Blog

One of the things we enjoy most about our work is our relationships with other Portland makers, many of which have been cultivated over years of working together. After a temporary pause due to the pandemic, in the past several months we have developed new partnerships with home good makers, whose wares we are excited to feature in our Showrooms.

The Joinery new Portland Makers

OROX Leather

When we met the family behind OROX Leather a few years ago, we saw a clear alignment in our values of creating high-quality handcrafted products from natural materials. We are excited to launch with our first collaboration between OROX and The Joinery with OROX leather placemats and coasters in a variety of colors. The beautiful leather craftsmanship is a perfect complement to a Joinery dining table, available at our downtown showroom. 

The OROX Story:

Orox leather partnership with The Joinery

OROX coasters and placemats for The Joinery

Founded in 1964, OROX spans four generations of leather makers with roots beginning in Oaxaca, Mexico. The name OROX represents the merging our past (Oaxaca) with our present (Oregon).

OROX Leather is dedicated to the craftsmanship of quality leather goods and our products are designed to harmonically blend the durability of leather and the sustainability of recycled materials, with the purpose of being passed on to coming generations as a heritage of American craft. It is our hope to continue to manifest their artistic expression in the same manner that our great grandparents did seventy years ago, maintaining tradition while developing alongside modern styles.

 

Michael Newsome Ceramics

Michael Newsome Ceramics is the culmination of his years spent working in restaurants coupled with a lifetime of making art. The inspiration for his pottery comes from cooking in professional kitchens, and the color palette draws from the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. All work begins on the potter’s wheel making each piece consistent yet unique, retaining evidence of his hand in the process.  The ceramics Michael creates are designed to have a light, balanced weight while still being very durable. The glazes he has formulated express a diverse color palette while maintaining a cohesive feel.

He has designed each piece to feel comfortable in the hand and smooth to the touch. The shapes and sizes are inspired by the meals he cooks and are designed to enhance the visual appeal of these foods as well as be the perfect shape from which to consume them. Michael's purpose is to create objects that have the ability to elevate the everyday, turning routines into rituals. His wish is for his work to find a home where it can be used and appreciated every day, and for years to come.

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Michael Newsome ceramics

Our design team has followed Michael's work for several years. His work truly defines how beauty and utility can be combined into a handcrafted object. We are excited to bring in a variety of his tabletop ware and vases into our Downtown Showroom. 

 

Lume Home

Artist Jim White is an educator and practicing artist focusing on both sculptural and functional ceramics. He holds a Masters in Fine Arts degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of American Crafts, which was founded on training artists in the philosophy of the Bauhaus. He brings a strong attention to detail along with high standards for craftsmanship to his work. His love of process ensures that all Lume Home’s products are of superior quality. Each lamp is made in Jim’s Portland, Oregon home studio and fired in the hand-built gas kiln in his garden. He makes molds for each lamp design and slips casts each body in porcelain.

Lume Home

Jim has taken a thoughtful approach to each element of Lume Home’s products: wood components are turned by a Portland wood artisan, the shades are American-made, and the lamp parts are assembled individually in his studio before being shipped throughout the county.

Joinery Lume Home partnership

The Joinery has featured Lume Home's lamps recently, and this year our team was excited for a studio visit to learn more about his process and story. While there we chose a few custom colors and design details with Jim to feature in our showrooms. We appreciate the collaborative process and Jim's dedication to beautiful, thoughtful design, and are very excited to expand our partnership. 

The last year has been challenging for all of us as we have navigated through the pandemic. We are deeply grateful to our customers for the opportunity to build so many beautiful pieces to enhance their homes over that time. Below are just a few of the photos we have received from our customers.

The Whitman Dining Table, Whitman Bench, and Whitman Dining Chairs in Eastern Walnut. 

The Hayden Dining Table and Hayden Chairs in Western Walnut with Maple accents

The Whitman Dining Table, and Whitman Dining Chairs in Eastern Walnut and a Bishop sideboard in Cherry

A custom Hayden Dining Table and Klamath stacking chairs in Western Walnut with Maple accents

If you have photos of your Joinery furniture that you would like to share with our team please email them here

Our company and products have always been a reflection of our great team of employees. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic our team, many of whom are pictured here, has been incredibly thoughtful about preventing the spread of the virus. The new realities have changed how we operate, but not the care and consideration we hold for each other, our customers, and the products we take so much pride in creating. During this challenging time we have been inspired by the incredible support of our customers.

The Joinery team

Below are just a few of their heartwarming messages here.

"Your beautiful artworks grace every room of our home, and gives us quiet joy every day." 

"Thank you times a thousand for all your help in making the piece happen; it'll be something my partner and I cherish for many decades yet to come." 

"We have gotten so much pleasure from the two pieces of furniture you made for us...most recently the breakfast room table that Kyle made.  We admire it continuously throughout the day, and consider ourselves particularly fortunate to have gotten delivery before the shutdown." 

"During this time of quarantine many are taking the time to reflect on friendships and kindnesses from past years.  I just received your newsletter via e mail. I thought about you all AND the fact that I had just spend yesterday lovingly cleaning/lightly oiling my GORGEOUS dining table and 10 chairs made by you nearly 25 years ago.  We LOVE it and have from the start.  Having it made “specifically for us” allowed it to be exactly what we wanted and has not failed us over the years!  It's as beautiful as the day you delivered it."

If you would like to share your Joinery moments with us please email your note here

During the ongoing protests of police brutality against African Americans and the killing of George Floyd, The Joinery’s downtown Portland showroom was vandalized and looted. While this was unfortunate, The Joinery supports the millions of peaceful protesters across the country and around the world who are speaking out against the ongoing injustices faced by African Americans and other people of color. We are encouraged by the strength of the response and look forward to helping build a society where there is truly justice for all. To read a letter from our CEO click here

Inside our Showroom

Like many people around the world, I have struggled deeply since watching the murder of George Floyd. On this issue, there can be no “statement from The Joinery.” This is too personal for that.

For me, there are several layers to this latest outrage. The outermost layer is the most obvious: A handcuffed, defenseless black man was brutally murdered in broad daylight on a public street, once again at the hands of a white police officer.

That in and of itself was horrific. But as we all know, this was not an isolated incident. We have seen video footage of the deaths of countless of black people over the last several years at the hands of white police officers. And as we all know, these killings did not start with the advent of cell phone video technology. They have been taking place for 400 years.  Advances in technology have simply brought it more to light, undeniably, in all its brutality.

And even as the videos continue to mount, we know that what we see on TV is only a tiny fraction of what is really happening. This behavior – and its deadly results for black Americans – is far more widespread.

Getting to the core – and what shakes me the most – is the underlying beliefs that white Americans have about blacks that lead us to the point where a police officer could murder a defenseless black man in broad daylight with complete impunity. His fellow officers did nothing as he knelt on George Floyd’s throat for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. The passersby taking cell phone video and imploring the officer to stop did not give him pause. How could someone act with such heartlessness, with such disregard for human life, with such confidence that he would face no repercussions?

Yes, we know that police brutality against African Americans is widespread and deadly. But this problem did not start with attitudes of white police officers. These beliefs have permeated deeply into white subconsciousness and are pervasive throughout our country in all aspects of society. We watch these murders with horror. But they are the tip of the iceberg. They are the most visible, undeniable and obviously reprehensible actions. But like an iceberg, much more lies below the surface. The overwhelming mountain of injustices that black Americans face on a daily basis are still largely unseen and unacknowledged by white people. While most of these injustices are far less serious than murder, their cumulative impact is no less deadly; their psychological toll no less severe.

On a very personal level, I see how my African American wife bears the scars that are inflicted on her on a daily basis, and how witnessing each new killing on TV weighs her down. How she reacts when she sees a pickup truck with a confederate flag. How she won’t keep the second-floor windows open on summer nights when it’s 80 degrees in the house.

And I worry about my beautiful brown-skinned children, particularly my son. How can I help him overcome the institutional bias that is stacked against him? What steps must I take to protect him from white people? How can I help keep him safe when he encounters police? When he goes for a jog in the neighborhood? When he goes to a park to look at some birds?

At the very core of this issue is a simple truth: to solve this problem, together, we white people must own it. We must learn about and acknowledge the reality lived by people of color. We must acknowledge that their experiences are real. We must use our privileged voices to fight for change. We white people must acknowledge that this isn’t “a few bad apples” on the police force. And that, indeed, it’s not really about the police force at all. It is about so much more.

– Jon Blumenauer, owner of The Joinery

Introducing the Virtual House Call

Let’s face it: during the pandemic, lots of folks are spending more time at home, less time in stores, and perhaps even doing a bit of online shopping. To help customers we are excited to launch our Virtual House Call service. Our Sales and Design teams can answer any questions and work with you on all aspects of design and product selection process to help you find the perfect piece for your home, including designing it from scratch.
 
Click here to schedule your free Virtual House Call via Zoom.

We continue to take thoughtful steps to serve customer needs during the pandemic. To optimize the safety of our customers and staff, we reopened our Downtown Portland showroom with enhanced safety measures.

Using the Oregon Health Authority guidelines as a starting point, we augmented with additional standards. We are capping the occupancy at 5 people. With about 4000 square feet of public space and high ceilings, our showroom offers ample space for physical distancing. We are also asking that all visitors wear a mask while in the store and will provide disposable masks for anyone who does not have one.

Our downtown showroom is open

While our St. Johns showroom is still closed to the public, we are offering individual appointments for interested customers. Additionally, if anyone does not feel comfortable visiting our Downtown showroom with the possibility of other customers being present, we are offering individual appointments there as well, when we will close the showroom to the general public.

Currently our showroom hours are Monday-Sunday, 11:00-5:00. Our woodshop will remain closed to the public at this time. 

For questions or booking an appointment, please email [email protected] or call (503) 788-8547.

After closing our operations for over a month to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are taking our first steps toward reopening. We began with a small group of 4 craftspeople coming back under enhanced safety procedures. This is a balancing act between protecting the health of our workers and broader community, restoring the livelihoods of our team, and fulfilling obligations to our customers. We will gradually add to the team as we can do so safely. We will continue to keep customers updated on the progress of their orders and appreciate your understanding during this time.

The Joinery woodshop reopening


If you’re like most people, you are probably spending a lot more time at home these days – perhaps even doing a little more online shopping. While our showrooms remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, they are both well-stocked with furniture available immediately. To help make for an easy virtual shopping experience, we have created this online catalog of our in-stock pieces.
 
For folks who would like to see pieces in person, we can open our showrooms by appointment. Every purchase made during this time plays a critical role in bringing our team of skilled craftspeople back to work, and we thank you very much for your support.

If you are interested in a piece shown here please contact us as soon as possible and we can let you know the current availability. We will do our best to update the catalog as items sell.

The Joinery update

Our Shop Foreman, Kelly, is famous at The Joinery for his saying “Finishing is only the beginning.”

This statement is particularly appropriate now as we plan how to safely return to work after shutting our operation down due to safety concerns with the coronavirus. We have taken physical distancing requirements to the extreme with Kelly working alone in our Shop over the last month since we shut down. 

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