Oregon Home Team
Water drops. Tree roots. Antlers. Soap bubbles. Everything from organisms to human organs serves as inspirations for glass artists Andi Kovel and Justin Parker, the partners behind the Portland-based esque studio. “Esque is a suffix—as in picturesque or burlesque,” says Kovel. “We wanted a studio name that acknowledges that everything that surrounds us influences us.”
To make the legs of his tables black, furniture designer Ken Tomita uses sumi, Japanese calligraphy ink. He got the idea while studying architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. “We were given an assignment to come up with 10 different ways of making wood black,” he says. “I used the ink for one of them. I discovered that it has the right amount of gloss, and it’s a deep black. It’s like painting a void.”
Marjin Wall took up woodworking because she needed furniture for the house she moved into to attend Reed College in Portland in the 1970s. “I didn’t own any furniture, so I signed up for a wood projects class at Portland Community College so that I could make a desk for myself,” she says.