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Abacus Row Brings Locally Made Jewelry to Noe Valley This Valentine's Day

POSTED BY: ELLIE WILLIAMS

On Saturday February 7, just in time for Valentine's Day, local designer Christine Trac will bring her line of handcrafted, timeless jewelry to Noe Valley. Rare Device is proud to host Abacus Row for a special Valentine's trunk show, featuring the full line of Abacus Row pieces. 

Abacus Row was founded by designer Christine Trac in 2012. Using her background in ethnographic research and environmental conservation, she crafts delicate, handmade pieces that emphasize small details and and timeless styles. A focus on materials, proportions, and craftsmanship forms the basis of her work. 

Join us on Saturday, February 7 at Rare Device Noe Valley for this special event. Christine from Abacus Row will be in store all day presenting her full line of products. Enjoy a chance to meet the designer and fawn over her stunning pieces. Refreshments and snacks will be served. For questions email ellie@raredevice.net.

Tiffanie Turner Presents Dead of Winter at Rare Device

POSTED BY: ELLIE WILLIAMS

Rare Device is pleased to announce the first show of 2015 in its Divisadero gallery space: Dead of Winter, curated by local artist Tiffanie Turner. Influenced by her deep appreciation of botany and her East Coast upbringing, Turner has invited both emerging and well-known artist from the US, Canada, and abroad to study ideas of botanical life forms in their wintery states of hardening, dormancy and decay.

Image by Danielle Krysa

Artists participating in this show work in a variety of styles and mediums, including collage, pen and ink, textiles, linoleum block printing, ceramics and more. Dead Of Winter runs from Wednesday, January 7 to Wednesday, February 4, 2015 with an opening reception Friday, January 9, 2015 from 6-9:00 p.m. The reception is open to the public. Drinks and refreshments will be served.

There are ten artists bringing their work to Dead of Winter. Anna Branning is based in San Francisco and is the cofounder and designer of letterpress stationary company Dutch Door Press. Lately she has been transitioning from digital illustration back to her roots in linocut relief printing and book arts. Jo Boyer uses clay to translate intersecting feelings of home, isolation, transformations, nature, and lifecycles. Jo is based also in San Francisco and draws inspiration from the surrounding coast and Redwood groves.

Kathryn Clark began working as an architectural and urban designer and now focuses full-time as a fiber and quilt artist. She uses quilts to explore themes of environment, society, and economics. Her Foreclosure Quilts have been exhibited throughout the country. Alejandro Chavetta currently works with clients in the design and tech industries, and continues to work on his art studio on a daily basis. His collages have been exhibited in shows in the US and Europe.

Process Image by Alejandro Chavetta

Danielle Krysa began as a painter but has found a more permanent place in collage and mixed media. Krysa is the blogger behind the contemporary arts site The Jealous Curator and has published two books Creative Block and Collage. Robert Larkin has lived throughout the US and Europe and is the recipient of many awards, including an SF Arts Commission Project Organization Grant and Osher Travel Scholarship to study at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. He is currently based in San Francisco.

Sonya Phillip has always made things, and in particular has always been interested in all things related to textiles and fiber. Sonya lives in San Francisco with her family. Noel Badges Pugh lives and works in San Francisco. In addition to illustrating a book, Field Guide to the Common Bees of California, Noel creates art inspired by local architecture and flora.

Simone Truong explores the themes of flora and fauna in her work. Simone lives and works in Newscastle upon Tyne, England. Tiffanie Turner is an architect, artist, and performer who began working passionately in paper last year. Her work has appeared on numerous art and lifestyle blogs.

Image by Simone Truong

The show will be on view from January 7 through February 4 at Rare Device Divisadero, with an opening reception on January 9 from 6-9pm. Rare Device Divisadero is located at 600 Divisadero Street in San Francisco, CA. For questions, email ellie@raredevice.net.

Men's Gift Guide

POSTED BY: KEHAU LYONS

Hey there! My name is Kehau. I was born and raised in Hawaii and I've been working at Rare Device for a little over a year as the gallery coordinator and now as the shop operations manager. Some of my favorite things in the shop right now are the unisex items that pull more of a masculine feel. I love gifting things that have a similar theme of color, texture or material and right now the items that are wood, copper or black go extremely well together.



Wood Speaker (1): Designed in New York, this amazing portable speaker is completely wooden and a really great companion for someone who wants to have something natural and modern at the same time. Kikkerland, $40.

Whisky Stones Black (2): These stones will keep your drink cool while not diluting at all (compared to ice). We carry the more natural stone Whisky Stones as well but I selected the black version because it's more "James Bond" -esque. Teroforma, $25.

Retro Pens (3): Cue Mad Men theme music: I love these adorable pens. The color palette is so fresh while the design is vintage inspired which is a perfect combination. I bought this set for my Dad last Father's Day and he loves them! Kikkerland, $6.

Cologne No. 3 (4): SF-based L'Aromatica Perfume designed this exclusive unisex line of cologne for Rare Device. No. 3 features Teak, Cypress, Sage, Lavender, Cedarwood, and Amyris. The scent is extremely fresh; it reminds me of walking through a damp forest in the early morning when dew droplets are still on the leaves. Who wouldn't want to smell like that everyday? Rare Device + L'Aromatica, $60.

Vintage Copper Bottle Opener (5): I've been really attracted to metallic this year. The design and choice of copper for the material is such a lovely combination. It really elevates just a simple bottle opener to something special and memorable. Kikkerland, $9. Available in-store at 600 Divisadero and 4071 24th Street.

Sutro Tower Belt Buckle (6): Based on an original photograph by Kati Kim, this image of San Francisco's Sutro Tower is engraved on a pewter belt buckle. Kati Kim, $30.

Beer Foamer (7): You know you need this! This sleek beer foamer creates a dense foam to increase the taste, aroma, and mouth feeling of your beer. A perfect foam enhances the natural aroma to bring out even more flavors in your favorite drink. The copper top holds the foaming device itself and has its visual inspiration from the large copper boilers you see at old beer breweries. Menu, $30.

iPhone 6 Case (8): We just got a selection of new iPhone 6 cases made by Lazerwood Industries. They are so beautiful and well-made. It fits perfectly to the phone and I love their different designs. As the name of their company suggests, all of their designs are lasered onto the case and there are different materials to choose from. This specific topography design really caught my eye because I love the contrast between the copper and the black. It's visually such a striking image. Lazerwood Industries, $28-$35. Available in-store at 600 Divisadero and 4071 24th Street.

Cedar Soap (9): Last but certainly not the least: the best smelling soap in the whole store! This cedar soap is a personal favorite of mine. I love the fresh, woodsy scent and the modern, clean packaging. Super great pick for a stocking stuffer. Kala Corporation Soaps, $9.

An Interview with Lexi Martinez, The Artist Behind Rare Device's Dreamy Holiday Storefronts

POSTED BY: ELLIE WILLIAMS

We're lucky here at Rare Device to have Lexi Martinez to keep us constantly inspired with her beautiful, quirky, unique designs. Whether she's crafting cactus piñatas or sketching spooky girls for Halloween, people are constantly popping into the store to ask about the work she's done for the store. This year, for Rare Device's Divisadero and Noe Valley shops, she created two lovely holiday window displays.

Divisadero

 

Noe Valley

I asked her a few questions about how she came up with her designs and about creating window concepts generally; our conversation is below, including many beautiful photos.

Ellie Williams: What's your first step in beginning to design a window concept?

Lexi Martinez: I like to get a lot of feedback from the store owner. It's important to know how much freedom I have in the design as well as knowing the time-frame, budget, and how much space is actually allotted for the display. But I love collaborating, and seeing if there are any ideas already buzzing around that I can help bring to life.

EW: What were some of your thoughts and inspirations behind the Rare Device holiday windows this season?

LM: The idea for the Noe Valley holiday window happened rather organically. I wanted to play up the clean white interior to make a dreamy, snowy display. The sleeping fawn surrounded by falling snow puffs was my first idea, and I'm glad Giselle was as into it as I was! I think the Noe Valley store is in the right neighborhood for hand-crafted installations (and I can get away with being a bit sweeter there!)


The Divisadero window was more of a challenge. Those windows are SO big! (Especially when I tend to do window displays with lots of hand-crafted details.) I knew the product merchandising would be front and center, so I came up with ideas focusing around vignettes. In the end, I was inspired by all the gorgeous illustrated cards and stationery we carry, and decided on hand drawing winter themed doodles like presents, hot coco, mittens, and mistletoe all over the windows.  

EW: What materials were used for each display?

LM: The fawn was made primarily of paper. A cardboard base, LOTS of watercolor paper cut up into fringe, glitter (which is still all over my studio), and paint. I also drew some snowflakes on this window and included "snow" fluff to both displays for a cohesive look.

I drew all over the Divisadero windows with a water-based Sharpie paint marker. I was really surprised by how many people asked what I used! So far all you inquirers, I got mine at Michaels. Happy doodling! 

EW: Can you tell us about some of your early ideas for the designs?

LM: My very first ideas for Divisadero were purely decorative. I was thinking along the lines of bunting, pinecones, cotton balls, etc. But I really love making things, so I'm glad I didn't go the store-bought and pre-assembled route. I then started playing around with the ideas of vignettes. I had this idea of cutting out large, abstract snow flakes to frame the windows, but I honestly wasn't sure how to make that happen.

After I settled on the winter-themed drawings, I sketched several mock-ups so I'd have something to work off of on the day of. I was on the fence about wanting to just draw lots of little cozy houses and pine trees, but I went for the scattering of winter items instead. (The houses and pine trees did get a special spot on the side panels of each window though!)

EW: What's your favorite part of window design?

LM: As much as I love painting and drawing, I really enjoy making things. I enjoy crafting by hand, and window installation is such a good outlet for exploring different mediums and ideas. There's SO much you can do with a window display. Holiday windows are fun because there's such a broad range of themes to work from. I actually made four holiday windows displays this season, and I really enjoyed the challenge of making four unique installations that all reflect my handmade quality! 

Window Photos by Derek Macario / Sketch Photos by Lexi Martinez

Ceramics Gift Guide

POSTED BY: GISELLE GYALZEN

Hi everyone, this is Giselle, owner and buyer at Rare Device. I often confess to friends and strangers alike that I have a "ceramics problem." I could easily open a store that only stocks ceramic products; maybe I'll call it Rare Pottery. Anyway, when we decided to do gift guides this year I immediately said that I would choose the ceramics. Easy peasy. The only problem was that I had to narrow it down to four--so here goes my list.


Salt Box (1): This is a Rare Device staple. We have them in 10 colors and I can safely say that not one color is the winner. Everyone loves the salt box and every color is the best seller. In my house, we don't actually use it for salt but for sugar. Really, you can use it for anything that you like, even if it's not in the kitchen. Beehouse, $24.

Girl Cup Cat Mask (2): I don't remember where I first saw Klai's ceramics but I remember thinking that I had to have them, they are so very Rare Device. In my buying notes I wrote the words "so great, email her ASAP." So I did, and I'm so happy to have these at the shop. She paints each one by hand and no two are alike! Klai, $31-$53.

Morandi Pitcher (3): I fell in love with Roost's Morandi line the minute I saw it. We carry the cup, mug, and cream and sugar set but I chose to highlight the pitcher. I just love this shape and its substantial size, it is beautiful and functional and will make a great addition to your holiday dining table. Roost, $66. 

Grey Stitch Butter Box (4): I've been internet stalking Danish designer Gry Fager for a long, long time. I've been trying to scheme up ways to import her products to the US. When some of her stitches collection became available, I jumped at it and immediately ordered them for the store. I just really love the shape and simple design of this butter box. Menu, $40.