Thanks to everyone that attended our in-person exhibit “Bay Area Made: Small Batch & Made to Order” hosted by member company Arion Press for San Francisco Design Week. It was a beautiful and inspiring exhibit showcasing the high quality and innovative work of 50 of the finest local makers – and what a treat it was! For those of you who weren’t able to visit in person we have the next best thing – a recap with stunning images by photographer Patrick Brennan. And be sure to check out the excellent short video of the exhibit by videographer Martin Risberg.
Above: (on panel) Letterpress posters by Dependable Letterpress printed with wood type.
The setting was the gallery at Arion Press, located in a 14,000 square foot industrial building in The Presidio of San Francisco that was formerly the laundry facility for the adjacent military hospital.
As the last printing press in the United States where books are handmade from start to finish, Arion Press pairs great artists with great literature to create beautiful fine artist books. They publish several limited editions every year, each conceptually unique and printed from metal types cast on site. Their production facility includes a letterpress shop with a one-of-a-kind collection of historic metal typefaces, a type foundry now in continuous operation for over 100 years, and a complete hand book bindery.
Arion Press has created museum-quality books by authors including Margaret Atwood, Nikolai Gogol, John Steinbeck, Philip Roth, Jane Austin, Emily Dickinson, Lawrence Ferlingretti, Virginia Woolf, Arthur Miller, Herman Melville and Sam Shepard, with original artwork by artists including William Kentridge, Tim Hawkinson, R.B. Kitaj, John Baldessari, Kara Walker, Raymond Pettibon, Kiki Smith, Alex Katz, Bruce Conner and Jim Dine.
Above Images: Hugo Table from Manos by Concreteworks designed in collaboration with architecture firm Johnston Marklee & Schneider Luescher; settee, coffee table, and side table by OJA: AUX Chair in hickory wood by Jason Lees Design; Barrel Stools, Five-Count Guitar Stand, and Charcoal Blocks by Yvonne Mouser; customizable, flatpack shipped Nested Tables and Mariposa Chair by Fyrn with patented aluminum bracket system; Carve Floor Light designed by Ammunition and 3D-printed from plant polymers by Gantri.
“From the clothes we wear to the food we eat, to the products we use daily, what WE MAKE locally and HOW WE MAKE IT really does matter.”
Above Images: Heated cast stone Helios Chair from Galanter & Jones; Ember Wall Light designed by SPRK and 3D-printed from plant polymers by Gantri; Hugo Table from Manos by Concreteworks designed in collaboration with architecture firm Johnston Marklee & Schneider Luescher; AUX Chair in hickory wood by Jason Lees Design; salvaged ceramic, copper, silk, wool, hemp, brass, burlap, flax, and leather mixed-media hanging sculpture by TKID; settee, coffee table, and side table by OJA; electric or battery powered Adjustable-Height Desk in white oak from Otelier.
Above Images: Exterior view of Arion Press in the San Francisco Presidio; Carve Floor Light designed by Ammunition and 3D-printed from plant polymers by Gantri; Charcoal Blocks by Yvonne Mouser; lithographs by artist Kara Walker from the book Porgy & Bess, letterpress printed by Arion Press; customizable, flatpack shipped Nested Tables and Mariposa Chair by Fyrn with patented aluminum bracket system.
The purpose of the exhibit was to educate and inspire the audience about the benefits of small-batch and made-to-order production, and the conscious choices the participating companies have made from concept to finished product that result in products that are better for the user, the community, and the planet. From the clothes we wear to the food we eat, to the products we use daily, what WE MAKE locally and HOW WE MAKE IT really does matter.
The exhibit showcased the products and practices of local makers from a wide range of industries, and across the Bay Area, that utilize new innovative technologies, traditional craft, and a blend of the two. A common thread is an emphasis on quality and values – making better products in a more sustainable way. The Slow Design/Fashion/Food movement and the concept of Circular Design (creating products that last longer and are designed with the end in mind) were frequently cited as influences and guides.
Exhibiting companies were asked to describe their making practices: Who makes your products? What type of production space are they made in? What is your making process? What is your production model? What materials or ingredients do you use? Their responses were displayed on signage next to their products.
Examples of materials and ingredients used include renewable and sustainably harvested wood, natural and non-toxic finishes and dyes, organic cotton and ingredients, ethically mined metal and stones, locally grown and wild-harvested ingredients, up-cycled/recycled/dead stock/cut-offs/vintage textiles, reusable/recycled/bio-degradable packaging, and technically innovative materials such as UV resistant fabric and plant polymers for 3-D printing.
Making practices include creating products built to last, innovative digital manufacturing technology, zero-waste principles, lean manufacturing, replaceable parts, flat pack shipping, utilizing local supply chains, custom/made-to-order and on demand manufacturing.
You can see the exhibitors complete responses and learn more about them and their making practices here in the virtual edition of the exhibit on the San Francisco Design Week website.
Above Images: Solis Lounge Chair and Side Table 3D-printed from biodegradable polymers by Model No. Furniture; turned wood vase and bowl by OJA; porcelain sculptural vessel, stoneware/leather Vessel no. 1, and stoneware PODS Table by Len Carella Ceramics; conceptual sustainable womenswear by Camelia Skikos.
Above: Heated cast stone Helios Chair from Galanter & Jones; Ember Wall Light designed by SPRK and 3D-printed from plant polymers by Gantri; Hugo Table from Manos by Concreteworks designed in collaboration with architecture firm Johnston Marklee & Schneider Luescher.
Above: Cantilever Table Light designed by Luis Filosa and Palm Table Light designed by Reach, 3D-printed from plant polymers by Gantri; artwork by Kiki Smith from book Sampler, poems by Emily Dickinson, letterpress printed by Arion Press; Airplane Mode container from Manos by Concreteworks designed in collaboration with Branch.
“The benefits of locally made small-batch and made-to-order products are clear: they are better for the user, the community, and the planet.”
Above Images: (l-r on table) Quilted cushion by Construction Lines; woven ceramic vessels by SKINNY; Balancing Cleanser, Daily Face Cream, Gentle Cleanser, Hydrating Serum, and re-fillable Rose Water Toner made from organic whole ingredients by Botnia Skincare; ceramic vases and bowl from True Blue Collection by Heath Ceramics; KSA Kolsch Style Ale, Mosaic Park Single Hop Pale Ale, Villager SF Style India Pale Ale, and Animal Tropical India Pale Ale from Fort Point Beer Co.
Above: (l-r on panels) Wave Quilt from Construction Lines; tee’s and joggers made of USA grown 100% organic undyed tan-green, brown, and natural cotton from Harvest & Mill; letterpress posters by Dependable Letterpress printed with wood type; laser cut acrylic, felt, sheet metal, and plywood by Automatic Arts; hoodie, arm sleeves, and neck + chest protector made of sun protection fabric from Heliades.
Above: (l-r on table) Cotton zero-waste culinary totes from Aplat; Absinthe Verte, Terroir Gin, California Sochu, Bruto Americano, and California Citrus Vodka from St. George Spirits; wild-crafted tea, body wash, room spray, body oil, and candle from Juniper Ridge; ceramic bowl, pitchers, vases, cups, and trays from MMclay.
Above Images: Vases and bowl from True Blue Collection by Heath Ceramics; bowl and plates from the California Line by Jered’s Pottery.
Above: (l-r on table) Woven cotton rope baskets from Woven Grey; porcelain bowls and vessels from Lisa Fleming Ceramics; Sunny Avocado, Berry Olive, Green Pumpkin, and Red Sunflower Real Food Dressings from Farmhouse Lab; wabi-sabi ceramic platters and vase from TKID; Bo Pils, Red IPA, Gold IPA, Red Lager, and Oatmeal Stout from East Brother Beer Co; Weekender Tote, Wagner Wine Bottle Carrier, and Mat made of upcycled fire hose from Oxgut Hose Co.
Above: Low calorie & alcohol, organic, and gluten-free gin-based canned cocktails from Drink Zaddy’s; terracotta self-watering seed pods from Orta Kitchen Garden; vessels, 70’s Mug, and plates and bowls from the California Line by Jered’s Pottery; cookies, candy, and Argentinean-style alfajores from Wooden Table Baking Co; Natural Mineral Deodorant, Hand & Body Lotion, foaming Shower Gel, Moisturinzing Hand Soap, and Aromatherapy Roll-On Oil from Heliotrope San Francisco; Crow Jane Leather Wallets and Stag Lee Aprons from Stagger Lee Goods; illustrations by Bruce Conner from the book The Ballad of Lemon & Crow by Glenn Todd, letterpress printed by Arion Press.
In addition to the in-person exhibit at Arion Press, as part of San Francisco Design Week’s virtual festival we held an illuminating panel discussion with five of the Bay Area’s leading makers in their industries about the benefits of small-batch and made-to-order production. Moderated by Lauryn Menard of Manos by Concreteworks, the panel included Ian Yang of Gantri, Lance Winters of St. George Spirits, Shujan Bertrand of Aplat, and John McConnico of Bespoke Watch Projects.
Above: (l-r on panels) Sustainable loungewear made of bamboo/cotton stretch fleece from Lacson Ravello; hand-woven, botanical-dyed wool poncho and shawl from Entrelanas Designs; denim/khaki varsity style jacket from Kalimade Garments; kerchiefs made from limited-edition heritage fabrics from Honor Road; hemp/organic cotton Jorja Dress and 100% cotton Aruna Jacket from Aliya Wanek; conceptual sustainable womenswear by Camelia Skikos.
Above: Helium Light made of hand-bent cypress wood with embedded LED’s from Elliptic Designs.
Above: Bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and hairpins from the jewelry brands Stella Fluorescent and YMSF (a collaboration between Yvonne Mouser and Stella Fluorescent) with samples of the natural ingredients used.
Above Images: Brass filled with hand-mixed, artists’ grade polymer clay jewelry by Clouds & Ladders; singed brass wire mesh chain necklace from YMSF (a collaboration between Yvonne Mouser and Stella Fluorescent); The Sun Goddess necklace in yellow gold with naturally hand-dyed, ethically-sourced horsehair from Anna Monet Jewelry.
In these times of rapidly accelerating climate change and pandemic, it’s imperative that we devise and implement smarter ways of making products. The benefits of locally made small-batch and made-to-order products are clear: they are better for the user, the community, and the planet.
Above Images: Custom made to order timepieces and eyewear from Bespoke Watch Projects and Topology Eyewear.
Image at top of page: (l-r) Hugo Table from Manos by Concreteworks designed in collaboration with architecture firm Johnston Marklee & Schneider Luescher; salvaged ceramic, copper, silk, wool, hemp, brass, burlap, flax, and leather mixed-media hanging sculpture by TKID; AUX Chair in hickory wood by Jason Lees Design; settee, coffee table, and side table by OJA; electric or battery powered Adjustable-Height Desk in white oak from Otelier; Barrel Stools, Five-Count Guitar Stand, and Charcoal Blocks by Yvonne Mouser; customizable, flatpack shipped Nested Tables and Mariposa Chair by Fyrn with patented aluminum bracket system; Carve Floor Light designed by Ammunition and 3D-printed from plant polymers by Gantri.
Photography by Patrick Brennan Photography
Patrick Brennan is a photographer based in San Francisco who specializes in interiors, architecture, and all things design. Living in the Bay Area for the past 15 years, he has been honored to work with many local business owners since starting his photography business in 2019. He photographs projects for designers, builders, architects, and other creative professionals. He loves working in the world of design and enjoys photographing natural landscapes on the side.
Video by Martin Risberg
Martin Risberg is a Swedish-born videographer and producer based in San Francisco. With his extensive experience in the field, his work spans the globe and companies of all sizes, from Fortune 500 to small mom-and-pop shops. Whether it’s a national TV campaign or a grass-roots movement for a local bakery, he prides himself on telling the most compelling and true narrative. When Martin is not working you can find him exploring the hills of San Francisco or sipping on a craft cocktail at one of his favorite local watering holes.
Anna Monet Jewelry
Art of Plants/Elliptic Designs
Bespoke Watch Projects
Clouds and Ladders
East Brother Beer Co.
Fort Point Beer Company
Galanter & Jones
Harvest & Mill
Heliotrope San Francisco
Jason Lees Design
Kali Made Garments
Len Carella Ceramics
Lisa Fleming Ceramics
Manos by Concreteworks
Model No. Furniture
Orta Kitchen Garden
Oxgut Hose Co
Stagger Lee Goods
St. George Spirits
Wooden Table Baking Co