Archive for October, 2011

Portland: Life Long Work Month

After Friday’s Creative Mornings talk w/ Kate Bingaman-Burt we headed back over to Portland State to kick off a month-long project with 9 of Kate’s design students. Named after a project Chad & Jesse Brown did together in 2009, Life Long Work Month is in an intensive lesson in collaboration. The students (hi, friends!) hole up in the school’s gallery, on display, and together drive out as much shared work as they can handle in the space of four weeks. Chad & I supplied them with this kit of inspiration, we named it the Keep Going Kit, to provide them with a little creative fuel for their endeavor. It’s an assortment of random thrifted nonsense and useful tools (Elixir of Ideas is simply, ahem, repacked 5-Hr Energy) it was meant to be a catalyst for random association as well as lend some silliness to the whole affair. It was so much fun! I can’t wait to see how this progresses.

Up next, snapshots of all the ephemera & collected bits from the trip…

***UPDATED!**** Here’s a link to the student’s Life Long Work Month tumblr where they are documenting the goings-on. They are actually using it as a forum to brainstorm and contact each other which is a really great nosedive right into their process. Thanks for sending me the link, buddies!

{Image of Kate taken by Matt Spiro, the rest are shots by Chad}


Portland: Day 1

So far everything is awesome here, just like I thought it would be. So far we’ve done two student critiques, a talk, visited ADX and the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) (which is also in an old school, just like PS1 in NYC!). Just about to head to Dove Vivi for some cornbread crust pizza, but here’s the day’s snaps:

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Lovely students & members of the public! I know you look sleepy here, but I *think* you enjoyed yourselves.


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Kate Bingaman-Burt introducing while Will Bryant documents me, documenting him. Ha!

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Will’s sunny studio filled with in-process paintings.

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The rest are from the around town, ADX, and hilarious file cabinet sculpture from PICA though I forgot to write down the artist’s name. Also for more on our talk go here.

Another 1st: Farm Anatomy giveaway!

It really is a week of firsts over here because I’m lucky enough to have in my hot little hands, a signed copy of Farm Anatomy by the one and only Julia Rothman. (Well, okay the PUBLISHER technically has the signed copy for one of you lucky ducks, but that just doesn’t sound as sexy).

And by now there’s enough pictures of this gorgeous book gliding around the internet that I don’t really feel the need to post a gabillion more, though I do love some of the process screen shots & sketches that Grace posted on Design*sponge. Suffice it to say that it’s beautifully composed, all drawn by hand in Julia’s trademark style. Chock-full of lore inspired by Julia’s in-law’s farm it feels like one part reference guide and one part family heirloom.

So instead of pictures, I decided to do something else I’ve never done on this blog: a recipe! I knew as soon as I joined this book tour I wanted to do something extra special and as I was perusing the pages I landed on a recipe for good ol’ Shepard’s Pie. There’s something especially nostalgic about it for me I suppose, brings me back to my church basement days and the age-old Minnesota tradition of cramming casserole dishes with warm and hearty stick-to-your-ribs filings. Mmm, Fall, is that you in my mouth? I thought so.

This particular rendition follows convention almost exactly, with savory base layer of meat & veg with an inch-thick top hat of mashed potato. Instead of lamb I used ground turkey, I added leeks and fresh sage and thyme, and I couldn’t resist including a couple parsnips in with the potatoes because I love me some root vegetables. For a vegetarian spin-off, I think lentils would be a delicious sub for the meat as well. Definitely will try that version next!

Shepard’s Pie
Adapted from Farm Anatomy and Epicurious.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 leek, quartered, washed and chopped
2 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 pound ground lamb (or substitute half with another ground meat)
1 cup broth, any kind
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Various fresh herbs, 1 tablespoon each
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
1 cup frozen peas
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
splash of cup milk (any)
Salt & pepper to taste
Pecorino Romano/Parmesan/chives for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat oil, then add the onion, leek, carrot, garlic and meat. Cook until browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Drain the fat and add the broth, tomato paste, herbs, and salt and pepper. Simmer until the juices thicken, about 10 minutes, then add the peas.
4. Pour the mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish; set aside.
5. Meanwhile, bring the potatoes to a boil in salted water. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes; drain.
6. Mash the potatoes with the butter, milk, greek yogurt if you’re me, and salt and pepper
7. Spread them over the meat mixture, then crosshatch the top with a fork.
8. Bake until golden, 30 to 35 minutes.
9. Cool 10 minutes before plating, sprinkle with chives & Romano cheese for flair.
Serves 6.

How to enter the giveaway:
1. Donate to the tip jar.
2. Leave a comment.
3. Like Pitch on Facebook
4. Tweet it on the twitters, but make sure you @reply me.

You can enter up to two times! The giveaway will be open until Friday the 28th at 5pm and I will announce the randomly-drawn winner on Monday.

And finally here’s a list of the rest of the book tour’s stopovers:
10/10 – Mint Design blog
10/12 – Growing with Plants
10/14 – Things We Make
10/15 – Print & Pattern
10/17 – Small Measure
10/19 – SF Girl by Bay
10/21 – Pikaland
10/23 – The Spunky Coconut
10/25 – Reading My Tea Leaves
10/26 – The Post Family
10/27 – Book By Its Cover
10/28 – Design for Mankind

Good luck!! If you don’t win you can always snag a copy of the book here.

{Image credits: SF Girl by Bay, Design*sponge, and me.}