TreeBed Design

Catching up from Winter... Into Spring!

I began the new year on a adventure to Guatemala (more on that later in the newsletter), and thought I would have a pretty quiet rest of winter to reflect on the past year... as well as plan for the new one ahead. However, things took a different turn, and I found myself hustling through the "slow months". I am grateful to take a few moments now to reflect, refocus and share a bit about what's on the horizon for TreeBed Design!

2024 didn't waste any time getting busy... As soon as I returned from Guatemala, things had to ramp up in a hurry with multiple projects! 

There was a rush to supply a slew of dishes for Compline to host a guest chef event with Diego Isunaza Kahlo (yep... as in Frida Kahlo's great great nephew)! He put on an amazing tour of Mexico City through food, and my dishes got to be the canvas for much of it! This was a quick turn around during a (rainy) time of year where clay wants to go slower than usual, but I got (most) of it done... what an honor!

Kristin had the sweet idea to make little clay medallions to celebrate Vallejo Art Walk #100, and hand them out to all the creative folks who make the art walk happen! We knocked out 100 of these little gifts, hopefully to be given many times over to show love for our little Art Walk community. 

Also in the mix, was a big production job for Love YAAH More. A series of beautiful little bud vases to be featured in the offerings of our friends, Events By GS

Oh... and did I mention we had 4 weeks of kids class going on during all of this!


Guatemala and My Source Journey 

My year started off with a beautiful adventure to Guatemala! It was my first time in the country, and the closing of a loop for me. After I lost my dad in my 20s (the reason I ended up in Vallejo), I took a trip to Belize for a Permaculture Design certification course. I had plans to travel on to Guatemala afterwards, but cut the trip short. I told myself I would finish the travel plans some day, but life never made space for it. Almost 20 years later I made it happen! 

At the beginning of last year I signed up for a different training program, knowing that it would end with a retreat in Guatemala. I felt like it would be a threshold I'd be crossing over during the 9 months (and really the last 20 years since the loss of my dad). I would be processing the years of deep healing/grief work, facilitation training, and gathering of "life experience" that began (in many ways) on the trip I cut short years ago. The program helped me develop new pathways for my offerings in the world. The hope being, to weave together the tangled mess of talents, skills and passions acquired over the first half of my life... into a beautiful way of being that is in service to myself, my community and the environment I live in. 

The training program, called Source... was with a small group of people and facilitators (Dr. Katia Sol & Lizzy Hart) that I have been working with for many years in the Ecology of Leadership. Over 9 months we practiced being in deeper listening/flow of how to "source" our service in the world from... we learned tools including: coaching/facilitation skills, honing our own intuition/practices, healing/bringing awareness to our own patterns, and more. The nine months ended with the final retreat in Guatemala on Lake Atitlán! 

There is so much I could write about this whole experience... both the 9 months, and the time in Guatemala. However, I wanted to mentioned it all briefly here to mark crossing that threshold. I don't always share about this side of my life, but in trying to weave all the parts of who I am together... it is time. I am slowing down. Listening. Moving from a place that taps into what wants to move through me, and offer something beautiful to the world (that also brings me joy). My hope is that this all shows up in what I am creating, and includes NEW offerings this year! Please stay tuned!

TBD Tiny Gallery & Mr. Lee's Art Machine
The Showroom has new additions... a wall space dedicated to showcasing the work of guest artists and the sweetest compliment,  an old sticker machine refurbished to sell tiny prints (or even originals)! 

Last Art Walk we introduced both new additions with the help of guest artist, Tara Funk! Tara is a Vallejo artist/designer who enjoys walking with her pup, and capturing her surrounding with the most magical drawings! So we were thrilled when she agreed to be our first featured artist for the gallery and new art machine. Tara was such a huge help setting up our launch of the machine, and even created the beautiful graphic insert for the front of the machine! You have a few more weeks to stop by and get one of the originals (that haven't sold) or your own tiny print (bring your quarters, or we have some on hand)... there is only one more Saturday (and bonus Sunday, the 7th) to see Tara's work!

The art machine came about when Kristin (Love YAAH More) told her grandfather about the idea to turn an old sticker machine into a way to deliver little pieces of ART! He thought this was a wonderful idea, and insisted in helping fund the endeavor... because it would "make people happy"! The response has certainly brought joy to everyone who has come through, and I can't wait to see more artists participate!

TBD Tiny Gallery with guest artist Tara Funk

I have so much more that I would like to share in this newsletter... lots of new things on the horizon! There are classes/workshops/community time in the works... along with so much more. Look for updates on all of the fun additions coming soon.  Thank you again for reading!

With heaps of gratitude, - Micah/TreeBed Design

It was Fall when I started this newsletter…

I started writing this newsletter during that zone where the "retail" world skips right into the winter holiday vibes... it is still very much Fall in November, and every year I try to do my best to soak up the last bits of my favorite season. I’d like to say that is why it took me so long to finish this newsletter (off soaking up Autumn bliss). However, I too got sucked into the vortex of holiday hustle. I’m grateful that business picked up after some slow months, and that life has been busy with many rich moments. I’m also excited for this solstice transition… pausing in these darkest days. The dust of working late in the studio are beginning to settle a bit, and I can look for places to slow down. Sitting to write this newsletter certainly helps me reflect, and I have had a very full autumn to look back on. I also have a beautiful new year to look towards as we cross this threshold and begin moving back towards the light. This newsletter is a bit of both!

Showroom Door

The TBD Showroom... is finally a SHOWROOM! 

On the first day of Fall several of my dreams came to fruition! When I moved back to Vallejo (from bouncing around for several years after the 2017 fires in Napa) it was with the idea of having my own showroom type space downtown... a place to show what I was working on, collaborate with talented people to host fun events, add energy to the new life growing in downtown Vallejo. The pandemic shut things down one week after I moved in, and all of those ideas were put on a long pause. 

When I found my new Vallejo studio space at the beginning of 2023, I was finally able to move all of my ceramic work space from downtown to the nearby studio... the showroom was ready to be realized! This of course took longer than I anticipated, and I wanted to mark the occasion. My friend Fiorella Butron (and her team at Allikai) reached out to create a collaborative event... the beautiful food they make on my ceramics (and you take the ceramics home)! They crafted a menu of delicious small bites to be served on a fresh batch of lively colored autumn toned plates (and tumblers). I asked Melanie Teixeira (of Village Vallejo) to help craft beverages to meet the moment and she curated just the right fit for the season!

It felt so sweet to have many of my new Vallejo (and beyond) community fill the space with conversation, curiosity, and connection. I was even able to share some of my own music (another dream for the space... hopefully more live music coming soon)! At the end of the night, each guest had their plate and tumbler wrapped up and sent home with them. I felt so full of gratitude for everyone who attended, and those who collaborated to make the evening happen. I look forward to more unique events like this in the TBD Showroom!

Autumn (Showroom) Celebration

Classes Begin

Since I opened my door downtown for the first return of the Vallejo Art Walk... people have been asking about CLASSES! It has almost became comical, as we now predict that moment of, “do you do classes?”. What an amazing thing that so many people are looking to learn, try, explore or expand getting their hands in clay! 
Kristin and I both had interest in bringing more community into our own ceramics, but wanted to be mindful in how we moved into teaching others. On top of that, this year has been a lot of work settling in (and setting up) the new studio space. So the move towards actually starting classes was slow. 

We started with Open Clay Table. First as a part of Art Walk, and now with weekend dates available... it has been such a sweet way to get more hands in clay, and meet folks interested in other offerings. The idea is simply to set a table with intention... hand someone a ball of clay, and let them play. We offer some guidance, but it is more about welcoming all parts of them to the table to connect with clay/creativity/community. We then take what ever the person creates and fire (with glaze) the result. Beautiful!

In October Kristin kicked off our first Kids clay class offering with a 4 week journey that introduced the kids to skills like hand building, wheel throwing, Sgrafitto and more. It was truly a joy to have kiddo energy charging up the studio with chatter, laughter and excitement that comes so naturally to kids (and is such a good teacher for us adults). 

Need a place to fire ceramics you’ve made… we can help! Check out our new kiln firing service form on the website, and see if we can help you finish off that creation of yours!

More offerings and opportunities are on the way in 2024... stay tuned!

Open Clay Table

There are lots of new folks getting this newsletter, and I am so grateful for all of you who are weaving into this community (near and far)! It becomes more apparent each day how necessary it is to be creating in community... I am certainly a person who enjoys my solitude when needed, but without all of you it just becomes "work" I am doing. It is my hope to be engaging in this creative reciprocity with you with my fullness of "being" (how I am BEING in this life)... Inspiration flowing between us, back and forth! Getting to share my thoughts with you through this newsletter is one of the ways I gain more clarity and focus on how to do that. Thank you for reading!

With heaps of gratitude, - Micah/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! 

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