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A Look Back at Sea Salt by Aleksandra Zee

We just celebrated the opening of our Instagram photo show #Summer (up through the end of September) but we wanted to take a look back at our August artist Aleksandra Zee and her incredible wood works in her show Sea Salt. We enjoyed having having her work in our gallery for the past month. Below, check out a mix of photos from the opening reception as well as the installation of Aleksandra's show. 

 

Giselle + Bodhi, Rachel Robertson, Aleksandra, and Antrom during reception night.

 

 

 

Aleksandra with her work after installing.

 

Photos by Derek Macario.

Rare Device Annual Staff Retreat with 3 Fish Studios

Earlier last month the Rare Device team closed our shops for the day for our Annual Staff Retreat. We had the pleasure of spending the day with Annie and Eric, the painter and printmaker wife and husband team of 3 Fish Studios, at their Outer Sunset studio and retail space. Rare Device has been carrying their work for years; 3 Fish is now a staple at both Rare Device locations. 3 Fish Studios also participated in our California Printed group show back in January of this year.


It was the first time for many of us at 3 Fish Studios' storefront. We fell in love with their work all over again. Everywhere we looked there was something special: art on almost every inch of the walls, prints of all sizes displayed, print drying racks, and a gigantic printing press in the center of the front room. 

 The backyard is a gem with a large reclaimed wooden table and strung lights overhead, it is a great place to lounge.

 Rooney even found himself quite comfortable.

We were in for a treat as Eric led us in a linocut workshop. We gathered over coffee and pastries from Devil's Teeth Baking Company and Eric told us about the history of their studio and how they decided to quit their day jobs and work full time on their art practice. For many of us with art school backgrounds, they are living the dream.

Eric showed us one of his massive Godzilla linocuts. 

Eric walked us through the linocut process and explained the basics of this printing method that he's made his bread and butter. We all brought images to work on, illustrations and photos that Eric scanned up to workable size. Then we had to trace our images and transfer the outlines to the surface of the plate.

Kehau's cats in progress.

Then the real labor kicked in as we began to carve out the image shapes. Some of us worked with minimal detailing but ambitious nonetheless with how we wanted our images to turn out.

My summer inspired illustrations in progress.

After a few hours of carving, we all came together for a lunch break. We walked a block over to Outerlands, which was also a first for some us. Their newly expanded and renovated space was something we've been looking forward to this year.

Crew ready to dig in.

We had our eyes on their grilled cheese, cubano, and egg and bacon sandwiches and tried the ginger brew and bitter lemon sodas.

Back in the studio I got to see some of Annie's work in progress. She is working on a full series of US states with her beloved bear motif and the respective states' flowers. The second floor serves as Annie's painting studio and storage for their extra canvases and materials.


A few of us finished carving, then the magic started happening when we rolled ink over our plates and put them through the presses. We were excited to see our art come to life as we selected some color paper to give our images some pop and began to pump out prints.

Logan's print of sea urchin flowers.

Eric going over using the large press.

The 3 Fish press is nearly as tall as Steph.

And what's a studio without a keg with a custom tap?

 The printing vibes were flowing as we all got our plates carved and got to see each others prints come out. We all had a blast printing together. We got the printing bug that day and got to take our prints home.

Lexi's fresh lady print.

One of Kehau's final prints.


We would like to thank Annie, Eric and Orly of 3 Fish Studios for having us for the day.

It was also the last day with our summer intern Logan. From all of us at Rare Device, thank you, Logan for all your work the past few months and we wish you the best on the upcoming school year.

 

- Derek Macario

RD Noe Valley: Cactus Piñatas by Lexi Martinez

If you've visited our new location in Noe Valley at 24th and Castro, you have most likely seen our beautiful window display by talented artist (and RD's assistant buyer) Lexi Martinez! The window is full of colorful piñatas, golden ribbon, and paper and felt flowers; just perfect for the summer season. I was able to interview Lexi about her process and inspiration that led to these colorful, unique creations.

Logan Evans: What materials did you use to make the various piñatas?
Lexi Martinez: I used an assortment of crêpe paper, felt, cardboard, acrylic paint, masking tape, and lots of hot glue! The bulk of the piñatas were actually made from the brown packing paper that's used as filling in all our received packages/orders (thank you lovely vendors!)

LE: What inspired you to make these designs?
LM: I've been on a pretty big succulent-kick for the past few months, buying a tiny baby plant at least once a week! When Giselle asked if I wanted to do something for the Noe Valley window, my first question was if the window could be seasonal because I thought cactuses would be perfect for a summer theme.

LE: Did you have other ideas for piñatas before deciding on the ones you made?
LM: The cactuses (and gold diamonds) were in my head from the very beginning, so I'm happy that I stuck with them! I actually made my first piñatas when I worked on a Valentine's window for another gift store. I made a giant heart piñata and I had so much fun with it, that "piñata style" immediately came to mind with the Noe Valley window. 

LE: How many other window displays have you designed?
LM: I've created 5 window displays in total. The majority have been for a charming store called "Story", located in the Inner Richmond. So far they've all been inspired by the season and consisted of mostly handmade paper elements. 

LE: How long did it take for you to complete all the piñatas?
LM:  A good while. But I honestly enjoyed taking my time working out new shapes and designs, all while binging on endless hours of Netflix.

LE: Was the process longer or more difficult than you expected?
LM: Doing this kind of handmade work is always going to be a bit time-consuming. But difficult? No way. I love this kind of work!

If you want to learn more about Lexi or see more of her art creations, check out her lovely Instagram or read up on her blog. I hope you all get a chance to visit the Rare Device Noe Valley and see her piñatas in person.

Photos 1, 6-9 by Sarah Deragon and 2-5 by Lexi Martinez
Note: The piñatas in the Noe Valley window are currently not for sale. But, please be on the look out for some crafty workshops at Rare Device by Lexi in the near future!

Troy Litten Puzzle Signing at Rare Device

On September 13 from 3-6pm Rare Device is hosting an exciting puzzle signing event with local artist Troy Litten, who just released his Transit Graphics Puzzle.

Image courtesy Troy Litten

Troy Litten is a designer and photographer fueled by an appreciation for and fascination with all forms of visual culture, communication, and expression. Troy collects, curates, and comments on the world he observes and experiences – from strolls down the block to adventures around the globe. Troy is the creator of the award-winning Wanderlust series of books, journals, postcards, and notecards published by Chronicle Books since 2002 and is presently at work on more travel-inspired publications, products, and exhibitions. His first puzzle, “Transit Graphics 1000 Piece Puzzle” was recently published by Galison. Although he’s most at home on the road, Troy lives in San Francisco and has just returned from a trip to Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, and Estonia. 

At the puzzle signing, you will have the opportunity to purchase the Transit Graphics puzzle, as well as many products from Litten's well-known Wanderlust series, including some titles that are currently out of print. Litten will also have high-quality transit prints for sale, and guests will have the chance to collaborate on the 1000 piece puzzle at the event. 

For more information about the event, please visit us on Facebook or email us at at info@raredevice.net.

#Summer: A Photography Exhibit at Rare Device

Rare Device is proud to present #Summer, an upcoming group photography exhibit at Rare Device Divisadero that will run through the month of September. #Summer will feature the work of Bay Area Instagrammers curated by Kehau Lyons. Join us Friday, September 5 for the opening reception at Rare Device from 6-9pm to see the show, meet the artists, and enjoy refreshments. All work is available for purchase at Rare Device or online at raredevice.net. #Summer is made possible with thanks to Social Print Studio and Artifact Uprising. 

Chelsey Dyer (@chelseydyer) is a graphic designer and art director. Originally from Texas, she moved to San Francisco in 2009 and now lives in Oakland, where she works as a freelance designer and creates printed goods for her online shop.

Image by Chelsey Dyer

Ike Edeani, pronounced I.K., (@edeani) is a photographer currently based in Brooklyn, New York. His work is characterized by a study of light and color, a curiosity about people and the spaces they inhabit, and an expression of geometry in composition. Born and raised in Enugu, Nigeria, he moved to the United States in 1999, studying at Kent State University and graduating in 2006 with a Master of Architecture degree.

Image by Ike Edeani

Ana Kamin (@fluxi) is a San Francisco-based writer and photographer behind the food and travel blog Fluxi On Tour. She moved two years ago from Hamburg, Germany to San Francisco and is making herself a local by discovering one neighborhood at the time. When she is not blogging or taking pictures you can find her whipping up a dinner for friends, running on the Ocean Beach or lounging in the park with a book ­drinking chocolate milk.

Image by Ana Kamin

Chelsea Wong (@chelsearwong) is a visual artist, printmaker and illustrator who lives and works in San Francisco. She has studied at Parsons School of Design in New York and is a graduate of California College of Arts in Oakland. Chelsea's work has been shown across the United States, Europe and in Asia. These photos capture moments from her recent travels, an eight-month-long adventure through Southeast Asia.

Image by Chelsea Wong

Isla Bell (@islabell) works as a designer at The Bold Italic. She grew up in Namibia and Scotland before landing in SF 6 years ago. She's always been into photography and is drawn to clean colors, balance, and geometric shape. Her heart  beats really fast when she captures a moment that feels right...also when she drinks too much coffee. Isla probably uses the word "dude" too much and has been playing Major Lazer "Get Free" on repeat for about a week now.

Image by Isla Bell

Irene Kim (@irenekly) is an Oakland transplant doing marketing at Chronicle Books. She also does freelance photography, styling, and graphic design on the side, and can be found online as 'Irenekly' (she has a terrible weakness for puns). Irene has a penchant for watercoloring, hoards more books than she can read, and enjoys making and feeding friends ice cream.

Image by Irene Kim

Kehau Lyons (@kehaulyonsis a designer, photographer and cyclist splitting her time between Hawaii and California. She is a graduate of California College of the Arts, where she earned a B.F.A. in graphic design. 826 Valencia, Rare Device and Chronicle Books. Kehau is the curator of the #Summer exhibition.

Image by Kehau Lyons