If you ever wondered about the current state of Oregon Craft and its critical role in providing creative fuel for innovation and economic development that goes well beyond the beautiful pieces the artisans create, look no further than the current exhibit at Portland’s Museum of Contemporary Craft (MCC), on display this summer.
Portland Business Journal | By Wendy Culverwell
Photo by Cathy Cheney
Ben Rivera, president of Portland’s iconic Leatherman Tool Group, wore an unusual watch band when he joined manufacturing executives for a discussion about Portland’s growing maker movement.
Called the Leatherman Tread, it consists of 10 links embedded with the company’s famous tools. It was borne of an experience at Disneyland when security wouldn’t let Rivera carry a traditional Leatherman tool into the park grounds.
The Joinery: wood chips and sawdust are converted into briquettes, then given away for free to customers.
As momentum grows at the state level to introduce far-reaching environmental regulations, such as carbon pricing and the Clean Fuels Program, Oregon employers continue to go the extra mile to create green workplaces for their employees.
Paperless offices, on-site organic gardens, worm bins, low-flow showers — these are just a handful of innovative green practices that the 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon have put in place to foster sustainable work environments.
This year’s list is composed of a mix of companies and organizations that are not necessarily associated with green products and services, such as auto retailers and law firms. Others are in industries that are geared to green living, such as environmental consulting.
To turn the tables on Joni Mitchell, there’s a time in life when car wheels turn to cart wheels — which is right around the time that your guests arrive and the party begins. And when you roll in with The Joinery’s new Shaker-inspired Milo Bar Cart, you’ll drink up the oohs and aahs like a slow sip of a shaken, not stirred gin martini.
We challenged The Joinery’s designers and woodworkers to create a bar cart that’s not only Aston-Martin beautiful, but that’s worthy of being warranted for 100,000 miles or a lifetime of use, whichever comes first. The result is a showpiece of the simple yet elegant details that define master craftsmanship. And of course, we’ll customize this instant classic for you and your decor by giving you a variety of wood species and nickel or brass accents to choose from.
Hardwood furniture maker the Joinery has transformed its downtown Portland pop-up shop into a stunning permanent showroom. The company, which has produced heirloom-quality pieces in its Woodstock workshop for 33 years, occupies the building that formerly housed Finnegan's toys.
"We first opened it to test the waters, but there's nothing 'pop-up' about the space now," said owner Jon Blumenauer, who purchased the company in 2013 from founder Marc Gaudin. "We put an enormous amount of heart and planning into designing the space so that it would reflect what we do best, so that it would be a thoughtful representation of how we work."
The move is part of Blumenauer's plan to guide the Joinery from a secret into a higher-profile furniture company tied into Portland's design scene.
Best known for its Shaker and Mission styles, the Joinery also has more modern products, such as its midcentury-inspired Whitman line. As its name suggests, the company's designs feature traditional joint work including dovetail, mortise and tenon, finger and butterfly methods; no cheap dowels and adhesive here.
Each item is made by one craftsperson who puts his or her name on the final product. To showcase the beauty of the wood, pieces are "super-sanded" to a silky finish and then coated with a top-secret clear oil. True to its 1983 founding as a furniture repair business, the Joinery gives every customer a tutorial on how to maintain the wood and deal with mishaps like heat rings.
The Joinery's methods are increasingly rare in an era of mass-produced furniture, and its mid to high-end pricing reflects that. A low, six-drawer Whitman dresser costs $3,691 in Eastern walnut and a Madrone hope chest is $2,030. A Whitman chair, with an upholstered seat and clean midcentury lines, costs $1,084 in quartered white oak. All of the furniture is warrantied for life.
Every woodworker at the Joinery contributed to at least one permanent design element in the new, 4,700-square-foot showroom. Craftspeople displayed their talents on a custom whitewashed reclaimed fir and Western walnut reception desk, rift-sawn white oak kitchen, live-edge barn door and other pieces.
Architectural features include Aurora Mills' salvaged ax-cut fir beams from an 1890s barn in Aurora, Ore., locally harvested Western walnut from Portland's Goby Walnut and locally harvested, Forest Stewardship Council-certified (FSC) Pacific albus. Partners including French Quarter Linens, Tufenkian Carpets and Holly Mueller Designs contributed accessories to the room vignettes.
Blumenauer is quick to assert that the Joinery's emphasis on painstaking craftsmanship will not change as the company grows, and that he is still committed to using FSC and locally sourced woods in the "overwhelming majority" of products.
The company's annual Metamortise contest encourages designers to transform scrap wood into functional, stylish pieces. Even the sawdust in its workshop becomes heating briquettes that are donated to the community.
"The vision for the company is tied into larger communities, both local and global, and we take that commitment very seriously," he said.
Read the entire post at OregonLive | By Amy Mason Doan | Posted June 30, 2015 at 10:02 AM
The inaugural B Social: Portland kicked off last night at The Joinery’s downtown showroom at 922 SW Yamhill. It was a busy evening filled with fabulous drinks, tasty food and lots of networking!
Thank you to the following B Corp partners for making the event such a success: A to Z Wineworks, Bamboo Sushi, Hopworks Brewery and Starvation Alley. We made new friends, generated business ideas and forged partnerships! We are all looking forward to the next event.
The goal of B Local: Portland is to cultivate relationships, increase collaboration, and generate business referrals between B Corps in Oregon state for the benefit of one another and the larger B Community.
Nothing brings a smile quicker than delicious aromas from the kitchen. A home cooked meal can’t be accomplished without the right tools. Every chef will tell you a good knife is nothing without a good board to use it on. Bread boards are a signature item at The Joinery and add functionality, warmth and a homey look to any kitchen.
Bread boards get more beautiful with time, especially if they are well made and cared for. The handcrafted durability of The Joinery bread boards will be valued for generations and often are displayed proudly like a work of art.
When selecting a bread board, first consider your needs. How much counter space do you have? Every kitchen should have at least one large cutting surface to give you ample space to work with. Small bread boards are also convenient for clean-up, cutting small things quickly and even as presentation boards for cheese, fruit and garnishes.
Types of Wood Bread Boards
The Joinery offers two types of bread boards, both priced at $60, perfect for wedding gifts, birthdays and to treat yourself:
Last fall, The Joinery went out on a limb and, well, branched out: We opened a second showroom, in downtown Portland at 922 SW Yamhill. When we decided this year to enter into a long-term lease to make this our flagship showroom, we committed to making it a very thoughtful representation of who we are and how we work.
The space was a total team effort. Our in-house Design team worked with Firm 151 and R&H Construction to create the floor plan and design elements, then we turned our team of skilled craftspeople loose. Every woodworker at The Joinery had a hand in building at least one permanent design element. From the custom whitewashed reclaimed fir and western walnut reception desk to the custom rift sawn white oak kitchen – our craftsmen displayed their talents and proudly left their mark.
The materials used in many architectural elements include 1890’s axe-cut fir beams salvaged from a barn in Aurora, OR, locally harvested Western Walnut from Goby Walnut, and locally harvested, FSC-certified Pacific albus.
Colorhouse paint provided the zero VOC wall paint, and Timber Pro the custom-formulated low VOC whitewash. Tufenkian carpets, French Quarter linens and Holly Mueller Home wall hangings lend softness and texture to the industrial space. Make your way back to the conference room for the show stopper: the Western Walnut live edge slab barn door will take your breath away, and features Krownlab barn door hardware.
Thank you to all our partners for their creativity, their energy and their inspiration to help make this space our new home. We’re delighted to be settled into downtown, in a district that’s become a focal point for artists and craftspeople. We’re proud to be a part of it, and invite you to drop in (we’re right on the MAX and Streetcar lines) and see the inspirational environment we’ve created for The Joinery’s hardwood furniture family.
Since our founding in 1982, The Joinery has worked to be environmentally responsible and community minded. The impact of those efforts has been good enough to be recently named to the Oregon Business “100 Best Green Companies to Work for in Oregon.” Exactly where The Joinery falls among the 33 companies ranked in the Small Company category won’t be unveiled until May 27, but we are proud to have made the list. In a state as environmentally progressive as Oregon, this award is particularly welcome.
We are also honored to be named to the B Corporation “Best for the Environment” list for the third consecutive year, honoring those B Corps throughout the world that are doing the most on the environmental front.
Celilo Hall Tree: Craftsmanship we can hang our hat on.
The Joinery is celebrating the imminent arrival of spring with the debut of our Celilo Hall Tree, designed by our own Lys Opp-Beckman in consultation with shop foreman and resident master carver Tenzin Wangdu.
The Celilo Hall Tree lets you indulge your spring cleaning impulses by creating a welcoming and refined nest for your outdoor necessities. Its slender suspended coat rack with graceful cast hooks from Sweden hold jackets, hats, scarves, pet leashes, et al. There’s shelf storage for boots and shoes, plus a floating seat that lets you don and remove footwear with no one-footed gymnastics needed.
The prototype for this modern variation on a classic fixture was built by 10-year veteran of The Joinery, Justin Appel, who provided proof-of-concept of some advanced woodworking techniques. The Celilo’s bridle joint design, for example, is a joint-strengthening, exposed joinery technique that allows no room for error during construction. It’s just one of the thoughtful woodworking details that makes this piece of furniture at once minimalistic and deeply refined.
Consider the Celilo Hall Tree as a highly functional focal point for your hallway, entryway or living room. It will let you bring your springtime outerwear out of the closet and make both a fashion and furniture statement at the same time. Everything that we build is warranted for life, you know that it’s, well, built for the long hall. To see this piece for yourself visit our downtown showroom at 922 SW Yamhill St in Portland.
Celilo Hall Tree in Eastern Walnut • $2,700 • 18 deep x 48 wide x 75 high