Design Week Portland Artist Feature: Global Homestead Garage

Philip Krain from Global Homestead Garage, art by Jennifer Korsen

Philip Krain from Global Homestead Garage, art by Jennifer Korsen

Philip Krain is an entrepreneur, consultant, and founder of Global Homestead Garage whose mission is to provide community members a platform to grow big ideas using shared resources. A series of fortunate events lead to his dream of running an incubator space for makers in Portland; in 2016 he received an email in his junk folder that advertised a business for sale. That business was Shop People, which is the original community makers space. It hosts around 30 artisans in the heart of the eastside industrial district. There is event space, artist studios, a lounge; shared equipment is provided for jewelers, metal workers, and wood workers—all now part of Global Homestead Garage thanks to that email.

1. How would you refer to yourself? Woodworker? Artisan? Craftsman?
My primary role within the Global Homestead Garage is to create a platform for artisans and small businesses to grow big ideas using shared resources. When given the opportunity, I enjoy designing and creating with natural and upcycled materials.

2. How did you get started?
My previous career as a renewable energy developer allowed me to work with architects on active and passive solar design. My recent hands-on work has focused on landscape design and implementation as well as home remodeling. As a result of these projects, I took an industrial design class, which solidified my passion for problem-solving design.

3. Why wood?
I love working with wood, as it is a natural, beautiful, and soothing material. Although it’s a renewable resource, we need to honor its scarcity, reclaim its integrity, and enhance its value in our life.

4. What was the first thing you made from wood?
I remember making an ash baseball bat in seventh-grade shop class. It wasn’t the best piece of wood and it broke shortly after I began to use it. As an adult, I turned a stick shift knob for my Jeep from a chunk of maple burl.

5. What does being creative mean to you?
To me, being creative means finding realistic solutions using limited resources (tangible or intangible) and unlimited options.

6. Do you have any rituals?
No, but I should make time for some…

7. What is your favorite piece?
I love our front yard. It’s an all-encompassing portfolio of permaculture, craftsman, and playful design.

Phillip's front yard project.

Phillip’s front yard project.

 

8. Who inspires you?
Children inspire me because no one should bare the burden of fixing other people’s mess. We need to work to clean our mess so that the children of children can enjoy their lives.

9. What do you hope to communicate through your work?
There is inherent value in many items that have been deemed worthless and may be headed for the landfill.

10. If you weren’t doing this what would you be doing?
Great question. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

11. The ultimate piece you want to create?
Global Homestead Garage is my ultimate project.

Lobby at Global Homestead Garage

Lobby at Global Homestead Garage

12. What’s your favorite thing about PDX?
It used to be the smell of beer riding my bike down West Burnside at 2 am. Today, it’s the positive energy of all the people. My neighbors continue to rally as leaders within our community for a life designed with sustainable intention.

13. Favorite song?
Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue – “So What”.

14. Favorite bridge?
The Sellwood Bridge.

15. Favorite neighborhood?
Sellwood.

16. What’s your favorite tool?
My laptop.

Doug fir used for Philip's table for Design Week Portland

Doug fir used for Philip’s table for Design Week Portland

Philip Krain from Global Homestead Garage at read:grain, works with reclaimed wood on Friday, April 28th from 4-7pm during Design Week Portland. For more information, go here.

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Design Week Portland Artist Feature: Work PDX

Henry Silvestrini and Billy

Henry Silvestrini and Billy

Henry Silvestrini has been working at ADX since 2013. His mother was an art teacher and so Henry has been immersed in a creative world from a young age. After studying neuroscience in college he realized that this was not the career path he wanted and refocused on the studio art classes he had started to take at ADX in his free time.

Henry joined ADX’s shop steward program making tables, cabinets, and furniture. Now, in addition to leading the fabrication department, he has begun his own woodworking business, Work PDX. Henry’s project for our Design Week Portland Open House makes use of timbers reclaimed from Centennial Mills.

1. How would you refer to yourself? Woodworker? Artisan? Craftsman?
Fabricator/Designer.

2. How did you get started?
I started building things in college (4 years of studio art/sculpture).

3. Why wood?
Every piece is different and the tools you need to work it are accessible to someone just starting out.

Timber from Centennial Mills

Timber from Centennial Mills

4. What was the first thing you made from wood?
A toy sword as a kid.

5. What does being creative meant to you?
I’m not sure. I guess just having the desire to come up with new ideas or solutions.

6. Do you have any rituals?
None other than my morning coffee.

7. What is your favorite piece?
Michael Heizer’s, “City”. There are not many people who successfully build objects that stand against the scale of nature. He gets close.

My favorite pieces that I’ve made are cast aluminum coyote skulls. Melting and pouring metal by hand is exciting.

Cast aluminum coyote skulls

Cast aluminum coyote skulls


8. Who inspires you?
My biggest influence was my sculpture teacher from college Mike Rathbun. The man could build anything from wood and he did. He also emphasized consideration before building.

9. What do you hope to communicate through your work?
Nothing. I’m happy if people look at it and think, “that’s cool.” I’m interested in ideas of permanence and weight; I like to build big heavy things that will last.

10. If you weren’t doing this what would you be doing?
Working on my house. I bought a teardown and I made the mistake of fixing it up one room at a time.

11. Ultimate piece you want to create
A fire lookout tower out in the middle of nowhere. I love having a view, and living 50’ the air sounds perfect.

12. What’s your favorite thing about PDX?
The people and the food.

13. Favorite song?
Mean, by Taylor Swift. Classic.

14. Favorite bridge?
Steel Bridge.

15. Favorite neighborhood?
South East.

16. What’s your favorite tool?
A table saw

One of the timbers used to make the lamps for Design Week Portland.

One of the timbers used to make the lamps for Design Week Portland.

Henry Silvestrini from Work PDX at read:grain, works with reclaimed wood on Friday, April 28th from 4-7pm during Design Week Portland. For more information, go here.

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DESIGN WEEK PORTLAND ARTIST FEATURE: MAKERS WOODWORKS

Garrett Michael of Makers Woodworks

Garrett Michael of Makers Woodworks

Garrett Michael is a craftsman out of Vancouver, Washington that along with partners, Dan McCarl and Justin Appel opened Makers Woodworks in 2013. They specialize in building and installing custom furniture for people or businesses in the Portland metro area. The passion for their work comes through in the pieces they build; “When the client tells you they love the piece, then we’re happy,” says Garrett.

1. How would you refer to yourself? Woodworker? Artisan? Craftsman?
Craftsmen

Garrett Michael, Justin Appel, and Dan McCarl of Makers Woodworks

Garrett Michael, Justin Appel, and Dan McCarl of Makers Woodworks

2. How did you get started?
I was introduced to woodworking in about 6th grade. I loved the ability to create something tangible from rough lumber with machinery and hand tools. There’s also an element of danger and caution you always have to keep in mind.

3. Why wood?
I think I was kind of drawn to it. It’s so random and varied in species; each has its own distinct characteristic, color, pattern, even within that species. Wood is workable, yet super strong, and has a warmth that invites you to feel it. It’s also kind of instant gratification seeing an idea progress through different stages and take shape. You can change direction along the way.

4. What was the first thing you made from wood?
I don’t remember the first thing, probably a mirror or something like that. I do remember making an 8 sided box in a school shop early on.

5. What does being creative meant to you?
Expression. The thought of coming up with something that’s interesting and just a little different than anything you’ve done yet. You can’t help but get inspired by all the awesome stuff being created out there.

Taking some of the black paint off the Kentucky Fence Board

Taking some of the black paint off the Kentucky Fence Board

6. Do you have any rituals?
Coffee in the morning.

7. What is your favorite piece?
That’s a tough question, there are really so many. I’ve really become partial to the mid-century stuff over last few years.

8. Who inspires you?
There are so many awesomely talented people out there, you see fantastic stuff all the time these days with social media. Historically, maybe Tage Frid, Sam Maloof, Greene brothers, even some architecture is inspiring. And I can’t forget my wife.

9. What do you hope to communicate through your work?
That we are into what we are doing and want our clients to love it.

10. If you weren’t doing this what would you be doing?
Don’t know, can’t imagine that at this point. I’ve always wanted to fly though…

11. Ultimate piece you want to create
I would love to build my own home.

12. What’s your favorite thing about PDX?
The rain…haha. The casual vibe, color, music and art scene, biking, and the FOOD.

13. Favorite song?
Too many; I could change daily. I love music.

14. Favorite bridge?
St Johns, though there are still one or two cool old covered bridges around town…I think.

15. Favorite neighborhood?
Hmmm… maybe Laurelhurst. There are so many great areas.

16. What’s your favorite tool?
Whatever I need for the next step.

Preview of the bench Garret is constructing for Design Week Portland

Preview of the bench Garret is constructing for Design Week Portland

Garrett Michael from Makers Woodworks at read:grain, works with reclaimed wood on Friday, April 28th from 4-7pm during Design Week Portland. For more information, go here.

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Effortless Style with Narrow Widths

Reclaimed narrow width Hickory from Pioneer MillworksAs a design element, narrow floors have traditionally appeared in formal spaces. Yet, effortless, custom styles can be created with a variety of clean or character-rich narrow width planks – flooring or paneling.

reclaimed ag oak versailles patternNarrower boards are classic. We’ve walked across ‘strip’ flooring so narrow it was face nailed (as it didn’t have t&g) but has held true for a century. Others have a tongue and groove connecting delicate 1.5″ planks. Still others in these legacy homes are laid in patterns. We’re seeing a resurgence of patterns in recent installations – horizontal and vertical – in homes and commercial spaces. The narrow wood lends itself to this use. While visually stylish, certain patterns such as herringbone or chevron, can give a narrow room the illusion of being larger. The slimmer planks are also ideal for intricate parquet patterns.  (Above: Versailles pattern in American Gothic Reclaimed Oak with an oil/wax finish. Below: American Gothic Reclaimed Oak with a custom finish in a herringbone pattern).

val reclaimed oakpatina grade reclaimed narrow stock Pioneer millworksOur patina (high character, original surface) products bring another step of revitalization to narrow width applications. An installation using narrow width patina grades will have more variation, as there are more pieces, but is likely to read as a single field in comparison to an installation using wider widths. (With wider widths, individual boards become more pronounced.) The unabashed character will also bring a relaxed atmosphere to spaces.

Narrow width Grandma's Attic Reclaimed Softwoods as wall paneling.

Narrow width Grandma’s Attic Reclaimed Softwoods as wall paneling.

 

Structurally, narrow widths tend to be more stable and show less movement than wider width material. For projects that are located in environments where the humidity may fluctuate narrow widths can be a good choice.ag reclaimed hickory narrow pioneer millworksWhile we custom craft to order, we have a current selection of narrow width products ready for your project. Let your reclaimed wood expert know what your favorite is:

American Gothic Mixed Oak
American Gothic White Oak
American Gothic Elm
American Gothic Chestnut
American Gothic Hickory
Reclaimed Karri/Jarrah Patina
Reclaimed Karri Bright
Character Heart Pine
Tropical Hardwood Mix, Bright
Knotty’n’Naily Douglas fir
Grandma’s Attic Softwoods

 

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