San Francisco: Thomas Moser Furniture

Thomas Moser Furniture
 We stopped at the Thomas Moser showroom, a very well known furniture designer/maker influenced greatly by Shaker design. There is certainly a mid-century feel to many shaker pieces, but they tend to be a bit more robust. The craftsmanship is impeccable and the company's reputation is stellar. I apologize that in the B&W you can't make out the wood hue, but the lighting in the showroom set me up for a better shot without the color. 
Thomas Moser Furniture

Thomas Moser Furniture

Thomas Moser Furniture
 I really enjoy watching Darrick inspect furniture. The woman running the showroom knew he was a woodworker right away, the beard?
Thomas Moser Furniture
 She also went out of her way to show us the mechanics of the leaf in the dining table.
Thomas Moser Furniture
A new piece from their new more "modestly" priced line (will still set you back about 10 grand). The prices were not outrageous for what the work was, but these days it is obviously easier for people to cut spending corners by purchasing IKEA items. Although, these pieces are clearly investments, built to last and if anything ever goes wrong with a Moser piece they fix it for you free of charge. In building a hand-crafted design business, Darrick and I have many conversations about bridging the gap between IKEA cheapness (not that I don't love certain things from the Swedish giant) and $10,000 dining sets.

San Francisco

 It's not everyday we get out to the big city. The original reason we made this trip was to use the tickets we had to see Portishead, easily one of my favorite recording artists alive today- a group who rarely plays live at all (an absolutely incredible show!). We made a weekend out of it and ate our way around SF. The temperatures soured through the 70's and Dolores Park was packed with your average hula hooper, spiked edible salesperson, hacky sacker, interpretive dancer, gutter punk and Silicon Valley professional.
 What would San Francisco be without it's own "Occupy" encampment?
Something I did not want to miss was the famous Ferry PLaza Farmer's Market. It's massive and a quite serious affair. Market culture is 'my people'
Drawing Inspiration, look no further. Biracial, possibly pregnant, llama headed women with glowing pink crystals which emit a joint rainbow. Call me literal but that's just what I see. This taken from the famous Clarion Alley in the Mission.


Drawing 10.23.11

Lana Fee Rasmussen Art
Inspired by all things spooky, I present the drawing about the blue-haired monster lady.

Canning Workshop at the Grange

 This is Marty, the sensei of canning. She is also the town's main supplier of goat's milk. She really wrestled up quite an experience, especially considering there were 20 of us and we were scheduled to can 7 items plus make goat cheese. This is her starting the Moroccan preserved lemons. We prepared and canned tomato sauce, kimchi, fermented daikon, the lemons, beet-orange chutney, Tunisian pumpkin soup and pickled cantaloupe. Everyone in this area is really into preserving and fermenting food, especially the people who are truly devoted to local seasonal eating. I like too that this group was not a bunch of snot nose foodies, just real people eating real food.  

 In the forefront, you can see the goat cheese pot wrapped in a blanket. This is the stage when we waited for the milk to curd.
I chose to start at the tomato sauce station. Across from me in the red and black stripes is the Luana, from Hawaii. She goes by Lu, which I told her is also what my mom calls me. She chuckled and said that her mom used to call her Lana. We had a little moment...
It was basically a gathering of witches, the good kind. I learned a tremendous amount and am beginning to also understand how important these skills are to farming, as one must be able to preserve the fresh food for the winter in many instances. Luckily, in many parts of California we can grow all year round (and we've invented the freezer).


Opening at LCCM

 Last Friday I stopped at the opening for a couple artists showing at the Lost Coast Culture Machine, the only quasi-contemporary gallery in Fort Bragg. I had a short white wine and made my own clay creation to put inside one the of the hanging red boxes.
 Ta Da. Art school sure pays off these days.
Drawing by Carolyn Schneider.

FYI manhunt is over

Though the shock has worn off a bit, it is big news in Fort Bragg that Aaron Bassler, the man on the loose out in the forest very near us, was shot seven times and killed by the Sacramento SWAT team about ten days ago. This photo had been taken a couple weeks earlier- Aaron breaking into a cabin out in the woods, very armed. Everyone has definitely been on edge since the manhunt started in late August. The community is glad it's over.


Town Curiosities

 I found this at one of the local coffee shops, Headlands, last week. It's a thriller. A novel which is apparently a part of some sort of traveling book exchange type of program. It looked as if Beguiling Bundle has yet to be picked up by the right individual with sincere literary promise. We are all hopeful that the "Award Winning Author: Amorous Accident" sees his or her (I'm thinking it's a her) novel travel to exhilarating places. 
 This mystery FINALLY got solved for Darrick and I. We spotted these adult brownies at the grocery checkout stand during our first week here. I pointed to them and nudged Darrick. This IS Mendocino County after all, so I was doing my darndest to not seem like a tourist and suggested that these brownies were obviously laced with illegal plants. "No way," he said. I scoffed inside thinking 'pssht he'll see soon enough.' I was indeed wrong. What makes these brownies "adult" is the lack of sugar abundance. How odd.
So what's the story with this? I'll find out....

Mendocino Farmer's Market

My first time buying produce at the "other" market. What an incredible setting.


Prepping for Project 1

 A mock up. A low mounted cabinet. As simple as it looks, there are many nuances and "low mounted cabinet" kind of makes people shrug. Clean and classic. All the projects are varied, with some obviously made from hands of devout James Krenov followers, the man who originally started the program. Exceptional craftsmanship is of course the bottom line. 
 Darrick has been through a lot with the selection of wood. In addition to finding what suits him, Darrick also has to contend with the expertise of the shop manager and faculty. One does not just point and purchase. Each wood corresponds with the appropriate design. After opening his last piece to a string of blue mold, Darrick finally decided on Teak- always a fine choice. This photo shows the piece pre-planed. A few inches think too.
 There she is opened up. 
D's tool set up. Each student has his or her own little cubby just like this one.

after a good rain

 It is always so difficult to convey the scale of waves without someone riding them, but these faces were the biggest I've seen here so far- probably about 8 feet. The ocean moves differently here then in Northern CA, with much more fervor. On this day, our beach out front looked a lot like Ocean Beach often does in SF (shark week came to mind too). I am still trying to catch someone riding these waves in a photograph. 

Off the back deck.


More about College of the Redwoods via...

college of the redwoods furniture
Darrick is at the shop about 60 hours a week, so he does not get much opportunity to contribute to this blog thingy. For anyone that would like to see a nice comprehensive overview of what they are up to from the lense of a guy we really like, Bryce, check out Rope and Saw. He is the third guy from the right in the bright teal shorts by the way. This photo came from there, but I swore I wouldn't take anymore of his shots. The story behind this photo is that tall JOhn, bearded guy fifth from the left, shows up to the shop one morning with these shorts on. He gets hassled. Bryce rallies up a bunch of shorts for everyone else. When John gets back from lunch, everyone is sporting their legs. Ridicule in the form of solidarity. Nice 90's construction look Darrick.

Pickle Party

Just before our wednesday movie night at the shop, some ladies got together for pickling in light of our abundant harvest of cucumbers these past couple of weeks. I knew by far the least of everyone there. We focused on lacto-fermentation for our pickling (using the strained whey from yogurt). I would have loved to have taken home an abundance to try, but we are still living out of a mini fridge and an ice chest.

Extended Farm Education

  I have been scouring the area for more exposure to the many ways in which people farm. Two weekends ago, I attended a portion of the Northern California Biodynamic Association's Fall Meeting set at the certified biodynamic farm called the Live Power Community Farm- an incredibly admirable model of agriculture. I am just starting to understand what exactly biodynamic farming/gardening actually is (still I can only superficially explain it). I figured I'd at least show up to the potluck, take the farm tour and just see what I could absorb. A potluck of farmers is the potluck you want to eat at! I ended up spending half of my time talking with a self-proclaimed priest named Tim John, who lives out of his car in the Lost Coast most of the year. Interesting.
 Rachel and Arjun, partner and son of another student in Darrick's woodworking program, have been a couple gardening buddies of mine at the Noyo Food Forest. Pictured here is Rachel showing me how to use the tiller so we can create better walkways in the garden. We all confessed that we loved operating heavy machinery, but Rachel definitely one-upped everyone when she started tilling with Arjun strapped across her chest! Mamas around here impress me.  
On my way to Auburn to meet some family, I made a stop at the Rudolph Steiner Biodynamic farm in Fair Oaks, CA. It was a quick stop, but all the plants and animals were beautiful. Pictured here is a pristine sitting area wedged in between the vegetation.