My husband, Jon, lived and worked on El Cosmico in Marfa, so when we moved to Austin, he came straight to Red Bluff Studio to set up his workshop, DOEFABCO. Jon does everything from design to fabrication of whatever comes his way. Whether it's a prototype with a specific job to do or a custom piece of furniture or a short run of mass production, he'll do it start to finish in the shop.
Red Bluff is situated on the banks of the Colorado River and is home to landscape architects Mark Word Design, Design Build Adventurer Jack Sanders, screen printers Satch Grimley and Jaime Cervantes, architects Robie Gay and Lucy Begg of Thoughtbarn, graphic designer Mishka Westell, pedal steel guitar player Jesse Ebaugh and cabinetmaker Jon Williams of Construct. It's a great setting and a great group of people—lots of different skills and personalities in a little group of buildings.
Before Rainey Street was the nightlife mecca it is today, El Naranjo was a humble food trailer on one of its sleepy sidewalks. Curious foodies ventured over to savor its authentic Oaxacan delicacies, happily dining at weathered picnic tables. Then, neighboring bars popped up—few that offered food—and El Naranjo filled the void by delivering sustenance to the bar stools of hungry imbibers.
Fast forward four years: Rainey Street is all grown up and so is El Naranjo. The humble food trailer graduated to the house behind it and has become a full-service restaurant and a sophisticated oasis among today’s hyper-social Rainey Street scene. The foresight of owners Iliana de la Vega and Ernesto Torrealba has paid off handsomely. But this isn’t their first rodeo: this husband and wife team previously ran one of Oaxaca’s most popular restaurants for over a decade.
From letterpress stationary to handmade pillows, stuffed animals to perfume, Take Heart celebrates designers, artists and artisans from near and far.
Over the course of a year-long interaction design and social entrepreneurship program at the Austin Center for Design, Diana Griffin and Cheyenne Weaver became intrigued by the ways in which young women shape their identities. “Finding one’s own voice within the community is a really powerful thing,” Weaver observes. Last spring, Griffin and Weaver founded GirlsGuild, a community of makers that supports aspiring artisans as they develop their sense of self, both as creative individuals and as young women. Today, GirlsGuild connects girls with makers across the city through a variety of apprenticeship programs—from a one-day course in narrative photography to a four-month-long jewelry making apprenticeship. Whether students learn a specific skill or explore the entrepreneurial aspects of working as an independent artist, GirlsGuild programs aim to give young women a dynamic skill set and a lifelong love of making.
I grew up in the Post Oak Savannah outside Austin, where my parents were in their hippie phase being potters and homesteaders. We moved into Austin when I was eight, because my folks co-owned Threadgill’s. I was raised working in the restaurant, until, as an adolescent, I got swept into the Austin punk scene of the early 1980’s—skateboarding, running wild around the streets of old Austin and getting into trouble. Luckily, I was “redirected” from all this by art school, by becoming a kayaking guide and later, a competitor in the luge at the Olympic trials. I also learned to weld then from my mentor, Woody, and I haven’t stopped since.
Within the past few months, Austin has seen a proliferation of notable publications emerge from its creative community. Two of these, SYNONYM Journal and Pastelegram, aim to reimagine the intersection of arts, culture and the print medium while offering readers ancillary content and commentary via their websites. A third, Transgressor, sets out to explore new digital territory, guided by a boundary-pushing outlook on traditional societal norms.
Five creatives who work with their hands in different mediums show us how to jacket up for the trend of season.
The Fabricator, Christian Klein
Photographer Faustinus Deraet has hung his hat around the world, from Belgium to Mexico City and Austin. Over the course of his travels, Deraet often brings with him a surprising medium to chronicle his story: a plastic toy Holga camera. With its slightly unfocused and distorted images, the Holga lends a surreal, captivating quality to Deraet’s work. “I like it because it is kind of a surprise,” he says.