Because your mama loves you to the end of the earth and back again. Because she deserves to be pampered and treated like a queen on May 14th. Because she has earned a nice gift. Check out our top picks for Mother’s Day:
Before Deborah Monaghan moved to Livingston from the Bay Area, she spent a lot of time sitting in front of a computer screen. Her mind would wander occasionally and she watched as her co-workers tapped at their keyboards, laser-focussed on their monitors. She realized nobody in the room was really aware of their environment.
With that realization and in attempt to feel more connected to herself and her body, Deborah’s mind traveled to the inter-workings of the human anatomy — the heart pulsing blood through her veins and the exhalation of her breath. This daydreaming lead her to deconstruct the human anatomy on the printed page. She noticed there were obvious and beautiful patterns within anatomy and she began playing with those patterns on the computer. Deborah took these patterns one step further and began printing them on fabric and producing pillows and scarves in vibrant colors and began selling them. As a resident of the West, she is now heavily influenced by her Montana home. Her current work (and the work we have in the shop) is a study of animal anatomy, horses and cattle, to be specific.
In the end it’s Deborah who has dominated the virtual world. By deconstructing anatomy she pulls us out of that artificial world and forces us to study our inner-workings and the inner-workings of the animals we coexist with in the real world on fabric and in tactile form.
I asked Deborah to elaborate on her process and technique, because her process is so fascinating. Below are her responses.
How long have you been working as an artist?
That’s a difficult question for me to answer; I still have trouble calling myself an artist. I’ve always been artistic since I was little and engaged in some artistic medium here or there, but something about defining myself as an artist has always freaked me out. I think it adds too much pressure to the process, especially when I’m not currently working on something. In this current medium of pattern, which would turn into textile design, I started work in 2011.
How did you get started working with fabric?
Part of why I apply my designs to fabric are in response to the increasingly virtual worlds we find ourselves in. When I find myself in front of the computer for too many hours in a day, or week, I become aware of my senses dulling, my peripheral vision narrowing, and generally, the world feels less tactile – a drag if you ask me.
The human anatomy patterns are a prompt to pay attention to the sensory experiences one may be having within and to encourage that aliveness. By extension, placing the patterns on items you see and use and touch extends the idea even further. My hope is the visual prompt of the pattern and object within the environment will [encourage people to be more aware of themselves and their bodies]. The animal patterns follow along that same vein; I want to encourage people to view the horse and cattle with deeper appreciation, and by extension encourage a deeper appreciation for their role historically and presently in the West.
Tell me about your process.
The line and shape are already there; it’s really about context and deconstruction or abstraction – or alternatively, just getting out of the way of what is already there. That’s the amazing thing to me and again, it’s a response to the virtual world breathing down our necks. We don’t have to make anything up, nothing needs to be more awesome, just look around!
I start by perusing anatomy books. Once I’ve landed on a part, or animal that’s piqued my interest [I begin studying it]. Sometimes the process is finding the right illustration for the part, other times it’s finding out what’s unique about the animal. Either way, I find an illustration that I find interesting and start tracing the lines and shapes. From there it’s delete this, add this, scale that, repeat this. I usually arrive at something in a mess of a sketch and then it goes to my friend and collaborator, Francesca, over in France for digitizing and clean-up. Though, sometimes I will send Francesca a bunch of illustrations and thoughts and ask her to put them together directly into the computer. I draw terribly and though I can see patterns in my head, sometimes I’m not the best at getting them to paper. Francesca and I go back and forth with formations for the pattern and edits until one seems to satisfy both of us. Then it’s time for color. I’m incredibly thankful for our collaboration.
You have mentioned that the mind/body connection is an important part of your work. How did you get interested in this connection and how is it reflected in your work?
I have a belief that the mind does what the body does and the body does what the mind does. I’ve been on a search my whole life to understand that relationship and make the best decisions I can to think well and be well; life is a co-creation in that way. As an example, I’ve always loved the quiet primal space one gets to when hiking in the woods; you’re in-tune with your body, thoughts have slowed (hopefully) and everything seems to be working in some unified system. That experience also can occur from body work, or tuning into silence, or – you decide. If I could feel that way in everything I do, I’d live in bliss. Modernity, along with life experiences though offer a lot of interruptions from that way of being. So what can we do to set ourselves up to live with ease? What choices can we make to prompt that result, internally, and externally? Hopefully my work offers some advice in those regards.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Keep doing the next most obvious thing and take it from there. Be wary of lifestyle marketing being your guide.
How long have you lived in Montana? What do you love about living here?
I’ve been in Montana for about 5 years. I love how raw and wild it is here. I love how nature affects our rhythms and character here – or yet, how nature sets the rhythm and how the humans more or less have to fall in line. Despite our technological developments, nature is still king here when it comes down to it. Because of that, the people here share some inherent commonality and the community here functions in some particular ways that I really appreciate. We need our neighbors, partly for survival and partly for entertainment; so play nice and fair or else you’ll be stuck in a snowbank and bored. Having that tight knit community alongside a culture of rugged individualism makes for a pretty sweet spot.
What book are you reading right now?
Yellowstone Has Teeth by Maryjane Ambler
That changes based on my mood, season and locale, but the palettes of the art deco era get me every time.
Favorite TV show?
Honestly I have to say Scooby Doo. I just turned 40 and I still love watching the old episodes from the 80’s. The atmospheres were always so mystical and groovy.
What music are you listening to these days? Old soul! Some new. On vinyl please, the production of music these days lacks so much warmth and depth. If that comment doesn’t resonate with you, please go investigate; you’re missing out, and we should demand better sounding music.
No cheating. What are the last three things you’ve Googled?
How to care for a rubber tree plant? Google Mapped Portland to Livingston driving directions Ilse Crawford
Her pillows are on display at our downtown furniture shop. Stop in and ask our staff to teach you more about her original patterns and help you find the animal hidden within each fabric. You can also learn more about Deborah’s work at her website Think Body Design. P.S. Her design can be produced as wallpaper too!!!
Stepping on to the property of The Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts is like stepping on hallowed ground for a ceramic artist. The sprawling compound is a former brick factory and the dream of Archie Bray to “make available for all who are seriously interested in the ceramic arts, a fine place to work.” Located just three miles outside Helena, Archie inherited the brick factory from his father, Charles, when he passed away and in 1951 he joined together with Peter Meloy and Branson Stevenson to build the Pottery. Rudy Autio and Peter Voulkos both talented ceramicists in their own right were brought in to manage the pottery and quickly established the foundation as a significant center for the creation and study of ceramics.
Since its humble beginnings 65 years ago, The Bray has hosted over 675 resident artists from all over the world from as far as Taiwan, China, Serbia, and Israel to name a few. Ceramic masters like Akio Takamori, Sarah Jaeger and Steven Young Lee (The Bray’s current director) have all attended The Archie Bray making it a world class facility.
True to Archie’s vision, the Bray encourages and celebrates the work of the artists by hosting gallery space and providing studio space to the resident artists as well as a shop for the makers to sell their pieces. The result is that the artists are given the freedom to study, test, and create work at their own pace as well as learn from each other.
Architect’s Wife had the opportunity to visit the Archie Bray Foundation last Spring and wander its grounds. One of the things that stood out for AW during her visit is the accessibility the public has to this space. Everyone is free to experience the facility by visiting the gallery and touring the studio space to see the artists in action. There is even an artist’s shrine which ceramicists have been contributing to over the years. This place is special and well worth the drive to soak in the wonder of watching people study their craft and view their original works in clay.
AW couldn’t let a trip to the gallery pass without making a few acquisitions for the shop, so if you don’t have time to visit Helena (although we HIGHLY recommend the trip), stop by our furniture shop to gaze at the works of some of the current resident artists.
What’s The Architect’s Wife’s favorite thing on Christmas morn? The stocking hung by the chimney with care, of course! Because who doesn’t love tearing through a sockful of tiny presents in rapid succession. Plus, it really is true what they say: BIG things come in small packages.
So, without further adieu, here’s our carefully edited list of small treasures for Santa to stuff in your stocking this year.
Shop all these great gifts on our website or stop by our downtown furniture store to get your fill of stocking stuffers and don’t forget to try out our carefully curated collection of furniture while you’re here!
Our 2016 Gift Guides are here! First up, The Architect’s Wife is tackling what is likely the biggest challenge on your list: gifts for the guy in your life. Don’t panic. From the bookish man to the gamesman, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Stop by the shop or visit our webstore to peruse these gifts and discover even more ideas for gifting all the men on your Christmas list. The AW is betting you’ll find gifts for all the important people in your life and maybe even try out a piece of furniture while you’re shopping our our downtown store. Photography by Cathy Copp
Hand Made in the USA and Available at the Architect’s Wife.
The Architect’s Wife has brought yet another new furniture line to Bozeman that you need to know about, and better yet, fill your home with. Verellen is a handcrafted, eco-friendly line that takes great pride in distinctive details, sumptuous materials, and elegant lines. This brand pulls from a rich heritage and commitment to creating pieces that are responsibly made.
Slouchy Chic: the Izzy sectional invites you to sit and stay awhile.
Verellen comes by way of Tom and Sabine Verellen, hailing from Antwerp, Belgium. They took inspiration from the harmonious juxtaposition of their hometown’s modern and worldly heritage. Today, Verellen is at the epicenter of US furniture-making in High Point, North Carolina. The Verellen duo has built a team of passionate and creative craftsman that breath life into their unique creations.
Dive in to a sea of sectional. The Evelyn is the ultimate après ski lounger.
Nature and authentic materials play a big part in the construction of each sofa, chair, ottoman, beds, and more. Things like eight-way-hand-tied frames made from FSC-certified lumber, recycled metal coils and packaging materials, and soy-based foam cushions are used whenever possible. When it comes to case goods and lighting, customers can choose from newly-designed tables, mirrors, and lamps that slide in perfectly next to other Verellen furniture or they can confidently shimmy up to other lines that define your home.
Verellen’s upholstered works of art are available at exclusive shops around the country, and Bozeman furniture lovers have the opportunity to snag these pieces without traveling too far. Verellen does upholstered furniture like no one else. We have these beauties gracing the showroom floor at this very moment and invite you to sit and see for yourself.
Chocolate leather and natural walnut legs add a layer of sophistication to this redefined modern wingback.
Dark gray custom couch and loveseat – a perfect pair (we have two!) available only through the Architect’s Wife
Visit our downtown shop today for more information on Verellen or any of our other exclusive lines.
Are you a fan of the modern design movement? Well, we certainly are! When you’re in the Architect’s Wife, you see the appeal instantly.
It’s a style that blends well with others because of its simplification and minimal ornamentation. One of our favorite designers of this movement got his start with the craftsman, Thayer Coggin—now the namesake of an iconic furniture company based in High Point, North Carolina.
Thayer grew up with a love for furniture and design. His father owned a lumber business that exposed him to various materials at a young age. He used that childhood knowledge as a basis for furniture he would go on to create. Before establishing himself, he created rocking chairs and cedar chests to earn tuition money for college.
Early on, Thayer founded James Manufacturing, which became a supplier to Sears Roebuck and Company. It was during one of his sourcing trips to Europe that he came across the concept of light-scaled European upholstery. He immediately fell in love with this technique and brought it back to the US as a model for future work. The simple, clean lines appealed to his sense of beauty and lightening struck.
Thayer became a contemporary furniture convert after this trip and developed a singular focus. He put all of his attention into the creation of pieces that aligned to the ranch style homes that characterized post-war suburbia. To complete this vision, he needed a creative design partner that would share his vision for sleek horizontal lines. Insert Milo Baughman.
From 1953 to 2003, Baughman collaborated on designs that would prove to stand the test of time. Baughman had the uncompromising modernity to achieve timeless standards of classic good taste while avoiding novelty. Milo lead with a philosophy that good design is enduring, and he’s still known as a pioneer of forward-thinking and distinctive, yet unpretentious work. He is highly influential in architecture, furniture design, and interiors and his pieces are collected and cherished by a cult following.
Today, Thayer Coggin furniture is custom, made-to-order and handcrafted in their workshop and the Architect’s Wife is a proud vendor of this coveted and iconic line, and, even more, proud to offer their pieces to Bozeman and the surrounding communities. Investing in just a single piece can instantly upgrade your space, add a touch of modern appeal, and provide a piece worth passing to future generations.
Stop by the Architect’s Wife to check out our Thayer Coggin Collection and if you don’t see something on the floor, we have the connections to source it for you. Here are a few of the beauties currently in our collection…
This handsome devil adds a pop of color while staying sleek and sophisticated.
This little beauty is as comfortable as it is classic with a rich dimensional gray pattern.
To learn new things, I found I needed to interact with them rather than read about them. I saw space differently, and my curiosity fueled my early creative endeavors.
In retrospect, the Architect’s Wife feels less like a retail venture and more like a natural manifestation to hold all of my favorite things. This store is a mixed bag, from found objects collected along my travels to high-end pieces sourced from coveted vendors. All has been curated with equal parts experience and exuberance.
My design aesthetic veers towards found pieces in upscale residential spaces. I couple order with the unordinary. I embrace structural idiosyncrasies and encourage eclectic statements. Whether acquiring a rare piece of art or picking the perfect fabric, I have a hunger for the hunt, and the walls of this store hold some badass treasure.
What I have come to learn is that my creativity is strengthened and advanced by the creativity of others. Bringing homes to life with a mixture of sourced luxuries and antique rarities gives me the most joy.
A joy—that many have reminded me—should be more openly shared with all of you.
I hope that through this blog and the vision and commentary of my friends, colleagues, and inspirations, you will find a similar joy—a joy that will come to life in the spaces you inhabit.
Yours, Abby Hetherington
the architect's wife | curated collections 23 w. babcock street bozeman, mt 59715 406.577.2000