TreeBed Design

Soaking up the End of Summer

It has been a bit of a strange Summer around here... lots of behind the scenes work and a bit of fun as well! As I sit down to write this, I don't feel like I have that much to share about my summer.

I've been putting so much energy into things that are "coming soon", and I'll admit I have been struggling with the fact that I don't (yet) have much to show for all that work (a stressful spot for a business owner). However, this week as I start to push past anxiety, fear, and doubts... I can begin to see that there are good things ahead. I can see that progress may be slow, but it is being made. Dreaming up the big dreams has never been the hard part for me, but staying focused on all the little details to make the dreams reality can be my challenge. 

So, it is my hope that a summer of slow, small steps... is building towards a beautiful Fall harvest. It can feel like I will be forgotten if I am not posting all my progress for everyone to see every minute of everyday. Instead, I am coming around to the idea that part of my artistic practice has to be about slowing down, and being in the flow of each season. For most of the garden's growing season... there is not a lot to show for it, but when those ripe tomatoes (or what ever you love) starts to roll in... it is all worth it!

Saturday Open Clay Table

Come join us downtown for OPEN CLAY on Saturdays in August. We’ve had a blast bringing the community into the studio on Art Walk Fridays (the second Friday of every month!) and with all the interest in Clay Classes, we wanted to expand by offering a few Saturday sessions. 

We've enjoyed seeing all the creative things everyone comes up with, and also how therapeutic the act of playing with clay can be! So come and get your hands dirty, and make something special to pick up at a later date. It will be open and unguided (hand-building only), but we will be there to help support you along the way.

$30 per seat for the 2-hours, which will allow you to make two small items or one medium sized item out of a 1lb. ball of clay. You can paint it while you are there and we will fire with clear glaze for you to pick up in a couple of weeks. 

Open Clay Table

Get Your Tickets Here!

This is OPEN CLAY, so it’s open to all ages and skill levels! Most people have made something in an hour during Artwalk, so this extended session will hopefully allow you more time to enjoy, relax, have a cup of coffee and chat with your other creators around the table. Our goal is to create connection within the community, with art that is approachable and affordable, and create more creative moments and spaces in downtown Vallejo!

We’ll also be sharing more info about the other studio clay classes coming in September 2023! Thank you for your patience as we get these different offerings started. We are so excited to create something with you!

SepTemBer 23rSAVE the DATE!

What are you doing on the first day of Fall? How about celebrating the changing season (my favorite one), and the polishing off of the TBD Showroom space downtown! 

Saturday, September 23rd 
from 5pm - 8pm

I am collaborating with some talented folks to bring you amazing food, drinks, music (I might actually play a short set for you)... all while surrounded by TBD creativity on full display, AND you get to take a part of it with you at the end! Yep, you will enjoy all that deliciousness above, on freshly made TBD plates/tumblers that you will take home! 

Ceramic Showroom Window

This event feels like a big part of my journey to re-emerge from the 2017 fire (and then pandemic) to realize this space as I envisioned it when I moved in... a place to showcase my work and host small community gatherings. It would bring me such joy to see you there!

Tickets and details coming VERY soon!

Although this Summer has mostly been about working towards things coming soon... there have been some fun new things being added to the website! This includes LARGE mugs (yep, I finally did it), and also some various products to compliment things I have made. You can also find some of the Lunar series of vases (and more) celebrating two super moons in the month of August! 

The showroom has been open more than ever in August (and moving forward)... every Thursday for August Summer Nights, and Saturdays during the Farmer Market. Stop by and say hello!

Welcome Back

Whoa… it has been awhile since I have sent one of these! The Fall/Winter was pretty crazy for me, and no matter how much I thought about writing a newsletter… it just never happened. I am happy to be sharing a bit of that story, and what is new with TreeBed Design!

I’ll get right to the big news, and the main reason that no newsletter showed up during the Fall/Winter… I finally have a new studio in Vallejo! There was a year or more of back and forth about whether my space in Napa (where my kilns were) was going to continue, and in early fall it looked like I could stay. However, the landlord changed their mind, and suddenly (right before the holiday push) we had to be out of the warehouse by the end of the year!

This was obviously jarring, and the scramble to find a new space kicked into high gear. My spot in Napa had come about after loosing everything (except some ceramic equipment) in the 2017 fires… a coffee customer of mine graciously offered me a storage spot for my kiln, and then hooked it up so I could fire… and then carved out space for me to work! It was so helpful, and I will always be grateful for that foothold to get ceramics moving forward while I recovered after the fire (which all took way longer than I ever expected).

The whole past year had been filled with little events that seemed to be wrapping up loose ends from my 5 year journey dealing with the fire. In that context, moving the studio into my own space felt like another step in that process. This did not make it any less disruptive though, and it was very difficult to find a new spot… which resulted in all my equipment living in storage for two months (and VERY little work being done).

Micah organizing the storage unit after moving the studio

Then… after looking at lots of spaces that I could maybe “make” work… I got the chance to land in a space that I actually WANTED to make work! So now I'm settling into a space filled with light and possibilities! I am making the focus of this year, a deep dive into how I want to move through the world now that I am no longer in recovery (survival) mode. What is the work I want to make, the space I want to hold, the service I want to be in? I hope to share more about the answers to these questions as I work through them this year.

I am hoping to polish the new studio space off enough to have an open studio soon, and invite YOU to come see the space! Keep an eye out for that…

Micah sitting in the sunny window light of his new studio in Vallejo

THIS WEEK! Spring is here, and we FINALLY have the weather to prove it… just in time for the April Vallejo Art Walk ( . Join me in our historic downtown Vallejo for art, music, makers, food and community 5-9pm! My neighbor The Joint is opening back up after their own experience of fire, and it is going to be better than ever! On Saturday I will be at the artist’s reception for the CLAY invitational out at Mare Island Art Studios. I’m honored to be showing some work along a bunch of talented ceramic artists. The intention of the show was to bring together ceramic artists from the area, and allow both artist interaction… as well as a chance to show off the diversity of clay work! The show is open every Sunday this month from 12-4pm, and this Saturday April 15th for the reception (small bites and wine/beer) from 12-5pm. CLASSES & COLLABORATION With the new studio, comes the new possibility of finally folding in some classes and new offerings! I’m still in the process of designing these ideas, and refining it down to something that feels sustainable. I also want it to be something that fits the needs of this community. So if you would be willing to fill out the survey below (link)… that would be SO helpful! There is also space to write in anything you’d like to see from TBD, or ways you might want to collaborate.


Whew... What a Summer!

It has certainly taken something for me to get this newsletter out. I have attempted to carve out time for it at several points... the beginning of the summer (when I got rear ended and lost a weeks worth of ceramic work), and in the middle of the summer (when I did some traveling, and then finally caught covid... not from travels, but a wrestling match with my 6 year old niece. I lost ;)

Finally here I am at the end of summer and what a perfect time to do a little summer recap: work I did, fun I had, news about TreeBed Design, and some things to look forward to!

Storyhill Fest Campfire
This summer was about weaving together all that I have been through the last 5 years (and beyond)... into who I am right now. That fabric had to be tested, tugged on, and stretched to the point of discomfort. I found myself questioning if I could keep any of this going, and between covid, throwing out my back, not being able to get enough clay to finish projects, my car being in the shop for over a month from the accident... I was depleted, and out of balance with my creative soul.

I had just about given up on a long planned trip to the midwest to attend a little folk music festival (Storyhill Fest) that my buddy Chad Elliott was playing. However, it felt important to make this trip happen, and with some loving support and nudging... I did it! Storyhill's music was often the soundtrack to my college years (and beyond), as well as one of the big inspirations for me picking up a guitar myself. It was a beautiful gift to listen to good music at the edge of a Minnesota lake, and rebalance. To weave who I was when I heard many of those songs for the first time, with who I am now. Chad and I reminisced about the conversations we had back in my Vallejo kitchen in 2005, about trying to make a living off of art and music... wondering how that was going to work, and getting to savor that now we are both doing just that (with plenty of challenges, but doing it)! What a gift (and extreme privilege) to sit around a fire and have my creative soul recharged.

I returned from that trip, and it has been one sign after another that something has shifted. Work things that have fallen into place with new motivation/energy, and new opportunities to be in service/community using my skills. As I come up on five years since loosing everything in the fire, and the giant reset that experience was... I feel that chapter of recovery ending and a new one beginning. 

I look forward to the transition into Fall, and using the energy in motion to be more intentional about where I'm headed (along with what is next for TBD). I am excited to share all of that with you!


Quixote Project
One of the fun projects I finished up this summer was for Quixote Winery in Napa Valley. I got the opportunity to design a plate-setting for their new food & wine pairing experience. It was an exciting process to play off of the unique architecture of the place, and blend it with my own style (which was a natural fit in many ways). 

Quixote Winery

Designing Outside the Straight Lines

From the moment you drive up to Quixote, located in the Stags Leap district of the Napa Valley... you know there is something unique about this winery.  As stated on the Quixote website, "In 1989, Carl Doumani discovered the work of Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an Austrian painter, architect, ecologist and philosopher. Believing that the wine society had transformed a beverage of consummate pleasure into an absurdly serious pursuit, Doumani commissioned Hundertwasser to design a winery that combats these notions."  

With bold/playful colors, organic lines, and a whimsical connection to the natural landscape... I wanted the plates to reference the mosaic tiles seen around the property. Each small bite that chef Aaron LeRoi makes for this tasting experience gets its own little "tile" to be placed on a larger platter. What a beautiful (delicious) result!

Chef Aaron LeRoi prepping food pairing

TBD plates

Website Updates!

I had big plans to release new items on the website for Spring... then Summer... now Fall? However, I am still trying to find my balance of work going out to different clients, and work that I am making for the TBD website/showroom. I am getting closer to more productivity even with all the challenges of space/supply chain issues/time, but I am not quite in the full groove yet. 

With that said... There are NEW ITEMS up on the website!!! I will also be adding/refreshing more in the coming weeks. 

I am going to try a more "made to order" approach for some of these items, and see how that goes. What does that mean? I will have some of the website pieces ready to go, but more that can be made quickly to be shipped when finished (maybe a week or so). 
Thank you (once again) for opening this email, and getting this far... I'm very grateful for everyone following along on this journey. This summer has been rich with harvesting new energy and ways of being! I look forward to seeing how this translates into growing TreeBed Design! 

With heaps of gratitude, - Micah/TreeBed Design

Spring is Here (where am I)!?!

I can hardly believe that we have landed in Spring already! I was just settling into the post holiday slow down, and then I blinked. Now it is the end of March! I have been on a wild ride since I last wrote one of these (Dec): I completed my first holiday product release, did some hunkering down for covid, my truck died/got a new car (whole story right there), said goodbye to a bus (as well as some dreams), and with that cleared a bunch of stuck energy, not to mention all of the work for new restaurants/wineries and old favorites too. All of those things have plenty of stories to tell in their own right, but I'll sum it up as being… a bit of a blur! 

Spring Blossom
I have been reflecting on how last year at this time I was just beginning to pick up steam after a very hard winter. There were many points during the stress of the last months that I had to remind myself just how well I am doing compared to a year ago. I remember last year feeling the spring energy help me find another gear, and really lean into expansion after a winter of contraction. I can feel the possibility of the same shift this year (with even more leverage for change)! 


As spring emerges I have been trying to shift my focus towards joy. It feels like a whole new way of being for me. I am moving from the darkness/shadows of grief and survival mode… into choosing the light of joy and delight for what this life can (also) offer. 

One of the “life hacks” I have been playing with is using my watch as a reminder to be curious about the joy possible (when I look). I wrote down a little mantra, "My story unfolds in the joy of this moment..." and took a photo to use as my watch face (and/or phone screen).

Joy Watch Face

Now every time I raise my wrist/check the time (or open my phone)... BOOM! I am reminded to look for the joy in that moment, and shift my perspective to one of curiosity. I can feel myself working this neglected muscle of joy (it is taking something). For a long time, "survival mode" has had me looking for the worst case scenarios as a constant safety measure. However, there is so much more than "disaster" that the world has to offer (even though it feels a little saturated by such events right now).

I have been thinking a LOT about how to orient TBD through the lens of joy and delight. How do I make my work a space to feel into joy each day, and hopefully infuse what I create/share with more joy for this world? The answer I keep coming up with is to constantly re-align myself, and discover my own joy.

Big News! 

One of the ways I'll be leveling up this spring…  is the addition of a SECOND KILN to my studio! I have been needing to do this for a while in order to step up my production and take on new projects. However, about the time I figured out I needed to take this step… new kilns were a 6 month wait, and used kilns were being gobbled up quick! I finally found an old version of the kiln I was looking for at a good price, but it was down in Paso Robles (could have used that truck of mine that died last month). I decided to make an overnight adventure of it, and rented a truck to head south. It was sweet to play tourist for a few hours in someone else's wine country, and the kiln made it back to the studio in good shape! Over the next months I will be working to fold it into my work flow, and hopefully be able to do more creative work (while also increasing production stuff)!

Kiln Trip

Kiln Number 2

Thank you for opening this email, and getting this far... I'm very grateful for everyone following along on this journey. Feels like there are lots of seeds ready to grow into the unfolding season, and allow TreeBed Design to show up in the world in beautiful new ways. I hope the same for you! 
With heaps of gratitude, - Micah/TreeBed Design

The first Vallejo Art Walk of 2022 is happening Feb 11th (tonight)! 5pm-9pm

I am excited to open the door again and feel the creative energy bubble up in historic downtown Vallejo. I have lots of vases on hand to give flowers to someone special (including yourself), and a bunch of new magnets! There is even a LOVE BUG magnet! (coming to the website soon)


I had a crazy past few weeks, and feel a little behind on coming up with a community collaboration for tonight... but we'll see what happens. 

Hope to see you out tonight, or any of the 2nd Fridays the rest of the year! 

Winter Solstice... Slow Down/Reflection... Returning 

We have come through the Winter Solstice, and have made the very first steps towards the returning light. This particular solstice feels potent for me. As the dust settles from my holiday push... I am sinking into what feels like a more natural rhythm for this time of year: slow, dark, pulling in the warmth I can find, and looking back at the past year. How did this (ever faster) unfolding year fit into the larger arc of my life, and the growth of TreeBed Design? It was a big year for TBD, and there is much to celebrate in recounting what has been accomplished! 

2021 began with Covid surging (again), and this felt especially hard after getting a taste of things starting to re-open up in the fall of 2020. My body processed this return to isolation with a great deal of heaviness and anxiety. I realized I would need to make some changes in order to dig out of the darkness I was slipping into. So I asked for help. This was the first big move of 2021 (not something I am always very good at). I checked in with my doctor (I thought my heart was failing, before I realized anxiety was getting the best of me), who pointed me towards different support options for my health. I share this mostly to normalize asking for help (the more I remind myself the better), and to maybe encourage anyone reading this who is struggling to reach out as well. Soon after taking this step I had the thought, "what if I had help with TBD... what could I accomplish?" That very day I saw an Instagram post by Camila (someone I started following by way of coffee connections) talking about the virtual assistance work she does... so I reached out! Camila was sharing on IG in a way that resonated with me, and I instantly felt supported in moving TBD forward. Check out her website, art, and the Pause Project (so awesome)! 

With Camila's support, I began creating many new aspects of tending an ecology for TreeBed Design to grow from. There was a consistent social media strategy... sharing my story, process, and products. The first TBD newsletter went out in the Summer. I opened my doors for the return of the Vallejo Art Walk (as well began volunteering to run their IG account), and I did my first intentional holiday release! 

The first full year of returning to self employment was no easy road, but 2021 was the most productive TBD year yet! I made more pieces this year than ever before, and all of that in spite of supply chain problems that created major headaches to production. Along with hundreds of plates, bowls, growlers, mugs, tumblers etc... I tackled a new skill: mural making! In August I got to translate the 90 year old blue prints of a boat built on Mare Island into a giant wall mural for the new Mare Island Brewing Co. Whaleboat Room (click for a video of the making). 

So on this winter solstice... I slow down, and go inward to reflect on how the journey of the past year has fit into my longer story. I can see reminders that my asking for help... is helpful. I can feel the support of that help, and celebrate new structures in place to make moving forward easier. I can honor the struggle and resistance that I had to move through in order to make those things happen. A big part of 2021 was just the simple act of starting. After the trauma of the fire (or pandemic, or loss, etc) it can feel incredibly hard to start (or re-start) anything, and I spent much of the year wobbling between survival mode (patterns long engrained)... and choosing the sturdiness of success (which is still an evolving definition). I am so grateful for all of YOU who have been a part of this process, and the support I have felt while I wobble. I am not totally sure what 2022 will be for TBD. There is a lot in flux, but it feels like in 2021 I gave myself a foundation to grow into something beautiful!

- Micah

I tried something different this year. I have attempted several times in the past to put together an intentional release of items for the holidays. However, I was always working other jobs, and became too busy to pull it off. This year I knew I need to make it happen, and even then... I still almost made myself too busy to pull it off! Except... I did it! 

The holiday newsletter was sent out, and gave exclusive access to the limited release of items. If you were one of those people that received it... Thank you for choosing to sign up, and for following along my journey! It has been quite a year of new ways that TreeBed Design is showing up in the world, and it hasn't always been easy (the last few days of getting this all put together were certainly a challenge). However, getting the holiday release out into the world reminds me that I am making progress. If you didn't receive the newsletter with exclusive access... I invite you to sign up (next one comes out in Dec, and only happens a few times through out the year)!

I hope you enjoy the new items, and keep an eye out for a few more to be added as the next month unfolds. I hope your holidays are beautiful in big and small ways!

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