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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Archive for the Art Category

Portland Supply Co. Studio Visit

Posted by Alison Wu | May 28th, 2014 | Filed under Art, Design, Photography, Uncategorized, Who We Are


The Portland Supply Co. stopped by our NE Portland headquarters a few weeks ago to check out our studio space, see some of our new designs and chat with our designers, Peter and Carma. P.S. Co. launched in November of 2013 with the aim of connecting the Portland creative community with the larger global community. The blog features Portland makers, designers and artists showcasing their studios and creative processes. Through careful curation, the blog intends to create an insider’s guide to the aesthetic and culture of Portland. The 2 women behind the blog interviewed Peter, our men’s designer, to gain some insight into the inspiration behind the brand as well as why Portland is the perfect place for Nau to call home. Check out the blog post, here.

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The Escape Collective: Exploring the Other Side of Ordinary

Posted by leighann | January 15th, 2014 | Filed under Art, Design, Travel


Four friends. Four days. No limits. What would you create? That’s what a group of friends had in mind when they set out to build a Geodesic dome. Two months later, their passion-fueled venture landed them a coveted spot at Summit, a Davos-meets-Ted conference for young thought leaders. Self-named the Escape Collective, this fledging group of makers, creators and designers are our third portrait in the Uncommoners—our blog series dedicated to exploring the other side of ordinary.

But this isn’t a story about how to build a 30-foot, low-frequency geodesic dome or how to sew a massive waterproof cover composed of 256 panels of unused material from Nike golf bags (yes, that did happen). This isn’t even a story about the Escape Collective and the other 800-or-so entrepreneurs, artists and leaders they joined at Summit’s newly acquired Powder Mountain Resort last July. No. This is a story about freedom, creativity, and the ideas born out of unencumbered space and time. Because as Einstein once said, “Creativity is the residue of time wasted.” And in a world punctuated by deadlines and deliverables, no one embraces this lost maxim more than The Escape Collective.

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The Best of Instagram

Posted by Bryanna | March 11th, 2013 | Filed under Art, Design, Photography

Here at Nau we’ve developed a minor obsession with Instagram, the online photo-sharing service. What we love about it: sharing our daily adventures; and following some of our favorite photographers influencers, and everyday friends who have a phone and an excellent eye.

We figured we would spread the love and share our favorite Instagrammers. From urban ballerinas to traveling musicians, we are thoroughly entertained and often obsessed with checking our phones.

@ben_moon – Ben is a photographer based here Portland who has helped us on numerous shoots, including  some of our Spring 13 location photography. His adventurous spirit shines through in the photos of all the places his work takes him.

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Lost in Fiber: Musings from an Environmental Textile Artist

Posted by Guest | March 1st, 2013 | Filed under Art, Design

(Nested) Flotsam Fiber Form (photo: Abigail Doan)

This week in the Thought Kitchen, environmental fiber artist, writer, and Nau ambassador Abigail Doan shares her unique perspective on the intersection of natural fibers, culture, sustainability, and the beauty of art in the everyday landscape. 

Performance fabrics and fiber have had a long love affair. The earliest Paleolithic string skirts were essentially mini-aprons with seductive fringes of twined fiber strands that served as fashion. We now rely on both engineered and natural fibers to keep us ventilated and warm when we venture out for work and play, and the thoughtful crafting of our personal garments continues to demonstrate what makes us attractive and uniquely human.

This is why I chose fiber as an art medium and vehicle for expression. Even though I had previously worked in documentary film and explored a range of more traditional studio methods, I ultimately opted to work with fiber and textiles because of their versatile nature and the low-impact/non-toxic possibilities. As an environmental artist, I am an advocate for slow crafting methods, the advancement of sustainable design strategies, and the preservation of wide open spaces. I use simple strands of spun or delicately crocheted fiber to draw on the land for site-specific installations that are carefully deconstructed after documentation.

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Harvesting Creativity with Nolan Calisch: Artist, Farmer and Nau Model

Posted by bowen | February 21st, 2013 | Filed under Art, Sustainability, Who We Are

photo by Matt D’Annunzio

In the second installment of his three-part blog series, Bowen Ames—our moonlighting Art Director—profiles Nolan Calisch. This artist, photographer, and founder of Wealth Underground Farm uses an unconventional approach to sustainability to live his art every day.

Nolan Calish is equal parts farmer and artist. Though seemingly exclusive, these two identities became harmonious early in his adulthood. While studying filmmaking and photography in college, Nolan grew a garden for his local community. Soon after, he found himself working on several farms and large gardens before moving to Portland to begin an apprenticeship at Sauvie Island Organics.

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De Culinaire Werkplaats

Posted by Alex | October 14th, 2012 | Filed under Art, Design, Sustainability

When you eat vegetarian, do you see an empty spot on your plate?

If you grew up—as I did—grudgingly picking at the obligatory vegetables that garnished the evening’s meat and potatoes, an all-veggie meal has some serious cultural baggage to overcome. Through family dinners, church socials and neighborhood potlucks, we’re taught that supper is a piece of meat with two sides. The idea is so commonplace that we’ve even designed paper plates to the proper proportions.

Call it the “Chinet” approach to meal planning.

So what do you do with that big section of the compartment plate when you’re no longer working with meat? Is it a hole to be filled? Or an invitation to creativity?

These are the questions that animate De Culinaire Werkplaats (The Culinary Workshop), a conceptual test-kitchen in Amsterdam’s rejuvenated Westerpark neighborhood. Half design studio, half restaurant, it seeks to shake up visitors’ culinary lifestyle by redefining not just vegetarian cuisine, but by exploring the creative possibilities of food.

Where many vegetarian restaurants attempt to recreate the flavors and forms of traditional meals, De Culinaire Werkplaats seeks to create entirely new experiences by drawing inspiration from a wide variety of sources—from fashion to farmland, art to architecture. A springtime menu modeled dishes on the landscape of The Netherlands’ countryside; this week, a visitor can enjoy plates suggested by a visit to Shanghai. Cabbages, beans and water chestnut tumble together in the “Shanghai Laundry;” ask for “The Man in his PJs,” and you’ll get a dessert of dim sum, chocolate and tapioca.

And food is only part of the experiment. Founders Marjolein Wintjes and Eric Meursing have crafted wearable fashion from edible fabrics, produced vegetable and fruit papers and put on conceptual art projects. Even the bill challenges convention: while the drink card is traditionally priced, it’s up to you to decide what a fair value is for the five-course fixed menu.

Taken together, these experiments offer a refreshing approach to the challenge of living in a world limited resources: in the process of creating a new culinary language, De Culinaire Werkplaats are showing how imagination can fill an empty plate.

Learn more, and check out the week’s menu, at deculinairewerkplaats.nl. Open Friday for dinner, Saturday for Lunch and Dinner.

Behind the Scenes: Global City

Posted by bowen | September 17th, 2012 | Filed under Art, Who We Are

I feel comfortable speaking for everyone on this shoot when I say it was a pretty dreamy couple of days. It’s a rare circumstance when everyone collaborating on a photo project all know each other, professionally or personally, genuinely like each other, and love the product and places being shot.

From a lofty fourth floor of the The Good Mod surrounded by inspiring mid-century furniture, to an early morning on Swan Island overlooking Portland just as it was waking up — the general mood of the shoot was light and easy.

Our challenge was to find the hidden spots in Portland that resonate as parts of cities around the world. Luckily, I was just back from New York, our photographer, Ben Moon, was fresh off a plane from Amsterdam (jet lag to prove it), and our models Ryan and Sydney are both seasoned travelers. That said, our eyes were quick to find walls that reminded us of Berlin, park
scenes that reminded us of Paris, and street corners that looked just like Soho.

Despite being unseasonably warm and therefor a bit sweaty in Nau’s cozy fall collection, we were all excited to review the images and see the the trip we took together.


Midway: Message From The Gyre

Posted by Alex | August 24th, 2012 | Filed under Art, Positive Change, Sustainability

“Do we have the courage to face the realities of our time?” – Chris Jordan

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, two thousand miles from the nearest continent, the skeletons of baby albatrosses reveal a sobering reality. Small mounds of feather and bone, their grey remains curl around unexpected piles of color: bottle caps, fish nets and cigaret lighters where their stomachs used to be.

These birds are the latest victims of a plastic plague borne to the shores of Midway Island by the currents of the Pacific Gyre. Caught in the circular currents of the North Pacific, generations of our garbage have accumulated into a soup of plastic covering thousands of square miles. Suspended below the surface, the waste is invisible from above, but is often mistaken for food by sea creatures of all sizes. In the tragic case of the albatross, it’s then fed from mother to hatchling, dooming the baby birds to a premature death.

deadbirdWe’ve often covered the Pacific Gyre garbage patch on The Thought Kitchen, it’s impact on the Oregon Coast, and other efforts to draw attention to the unfolding ecological disaster. But few of those efforts compare to MIDWAY, the latest project from photographer Chris Jordan, which documents the tragedy in unflinching detail.

Back when Nau was first starting out, one of our founders was fond of asking a simple question: “How do we ignore what we know to be true?” As an artist and photgrapher, Jordan has been asking much the same question through works that open people’s eyes to the true impacts of our consumption. Back in 2007, we covered his project “Running The Numbers,” which sought to give scale to statistics that catalog our waste—numbers like two million: the number of plastic beverage bottles used in the US every five minutes. Now he’s turned his lens to the Pacific Gyre, and with the help of Kickstarter Funds is filming a feature documentary on the unfolding horror resulting from that consumption.

Check out the trailer above, and learn more about Chris’ project on his blog. You can make a donation to support the project here.

The Camera Steals the Soul, Part 3: cycling in cinema

Posted by leighann | May 8th, 2012 | Filed under Art, Bikes, Who We Are


Since most of us around here are getting back in the saddle after a rather soggy winter (and it’s bike month), we decided it’s time for the third installment of our blog series— The Camera Steals the Soul. You might remember it—our compilation of cheesy Hollywood flicks that have sucked the living soul out of sport (and a few that haven’t). Born out of a few drinks on a cold winter’s night some years ago, our “ode-to-trash” anthology has tackled the ski and surf genres. Now it’s time to shift gears to—yeah, you guessed it—cycling.

Of course, this time around, we’re drinking Prosecco and staring down an 80-degree weekend, which is why our list is short. Plus, we got sidetracked on youtube. You’ll see why.

The Good
Breaking Away
Better off Dead
Napoleon Dynamite
Revenge of the Nerds
A Sunday in Hell

So Bad, It’s Good
American Flyers
Pee Wee’s Big Adventures

The Guilty Pleasures
Sh*t Cyclists Say

Honorable Mention

Wizard of Oz
The Goonies

What did we miss? Let us know.

Land Artisan

Posted by leighann | December 16th, 2011 | Filed under Art, Design
copyright: the anthropologist

© the anthropologist

Stunning. That’s the word we utter when we look at the photos from Jim Denevan’s massive land art on an icy lake in southwestern Siberia.

Some of you might remember him. Back in 2009, this surfer-turned-environmental artist created the world’s largest drawing in the fine sand of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Using chain link fencing and a single engine plane, he carved out more than 1,000 circles covering a swath of land wider than Manhattan.

A year later, Anthropologie commissioned Jim to create a massive drawing for the anthropologist, a thought-provoking website which showcases the work of inspiring individuals. Over the course of two weeks, Jim and his crew carved a startling spiral of circles, along a Fibonacci curve, on the frozen surface of Lake Baikal, eventually converting nine square miles into a work of art. A team of filmmakers, photographers and artists were there to capture every moment and turn it into the breathtaking film—Art Hard.

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

To find screenings of Art Hard, visit their website at Arthard.com.

© the anthropologist

© the anthropologist

© the anthropologist

© the anthropologist

© Jim Denevan

© Jim Denevan

© Jim Denevan

© Jim Denevan

© Jim Denevan

© Jim Denevan

Find out more about Jim’s impressive environmental art installations by visiting his website at JimDenevan.com.