The thousands who religiously turn out for the Eastside Culture Crawl, this year taking place Thursday to Sunday (November 20 to 23), know it’s the place to find art, but sometimes they forget that it’s also a prime spot to furnish their digs.
More and more furnishings are popping up at the annual event, everything from finely crafted coffee tables to funky signs found amid the East Side ’hood’s dozens of studios and industrial buildings. There are more than 48 furniture designers listed on the tour this year.
Here is just a taste of what design fiends can find on the Crawl in 2014, with the mantra seeming to be “The wood makes it good.”
Kate Duncan (1000 Parker Street)
Japanese and midcentury influences intermingle in Kate Duncan’s clean-lined creations. With a background in interior design and furniture construction, the artisan pays meticulous attention to details and joinery in her robust hardwood pieces. We love her gorgeous cutting boards, which double as serving trays with their stainless-steel handles; they come in woods from black walnut to maple and are treated with food-safe mineral oil and beeswax. In terms of furnishings, think minimalistic bedside tables in black walnut with black-leather veneer or a mod white-oak credenza.
Jeremie Laguette (1622 Frances Street)
Bask in the glow of Jeremie Laguette’s vintage-look signs, which spell out such simple messages as love, enjoy, or, best of all, bacon in retro light bulbs. Look closely and you’ll see what really sets his cool art signage apart: the former carpenter has crafted the entire remainder of the sign out of wood, using only finger joints, glue, and various stains and paints. And the man has a knack for finding the perfect font for every word. Light up your living room by hanging one of his creations over your sofa or literally make a statement on a kitchen or foyer wall.
Oden Gallery (1672 Franklin Street)
Owner and artisan Meredith Nicole has curated a special collection by five wood-furniture designers for this year’s Crawl, making the studio a must-stop for anyone into design. Some of the sleek seating, tables, and other pieces are made from reclaimed and sustainable sources; all are heirloom quality and finished with toxin-free products. Think midcentury lines and leather accents, but also personalized details that make each creation special: for instance, she’s been known to inscribe her furnishings with meaningful words in secret places and take inspiration from sources as diverse as a duck pond and a historic war story.
Propellor (1120 East Georgia Street)
Here’s a chance to get an inside look at the sculptural, varied creations of Emily Carr University of Art and Design alumni Toby Barratt, Pamela Goddard, and Nik Rust. Their combined talents have won them awards and gallery showings; you’ll drool over their hip designs for the home—especially in terms of lighting. Check out the Meridian pendant lamp, with its strips of birch veneer curved to encircle the “nucleus” of the light bulb, perfect over a bar or table. There’s also the boxy Kilter lamp, made from old oak shipping pallets, coolly cabin-rustic and contemporary at the same time.
Willow & Stump (1000 Parker Street)
Founded by Kalyca Ryan and Bram Sawatzky, Willow & Stump excels in innovative, artful furnishings for small spaces. We dig the Monarch side table, an almost art nouveau–ornate but contemporary piece that hangs from the wall: playing on the form of the butterfly wing, it seems to almost melt, Daliesque. Other creations include a two-tiered, multifunctional piece in walnut veneer that can morph from coffee table to side table. Somehow their designs “crawl” easily between classic and inventively modern.
Hobo Woodworks (1616 Franklin Street)
West Coast rustic meets refined in the warm, sturdy wood creations by brothers Lenny and Sam Clemens. All their designs are crafted from local, sustainable materials—including fir and cedar—and there are a lot of small pieces you’ll be able to pick up and carry home from the Crawl. Think beautifully basic record crates, wooden double growler holders with leather carrying straps, classic toolboxes, and a dish rack that actually looks good on your counter. Like so many spots on the tour, the Hobo studio is a draw in itself—an artful hub replete with a music nook, product displays, tool collections, and even a backroom skateboard ramp.