Noble Goods in November
Last month West Elm launched its new LOCAL shop online. Noble Goods is very proud to be one of only seventeen companies from across the country chosen to be showcased in the debut of this really exciting new program. Check out our goods and our profile, along with the other amazing products and artisans, here.
This month you can find us at the Renegade Craft Fair in the Metropolitan Building in Manhattan, November 15th-16th. Now’s your chance to get your hands on one-of-a-kind prototypes and slight irregulars from our Beautiful Oops collection. Plus, a super fun gift collaboration, new ornaments and deep discounts on everything.
We will also be showing with Fiercely Made at the WANTED Design Holiday Market at Industry City, November 22-23. Hope to see you there!
Each piece in our Beautiful Oops collection is one-of-a-kind. Some are perfectly unique, some have small flaws that make them kinda special. Lots of great pieces (at great prices) available at Renegade this weekend!
We’ve teamed up with The Neighborgoods to bring you this adorable gift package. Our Bullseye Boards + their hand towels = perfect gift! (They’re our real neighbors, too!)
Say hello to our holiday* ornaments! Available in three colorways. Check our website or see them at Renegade this weekend.
*we keep ours hanging in the window all year!
We’ve been working away… here’s a sneak peak at some of our new goods for Spring!
fig 1. Computer generated pattern
Hi, it’s Christopher. I am sitting in the studio, reminding myself that I like geometry. In high school, I was captain of our award-winning Math Team. In college, I took a course called “Mathematics and the Art of M.C. Escher”. I can use a compass and a protractor to do some pretty cool stuff.
But today I am stumped! As designers, we face existing problems, and sometimes we create problems for ourselves. This feels like both. This month, Molly and I are designing a new product together, and it is much more challenging than I expected. Our basic goal is to create a new product with a line-like, colored pattern. Our inspirations? Dragonfly wings + soap bubbles + honeycomb cells. We are also looking at the Puzzle Coaster set we released two years ago. It has a “painterly” line quality that we enjoy, and want to experiment with that again.
Fig 2 and 3: ink and pencil studies
So in the midst of this challenge, I am taking a minute to reflect on the process, and to collect a few of the images to share with you. From a stack of dozens of drawings, photographs and diagrams, I chose these. And I remind myself that sometimes in the middle of a process, things can feel a little floppy- a little bit vague. The goal- the finish line- can seem far away. But each day and each drawings bring us closer. I am sure the product will be exciting, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Cheers! And if you are here in the US, stay warm!
About five years ago Christopher and I renovated our home on Noble Street. Actually, at the time it was his home, not yet mine. We had decided we wanted to live together, and since Christopher owned his place, that’s where we would do it. And we would do it full-on, transform the place. With our bare hands we pulled down sheetrock, revealing layers of vintage wallpapers. We smashed solid plaster walls, and peeled up old linoleum floors. We added new electrical circuits and rewired the entire first floor. We did almost all of it ourselves, and in the end we had a home we could call our own.
For a little while, we rested. We nested. And we spent a lot of time thinking about how lucky we were. A brownstone duplex in Brooklyn, with a basement studio and a back yard flowering with roses, peonies and a dogwood tree. It was a whole lot of luck for just us. We wanted to find a way to share our good fortune, and got the idea to volunteer with Habitat to Humanity. We thought: We’re good at this home-making thing. This is something we can share. Among other works, Habitat for Humanity builds houses for people in need, relying on a corps of volunteers, in underdeveloped communities around the world. We were nearly settled on a trip to rural Tajikistan, when I discovered I was pregnant.
We did not go. Instead, we went headlong into another adventure: our son Arlo. Then, about a year into that, we started Noble Goods. The impetus was essentially to create the perfect jobs for ourselves, so we could spend our days doing what we love. And the urge to give back was powerful as ever. From the beginning, we knew that supporting charities that address the problems of basic shelter for people in need would be built in to our financial plan.
This year Noble Goods wrote a check to Habitat for Humanity that we’re proud of. It’s not huge, but it’s a very promising beginning… Here’s to another great year to come!
Happy Autumn, friends! We had a whirlwind summer, with lots of exciting new business, new ideas and new designs happening!
Our Swiss Cheese Boards are now available at the venerable Simon Pearce flagship store in Quechee, VT. Swing by if you’re in the area – it’s well worth the trip.
And we’re so excited to introduce our new Arrow Cheese Boards. Made with solid FSC-certified cherry and inlaid resin in four colors: white, blue, smoke and clear. The full collection will be available on our website in a matter of days, right in time for holiday orders.
A few weeks ago, we got an order for a custom table- a lovely, long variation of our “Monster Island” tables. We needed more wood, and I found myself browsing the stacks at M. Fine Lumber in Brooklyn. It is an easy trip from the studio, simply three miles east. I have been several times now, but I am still amazed at the mountains of lumber there. Most of it has been pulled out of old factory buildings in the area. A lot of it is softer, coniferous woods. There is a fair amount of hard oak too. It is easy to find beams that are twenty feet long and more. Most of these trees were felled fifty to one hundred and fifty years ago. Their growth rings are different, and they do not have the uniformity of today’s woods. Sometimes the yard staff pulls the nails out for us. This time, I did most of it myself. A single plank might have fifty nails of varoius sizes. When you see the old nail holes surrounded by an inky black stain, that is the way that the wood reacted to decades of contact with an old nail. These old planks present a lot of challenges, but we love the process!
This summer is one of work, and fun for Noble Goods. The colorful pics show a bench that we built for our son’s school. The project was this: build a simple, easily understood bench with sixteen, white wooden tiles for the top. Next, deliver the bench and simply discuss its design in a way that three-year-olds can grasp (these kids are very perceptive!) Then we passed out the tiles and Molly set them up with paint and collage supplies. Later, back at the shop, I glued everything together and gave it four coats of a water-based varnish for durability ( juice+sand = scratched up furniture).
I think the kids will enjoy this for years to come, and both Molly and I really loved creating with them. I hope that we always find the time to embrace the wild, spontaneous energy that comes with children’s creativity. It is an energy unfiltered, and unrestrained by our decades of experience. Love it.