,
DRAWN TO? house and the house out into the natural en- which is a French word for an organizing ele-
I think it was the ability to make functional vironment. Our firm dedicates itself to cre- ment from an architectural standpoint. You
artwork with my hands. There were reasons ating spaces that are connected to the views begin by creating organizing elements that
to do things a certain way, whereas art was and vistas of the outdoors. Every house you are reviewed with your clients and reviewed
too wide open for me. There was context with design creates outdoor rooms as well, and the by your staff. And you pull together how you
architecture, like wind, sun, and landscape. outdoor rooms are some of the most wonder- want to expand the project. From that point,
There were buildings next door and views to ful rooms in the house. Our clients really like you start designing the details, and you re-
take into account. All of these variables had to feel connected to nature while they are in- view it again with your clients and staff ev-
to be considered and integrated in order to side their home, but they also like to feel that ery couple of weeks. You keep pushing along
create a story or an experience as you move they are not all alone when outside. in baby steps until you get something that
through the space. is morphing into a design that is physically

32 AL 33
The client was looking for a place to live within nature so they could experience
nature both from within the house and from outside the house.

beautiful and functionally beautiful, but not or hollowed out a log and lived in that. But
constructable at this point. These are not con- the wife insisted on including the amenities
struction drawings, but rather drawings that of modern-day lifestyles.
give you a sense of what the design is.
They wanted their house to sit within the
At that point, you take it to general contrac- context of the neighborhood from an archi-
tors for pricing because you want to make tectural standpointthey didnt want it to
sure you are not building the Taj Mahal when be so rustic that it didnt fit with the other
you dont have a Taj Mahal budget. All ar- houses in the neighborhoodbut they also
chitects are accused of going overbudget. Its wanted it to sit on the site as a piece of the
crucial to find out the budget early so you can landscape. They wanted the design to be a
modify and tailor the project to meet your fi- little more sleek, clean, and made of glass,
nancial and aesthetic needs. There are ways stone, and wood so that it appeared to grow
to design and masterplan, get some pricing, out of the landscape.
get a shopping list, and then tailor it to meet
your needs, budgetwise. DESCRIBE THE LOCATION BEFORE
YOUR FAVORITE ARCHITECTURE SECRET: It was on a steep slope in the middle of the
There is no real secret. We spend a lot of time woods with vistas toward valleys and river
thinking about natural light. I think one of valleys. The houses on each side were con-
the biggest things we do differently from oth- temporary in nature, and the neighborhood
ers is we design the house as if it owns every- as a whole was more English traditional. It
thing it can see. If you have a five-acre site, we was a wonderful site. There was nobody be-
are designing a five-acre project, although the hind you for miles that you could see, and
house may be only 3,000 square feet. There you could easily screen out your neighbors to
will be trails, gazebos, and outdoor rooms. the sides.
We think of the entire site as the project. We
help with the landscape architecture, and we SUM UP THE THEME AND INSPIRATION
also work all the way to the interiors where BEHIND THIS PROJECT IN A COUPLE OF
well coordinate to design the kitchen cabi- SENTENCES:
nets, the built-ins, and everything up to the Live within your surroundings without hav- taking down as few as possible and spending and also boasts a glass room, which is ideal for EXPLAIN SOME OF THE ECO-FRIENDLY
furniture and fabricswhich we can coordi- ing an adverse affect on the surroundings. lot of money saving the ones that were tight sitting in the environment and looking out at DESIGN MATERIALS, SYSTEMS, AND
nate as well if you want us to. I think our se- Influence the site versus ripping it apart and to the house. When we did have to take down the nature that passes by. On the second floor, BUILDING TECHNIQUES USED IN
cret is that we are not just thinking about the disturbing it. a tree, we would utilize the wood within there is the master bedroom and another THIS PROJECT:
house as a structure. We are thinking about the construction materials so that nothing bedroom. And on the third floor, there is an We put a lot of thought into living green and
it as a home. HOW DID YOU NAVIGATE THROUGH was wasted. You will notice that some of the office and a bird sanctuary for the owners living within your environment. The main
NATURE TO ACHIEVE YOUR DESIGN? trees are actually used as the wood floors in parakeets. When the client walks around up features were the insulation, the indoor air
GIVE US AN OVERVIEW OF THIS WHAT SORT OF CHALLENGES DID THE the house. there, the birds perch on his shoulders, so we quality, and the hot water heat that runs
PARTICULAR PROJECT. WHAT WAS YOUR LANDSCAPE PROVIDE? had to make sure the materials up there took from a geothermal system. We utilized Icy-
CLIENT LOOKING FOR IN TERMS OF We chose to work with the surrounding mate- TELL US ABOUT THIS HOUSE IN care of themselves. If you notice on the front nene spray foam insulation, duel flush toi-
AESTHETIC AND FEELING OF THE SPACE? rials so that the house didnt appear like an ob- GENERAL TERMS: of the house, the dormers are made of glass. lets, and ENERGY STAR appliances. We also
The clients were looking for a place to live ject in the landscape, but rather it blended in It is a four-story, 4,200-square-foot house. We treated the dormers as hatches; when you incorporated cisterns, which take the water
within nature so they could experience na- with the green of nature. We relocated moun- The lower level consists of an indoor pool, are standing inside a dormer, you feel like from the roof and the site and filter it into
ture both from within the house and from tain laurels, which we were advised not to do which opens up to nature as well as a guest you have lifted up the hatches of the roof and two ten-thousand-gallon tanks for irrigation.
outside the house. If the husband had his way, but were successful at anyway. We worked room, workout room, and rec room. The first are looking around in all directions.
he would have pitched a tent on the property with the existing positioning of the trees, floor is the living, eating, and cooking space,

34 AL 35
WHAT SORT OF DESIGN DETAILS CAN BE the satisfaction of being able to say that we
FOUND IN THE HOMES INTERIORS? had a little something to do with its creation.
The interior of the house is made up of all That is how our clients feel too. They are
exposed timbers and wood, which plays on doing this because they love it. Not only are
the idea that the trees and limbs have moved they doing something for the future, but
into the house. We really focused on using also for their own satisfaction and simplicity
these timbers and wood as a way to relate in life.
to the same timbers and wood in nature,
but utilizing them as structure. The ex- SHED SOME LIGHT ON YOURSELF OUTSIDE
posed wood creates a textured and organic OF THE DESIGN WORLD:
design, even though the lines are clean I coach Special Olympics basketball and soft-
and straight. The walls are mostly floor-to- ball. That is out of the fact that my youngest
ceiling glass to allow for wonderful views. son, who is twenty years old, has special needs.
The marble granite that we used for the kitch- He is very athletic, and I like that. I played
en emulated a force like you were looking up particular case, the clients were ecstatic with sports my entire life, and I like to continue to
through the trees. the final results. They helped design it and work out, swim, run, and bike. I also find that
loved every detail because it is personal to running an office is much like running a great
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE TIMEFRAME FOR themfrom the kitchen pantry fit for a gour- team, which I find to be enjoyable. Although
A PROJECT? met cook to the garages special fittings to architecture isnt an inherently team-oriented
It takes about a year to design, and a little hold up kayaks and bikes. process, I really preach the teamwork. A lot
over a year to build. You can design it in six of architects think of themselves singularly;
months, but it would be stressful. It is a very HOW DO YOU CONTINUE TO CHALLENGE there are a lot of Frank Lloyd Wrights of the
hard question to answer because every proj- YOURSELF AS AN ARCHITECT? world who think that they did it all and do
ect is different. Depending on the size of the Every project is different, and every client is not need any help. But our philosophy in this
project, it can be six to eight months for an differentthat is what keeps us on our toes. firm focuses on being very team-oriented.
addition, or twelve to sixteen months for a The sites themselves are always different, as I constantly look for advice and people to
new home. If you are building on a ninety- are the budgets. Everybody has a budget and inspire me. I also like to inspire others. For
degree slope, it is a lot harder to build. Every a wish list, and 100 percent of the time, the that reason, I really like coaching in the
project is different. wish list is more than what the budget allows. off-season and working with kids who have
It doesnt matter the number. If you have two special needs.
HOW DID THE CLIENTS REACT TO THE dollars in your pocket, you will want three AL ::
FINAL DESIGN? dollars worth of architecture. If you have one
Our clients are very involved in the early million dollars in your pocket, you will want
stages, the middle stages, and again when it 1.5 million dollars worth of architecture.
is done. Some are pleasantly surprised with Each project comes with its own set of pa-
the beginning siting, confused with the con- rameters that keeps things interesting.
struction, and then pleasantly surprised that
it comes out as wonderful as we planned for WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE MOST
in the end. Envisioning the project when it FULFILLING ABOUT THE FIELD?
is done is a little tough, and people end up The fact that we are doing something that will
thinking that rooms are too small or too big last forever (in our opinion). We are molding
during the construction phase. But the final the environmentour environment, yours
results are worth it in the end. There is some and mineinto something wonderful that
trust there, but we do bring them along with will stay there for a long time. We are creating
every step. In general, I think our clients something, and making somebodys dream
expect to be wowed when it is done. In this come true. When we drive by, we can enjoy

36 AL 37

Bourbon with a Twist

oak barrels carefully year after year, anticipat-
ing just the right maturity to produce the full
essence and classic amber tone of top-shelf
T H E A R T O F S A L VA G I N G O A K bourbon. Craftsman Tony Davis has his eyes
text: BRADLEY D. SAUM photography: BRADLEY D. SAUM
on those same barrels, but not for the bour-
Craftsman Tony Davis transforms Kentucky bourbon barrels into useful household bon. Tony seeks the perfectly seasoned wood
items, like cutting boards, lazy Susans, and art easels.
barrels to succumb to his creative hands. The
salvaged oak is crafted into functional art
pieces for the home, such as cutting boards,
As the staves fall to the lazy Susans, and art easels.
floor, the traditional
charred interior is His unique designs start with the staves, the
revealed and generates a curved wood planks of the barrel that are
bound tightly with metal bands. A grinder
blanket of soot
quickly relieves the tension of the band, free-
throughout Tonys ing the pieces of white oak. As the staves
Studio 300 in the old fall to the floor, the traditional charred in-
James Pepper Distillery terior is revealed. The grinding generates
in Lexington, Kentucky. a blanket of soot throughout Tonys Studio
300 in the old James Pepper Distillery in
Lexington, Kentucky.

The very first staves that Tony Davis re-

claimed from a bourbon barrel were not
in his pursuit of crafting in Studio 300, but
many years before when he was young and
simply passing time in the Lexington, Ken-
tucky, summers. The walls of Tonys child-
hood clubhouse were fortified with small
wood planks pulled from trash cans behind
a neighborhood store. Those discarded rem-
nants were actually from bourbon barrels
that had already been repurposed once as
planters. Little did I know I would be doing
what I am doing now, Tony reflects.

From the little clubhouse and his humble be-

ginnings in Lexington, Tony would take a re-
markable journey before picking up another
piece of charred white oak from a bourbon
barrel. Struggling to complete a formal edu-
cation beyond the seventh grade, Tony started
delivering papers and working at a fast food
restaurant. In 1995, Tony joined the United
States Marine Corps, which would take him

38 AL 39
to eighteen countries around the world. He Tony enjoyed Fleet Week, including a tour of crafting wine racks and art easels from old Returning home, he grabbed an old bourbon The body of Kentucky Knows is, of course, Knows.) Tony adds, Kentucky Knows has vi-
put his mind to studying and earned a GED, nearby Napa Valley wine country where he pieces of hand-hewn boards, but had dreams barrel that he had purchased at a garage sale staves from a bourbon barrel. The long corn sions of a thoroughbred.
the equivalent of a high school diploma. I al- stumbled upon artisans crafting wine racks of one day creating something proprietary. some years earlier for no specific purpose. Knows, a homonym play on nose, repre-
ways wanted to do better for myself because and decorative art pieces from the wine bar- With newfound resolution, he cut the metal sents the required minimum 51 percent corn Hes always been inside the bourbon barrel;
of where I came from, Tony conveyed. If it rels. Tony tucked the experience into his Tonys moment of creative genius came bands with his grinder, and the staves fell to content in bourbon. The Commonwealth it just took us to let him out, Tony said in
were not for the Marine Corps, I would not memory while he was still busy serving his while he was stuck in traffic in downtown the ground. As he was picking them up, he of Kentucky joined fourteen other states a nearly serious tone. Tonys entrepreneurial
be where I am today. country, but found himself recalling the Napa Lexington, sitting in his truck looking at a sign saw what could be made into a body and im- in the recently formed Union in 1792, and drive was now inspired and in high gear. He
Valley artwork during his occasional visits for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian mediately knew. Kentucky Knows was in its that date rests prominently on the end of the wanted to use the bourbon barrels to create
The Marine Corps taught me discipline, back home to the Bluegrass Region of Ken- Games. The World Equestrian Games would infancy and would gradually develop into his corn nose. marketable items that would appeal to a wide
integrity, and to be honest. It taught me ev- tucky, when the mere sight of old bourbon be held in Tonys hometown, the first time signature art piece and registered trademark, audience, which led him to a cutting board.
erything. I can never repay the Marine Corps barrels sent him down memory lane. Cre- the International Federation for Equestrian as a slightly abstract character crafted to il- The eyes are a story of their own. The little
for all they did for me, Tony shared. I hold ative ideas were subtly starting to form. Sports would host the elite event at a venue lustrate unique aspects of Kentucky. thoroughbreds sitting in the eyes are re- Tony crafts all sorts of items from the staves
them close to my heart. outside of Europe. An idea illuminated. I claimed bourbon bottle toppers from Blan- of the bourbon barrel, but cutting boards are
Tonys journey came full circle as he eventu- pondered what I could do for Kentucky He refined his vision with extensive research tons Single Barrel Bourbon. The eyes of the foundation of the business. Initially there
Tony also has the USMC to thank for indi- ally landed back in Lexington after his ser- that we already had that I could put a twist into the history of Kentucky, the bourbon in- Kentucky Knows are always facing to the left. were several unsuccessful attempts to market
rectly introducing him to the art of repurpos- vice in the Marines. With the memory of the on, recounted Tony, as he wanted others to dustry, and horse racing. Kentucky Knows (Anywhere horses race in the world, they the boards. But with his eternally pensive
ing barrels. During the time he was briefly artisans still etched in his mind, he found share in his enthusiasm for Kentucky. The represents the icons of Kentucky, Tony con- gallop counterclockwise, thus the same for analysis, Tony said, I have learned just as
stationed at Camp Pendleton in California, himself frequently in his backyard barn, inspiration for an art piece was kindled. veyed as he proudly spoke of his home state. the horses that form the eyes of Kentucky much from a no, as I have from a yes.

40 AL 41
According to Tony, It takes a lifetime to master your own life. Looking back on it, Im
starting to understand myself and my life. I know how I did it. It was passion.
The cutting boards are made from the head
of the barrel; the individual pieces of wood
are separated and then glued back together
to ensure a solid working surface. The origi- staves from the ringed barrels, the first task How was I ever so blessed to work with these Its what you do with yourself that creates
nal distillery stamp along with artful char- is to scrape down that charred surface. The great labels? Tony wonders aloud. The peo- the story.
ring added by Tony are thoroughly sealed black soot seems to get nearly everywhere, ple make the brand; the brand does not make
with shellac approved by the Food and Drug even on Tonys face. The little pieces of burnt the people. Tonys future goals are not founded in pro-
Administration for use in the kitchen. Some white oak that have been soaked in bour- ductivity, efficiency, or dollars. I see myself
of his cutting boards are occasionally used to bon for many years, generate a unique flavor In the retired James Pepper Distillery, Tony as a community servant, Tony declared.
slice and dice, while many others simply re- when smoked in a grill. can be found seven days a week pouring his Inspiring kids to do the right thing because
main hanging on the wall as decor. passion into the oak barrels, surrounded by what you do today will follow you. You cant
The bourbon barrel char delivers a flavor barrels, staves, heads, rings, sawdust, and let the wrong thing inspire you.
With the cutting boards fully crafted, he land- suited for all sorts of meats, fruits and vegeta- soot. Elmer T. Lee, a legendary bourbon
ed an interview with Brad Williams, Director bles, and nearly anything you can put on the craftsman and longtime Master Distiller for The desire to give back to his hometown is
of Merchandising for Liquor Barn, a chain grill. About eight ounces of the char is placed Buffalo Trace, once walked the very same a constant thread in Tonys conversation. I
of full service party stores. Tony remembers in a foil tray and heated among the charcoal. concrete floors as a production manager want to be able to give back to the commu-
that day clearly: August 10, 2011. Tony and Just before the cooking begins, splash a little for the James Pepper Distillery, which was nity, Tony said. Go into the inner city of
his four cutting boards made quite an im- apple juice on the char, and the grill is filled owned by Schenley Products, predecessors to Lexington, and show those kids to put heart
pression, and a relationship was sparked. The with a twist of traditional Kentucky flavor. the present day Buffalo Trace. into what they do and to stay honest. They
first sixteen cutting boards he provided to can do what I did; I came from there.
Liquor Barns stores in the Hamburg area of All of these handcrafted creations require a I am promoting self-worth, not the bour-
Lexington sold out in the first week. lot of bourbon, or rather the barrels that once bon, Tony states thoughtfully. According to Tony, It takes a lifetime to
held all that bourbon. Bourbon barrels are master your own life. Looking back on it, Im
Kentucky Knows and cutting boards are not not necessarily easy to obtain, especially to The artisan in Tony is often overshadowed starting to understand myself and my life. I
the only creations that have emerged from the use those with logos and propriety markings by his motivation to succeed, but his terms know how I did it. It was passion.
bourbon barrels in Tonys studio. Theres also in a business venture. of success are certainly not measured sim- AL ::
a Bits-n-Barrel lazy Susan, a Shoes-n-Barrel ply by how many cutting boards he sells. It
lazy Susan, easels, bottle openers, and the lat- Tony has forged a relationship with Buffalo is apparent that Tony reflects on the path
est addition, Grill-n-Char. In his optimistic Trace Distillery in Franklin County, Ken- his life has followed, and provides insightful
manner, Tony said, This little business has tucky. In his humble manner, Tony has al- glimpses into his desire to be a cornerstone of
brought out the good in me. In my studio, I ways requested permission from Buffalo inspiration for children, especially those that
am able to be who I want to be as long as I do Trace prior to using their brand in any of his are struggling.
whats right. Its still a small business, but its handcrafted items. Over the years, Tony has
really big to me. gained permission to use even the most cov- A photo of Tony when he was about ten years
eted brands in the Buffalo Trace family, such old in the kitchen of his childhood home,
Back at the distillery, each barrel is deeply as Elmer T. Lee and Blantons Single Barrel. with his mother and two brothers, is front
toasted and receives a light charring before and center in his workshop. He shares how
the bourbon begins the aging process. Once Every item remains crafted and personally his clothes were provided by Catholic Chari-
Tony frees the thirty-two or thirty-three judged by Tony before it goes to market. ties of Lexington, and speaks of opportuni-
Well over a thousand, and possibly over two ties that were not readily available to him. It
thousand, bourbon barrels will pass through serves as a reminder of where he started.
his studio in Lexington this year. Nearly ev-
ery one of those barrels will be from Buffalo Nobody in my family has ever graduated
Trace Distillery, based on a relationship that high school to this day, Tony shared. I
he treasures. find it hard to believe I made it out of there.

42 AL 43
I grew up in Northern California and moved
to Portland in 1993.

I was born on a Friday, the 13th, and it

has always seemed that if pushed from an
airplane, I would land in the forest with
arrow points at my feet. Lucky.


Prior to Hoodoo Antiques, I was a jack-of-
all-trades in the perpetual pursuit of a music
career. After being paid to play music, I
quickly realized that this short life is far better
lived following your bliss. Alas, a record deal photo | HOODOO ANTIQUES
was not in my cards, so I finished school.


My interest in antiques grew out of necessity
and the appreciation of past value. As a
student, I was able to furnish a rented house
photo | HOODOO ANTIQUES for pennies on the dollar with beautiful pieces
that had lasted seventy-five to a hundred
Ive always preferred years. Ive always preferred a timeless, one-
a timeless, of-a-kind, bullet-proof something to Swedish
one-of-a-kind, particle board. Design transcends time.
board. Design I remember being dragged to my first garage
transcends time. sale after a brunch years ago in Pasadena. I
looked down to see a 14 karat gold 1920s mens
Bulova wristwatch laying in an old coffee can
for a quarter. It just needed winding. Two
weeks later, I sold it to a Japanese antique
dealer who offered me $200 cash while in the
supermarket checkout line.

Treasure is out there, and I was hooked. I knew

Treasure on Couch Street

Id have a store, and decided on Portland. I
scouted for a location for about a year until I
settled on Old Town and signed my first lease
without a business name. Nothing I came up
HO OD O O ANTIQUES IN PORTL AND, OREGON with sounded good until I saw advertising for
text: MIKE EADIE photography: AS NOTED
the Rolling Stones concert, Hoodoo Voodoo
Mike Eadies extroverted personality and love of peoples stories make him an ideal Lounge, just a day before I opened.
shop owner of a much-loved antiques store on Portlands Couch Street.


44 AL 45
Meaning magic of any kind, hoodoo is early
English for voodoo. Old Town Portland has
a New Orleans vibe, and Hoodoo Antiques is
purported to be haunted.


AND WHY? I have a full wood and metal
WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF I always loved the American Arts and Crafts
shop, and enjoy repurposing
RUNNING A BUSINESS? movement and had specialized for a number
Signing on employees means they make of years selling original Stickley mission oak
photo | HOODOO ANTIQUES and refurbishing relics by hand.
money whether I sell something or not; no furniture, impressionist landscape paintings, Industrial lighting is one of my
employees means I am an army of one who and tribal Persian rugs. Styles and tastes favorite areas; anything can
is always chasing sticks. It boils down to change, and currently my focus has been
become a light.
trust and control issues that create the most on timeless design, the unusual oddities,
difficult aspect of running Hoodoo. If I could industrial and modern furnishings, and
trust that someone other than me would do folk art.
whatever needs doing as well or better than
me, I could rationalize paying them to do DO YOU CREATE/MODIFY PIECES
it. By giving up some control, I could chase YOURSELF?
more sticks. I have a full wood and metal shop, and enjoy
repurposing and refurbishing relics by hand.
Aside from being swamped most of the time, Industrial lighting is one of my favorite areas;
running Hoodoo Antiques is the best job anything can become a light.
Ive ever had. I love the boss, the dress code,
and the autonomy. If something needs to get WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT
done, it does. If I need to take a break, I do. If OWNING A STORE? photo | HOODOO ANTIQUES

I need to make some money, I sell it. I am an extrovert. I think I probably get more
excited about the colorful stories and people I
I like to travel to waterbeaches, islands,
WHERE DO YOU FIND THE ANTIQUES? DO meet than the treasure attached to them.The
rivers, lakes, and springs.
PEOPLE BRING YOU ITEMS? stuff (treasure) is like a river always flowing
When asked, I tell people that there is a little by. I dunk my Hoodoo in, pull some out,
house in the woods that I like to go to find all enjoy it, and then throw it back in.
the treasure. But it really finds me.
I have been listening almost exclusively to
Andrew Bird on my iPod.
YOUR STORE? AND THE MOST EXPENSIVE? If I go out to breakfast, my favorite spot in
The least expensive items in Hoodoo are Portland is Tasty and Sons.
dollar keys.The most expensive item is a ten-
I have never met a cheese I didnt like.
foot-by-sixteen-foot neon sign that spells red. IF YOU WERENT RUNNING AN ANTIQUES
As all that remains from the first Fred Meyer BUSINESS, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?
store, the circa 1930s red sign is an Oregonian If I wasnt running Hoodoo, Id be out loose
In my free time, I like to kayak and wrestle
Smithsonian piece. in the world, picking and selling wherever
with the ghost of my past guitar-playing life.
the adventure took me. I have little baggage,
AL ::
WHAT MAKES HOODOO ANTIQUES and places can always be leased, bought, or
WELL-SUITED TO PORTLAND? sold. That said, I love Portland and would
Keep Portland Weird is a decades-old probably always return here to the place Ive
slogan seen on countless bumper stickers. laid down roots and built a clientele.
46 AL 47

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