Portland artist Kendall Mingey approaches design with a sense of humor, which is clearly evident in her stainless steel barware. Liven up your martinis with narwhal skewers ($75 for four) or open your brews with a hungry chipmunk ($60). Display a tarantula bottle opener ($150) as part functional piece, part tongue-in-cheek art. “I made the tarantula after theorizing as to what people were least likely to want to see on a kitchen counter,” Mingey says. Each of her items is made from an original wax sculpture that is molded, replicated and lost-wax cast in stainless steel at the small family-owned Calcagno Foundry in Boring. E.H.
Be sure to check out Mingey's new business, Cupolette.
Stick 'em up
Love decorative wallpapers but have a fear of commitment? Boost Graphics of Beaverton offers a stylish solution: stunning peel-and-stick wall coverings. If you can’t find what you like among their 200,000 images available, you can use an image of your own for a unique piece. “It’s a brand-new concept in wallpaper,” says president Gary Clark. Other companies offer similar products, but the Oregon company prices are competitive. Each piece runs 48 inches wide and as tall as you want — because they’re printed on rolls — and can be lined up to create a full mural. Our favorites are from the graphic series that look like ’60s pop-art wallpaper. You can choose from eight materials, but the most popular has proven to be a polyester fabric blend. “It has more of a matte finish, so it looks really good,” says Clark. V.M.
$5.50 per square foot; boostgfx.com
Each beautifully handcrafted piece of furniture by Ralph Phillips of Bend is an heirloom piece. He studied sculpture at Pacific Northwest College of Art and brings an artist’s eye to his wood and metal work. “I was really influenced by Japanese architecture and Scandinavian design of the ’60s,” he says. He likes the mix of “heavily textured wood with really smooth,” and the contrast of light and dark woods. “I try to incorporate as many curves as possible.” V.M.
$1,000 for an end table, up to $20,000 for a seven-piece dining set; at The Real Mother Goose in Portland
Bicycle chains and pedals, steel frames and fenders, gears, cogs, bits and bobs are the stuff of Chris Cole’s lamps and sculptures. He’d always painted and still does, but Cole also likes “messing around with motors and tools.” While working as a bike mechanic, he found inspiration in the discarded metal pieces and taught himself how to weld. The Bend artist says he’s inspired by the visionaries of the industrial revolution, and is fascinated by machines and troubled by mankind’s separation from nature. His imaginative articulated lamps and complex kinetic sculptures have a kind of steampunk style. They often take the shape of animals, such as a bird that flaps its metal wings or a fish that squiggles with the turn of a hand crank. “It’s a two-speed fish,” he says. His work sells in galleries, shops and through his website. Most days Cole is busy in the bus he converted into a long, narrow workshop, though he still works as a bike mechanic about two days a week. “I definitely geek out on gears,” he says. V.M.
This stunning Skatelamp is created by Portland woodworker Paul Sykes as a collaboration with recycled skateboard jewelry company MapleXO. Sykes takes the industrial waste of skateboard manufacturing and painstakingly creates gorgeous lighting from the colorful maple veneer leftovers. “The variety of color patterns in the wood each tell a story,” Sykes says. “Some colorways are more masculine, some more feminine. Some say ‘classy,’ some are playful and childlike.” The rainbow wood is steamed and bent into the organic lamp shape. Sykes’ favorite part is knocking the mold open and seeing that curve for the first time. “It’s the proverbial moment of truth,” he says. From dragging the raw materials out of a dumpster in Tijuana to cracking open the final product, each lamp takes about two weeks to finish. Sykes is best known for his slick wooden bike fenders, though he considers them a side project to his first love of furniture making. This flashy lamp will brighten your home in more ways than one. E.H.
Portland interior designer Jim Staicoff is moving into uncharted territory with his new line of wallpapers, Paper Paint Press. He partnered with local artists such as Amy Ruppel and Stephanie Dyer to create his artisanal wall coverings. Ruppel crafted animal-inspired damasks perfect for a Pacific Northwest statement wall, and Dyer’s tessellations look like classic wallpaper patterns from far away but offer intriguing details when you look closely at their designs. The wallpaper is printed in Portland, and Staicoff has plans to translate the designs into other furnishings in the future. E.H.
$8 per square foot, with quantity discounts available;
The bright and colorful paintings of Kathy Deggendorfer of Sisters look like framed happiness. Now she’s put her work on mugs. If the caffeine doesn’t wake you, maybe the red and yellow cup will. V.M.
$13.95; at the Mary Mark Museum store in the Oregon Historical Society, Portland; ohs.org
Old Portland Hardware & Architectural is a fabulous collection of finds from all over the country. From large walnut slabs salvaged from barns to midcentury light fixtures, owner Bret Hodgert has an eye for unique pieces to fit any decorating style. So much so that the store recently had to move to a new location with triple the space to hold all his gorgeous finds. You could easily spend an afternoon in the 14,000-square-foot store perusing the aisles. E.H.
700 NE 22nd Ave., Portland; oldportlandhardware.com
Best in school
Schoolhouse Electric’s collaboration with Christine Schmidt of Yellow Owl Workshop is dubbed the Victory Regalia Collection. Inspired by classic sports, the collection includes pennant-shaped and letterman-inspired pillows, as well as replicas of vintage trophies made of cast brass. We love the limited edition reissue of Yellow Owl Workshop’s Champion Trophy Vase ($75 medium and $89 large) made of stark white glazed ceramic. It has even been reimagined into a whimsical lamp ($325). Award your home a winning touch. E.H.
For treasure-hunt shopping, Found on Fremont is a treat. Several dealers fill this Portland store with an eclectic mix of items picked up at moving sales, estate sales and auctions. Proprietor Lonnie Henry’s specialty is refurbished furniture. “I give it new life,” she says. She usually paints it a solid color, sands it for a distressed look and changes out the hardware. V.M.
Night table, $50-$60; dresser, $100-$150; foundonfremont.typepad.com
This little light
Twyla Clark first started making handmade soaps in 1999 using a recipe from her grandmother. A year later, she added candle making to her repertoire with her Primitive Lights candles. Her beeswax comes from honeybee farmer Nick VanCalcar in McMinnville. She ships her handcrafted goods around the country, and they’re also available in several stores. V.M.