TreeBed Design

Mare Island Brewing Co. is deeply rooted in the story of TreeBed Design, and I am happy to call them friends... as well as instigators of new creative challenges!

In 2015 I was almost ready to let go of my ceramic studio equipment, because my energy was going towards coffee (and some music things). Ryan (co-founder at MIBC) saw some of the tumblers that I made and asked if I could make ceramic growlers. I said, "I have never thought about such a thing... I'll try!"

It took me quite some time to figure it all out, but I did... and the growlers were a hit! This also opened the door to me learning about making production ceramics, and chefs asking for different items for restaurants/wineries/etc!

Fast forward a few years and Kent (other MIBC founder) asked if I could help with their new Whale Boat Room event space by transferring the original building plans for a whale boat built on Mare Island in 1934... up onto the BIG wall of the new space! The actual boat has been donated to them and will be disassembled to be used in the buildout of the room! 

Whale Boat Plans

I had never tackled such a larger mural project and was not sure exactly how to go about it... However, once again MIBC was willing to trust and support my artistic abilities to make it happen! So grateful for folks who are not only preserving stories, but also supporting artists to create new ones. 

After about 10 days, and numerous hours... trips up and down the ladder/lift, several paint pens, paint brush touch ups, re-positioning the projector, head scratches, a couple creative "changes" (see if you can find them all) to the plans, and a few beers...

The whale boat is up on the wall for all the fun events to come to that room!

TreeBed Design and the Whale Boat Mural at Mare Island Brewing Co.

Check out my IG page (as well as MIBCs) for more about this project and story!

The week I moved back to Vallejo (March 2020) happened to be the second Friday of the month, and so there was an Art Walk! I was so excited to wander downtown Vallejo and see the changes that had been going on in the years I had been gone. I had set up numerous times for previous art walks in Vallejo over the years (including the first versions long ago), and was looking forward to being downtown to participate from my own studio! Then a few days later the whole world change, and everything shut down for COVID!

Vallejo Art Walk 2015

Tonight the art walk returns for the first time since that shut down, and I am so excited to open my doors to people! So if you are close enough to Vallejo to come say hello... Please do!

Downtown will be buzzing from 5-9pm, and you can put it on your calendar for every 2nd Friday of the month!

TreeBed Design is adding a seasonal newsletter to the mix, and you can sign up right now! My hope is to send out information about what is happening with TBD, and form a deeper connection to... my story, process, and the products being created.

There will also be access to discounts, special releases, and you'll be the first to know about events/classes/etc

Nobody needs more email clutter, and I don't want to be another brand constantly shouting into the void of your digital world. It is my intention to add value to your connections with TreeBed Design, and better share the story of what is unfolding in my creative process... I want you to be a part of my community as I bring my creativity into the light!

ShakyTreeCoffee News

Photo Story: Once upon a time (2007) I helped start a coffee house in the town of Spencer, IA... there was a presidential election going on, and that meant lots of action in Iowa small towns. We held a mock caucus to teach people how to participate in that process, and vote for the drink of their choice (I think the latte won ;) 

Shaky Tree Coffee was a magical little oasis of 3rd wave coffee (more about my connection to that for another story time), music/art, and community! The news article in the photo was about our mock caucus, and we hosted events for different candidates (including one with Joe Biden's late son Beau in the middle of a blizzard). I took this photo as a part of a Flickr challenge to take a self portrait each day for a year (before IG or the term selfie existed)... this was a pretty good one. 

It has been a while since I have posted any news (or done much of anything with my online presence), but things are changing... I have been extremely busy the past few years finding my footing after the wild fires of 2017. At the beginning of March I finally landed in a place that felt like it might be the stability I was seeking, and it also felt like a homecoming of sorts back in Vallejo! And then everything changed...

Our new reality with the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown things right back into uncertainty for me and most everyone else in the world. However, I am grateful to have a stable place to be, and a space that I can continue to create. I am taking this slowed down time... to rest, resource, and re-evaluate what TreeBed Design means in this new time

In the meantime... I will be cleaning out some old stuff from the website, and beginning to add some new things. There is no great announcement or unveiling to be done, but simply me calling in what is important. So, I share with you a song I wrote some time ago, and recorded for my Kitchen Sink Concert series. May the work I've done over the past few years (and beyond) to find a new way of being... allow what I am doing in this next chapter to be of service to the health and happiness that is possible in this new world.

Yes... it has been a while. The past year has been a doozy! About this time last year I was trying my best to hold onto my home/studio in Vallejo (of 14 years), and when that didn't work out... I found a beautiful spot to land in rural Napa on Mt. Veeder. I was nearly unpacked/organized, and ready to start building out a new studio (I had just done my first firing of my ceramic kiln)... when the devastating wild fires swept through and took nearly everything. I lost a great deal of my work, tools, instruments, etc (along with all my household belongings). Whew!

Damaged Ceramics Work

Which brings me to why I am so excited to be participating in Napa Makes tomorrow! I finally started making work a few weeks ago, and I get to share that work with people in a beautiful setting... while serving Ritual Coffee! I'm feeling so grateful that my time in this community is yielding such strong support for all of the things that I love to do. 

If you are in the area... please come and check out all of the amazing vendors (10am-4pm at the Oxbow School in Napa)! If you are far away... please keep an eye out for signs of life at TreeBed Design!!! 

I have been wanting to get better at regular blog posts... It looks like today is as good as any to begin!

Maybe you've seen a tumbler or two pop up in my Instagram feed. What is going on? Well, I decided that I needed to do something to get myself posting work consistently, and since the tumblers are what got the clay ball rolling again... it felt like a good fit!

Each Tuesday you will find a unique tumbler (or set) posted in the shop... when it is gone... it is gone! I really like it when people pick up my tumblers and find the one that seems to fit them. There is something tangible about the connection of my hands to theirs. The goal of TBD Tuesday Tumblers is to try and translate that to an online experience (not an easy task). I think that is one of the things that has limited my online productivity... It is hard to get all the senses involved, and to feel that connection. My hope is that these transactions happen off of some spark that occurs when you see a certain tumbler. For that reason I am willing to post experiments, and accidents... things that might not appeal to everyone, but may speak to someone. So far the response has been amazing, and so much fun... Thank you!

Follow along every Tuesday on Facebook, or Instagram... or check in on the site to see if a tumbler sparks YOUR interest!