They were the first company to put zippers on jackets. They helped make icons out of James Dean, Bruce Springsteen, and the Ramones. When you think of the iconic American leather jacket, you’re thinking of Schott NYC. Still run by third and fourth generations of the Schott family, they continue to make all the classics like Peacoats, Bombers, and Cafe Racers. They also make fantastic non-leather garments. They are not 100% American made any longer, so be sure to click on “Made in USA” for your personal piece of Rock and Roll history.
I was recently invited to an intimate dinner at the Marvimon to learn about and celebrate Ketel One’s Modern Craft Project. Friends from The Fox is Black, LA I’m Yours, Refinery 29 and Flavorpill were all there, making it quite a fun night! The superb three-course meal (by Animal!!!) and delicious cocktails were quite a treat, but the most interesting thing was hearing about the Modern Craft Project and realizing what a cool opportunity it is for all the amazing Makers I know!
Partnering with the global creative magazine Wallpaper*, Ketel One is on a quest to find contemporary craftsmen who bring traditional skills into the modern day. They’re looking for people who want to take their work, their careers and themselves further. They are looking for great people who make great things, so whether you’re a furniture maker, an illustrator or a leather accessories designer, all you have to do is apply online by March 20th. Unlike so many of these online talent searches, the Modern Craft Project’s application is short and sweet – they mainly want to see your work and let it speak for itself. No need to enter 10 email addresses of friends, sign your life away or any other gimmicks. This is a pure celebration of great modern craft!
Oh wait, I didn’t tell what winner get! Well I saved the best for last… Up for grabs is the chance to be featured in a unique Modern Craft Directory plus winners get coverage in Wallpaper*, and the extraordinary levels of international exposure that go with it. Seriously people, I really hope loads of you out there will apply since it takes no more then a few minutes! Ketel One will also be helping selected craftsmen to take their work to the next level and to an even wider audience by giving them the chance to win a share of the Ketel One Legacy prize fund.
Being with everyone at the dinner, talking about the city and our friends and our projects, I became truly appreciative of all the amazing artists and makers that I know. I’m surrounded by creative, forward-thinking, risk-taking Doers, who produce wonderful work! I hope may of you are reading this and really hope that you will apply to the Modern Craft Project. Getting the type of press coverage and prestige that Wallpaper* brings is such a dream! Let’s turn it into reality…
I was asked by the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon to contribute an essay for their current exhibition Object Focus: The Bowl. I chose these Heath ashtrays, which I never really thought of as bowls before (but they are, they’re bowls of FIRE!). You can read all the essays here or on display at the museum.
Artist: Heath Ceramics
I don’t remember my grandparents ever smoking in front of me. I imagine I must have encountered the crinkle of a cellophane-covered pack on a countertop or heard the metallic snap of a lighter in a distant room; I likely wondered aloud why their couch cushions had a distinctly different scent than the ones in our cigarette-free house. Whether they meant to or not, all evidence of my elders participating in their evening ritual was always kept far from my inquisitive toddler brain.
But I always knew they smoked. I knew because of the ashtrays.
A decade before I would consider putting a cigarette to my own lips, I thought smoking was cool because of these tiny receptacles that were stashed throughout my grandparents’ home. I coveted these ashtrays, wanted to take them home and collect them on my bookshelf. They were beautiful in a way my porcelain tea set was not: unadorned ceramic vessels and clean-lined glass orbs, carved with dramatic indentations and hidden crevices for cradling and collecting the smoldering white cylinders. By nature of the danger they accompanied, they were near-mythical objects in themselves—like miniature, portable campfires I was not allowed to touch.
Yet since then, the ashtray has been stripped of its coffee table stature. Once a required grade school art class assignment, it has become a taboo accoutrement. And as smoking has been banished from American interiors, the tradition of ashtray design has also been extinguished. These three Heath Ceramics ashtrays are relics of not only another era, but another culture entirely.
Production of Heath’s ashtrays began in the late 1950?s at the company’s Sausalito factory. In fact, the notched ashtray design—soon to be the industry standard—was reportedly invented by Edith Heath (a smoker) who devised a method to slice the slim slots into the sides of erstwhile bowls. As part of their Coupe line, known for its earthy tones and unglazed edges, the ashtrays were, for a time, a popular extension of the brand’s growing houseware empire.
But when the company was purchased in 2003 by Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey, the young couple who have revitalized and modernized Heath, the ashtrays were slowly phased out, deemed inappropriate for inclusion in the permanent collection. They’re not gone forever: Petravic and Bailey recognize that they’re representative of a moment in time, however fleeting, and Heath has preserved the molds to produce them on special request. But one can imagine even those requests are declining as time goes on.
Last year, only 19% of Americans claimed they had smoked a cigarette in the past week, down from 42% in 1965. If this trend continues, smoking may be all but a hazy memory a few decades from now, an antiquated spectacle best witnessed through Mad Men reruns. Once a fixture of cocktail parties and coffee shops, the ashtray—that stylish symbol of ceramic innovation, the handsome centerpiece of conversation—will be invited to the table only if it’s parading as a candy dish.
Alissa Walker is a writer, a gelato-eater, and a walker in LA. Follow her at @gelatobaby and read more at awalkerinla.com
I am a denim fanatic and am always on the lookout for great new styles to add to my wardrobe. When I saw this adorable pair byMarc Jacobs, I knew what my next DIY would be. I love that he used a light washed denim with distressing; it is such a fun and refreshing take on polka dots.
1. Add about one tbsp of water to 3 tbsp of white fabric paint on a paper plate. I chose to water the paint down a bit to match the look of the washed out denim.
2. Mix the paint and water together and dip your circle sponge brush into the paint mixture.
3. Press the circle sponge brush onto the denim. I painted the first dot at the front side of the denim, near the belt loops.
4. Measure the next line of polka dots. Mine are about 3″ apart horizontally and 1 1/2″ apart vertically.
5. Continue to paint the dots all over the front side. Let dry for a couple hours, then paint the back side. Let fully dry. It is important to set the fabric paint, if you plan on washing the jeans later. Once the dots are fully dry, set the iron on medium and run across the front and back side of the pant a couple times. Remember to constantly move the iron, and not to use steam.
Some may call Rob’s profession a dying one but Chicago’s Butcher & Larder is doing just fine. Rob’s mission is to have Butcher & Larder be Chicago’s first, all whole animal butcher shop, and provide the community with the highest quality meat cut to order. Watch this beautiful video shot by Sergio Salgado that we stumbled upon on Those Who Make.
Chef Robert Luna sits to chat with us about his journey into Mas Malo and his inspiration behind his Chicano menu. C h i c a n o : A Mexican/American… a term of ethnic pride created in the 1960’s -1970s during the political movement.
I say Chicano menu because most people will go into MÀS MALO expecting to receive a full blown Mexican Affair but really the inspiration behind the restaurant is to celebrate the unique dishes of Eastsiders. Sure they serve your classic Mexican dishes like tacos and salsas, guacamole and chips, but Mas Malo tries to bring you the traditional plates one may have grown up with.
It’s the tradition behind the food that I appreciated the most. Chef Robert and I reminisce on our mom’s gizados, beans, frijoles de la hoya con queso and other basic dishes that with little money fed our entire family. It was true, creativity in the kitchen was the way of eating, we had limited ingredients but somehow the flavor was always incredible. Robert jokes about the traditional Mole plate, and how it was just as good the DAY AFTER for lunch. These classic dishes became our traditional every day dishes, that sometimes even lasted a couple of days, and the flavor was just as good. Chile’s Rellenos, quesadillas, hand made tortillas, tacos tostados, birria, carne asada, are only a few other traditional plates that as Mexican Americans we have always incorporated into our meals.
Chef Robert shares it with all of LA, “its yours just as it is mine”, he says, this menu is for everyone.
Los Angeles is a melting pot as most say but sometimes we forget the hidden little corners, that make up a big part of the LA culture. These different communities celebrate food and tradition and inspire most restaurant menus here in LA but few restaurants present and celebrate their tradition like MAS MALO. The most unique part of Mas Malo is how many different kinds of people walk through those doors, it is a picture of what Los Angeles should be.
“Eating should be a communal experience”, says Chef Robert and we can’t help but agree with him.
If you want a taste of the Mexican American plates with exceptional and hospitable service, Mas Malo is the place to get it. -Ella
MJ and Ella Favorites:
Soft Chewy Chips + Guacamole(#yum) + Flight of Salsas; Serrano Chile & Tomato, Chile Negro y Chocolate, Burnt Habanero & Creme, Tomatillo,
Birria de Res; Shredded beef in savory broth mild chiles (with Flour tortillas)
The Rooster; Guzano Mezcal, Bourbon, Lime Juice
Red Eye; O Los Altos Reposado, Lemon Juice, float of Red Wine
MAS MALO: (Mexican)515 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Malo, 4326 W. Sunset Blvd @Silver Lake
*Special thanks to all of the staff including Gilbert and Matt for the experience…