1. Put A Bird In It—Featured Maker, Leland Duck of Revive Upholstery & Design

    Written by chloeameliam | September 9, 2014


    Leland Duck’s work is inventive and refreshing, juxtaposing Pendleton prints with midcentury office furniture. With a background in the automotive world, his passion for vintage cars led to upholstery work. He operates Revive Upholstery & Design with his wife, and works out of Beam & Anchor.

    What inspired you to shift from the auto industry to your own making?

    I’ve had a love of cars forever and I had always wanted to work in the auto industry. I went to school for that sole purpose, and after I graduated went straight to work. It kind of killed the passion for me, and after I moved to Portland and worked for the biggest douche bag, I’d had enough. I went into business for myself and kept cars as my hobby and brought back the fun.


    Your upholstery work features an array of fabrics – vastly different textures and patterns. Where do you source this? What inspires what you choose for a specific piece?

    I source from all over. I am a junker at heart, so I love going to estate sales, flea markets, and finding vintage materials. It’s like a treasure hunt. I also love finding locally sourced fabrics wherever I travel too and I found some amazing fabrics on my honeymoon in Spain and Africa.

    There are so many things that inspire me when I do a piece. Mens’ vintage fashion has been playing a huge role in my recent pieces. I’m also incredibly inspired by my automotive background. Some of the techniques used in cars, look so amazing when translated to furniture. Sometimes the piece will lend itself perfectly to a certain type of fabric, other times I find I have only so much of a material and so I’m forced to get creative with my placement and fabric combos.


    Describe a typical day.

    Coffee. Always.

    Baked Goods – Donuts from Tulips in St. Johns are my favorite.


    I usually get into the shop with the Foz (our dog Fozzie) before 9am.

    Depending on the day I may have a meeting with a client to go over fabric choices or design options. Most days I jump right into a project with my employee, Kelly. I take calls from my wife, who does the admin side of our business from home.

    Lunch - Everyday’s different, although it’s always late in the day.

    Fozzie gets a walk.

    I jump right back into our project. These days I’ve been working a lot more on my own designs and pieces. It’s been a real treat to create furniture for our pop up shop at Rejuvenation. Usually around 6 or 7 I either compete my project or find a good stopping place.


    Dinner with the wife.

    We usually spend the evening with Fozzie, he’s a huge fan of the park and late night walks along the river.

    Tell me about your birdhouse.

    The birdhouse is inspired by my background as an Eagle Scout. I wanted to utilize sewing and fabric, so I’ve decided to go with an outfitters tent. My process involves a lot of procrastination, which is why I work so well under pressure. I’ve been collecting a lot of vintage camping books lately for inspiration, and am really excited to get started.

    #wemakepdx #putabirdinit #dwpdx

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  2. Hive Five, An Interview with Craig Opfer—Put A Bird In It Featured Maker

    Written by askrofquestions | September 4, 2014


    Craig Opfer was the son of an ad man who was the son of an ad man. He grew-up falling in love with ads, and they really became a part of how he saw himself. He got his start with big agencies in Chicago, and moved to Portland to work with what has now become North — that was twenty years ago.

    Now, he’s owner/creative director of local award-winning agency Magneto Brand Advertisingand he is really into bees.


    LND How did you get into bee keeping?

    CO  I have a friend in Ashland. Last year, we were at his house and he’s got this great deck that overlooks the valley down in Ashland; it’s really beautiful. I’m sitting on the porch just kind of admiring the sun coming up over the valley and all of a sudden I notice that there’s a lot of bees — I’m thinking he’s got bee problems — so, I peek around the corner and he’s got two big beehives and there’s all these bees coming and going. I made some coffee and watched them for about 45 minutes. I was intrigued, and he said “It’s pretty easy if you want to get into it.” 

    LND How do you go from seeing a friend’s bees to buying your own?

    CO It kind of just percolated, right?! I sat there, and I thought, Man, bees. Where would I put them? and how would I handle it? They aren’t a lot of work. You can be a very active bee keeper, or you can just let them do they’re thing — I’m kind of in between. Of course, my bees have honeycomb everywhere and it’s a mess, but they’re happy! They are very happy bees.


    LND Do you take the honey and all that?

    CO I have a young hive, and they say that the first year, you should let the bees be, so. This year, we’re letting them get established. Next year, we’ll get the honey if they last through the winter.

    LND Last through the winter?

    CO Yeah. Around 30% of all noncommercial bees are lost to mites. I think that’s right. [ It is. ]You know, colony collapse is a serious thing. And, you sometimes have to worry about robber bees and viral infections like bee influenza. It’s pretty crazy stuff, but our Carniolan bees are really resilient. 

    LND So, let’s talk about your process!

    CO I’m making a house, but do you know what kind of a house? 

    LND No. What?

    CO I’m making a bee house! 

    LND No!

    CO Yes! 

    LND Tell me about your house!

    CO It’s a Langstroth hive modeled after the Ambassador Hotel… Yvonne suggested “What if you make a bee house?” and I thought, yeah, I can make a bee house. In fact, I’m going to make a bee hotel! I may put a pool up on top; I’m not sure. But, it will be a working hive, so, I’ll put information in there for them to go get bees and talk with the bee people. They’ll have plenty of time to get ready. It’s perfect, really, because you can’t get bees in October, so they’ll be able to order bees in May. 


    LND Is there a kind of zoning someone would need? 

    CO No. But it’s always good to let your neighbors know. 

    LND What’s the best part of owning bees?

    CO I think my garden is better. The bees cross-pollinate . They’ll go across the river — they can travel up to five miles. I could have my bees here [at work], and I’d never know! It’s a lot like we run our business, here. We do a lot of foot work to come up with one good line. I guess the bee house makes sense — it all comes back around.

    #wemakepdx wemakecelebrates putabirdinit

  3. RECAP: sXc with Keegan Wenkman

    Written by cre8tivegirl | September 3, 2014

    It’s not easy being a print maker, but the results of hard work pays off when you’ve created something on an old press. Wenkman goes beyond setting type or using polymer plates. Some of his most impressive work is with his hand carved reduction linoleum cuts, a method he uses to create that will WOW you. This is just one of the processes he shared with us at his sketchXchange back in June. It was a pleasure to have Keegan in, the work was amazing and he’s a true craftsman.

    See more photos here.

    #keegan wenkman #KeeganMeegan #sketchxchange #pdxart #pdxevent

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