This weekend!

West Coast Craft is a craft and design show featuring carefully selected designers, artists, and craftspeople living and working on the West Coast. Using a variety of mediums, including wood, metal, leather and paper, these designers create singular items that exemplify the mood and aesthetics of their West Coast lifestyle.

Cool but sunny, laidback yet innovative, they represent the best of west coast craft.

We’ll be there with our friends serving and hawking Japanese Bento Boxes! Made fresh!

Japanese Vegan , Veggie and Meat Bentos - 10$


More info @

Tattoo - John Whale


According to Aetius, a physician
of some second-century repute,
the ancients had their own receipt for it:
as if preparing for their funerals
they would take some corroded bronze
previously attacked by vinegar
and grind it solemnly with vitriol
and just a touch of predictable gall
before they applied it with needles
to the relative permanence of the dermis.


And now, at both ends of the M62
there are reports of the stricken natives 
taking this rite of the hot scratch
some way closer to their raw grief
by asking their artists to grind 
the course ashes of their beloved 
with a suitably black ink
and to bury this finer dust
through repeated puncture wounds
in the form of words which go down
deep into their sore and grieving flesh:
Just like me / They long to be / Close to you.

From ‘Frieze

Fairytale Dreams.

Curious about Lolita styles? This doc. is probably the best on sharing the emotional card on what motivates this advanced style.

Not personally are steez, but fun to see a passion and energy behind these gals.

Suger Coated.

Tomoo Gokita was born in 1969 in Tokyo. He gained attention in the late 90’s for his extemporarily produced drawing works. In recent years he has created abstract paintings that simultaneously pay heed to specific motifs, including portraits which appropriate the colors of black and white.

Parklet Design Discussions - Open to the Public!

Kenken is working with the planning department of San Francisco on a Parklet in front of 3378 and 3376 18th Street.

We’ve gone through initial notification processes, planning requirements, SF DPW reviews, community outreach and are finalists for approval in the next few months for construction and approval.

We are working with 2 sets of architects on designs for parklet and would like to invite the community, our neighbors and interested parties to send feedback and participate in person at a public meeting at 6pm on 8/19/2013 at Ken Ken Ramen (3378 18th Street) to discuss feedback etc.

We’re open to all ideas on how we can design a parklet that is suited well to the community, is easy to maintain and improves the street.

8/19/2013 - 6pm @ 3378 18th Street.

Open to the public.

We’ll provide full current architectural plans and renderings and invite others to give feedback, critiques and ideas.

Above rendering is one design option Kenken is considering.

Meet artist Julia Lemke, designer of Auger + Ore, a 22 year old San Francisco resident, beekeeper, and pinball enthusiast. Finishing up her last year as a graphic design student, Julia works part time at Voyager/Revolver, and keeps our jewelry shelves well stocked with her handmade pieces. This past week Julia let us into her home/workspace to let us have a look around at some new creations and let us know what she has planned for her brand Auger + Ore.

Revolver: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you started Auger + Ore?

Julia: “I have a graphic design background, and I think that has had the most profound influence on me. There are many opportunities in design to dabble, it has gotten me into photography, styling, marketing, packaging, product design, all relevant skills to developing a brand. I’ve always had drive to create, I think I got that from my parents. My mother is an artist, and growing up she taught me all sorts of crafts: Ukrainian eggs,  glass fusing, basket weaving, quilting, silversmithing. My dad’s influence was design. He is an industrial designer, we were always designing, and building things, tree houses, wooden toys, furniture. My aesthetic is a mix of both of my parents: Folk Art and Minimalism.”

Revolver: What is your creative process like?

Julia: “It’s kind of a mess. Honestly, I can be scattered with my ideas, I get really excited about new ideas and projects and it can be hard to focus. My notebook is full of frantic scribbles, sketches for projects, and so many lists.  I tend to have ten projects going at once. Sometimes I will spend a morning working one idea, and than with other projects I can devote months to. I mostly like to learn new things, I tend to bounce around from project to project. I will be obsessed with ceramics, the next day textiles. It can be overwhelming,but it keeps me excited about my work.”

Revolver: What are your favorite materials to work with?

Julia: “Texture is always the driving force. I am very tactile, mixing contrasted textures and weights. I like things that have a human quality to them, and don’t feel too polished: smooth, heavy ceramic, rough twine,raw wood, and hammered brass. I try to incorporate natural elements whenever possible, and lately have been experimenting with mixing moss or seaweed into my tapestries.”

Revolver: What are you looking forward to next?
Any upcoming projects you are excited about?Julia: I’m really interested in weaving. I love kilims and dhurries, and I would be thrilled to make my own.I just started learning, but my next endeavor is going to be building my own loom.

Revolver: How would you describe Auger + Ore in four words or less?Julia: Organic, Primitive, Simple, Warm

Revolver: What artists or designers inspire you? Are there direct influences to your jewelry?

Julia: Doug Johnston, Cy Twombly, Ruth Asawa, Anton Alvarez, and Maja Ruznic are my favorites right now.Tribal art from around the world is an obvious influence in my work. Someone recently gave me this book of tribal decorations from Africa and it completely blew me away. It is truly stunning.

Revolver: How do you take your coffee?

Julia: Tons of cream.

Revolver: Describe your perfect sandwich.

Julia: Pesto, goat cheese, artichoke hearts & arugula on ciabatta. 

Auger + Ore is available at Revolver and Voyager in San Francisco . Also check out her site here.

Julia is amazing!

Something eerie and magical. Soft. Photography by Colin Snapp.

Images are from

House visit with former model Kanako and product designer in her 30 year old Tokyo Condo.


“Six years have passed since Lieko Shiga came to Miyagi Prefecture” -

We learn entering the photographer’s latest exhibition.

After finishing a residency in Europe, Lieko returned to Japan and headed straight to Miyagi after she saw the beauty of the beaches that pulled her in. Suddenly, she came to a place by the ocean, dense with pine forests, and found herself “falling in love” with it. There was a community along the beach called Kitakama. She started knocking on doors to ask if there was an empty house available in which she could live. She introduced herself as a photographer. The first few residents were puzzled. It was the first time that a little woman calling herself a photographer had come knocking on their doors to ask for a place to live. They took her to the former director of the community center, who was culturally exposed, and he took her to the neighborhood association chief. The community center director said that the area had never had a historian and archivist, and it would be good to have a photographer living in it who could be entrusted with that responsibility. The neighborhood association chief said he knew a small house, the owner of which lived elsewhere. This person was called up, agreed to Lieko living there for a pittance, gave her carte blanche to do whatever she liked with it, “but just be careful, for the house is very old.” So, Lieko became the community photographer. This was a new identity for her, a “title,” distinct from that of an artist. It demanded a different set of skills that made her initially very nervous, but also gave her immediate access to the life and spaces of the community. For almost a year and a half after that, she concentrated on teaching herself this kind of public, often bureaucratic, photography. She also started sorting the funeral portraits at the local shrine and scanning old photographs of the grave markers, doing little work of her own. It was photography that allowed her in, and art that made her an “alien.”

Being an alien within a community. Fun in a “mad, chaotic” way, with everybody saying “straight away” exactly what they thought about her life and work. Yet, this candor, with its capacity to form instant relations, did not make the people of the community, and its shifting network of relationships, any less complicated and inscrutable in Lieko’s eyes. To her, they were “talking bodies” that began to entrust her not so much with their lives and histories as with their words and bodies. This was the way they drew her in, but also made her wary of losing her distance and freedom as an artist to the ethics and emotions of working within a community. The people of Kitakama gradually eased her out of her nervousness with official photography. She also lost her shyness with the karaoke mike: “I didn’t exist if I didn’t sing.” She photographed the meetings in the community center, the summer and autumn festivals, the annual holiday for the elderly in September, the athletics, golf, gateball and beer-drinking, the rituals in the shrine and the seasonal flowers. 

For more than a year, this work within the community remained separate from Lieko’s work as an artist. But the difference between photography that was art and photography that was documentation was not relevant to the residents. One day, an elderly woman came to Lieko and asked for her funeral portrait to be made. The woman wanted to keep the portrait in her shrine at home so that her family members would understand that this photograph should be used for her funeral. Lieko was surprised, because the woman looked quite robust. She had come to be photographed on her bicycle and her hair was all over the place. So, Lieko took a comb and arranged her hair before photographing her. A new quality of ritual entered the shoot, and it felt to Lieko that she had crossed a line. From around that time, the line between her work with the community and her art began to blur. 

However, the residents needed her strangeness, as much as she did, in order to maintain their distance from her. So, as an artist, her relationship with ethics had to be fundamentally different from that of, say, an anthropologist or historian. Yet, her long encounter with these “talking bodies,” rooted in her love for a place that she came upon almost by accident, was making her work a “cross-point” between the individual and the community. Rather than alienating the residents, what was inexplicable in the art she made with them became the basis of a new set of relations. Both the artist and the residents were equally in the dark about what the images meant and where they came from. This became a new game that united, instead of divided, them. What fascinates Lieko is that the residents would enjoy looking at this work at every stage of its making, but they never asked “why.” They were only curious about “how” she made it and “what came next”: “I am in the world before the image. That’s why nobody asked why.”

Her goal was to not only photograph this isolated village – a population of about 320 – but to assimilate, converting from stranger to villager and in turn revealing the town’s hidden stories.

Selections of Shiga’s photographs of the town – 240 of them – were exhibited in a swirling pattern at the Studio Mediatheque in Sendai giving visitors an unsettling experience of experiencing the feeling of approaching an new place and community.

More Leiko Shiga