Ah, yes, it’s that time of year again. Time to wrack your brain to figure out the elusive gift for the guy in your life. Luckily we live in Montana where Guys in Ties are frowned upon, so there’s no need to find the perfect tie for a collared shirt. We’ve gathered some of our favorite gifts for him, so you don’t have to think about it.
Do you have an amazing coffee table that needs a little life? Architect’s Wife asked her go to girl, Hillary , to add some energy to our new, substantial, mahogany coffee table (so substantial was this piece of furniture, it took four grown men to move it in to the shop). Here are Hill’s fail-proof suggestions for styling your table.
1) Stack Books. Stack your favorite books as an anchor. Books are a great conversation starter and they create an additional surface for you to layer accessories.
2) Add Height. I added a cloche to create height and add interest — this helps lead your guest’s eye through “the scene”.
3) Add Life! Instead of flowers, add a low maintenance plant to the mix for color and life!
4) Personalize the Space. Personalize the look with some of your favorite objects. Here I added some petrified wood and a gorgeous handmade wood bowl by local maker, Lui Ferreira.
And, there you have it — Hillary’s super-simple steps for creating a dazzling scape for your coffee table. To shop the look, click links in the copy or visit our Bozeman shop and have our expert staff guide you to the perfect pieces that will set your coffee table apart.
When the doors of Tart closed in the Emerson last Spring, a collective gasp could be heard throughout the Gallatin Valley. Since 2007 Tart was our go-to place for fun, quirky handmade in Montana gifts. When the doors closed it left a huge hole in our local world of retail therapy and more importantly, our hearts. Its proprietor, Anna Visscher, was a familiar face and our tour guide for the tartist landscape of Montana.
But, after 9 years of business Anna was ready to take a break from retail life. Enter Serena Rundberg, proprietor of Nova and Feed Cafes. Thanks to Tart, Serena and Anna had a great working relationship. Not only did Anna run Tart, for many years she also curated the gallery space at Nova adorning their walls with original art from artists represented at her shop. Based on what happened in the months following Tart’s closure, it’s safe to say, Serena gasped the loudest when Tart closed.
Serena was busy operating her latest culinary venture, Feed Cafe, when her light-bulb moment came to her. Rundberg was wandering the aisles of Costco, searching for her next bulk bargain and talking to her general contractor when the moment came to her. Her contractor mentioned his wife was lost since Tart closed. The shop had long been her go-to place to buy gifts for friends and family and there was a huge void left with its closing. That’s when it hit her, there was some vacant space next to Feed which, for a variety of reasons, couldn’t be converted to extra seating for the restaurant, why not relocate Bozeman’s beloved boutique to this space?
Serena has a reputation for being a dynamo, so it didn’t take long for her plan to re-open Tart to come together. She immediately reached out to Anna, negotiated the purchase of Tart, and her ambitious plan to open by Black Friday 2016 was realized.
For long time Tart loyalists, the new space will feel familiar. It is light and bright with touches of yellow and the iconic button closure gift boxes are stacked neatly behind the counter. The store continues to carry exclusively handmade art and gifties with at least a dozen carry over Tartists, but they’ve made a commitment to cast a wider net and are now working with artists from around the United States to bring Bozeman unique, one-of-a-kind finds.
You may have noticed this post has nothing to do with furniture or a maker that we work with. It has everything to do with why we love our community — because it supports local talent and handmade goodness and holds on to businesses that are worth keeping around. In this age of encroaching box stores, Architect’s Wife couldn’t be happier to see this darling of Bozeman back in business. If you haven’t visited the new space, get yourself over there! Better yet, stop by Feed for breakfast and browse Tart’s offerings while you’re waiting for your grub.
Wait. You didn’t think I forgot about the scoop I teased you with on Le Social Media, did you? Never. You heard it here first folks: Nova and Feed will be joined by a sister restaurant which will take up residence in The Cannery district! Stay tuned folks, more deets to come!
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
There’s a steady stream of Mac ‘n Cheese seekers converging in the Barmuda triangle where brothers Jesse and Tyler Collins have perched there fire-engine red food truck, Mo’Bowls, for the night. They’ll stay in front of the confluence of Bozeman’s most notable late night bars, The Molly Brown, Scoop Bar, and The Haufbrau ’til 2 am. It’s shift number 2 for the siblings — earlier that evening they were serving up heaping bowls of made-from-scratch mac-n-cheese and they’re signature dish, Fried Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese Balls, at Livingston’s Farmer’s Market . It’s a long night, but worth it come October when they switch gears and trade Food Truck life for the ski hill.
The Architect’s Wife had a chance to sit down with Jesse and ask him some questions about Food Truck Life.
When and how did you get started in the food truck business?
Tyler and I had always thought about owning a food truck for a long time. We have both worked in the food industry I got my feet wet a little bit with Tumbleweeds [Food] Truck when it started and then finally, in 2014 we made it happen.
Getting lost in theThe Barmuda Triangle, Mo’Bowls part-owner, Jesse Collins in the late night groove.
Why mac & cheese?
Why not mac & cheese? We figured all kids love mac & cheese and when I say that I mean kids from 0 to 100.
What is your favorite bowl?
Our personal favorite on the truck is the red curry bowl. It’s pretty spicy which we love. The most popular bowl would be the double bacon cheeseburger or the Chicken Parmesan Bowl. All of our recipes are original and from scratch.
The Buffalo Bleu Bowl and Mo’Bowls famous Fried Bacon Mac Balls. (So damn good.)
What is your favorite thing about being in the food truck business? I would have to say that one of the best things about this business is working for myself and owning my own business. We also get plenty of entertainment from regulars and the bar crowd. Not only that, but we get to work next to a lot of other great people who run small businesses as well.
It’s all in the wrist. Jesse mixing a fresh bowl of Mac ‘n Cheese.
Where is the truck from? We bought the truck from Portland and it was hardly finished so my brother built the rest of the truck in the barn at Rocky Creek Farm. When we built the kitchen it felt like a giant puzzle. Every piece of equipment and counter had to fit perfectly in a limited amount of room. It’s a pretty tight space , but we make it work.
Every Friday at our Downtown Furniture Store from May 27th – July 1st
If you’re looking for Theresa Stirling, you’ll likely find her frolicking in the woods of the Pacific Northwest or paddle boarding on the canal near her home in Washington state. This is the world outside her studio and the source of inspiration for her gorgeously layered encaustics which have graced the walls of our furniture store. The Architect’s Wife recently had the opportunity to chat with Theresa about her work.
How long have you been working as an artist? 15 years, with a more serious emphasis in the last 6 or so years. Prior to that, I had a career in the biotech world.
Where did you learn the encaustics art form? Why are you drawn to this technique? I had seen it around (and loved it!) and learned encaustics from other local wax artists who were willing to let me learn in their studios and from intensives through Pratt Fine Arts in Seattle. I am primarily drawn to this technique because of its beauty and texture. Wax layers have a luminosity that you don’t see with other art mediums, and after 13 or so years, I am still learning, still playing and trying new techniques. Wax is wonderful to manipulate, you can melt it and layer it, sculpt it and then add fire with a blowtorch. It requires a certain finesse which I love.
Can you walk us through the encaustics process? I melt high-quality beeswax in cans on hot plates. Next I add color to the wax with pigment sticks and oils. At any given moment, I will have as many as 20 colors to paint with. I use a photo-encaustic technique, which means I adhere an image to the substrate first, then slowly add many thin layers of pigmented wax, sometimes up to 20 or 30, fusing each with an industrial blowtorch to the layer of wax below. The original image is my guide until it is slowly submerged in sheet upon sheet of wax, then I go freestyle! I have also been experimenting with a cold wax medium in conjunction with hot wax (a technique I haven’t seen anywhere else). This combo along with the use of oils in the wax, has opened up exciting new possibilities in my work. The beauty about my approach is that it is so flexible. If you want a painting of your horses bounding through a field I can recreate that. If abstract art is your thing, I can do that as well. (See below for some great videos on Theresa’s process!)
Is encaustics your first love? Or are there other mediums that you like to work in? Encaustics is my first love. It has captivated me for many years, in part, because the applications feel endless. It also has a sweet fragrance, which is intoxicating. I have been dreaming of adding encaustics to ceramics, but have not yet begun to experiment with this technique. Stay tuned! I have a fondness for all the earth’s elements- clay, found wood, natural fibers, rocks. One day I would love to incorporate these natural elements in my work. My kids keep trying to teach me to knit, but, thus far, it hasn’t stuck!
What is a day in your studio like? A day in my studio is quite cozy! The fire is on or the windows might be open, and the sweet smell of wax and natural dammar [resin] waft through the space. I try to create a tranquil atmosphere to inspire my work, which means the candles are lit, the tea kettle is warming and my favorite music is turned up. The applications of wax are almost hypnotic — the technique creates a rhythm by which my art flows from. We live in the woods near the water and this process truly mimics the world around me. The space is generally calm until our sweet rescue dog wanders through followed by the pitter-patter and laughter of our kids ambling through with an urgent plea for help in their quest to find frogs. All in a day’s swirl! And I love every minute of it.
Where do you draw your inspiration from? My primary source of inspiration comes from time spent in nature; walks on the beach, hiking forest trails, paddle-boarding and observing art in nature. My husband and I built our dream home here in the Pacific Northwest on a gorgeously pristine, forested canal where wildlife still roams freely. It is our sanctuary. Our deliberate choice to slow down, do things with presence and care is also a cornerstone for my work. Not only that, but I draw inspiration from good health – feeling healthy is the foundation for everything I do. The daily arc of parenting; great, solid relationships, studying others’ work and their creative process informs my work as well. Another important way I draw inspiration is by doing good in my community. I give back thousands of dollars each year with proceeds made by my art and donations to animal shelters and schools. That feels good and is energizing to me.
What advice do you have for young artists? For young artists exploring, my advice would be to have as much fun as you can. Surround yourself with patient makers who are willing to teach. Be boundless with your willingness to try different styles, mediums and multiple techniques to create. Explore and try it all: watercolor, soldering, metal-smithing, ceramics, foundry work, sculpture, oils, fiber arts. Don’t be too concerned with finding your own voice right away. Now is the time to immerse yourself in experimentation so you can figure out what you are passionate about. Staying open is where inspiration and direction are born and it’s fun! And, don’t forget to make time to create!
What are some of the challenges of working for yourself and what advice do you have for young artist/entrepreneurs? One of the challenges I’ve faced is having faith that there will be steady work ahead. I try to remind people that a good portion of the business of art takes place behind-the-scenes and is pretty mundane — think email, photoshop work, inventory lists, pricing, social media, PR, website maintenance, outreach, networking, finding venues to show my work, shipping, etc. I would suggest young entrepreneur artists be aware that it takes business acumen and dedication to be in art as a business. Following through with people is of utmost importance me. I want people to know they can rely on me and that I will follow-through on my promises. My motto is: under promise and over deliver every time. Be willing to fail spectacularly. Failures can be tough (and humbling) in the moment, but inevitably you learn so much from those missteps. Stay with it and don’t give up. I meet many people, often women, in the midst of successful careers who ache to do something more creative, but they aren’t sure how to take that leap from hobby to making their creative passion in to a business. I’m a great example that it can be done, it just requires focus and determination. There’s a great quote from Chuck Close that says it all, “Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.”
On average, how many hours do you put in to a piece? Such a great and loaded question (laughing)! I once heard an artist say, and I agree, “A piece literally takes a lifetime to create; that is what I bring to it, from all of my experiences and intentions. You, the viewer, also bring a lifetime of your own to appreciating it…” On average, I spend about a week on a medium sized piece. I have a couple large pieces for a corporate client that I’ve worked on for a couple months now. Each piece is deeply nuanced. The process is a labor of love which cannot be rushed. That said, I try to manage my studio time well and efficiently. Because I have a full life with two young kids and own a health-care business with my husband, I tend to work intensively on projects.
Is it difficult to part with some of your pieces? (smiling) Mmmm, sometimes, but I am so happy and honored that another person likes them that the joy of sharing my work with others mostly overshadows my desire to keep them. I always tell myself (and my family) “there is always more where that came from…” And, yet, ironically, guess whose home is lacking current art? It’s a classic case of the cobbler’s children having no shoes! My family teases me about this incessantly and feigns tears when a piece walks out the door. To be honest, the last 3 collections I have made in collaboration with you all are so dreamy! I could easily see them living on my walls. The projects I’ve worked on in collaboration with AW have been incredibly rewarding. I love the fresh and raw sophistication these abstracts possess.
The Architect’s Wife is fortunate enough to have six new pieces from Theresa here in her Bozeman shop. Make sure you stop by to appreciate her work in person. Love Theresa’s work as much as The Architect’s Wife? Ask how Theresa can make a custom piece to perfectly coordinate with your space!
To take a closer look at Theresa’s fascinating process check out these videos: WhaleWolfBison
the architect's wife | curated collections 23 w. babcock street bozeman, mt 59715 406.577.2000