Sunday, May 13, 2012

We make Portland awesome: Walnut Studio

"We make Portland awesome" is a weekly series. I’m interested building our community of artists by helping us all find out more about each other.
This week: Geoffrey and Valerie Franklin of Walnut Studio

Who are you?
Geoffrey Franklin. Age 33. Grew up in Beaverton, now living in SE Portland. Graduated U of O with a Bachelors of Architecture.

What do you make?
I design and make awesome stuff that I really want for my life and can't find. Then, if other people want it, I make it for them, too. I design and make gear and accessories out of wood and leather for bicycles, business, beer, and more.

Besides making things, what do you do?
I run a small architectural firm, Walnut Architecture, alongside a good friend and partner, Doug Ouderkirk.

What inspires you?
The smallest details can inspire me. The design of an object, which at first glance seems like it couldn't have ever been designed in any other way. But with deeper reflection reveals that all it's variables and components were harmoniously arranged, each decision adding to the greater whole. It's a rare thing.

Where can your work be found?
We are almost all online, on and on our own website, Boutiques and bike shops have begun carrying our products around the world, from Melbourne to Toronto to London, but nowhere in Portland yet!

What do you love about Portland?
This is going to sound a bit nerdy, but I love Portland Metro's 2040 plan for growth. We're a model for the county in that respect. I love the infilled and mixed-use (walkable) neighborhoods. I love that I can ride my bike anywhere in the city; all the way to the airport, for example. The only limiting factor to riding your bike becomes the hauling capacity of your bike. And I love that Portland's bike builders are working to design the best damn utility bikes ever!

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