Bring the Outside In

Bring the Outside In

Published on Monday, March 16, 2015. This article appears in the April/May 2015 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Author Staff
Tom Raffield Butterfly Pendant light

Tom Raffield, Butterfly pendant light; Photo: Sideways Cornwall

Oru Kayak
It’s not easy to store a kayak if you live in a tiny apartment. That’s why Oru Kayak, a San Francisco startup, developed an origami-inspired take on the age-old boat. (Oru means “fold” in Japanese.) Each kayak is made from a single sheet of recyclable plastic and folds down to the size of a large portfolio.

Tom Raffield
To produce elegant pieces of furniture and lighting such as this Butterfly pendant, Tom Raffield doesn’t rely on complex machinery. Instead the craftsman and his team, working in Cornwall, England, focus on steam bending, a low-impact method of producing home furnishings that is just one of many of the workshop’s efforts to promote sustainability. 

Noble Goods
At their Brooklyn workshop, Molly FitzSimons and Christopher Moore produce home furnishings and accessories that could easily be described as organic. Their Honeycomb tray is made using solid American hardwoods, such as maple, shown here, and features an inlaid honeycomb pattern coated in bio-derived, environmentally friendly resin. 

Alyson Iwamoto Ceramics
For her Wabi Sabi collection of ceramic jewelry, Los Angeles jewelry artist Alyson Iwamoto drew on a wealth of influences, from her Japanese heritage to the wonders of natural phenomena, in this case the tidal pull of the sun and the moon.

Son of Søren
If you have a hankering for handmade clothing and accessories with a hint of Scandinavian style, you’ll find it easy to love Son of Søren. Run by Suzie Sorenson out of her 100-year-old home in Minneapolis, the line pays homage to Sorenson’s Nordic ancestry as well as the history of menswear. 

Childhood friends Chris Pence and Mark Warren like to describe the aesthetic of their ceramics business as “farmhouse futuristic.” It’s a style shaped by the natural world around their rural North Carolina studio, as seen in this Cloudware vase.