Cathy Bailey of HEATH Ceramics has frequented this blog for a number of years as a friend and a colleague. After loving her work (and her) from afar, we were fortunate to collaborate with HEATH Ceramics to produce a line of table and dinner wares that were launched last fall.
Cathy (her husband, Robin), and I share much of the same passion about design, craft, and local production. Next week, Cathy and I will share the stage at the Standard Talks. This coming Tuesday, Alabama Chanin presents MAKESHIFT: Shifting Thoughts on Design, Fashion, Craft, and DIY, our first event in a series of many as we continue a conversation on the intersection of design, fashion, craft, and DIY.
Heath Ceramics: An impressive view from within from Heath Ceramics on Vimeo.
A few weeks ago, we took to the streets of Florence to spread wildflower seeds guerrilla-style. We tossed our homemade seed “bombs”, seed encapsulated clay balls, into alleys and onto vacant areas – hoping to add more color and beauty to our community.
With the amount of rain that we have been receiving lately, every growing thing has been sprouting up and up toward the sky. Yesterday, retraced our steps to see if our dispersed wildflowers were making progress. There were no full blooms yet; however, we are starting to see small dots of the color purple in Olivia’s yard.
When Andrew Wagner was asked to moderate the MAKESHIFT panel conversation as part of New York Design Week 2012, he jokingly insisted that he be considered MC rather than moderator. That’s exactly the type of robust, experienced personality I look forward to sharing the stage with next week at the Standard Talks, as we discuss the intersection of design, fashion, craft, and DIY.
We’re happy to introduce Andrew on our blog and welcome his participation in MAKESHIFT. His long- running list of big DIY ideas and achievements makes him a veteran in that community. As “What You Make of It” columnist for the New York Times, he has recently delved instructions on how to turn an old rusty bicycle into a beautiful hanging lamp- Isamu Noguchi style- and how to repurpose egg carton trays into stunning and sturdy stools.
“Those who dwell among the beauties & mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life”.
It is well known that I am a collector of stories and beautiful objects. I love all things that are carefully crafted, curated with love, and also give me room to think.
We left off two weeks ago in search of a two-row planter that will help get our cottonseed in the ground. Fortunately, we were able to find one locally. The planter’s shovels have been adjusted. The soil has been finely chopped. There have been conference calls between the field, the Factory office, and Kelly’s office in Texas. More thanks to Kelly Pepper.
Upon receiving our soil test results, we are determining the proper nutrients needed and the best organic fertilizers for the field. Staff at Auburn University has been helpful answering questions, and we’ve had the chance to learn more about the organic certification process through a local advisor.
Our stay at the Ace Hotel in Portland was outstanding – made better by the owl mural and Thoreau quote that graced our room. (Not to mention our One-Day Workshop at The Cleaners, catered by Clyde Common.)
My daughter Maggie has an affinity for owls. As a tiny baby, she was heard murmuring to an owl outside her bedroom window as she slept. Inspired by our time in Room 206, I have decided to embrace a different type of DIY this week and paint the wall of Maggie’s bedroom with a quote.
I just have to settle on the perfect paint and quote. Any ideas?
“I rejoice that there are owls. Let them do the idiotic and maniacal hooting for men. It is a sound admirably suited to swamps and twilight woods which no day illustrates, suggesting a vast and underdeveloped nature which men have not recognized. They represent the stark twilight and unsatisfied thoughts which all have.”
-Henry David Thoreau
John Bielenberg and his work with PieLab aren’t new to Alabama Chanin, or our blog. We were curious what John has been up to, so we caught up with him between his travels to learn more about Project M, PieLab, and recent goings on in Greensboro, Alabama.
We also got our hands on a delicious recipe from the pop-up café, PieLab, for our Wednesday Recipes.
Their Tart Apple Pie with White Cheddar Crust has a beautiful lattice top that looks like the pies I ate growing up. Combining the tartness of the apples with the savory of the white cheddar makes for a fabulous slice of pie. If only it weren’t a three hour drive down to Greensboro to get a slice. Recipe then Q&A with John to follow:
For the past few weeks, my mind has been on the subject of ‘craft’ even more than usual as I continue to work on MAKESHIFT: SHIFTING THOUGHTS ON DESIGN, FASHION, COMMUNITY, CRAFT & DIY- a series of events, discussions, and workshops held during ICFF New York Design Week.
How appropriate it is to have received this beautifully hand-printed postcard from our friends at Rural Studio.
For more information visit www.ruralstudio.org.
We hope to see you @ The Factory this Friday and Saturday for our Open House + Mother’s Day Market.
The Open House includes a sample sale with the perfect selection of garments and gifts, Two-Hour Workshops with our Studio Team, and lots of laughter and stories.
Friday, May 4, 2012
Noon – 5 pm
Saturday, May 5, 2012
10 am – 4 pm
462 Lane Drive
Florence, AL 35630
We have a few spots left for our Two-Hour Workshops. Make it a day with Mom, or anyone you love by registering for a session on our Workshops page.
Light beverages will be served.
We had such an amazing west coast journey.
The words above, found in the bathroom at PNCA + OCAC, say it all.
I especially love the short paragraph at the bottom:
“Helvetica, one of the world’s most ubiquitous typefaces was released in the same year as the publication of this essay. It was chosen to juxtapose the modern and the pastoral.”
I think that E.B. White would agree.
Thank you to William Rueck for allowing me to share his work.
And thank you to everyone who came out to see us in California and Oregon. It was unforgettable.