1. Put A Bird In It – Featured Maker, Bowen Ames

    Written by cre8tivegirl | September 12, 2014


    Bowen Ames is a creative thinker. He’s also a photographer, stylist, art director, and prop maker. His background in theatre, art and writing has shaped his pathway towards ever changing mediums and projects, including working with some top brands like: Target, LÓRÉAL, NIKE, Adidas, Wieden + Kennedy, Atlantic and more.  We were delighted when he accepted the challenge to create a birdhouse for this year’s Put A Bird In It and look forward to seeing his approach for designing for the birds.


    YPE Your hand is in a lot of things. What would you consider your daily focus? How do you make your living?

    BA Its been a fortunate happenstance. The business aspect of what I do has comes to this point—right now I have clients who just get me and like my aesthetic. They let me take the reigns creatively on many different projects. I have no consistent industry that I work in. Last week I was styling a catalogue shoot in Seattle and next week I’m food styling a commercial. The only thing that connects the two of them is that I’m working with my hands and I’m in control of how things look.

    I ended up doing the work that I’m doing because of my background in art. I graduated from the New School and tripled majored in writing, arts & context, and theatre with a focus on set design. My first job out of college was at the Guggenheim Museum as an exhibition technician. I often worked directly with artists to build things within the museums. That’s what I was doing for the five years before moving to Portland.  


    YPE So what would you call yourself?

    BA An art director and a stylus because it crosses mediums and industries. There’s always an art director in photography and agencies. The stylus is to keep my street cred and let people know that my hands are still in it, that I’m physically doing things and involved in the finer details. When I’m working for an advertising agency or a production company or directly with a brand, that title is the one people understand the most. I also like to say I’m a creative. Creative for hire.


    YPE How did you get involved in being a stylist and working with video?

    BA I thought I would continue working in museums once I got here but there were so few of them. I was friends with a lot of photographers from New York who had come out here for photo shoots, and they started to ask me to help. When I was on set for the first time I figured out the info-structure of what goes on behind the scenes—there’s an art director who oversees a stylus and a prop stylus and the photographer. That was my first understanding of the photo industry. I bounced around roles quite a bit really early on, after that I started to direct and art direct video.  

    I like to try on lots of different hats and I like to experiment with a lot of different mediums.


    YPE What are you working on right now?

    BA I’m doing this video piece that I’m writing the treatment for. It’s about the concept of wanderlust—that innate drive towards traveling or towards wondering. I have always kind of hated the word because it often gets applied to me.

    YPE Why does it get applied to you?

    BA Because I move around a lot and travel a lot. I’m sort of an avid adventurer. I don’t like the idea of wanderlust because it means that to wonder is sort of like something you are lusting after. I don’t lust after it, I just like to do it. I like to try on lots of different hats and I like to experiment with a lot of different mediums. It’s not like I’m searching for anything. I‘m just enjoying it, it’s something I’m content with.


    YPE What attracted you to the birdhouse project?

    BA The freedom was the main thing. I’m always under huge time constraints on work for hire. This project was broader. My project turnovers are usually in production for no more than a week or two, and start to finish two months. When I got the notice for this, it was like four months and that’s amazing. I can learn how to do something new and get out of my comfort zone to create something that is small, tangible and has a great process attached to it.


    YPE What inspires you to make?

    BA I think that makers have this innate sense and drive towards understanding things in a physical and visceral way. As a kid I always wanted to understand things with my own hands, and own abilities. When I see an object, I want to pick it up. I want to understand it and how it’s made, and what it was made of—then I want to see if I can do it myself. I’m driven by the learning process. Thats everything to me, the learning process and being challenged by that process.



    #putabirdinit #dwpdx #bowenames #pdxart #pdxevents

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  2. 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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  3. WeMake 2014 Put A Bird In It Makers + WeMake Celebrates

    Written by cre8tivegirl | July 21, 2014


    We are excited to contribute to this year’s Design Week Portland with two of our events that will be closing off the week’s festivities at Leftbank Annex a special sketchXchange and WeMake Celebrates.

    SAVE THE DATE! Friday Night, October 10th, 2014

    Festivities will include:

    • sXc with the talented illustrator, pattern designer, author, and painter Lisa Congdon 
    • Put A Bird In It— Auction and fundraiser to raise money for arts and music education, with special guest auctioneer Mr. Andrew Dickson
    • Live silkcreening, brought to you by Golden Rule Design
    • Performances by School of Rock
    • Maker activities
    • Cornhole. (What?!)

    Please join us in our efforts to support arts and music education and to celebrate the design and art community of Portland.

    And now, A BIG THANK YOU AND CONGRATULATIONS to these folks for being selected to this year’s Put A Bird In It. YAY!

    Aaron Zurcher  & Joe Carolino

    Adidas, William Smith

    Alex DeSpain

    Antler Gallery, Neil Perry

    Anton Kimball Design

    Amy Ruppel

    Blaine Fontana

    Bowen Ames

    Brian Madden & Kelso Davis

    Brooke Weeber

    BT Livermore

    Case of Bass

    Chris Haberman

    Cinco Design

    Copious, Kyle Hinze

    Design Vessel - Mark Soasey + Eric Delph

    Dan Christofferson - Beeteeth

    Dave Selden, 33 Books

    Dominic DeVenuta

    Dorey Design GroupPaul Fasel

    Emily KatzAdam Porterfield

    Eric Gardner- Grey Built

    Eric Reigert

    Erik Johnson-Hankbuilt

    Evolve Collaborative

    FIX Studio


    HERENOW Creative

    Halle Cisco

    Henry Gibson

    Hub Collective



    Jennifer Parks

    Jerry Blazek

    Jesse Beam

    Jessica Swift

    Jill Dryer

    Jody Dunphy & Heather Bromer

    Jon James StatonAlexandria Cummings 

    Keith Carter

    Kevin Murphey



    Leo Zarosinski


    Lisa Congdon

    Lisa Hildebrant

    Lizzie Falkenstein & Ryan Everson


    Magneto, Craig Opfer

    Mairwen Eslinger

    Martin French

    Maryanna Hoggatt

    Matt Houlemard

    Matthew Peterson

    Matthew Ross

    MC LaserLabs

    Michael Welch & Paul Oppliger

    Mitchell Snyder & vitrifiedstudio 


    Morgaine Faye

    Nate Fasser

    Nike, Damion Triplett 

    Nell & Mary 

    NEMO Design

    Nina Berry 

    OMFG Co.

    Paul Anders

    ProtoPlant makers of Proto-pasta

    Rally Group

    Revive Upholstery Design

    Revolution Design House

    Rory Phillips

    Santiago Uceda

    Scott Erwert

    Scout Books

    Scrappers - Stay Wild

    Sean Garrison



    Thomas Adcock

    #wemake #wemakecelebrates #putabirdinit #dwpdx

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