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8 Great Portland Design Finds

Hand-thrown mugs to chic raincoats to rustic Mexican chimineas, we're suckers for these local goods.

By Kelly Clarke, Eden Dawn, and Catherine Johnson September 18, 2018 Published in the Design Annual: 2018 issue of Portland Monthly


Sarah Wolf may have ditched a career in geological chemistry for ceramics, but her hand-thrown pieces still echo her love of the natural world—satiny glazed white Wolf Ceramics mugs, bowls, and vases cut with swaths of rusty raw clay and hazy bands of turquoise paint. “I love seeing what I can accomplish just with simple forms and geometric shapes,” she says. “I get a lot of satisfaction from making things people will actually use.” $30–160


Constructing a raincoat that won’t leak through at the seams is no joke. Local fashion designer Lizz Basinger, known best for her workwear dresses, began crafting her sleek, princess-seamed wonders after noticing many of the big outerwear brands put function ahead of fashion. She says of her 20-hour coat, now available in 15 colors with hood, pockets, and organic lining: “It is by far the most difficult and costly endeavor my business has taken on to date. It’s so time consuming because of all of the little details, and steps you simply can’t skip if you’re going to have a functional raincoat.” $499


Raise a dirty martini to Freeland Spirits, the city’s first women-owned distillery. The small-batch outfit’s eye-catchingly flagon’ed Blue Bottle Gin leans on notes of cucumber, rosemary, and honey along with the usual juniper bite for a layered copper-still spirit you can also sip straight over a big cube. $35 at Pearl Spirits & Freeland's tasting room


Upgrade any look with some sharp, chic Amaree & Reese earrings: swaying brass hoops bisected with geometric flourishes of brass and sterling work, each pair hand-hammered, textured, filed, and buffed at Risa Regory’s North Portland workshop. Find similar pairs at Adorn & Etsy

Image: Michael Novak


Portlanders love dangling twinkle lights just about as much as they love the ubiquitous beer gardens they adorn. Spice up your typical outdoor ornamentation with jaunty fishing-float ball lights featuring vintage glass float light covers—perfect for lending a romantic, sudsy glow to your next backyard bash. $12.99 at Orchard Supply Hardware


Move over, fire pit—and say goodbye to smoke in your eyes—with a rustic terra-cotta outdoor chimney. Ranging from teeny eight-inch warmers to five-foot-tall ragers, all decorated with a variety of Southwestern-y, sun-inspired patterns, these wood-burning Mexican chimineas will keep the party going, and your patio cozy, long after the sun has said goodnight. $149–360 at Little Baja


A single mom of a young kid, potter Kati Von Lehman had no time to fuss with a coffee maker. Enter her elegant, vividly hued Emerald Travel Mug with Pour Over, which makes brewing a morning cup an eye-catching pour-and-go affair. $70


UK giant IslaBikes plunked its US headquarters here five years ago. (Editor's Note: Islabikes announced in early October that it would close its Portland office.) Its specialty? Tyke bikes with proportionally sized components and ergonomic handles, so tiny hands can brake confidently. $250–1,250

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