The Next Trend Out of Austin? Fresh, Small Batch Nut Milk
“It’s late morning in Austin, Texas, and Jordan Fronk is in her kitchen using a tiny, handheld milk frother to turn one of her homemade nut milks into a latte. The nut milk production initially began to provide a tasty milk alternative for her family, and incidentally, the word caught on, and her friends started asking for the nut milks on a weekly basis. She started taking orders, and that’s where Fronks started.” Read full article here.
Turning the Tables (full article)
Throughout the ages, our appetites have evolved from simply needing to eat to wanting to dine. As the ways and reasons we break bread have changed, the shapes and sizes of our tables have developed to suit our tastes: Whether the surface is a round one that reminds us of our childhood kitchen, a communal one that encourages us to knock knees with strangers in restaurants, or an intimate one set for two, a table’s size, shape, and context has everything to do with the way we interact around it.
The table and its settings have evolved over time, reflecting revolutions in manufacturing, free time, wealth, art, and knowledge. In the 1300s, when early tables weren’t yet permanent fixtures in the home, the phrase “to set the table” didn’t refer to laying down cutlery and place mats: It meant to set a simple board on four legs. Before anything as formal dinner tables were used, some early cultures such as the ancient Egyptians reportedly dined using ceramic dishware placed directly on the floor, and it’s been said that the ancient Greeks often used thick, heavy bread instead of utensils or napkins. Centuries later, the ornate tables of the baroque period mirrored the decadent spreads that were laid upon them, and the classic tables of the cafe society in Paris in the late 19th century—small, round, almost utilitarian—accentuated their purpose as vehicles for the creation of ideas instead of lavish meals.
In face, before they were used for dining, tables were used as centers of creativity. The old English word tabele originally meant “writing tablet,” ancient Egyptians used them to elevate artifacts off the ground and the Chinese were the first to use them as surfaces for drawing and painting. And this trend has continued through modern times: In the 1920s, a circle of literary luminaries such as Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley frequently met for lunch at Manhattan’s Algonquin Hotel, forming a band of writers known as the Round Table. Guests at their gatherings included starts such as Harpo Marx and Ernest Hemingway—the latter reportedly wrote one of the most famous micro-stories in history after someone at the table bet him that he couldn’t write a story in six words or less: “For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” Nicknaming themselves the “Vicious Circle,” the writers created a community around this table—one with its own language and wit, where individuals came together to challenge each other’s creative output.
These days, tables have come to represent a surface where sustenance and creation come together—a place to wonder and to solve problems, to probe and to redefine our roles. It stands as a symbol of our connectedness with each other and with ourselves: We come to eat, we stay to dine. In this way, the table has become a site where our lives play out and where we draw ideas and narratives into existence. How we set the table, how we spend time at the table, and who we choose to share the table with directly reflects the way we live away from the table—change one, and you’ll inevitably change the other.
design week portland journal, 2016
“To many, building a wardrobe isn’t only about fit. It’s also an act of creative expression. The final product being, in part, about reliving the emotional process of obtaining it, and the sense of identity wrapped up in each piece that holds a special place in our closet. When we look to a mathematical algorithm to obtain the right fit, we may also inadvertently remove personal style, emotion, and cultural context from the experience of purchasing a garment, and the thrill or satisfaction we derive from the hunt.” Read full article here.
Coloring the Grey (full piece)
The foundations for a winter wardrobe begin with cool neutrals, but adding bursts of color can enliven even the coldest of days.
We often try to distinguish a particular season’s beauty by dressing accordingly. In the winter we express ourselves through colors and textures evocative of the type of darkness that sets in early and stays late: gnarled wool, sumptuous fuzzy cashmere, heavy gabardine, fleece-lined boots. We try to channel the season’s elegance with our changing daily uniform of the perfect coat and boot combination, the right glove-to-scarf-to-hat ratio or with silken layers beneath thick capes that act as wearable blankets we throw around our shoulders.
But dressing with winter’s subdued palette creates a layered landscape begging for a slash of sunlit tone. During the darker months, the mind finds refuge in patches of perceived sunlight on the body: linden green, ice-tipped pink, Yves Klein blue. Each color acts as an entry point into understanding, a kind of seasonal synesthesia.
Winter is a season to add pigment in small doses. Few designers create a collection without some buoyant, almost artificial hue to strike through the monochrome: mango tango orange, flamingo pink or a broad swath of spring sky blue. The pervasive gray of winter can paralyze us while color offers the potential of movement.
Slip your fingers into a pair of burnt orange gloves and see how it changes your intimacy with the landscape. Stand in winter’s quiet panorama and observe its icy gray blues, forest greens and oxblood reds. The silence that accompanies such seasonally bleak geography finds its antidote in color. The orange accenting your hands amplifies the rest of the world’s hues, and by unraveling the million tiny threads inherent in just one color, you begin to see the world with different eyes.
Take off a pair of orange-tinted ski goggles and you’ll find the world has turned the opposite tincture, blue. Unlike the heat of orange, blue holds within it an element of darkness, the presence and absence of light at play. A blue room seems bigger and navy suggests greater authority. It’s the color of cold but also suggests shade. Colors, both artificially seen in the fabric of our clothes and located in the natural world, amplify what they surround: Cold colors are seen to retreat from us, while warmer ones approach.
Although the winter wardrobe should have its foundations in utility, we don’t need to arrive at each season’s threshold with only the suggested arsenal of black wool coats, gray turtleneck sweaters and sturdy chestnut boots. Folding light into our winter wardrobe turns an elemental fear of darkness into something of an embrace. As Oscar Wilde said, “Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.”