buckwheatn'grits

"been in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down…"

Irons in the Fire, Maker Feature for Blackberry PopUp Shop

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A graduate of Central Michigan University, Mark Kozma creates functional pottery and woodwork with a strong emphasis on surface design. He has been working in Durham now for four years but has been creating nearly his whole life. A former apprentice of Mark Hewitt, Mark now runs his own creative business Irons in the Fire. He likes to keep things fresh by working in a variety of mediums, switching from the functional nature of ceramics and woodworking, to the more whimsical practice of creating mixed media scultpures. Think his work looks familiar? Well, if you live in Durham you’re probably right. Mark makes all of the cups for Cocoa Cinnamon‘s great teas, coffees, and sipping chocolates. Come snag his work at Blackberry PopUp Shop this weekend!

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Rivtak, Maker Feature for Blackberry PopUp Shop

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River Takada-Capel is the founder and maker behind RIVTAK. Tokyo born and Carrboro raised, River focuses on up-cycling materials that she finds on her various travels, collects from the scrap bin at Spoonflower, or stumbles upon in a vintage shop. She skillfully mixes and matches flea market finds with industrial dead stock to create her characteristic bohemian, vintage look. Her work is admirable for its tremendous use of color and pattern as well as its sustainable origins. I especially love her Japanese-style kimonos and her hand-dyed pillows. You can find her work in shops all over the triangle as well as in Richmond, Va and Brooklyn, Ny. Check out her website for lookbooks and her Instagram for lifestyle.IMG_8442 RivTak2015(5)

Grace Montgomery, Maker Feature for Blackberry PopUp Shop

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Grace Montgomery and I have sold together at a few markets around Durham, and we’ve done a jewelry collaboration (with more to come), so you may have seen her work on here before. Lately, she’s been testing new styles and expanding the kinds of pieces she makes, so I’m really excited to see what she’ll be bringing to the Blackberry PopUp Shop!

Grace makes functional stoneware pottery right here in Durham, NC. her pieces explore a balance between texture, technique, and chance, engaging the senses as they are used. Her mugs, bowls, planters, and jars are meant to be enjoyed every day and transform daily rituals into sacred moments.

Come check out her work at Blackberry PopUp Shop next Saturday!

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Grimm Vintage, Vendor Feature for Blackberry PopUp Shop

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Blackberry PopUp Shop is one week away and I couldn’t be more excited. The buzz out there is growing, and I’m excited to see all the goods and wares our makers and vendors will be bringing. Today’s featured vendor is Morgan Grimm of Grimm vintage. A curator of vintage housewares and oddities, Morgan has about the best eye for vintage goods that I’ve ever encountered. Growing up with parents that had her tag along to flea markets, thrift stores, and garage sales on the weekends, it was inevitable  she inherited their treasure-hunting genes. When she was 15-years-old, she began unearthing unique home décor on her own, refining her eye for items that have been forgotten and left unappreciated. Her goals are to provide vintage items that have character, charm, and a storied life. She’s also keen on preventing customers and the wider community from purchasing the mass-produced, low-quality, out-sourced, products that have saturated our market today. She’s the genius behind the Durham Patchwork Mini-Market and she’s a wiz curating, connecting, and promoting makers and shakers in the triangle area. Come check her out at Blackberry PopUp Shop next Saturday!

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Lo & Behold, Maker Feature for Blackberry PopUp Shop

Lo & Behold Natural Body Care specializes in luxurious all natural handmade body care. Using organic beeswax, as well as high-quality and essential oils, Gina Wisotzky and Elisabeth Chadbourne craft small batch body oils and butter, cuticle cream, lip balms, scrubs, and salves that are both effective and decadent. With a desire to enhance their customer’s well-being through self-care, Lo & Behold focuses on natural and sustainable products. Beyond even their responsibly sourced ingredients, Lo & Behold uses sustainable, recyclable packaging. I especially love their ginger and blood orange lip balm and their Carolina pine body oil. Seriously, the scents are too die for. You can check out their online shop, or come sample and purchase their products at the Blackberry PopUp Shop next Saturday!

Hamish Jackson, Maker Feature for Blackberry PopUp Shop

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Hamish Jackson is a newcomer to the North Carolina craft scene. A glassblower and potter, Hamish is originally from England and moved here to apprentice with Mark Hewitt. His clay pieces are solid, but sleek, with a huge amount of presence and his glass work is colorful and fun. I especially love how the spherous shapes of his glass blowing transfers to his pottery and I can’t wait to see his work in person next Saturday. Living everywhere from Portland, OR to India, to England, he has soaked up a huge variety of influences. But I’m pretty glad he’s settled down in North Carolina, where he lives in Pittsboro and has plans to buy a variety of animals, including goats and chickens. A homesteader at heart, Hamish’s work plays to this urge to make things that are practical, and useful. Stop by the Blackberry PopUp Shop on July 18th to see more of his work and meet him in person!

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Wind Blown Jewelry, Maker Feature for Blackberry PopUp Shop

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For the next ten days, I’ll be featuring local makers as part of the promotion for Blackberry PopUp Shop, a PopUp Shop in downtown Durham with live music. It should be a really fun event, and if you live in the area you should definitely try to stop by! I’m very excited for my house to be full of beautiful things and people.

Today I’m featuring Wind Blown, the simple and classic jewelry line by Rachel Calhoun. Rachel is a Raleigh-based maker who has been making jewelry for about ten years. Her pieces are airy, clean, and simple. Extremely minimal, her work is easy to wear and full of effortless character. I especially love her rings, a healthy mix of statement pieces with oversized, long-cut stones in curvy shapes and her more delicate, wire geometric rings. In her own words, Rachel is “all about making a statement with jewelry,” but she likes to do so “in a manner that preserves the purity of the piece.” This purity is derived from the natural elements Rachel incorporates so easily into her work. Rather than chunky, heavy, rough-cut stones and gems, Rachel’s pieces are smooth, clean, and delicate.

You can almost always find Wind Blown jewelry at Sola Coffee’s PopUp maker fairs and various other markets in the area. You can also follow her on Instagram, and her website is set to launch very soon, so keep a sharp eye!

Of course, you can also catch her at the Blackberry PopUp Shop on Saturday, July 18th from 12-4pm.

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Kalika Bowlby Pottery

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Kalika Bowlby is a potter living in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. She has studied and held residencies in ceramics in both the U.S. and Canada and has displayed her work all over both countries as well. And it’s no wonder. Her work is sleek and sinuous with soft, rounded edges and shapes. Often based on vintage shapes and patterns, she tends to keep her palette extremely neutral, which makes her work incredibly appealing and simple. Emotionally, her work has an incredibly calming and comforting feel to it that is timeless. In fact, her aim is to create pieces that will outlast the buyer, heirlooms that become a part of the family and pick up meaningful stories. She also her efforts into useful pieces, mostly having to do with food, an element that expresses her own love for cooking and sharing food with others. To see her work, check out her website. And don’t miss her killer Instagram, which features her more recent work.

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Things to Click…

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I love the look of these drawings by Japanese Illustrator Komako Sakai that accompany a 2012 printing of The Velveteen Rabbit.

Neko case wrote a long-form article on successful women and how they are referred to in any particular industry. I haven’t been able to read all of it yet, but given the context, I’m sure it’s nothing less than kickass. Incidentally, I found it on one of my favorite phone apps: Longform.

I went to a Heartless Bastards show this past weekend that I’ve been waiting to see for months. It was phenomenal. And now I can’t wait to listen to their new album, Restless Ones, just released today. If you haven’t heard this stellar band from Ohio, go back and start at the beginning. It’s worth it. They have yet to put out a bad album (though granted, I haven’t listened to their very first album, Stairs & Elevators).

I have a friend who loves to send me the crazy, crass, and wonderfully funny notes men send her on OKCupid. They never fail to crack me up and vastly improve my day. Enter Tinder in Brooklyn. It’s fantastic and fun beyond words.

Fredericks & Mae

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Fredericks & Mae has been the label of design team Jolie Mae Signorile and GabrielFredercks Cohen since 2007. They create beautiful game sets, like card decks, darts, and bocce, decorative objects, like tassels and vintage style arrows, and aesthetic practical objects, like brushes and broom. In addition, they make worry beads, cat toys, pendant lamps, and, oh yeah, kites. Seriously, there is nothing these two don’t touch and make infinitely more gorgeous, though their especial talent lies in recreating the nostalgic games of childhood. Self-described as “a project in pluralism,” Fredericks & Mae will try anything, creating “spaces, furniture, interiors, sets, zines, books, … events” and just about anything else that can be redesigned from their unique and colorful perspective. Their look is sleek, modern, graphic, and playful. They use colorful liberally and simple patterns to produce a clean shape imbued with a bit of quirk. Check out their online shop or follow their Instagram for more on this duo.

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