In an interview with mother-daughter designers Cecile and Nicole Cuddihy, I felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. The Cuddihy home studio is a wonderland of past costumes, sketches, display boards and raw material and was the venue where they shared their inspirations, recent projects and upcoming plans with me one afternoon.
Cecile is an architectural designer at Tozer Design and Nicole is her 18 year old daughter, a recent Summit High grad who will soon begin a program in Costume Design at Arts University Bournemouth in England. This creative duo share a passion for design and have participated in three of the past four Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Shows.
Most recently they created over 90 costumes for the Summit High School performance of Shrek, The Musical, one of many theatre productions for which they have designed costumes.
Though they work in different media, Cecile says the similarities are surprising. “I work in buildings and Nicole with clothing. In both there is the design, the construction and the end result is a tangible product.”
And while design is Cecile’s profession, from an early age Nicole had chosen her art form. Cecile commented, “As a Montessori preschooler, Nicole’s journals would be filled with entries like, ‘Today, I am wearing purple tights.’ As she got older she’d draw pictures of herself and her friends in outfits she’d make up. Fashion has always been her world.”
Nicole’s shift toward costuming came in 2005, when she witnessed Oscar-award-winning designer Jacqueline Durran’s take on the clothing of 19th century England in the film Pride and Prejudice. She also loves watching ballet and opera, “art forms in which there are no spoken words, as costumes become the vehicle through which the characters express everything.”
In previous Rubbish Renewed shows, the Cuddihys have created very inventive pieces. Last year, Cecile’s motorcycle jacket and pleated skirt fashioned from architectural plans for the Desert Rain living building by Tozer Design was a favorite in the 2014 Business Challenge. Then a high school senior, Nicole saved volumes of college marketing materials from which she made a corset-cage, which she paired with a graduation robe made of college letters. Previously, Nicole made a cape dress of Back Porch coffee bags and Cecile constructed a party dress out of men’s shirts as well as a striking shift dress from paper road maps.
This year’s inspiration for Nicole came from a Samurai Warriors exhibit they visited in Portland. She comments, “I was particularly intrigued by the small segments of different materials woven together in close proximity to each other. I’d like to bring that into my piece this year, and push the non-fabric side of fashion.”
“Rubbish Renewed gives us a chance to try out different techniques and materials, and there are always people cheering for you,” comments Cecile. “Seeing the variety of entries in Rubbish Renewed is both impressive and inspirational.”
To step into the world of Cecile and Nicole, even for a few hours, is to become intrigued by the possibilities that exist for creative expression. “I am always learning of new places I can go with costumes,” concluded Nicole. I, for one, can’t wait to see where this passion takes her.
Rubbish Renewed is an eco-fashion show that features the work of local designers and students made from recycled and repurposed materials as a fundraiser for Realms, a charter middle school.
The evening includes a live and silent auction, marketplace, food carts and beverages, and will be held Thursday, January 15, 2015 with shows at 6 and 8pm at the Bend Armory.
Advance tickets are $20 (adults) and $10 (students) at WabiSabi downtown, the Workhouse at the Old Ironworks, Realms School and online at www.rubbishrenewed.com.
Scott Emmerich has spent his adult life keeping alive the age-old tradition of custom handmade boot making. It’s almost a lost art and one only a handful of boot craftsmen worldwide today.
“I have in-house, six of the best master boot makers in the world and four who are older and pickup work and take it home,” Emmerich says with a chuckle. Emmerich then sighs and adds, “My master boot makers range in age from 57 to 86. When we’re gone, we’re gone. There’s no boot makers like us anymore.”
Emmerich owns and operates The Tres Outlaws Boot Company in El Paso, Texas. From tanning their own leather to the finishing polish, Emmerich and his team create custom western boots that are not only molded to fit a customer’s foot perfectly, but every stitch and detail are meticulously and completely done by hand.
Emmerich proudly says, “I like the artistic side of me that can create boots that have never been done before. You have to engineer them because my boots are art that can also be worn.”
This fall, Central Oregonians will get a rare treat and opportunity to meet Emmerich and see some of Tres Outlaws’ prize boots at a special one-day event on Saturday, November 8 at Desperado Boutique in the Old Mill District.
Joanne Sunnarborg has been a fan of Emmerich and his boots since she opened her store 18 years ago. “I have a collection of Tres Outlaws Boots and just when I tell myself I have enough, we do a show and I discover a pair I just have to add to my collection,” says Sunnarborg. As proprietor of Desperado Boutique, Sunnarborg says,“Bringing Emmerich to the store gives people a chance to learn about boot making and the opportunity to create their own pair of wearable art.”
Tres Outlaws Boots start at about $500 and have gone as high as $50,000. The ultra expensive boots include details like exotic leathers, 18 karat gold and precious stones. A simple pair of Tres Outlaws Boots has 210 steps and takes 40 hours to make. The company makes about 10 pairs a week and depending on difficulty customers can expect to wait anywhere from four weeks to a year to get a pair made. Emmerich says, “I am very detail oriented. There are no short cuts when you’re getting the best of the best. My customers know the cost and wait are worth it.”
So when asked in our recent phone interview why people should come see his boots when he visits Bend, Emmerich again says with a long laugh, “All you need to bring are your ideas and your feet. I’ve designed 40,000 boots over the last 32 years and my favorite ones are the ones still in my head.”
Scott Emmerich of Tres Outlaws Boot Company will be at Desperado Boutique in the Old Mill District on Saturday, November 8 from 12-8pm. 330 SW Powerhouse Dr., Ste. 120, Bend.
The Arts & Culture Alliance of Central Oregon (ACA) is partnering with the Oregon Arts Commission to produce the first Central Oregon Arts Summit on Monday, October 6 at the Riverhouse Convention Center in Bend.
This marks the first regional arts summit organized by the Arts Commission, which fosters an environment for artists, administrators and community members to come together for provocative learning exchanges that spark new insights and connections to their work. The Commission has previously hosted annual statewide art summits in Portland.
“Feedback from our statewide arts summits held in Portland revealed there was an opportunity to better address specific regional needs by presenting smaller, geographically focused summits,” said David Huff, the Commission’s assistant director. “We chose to begin a new model with Central Oregon due to its commitment to cultural tourism and diverse array of arts organizations and partnerships.”
The 2014 regional summit, Exploring Connections, will highlight the state of the arts in Central Oregon, with breakout sessions on public value of the arts, art in health care, cultural tourism, Oregon’s art ecology, creative place making and art in business. The summit is open to individual artists, arts supporters, arts-related businesses and volunteers, as well as staff and board members of nonprofit organizations.
The Summit’s keynote speaker, Doug Borwick, is the author of Building Communities, Not Audiences: The Future of the Arts in the U.S. Borwick will discuss the idea that arts organizations need to become deeply connected with their communities and will provide new ways of looking at the arts as a powerful force for building better communities and improving the lives of all.
Following the Central Oregon Arts Summit, attendees are invited to a free reception at the Deschutes Public Library from 5-6:30pm where they can enjoy a local craft brew, meet funders, visit with other nonprofit leaders and artists and learn more about the Foundation Center’s grant information network.
The Oregon Arts Commission, housed in Business Oregon, was established in 1967 to foster the arts in Oregon and ensure their excellence. Recognizing the impact the arts have on Central Oregon and the economy, the Arts & Culture Alliance was formed in May 2010. The ACA understands the need for collaboration and networking; their shared purpose in working together to promote the arts and supporting each other establishes a collective voice.
The partnership with the Arts Commission celebrates the ACA’s recent nonprofit status, which will enable the ACA to pursue additional collaborations to better meet its mission to promote Central Oregon as a cultural destination and to promote and strengthen collaboration within the art and culture community.
Central Oregon Arts Summit
Monday, October 6
8:30am-4pm at the Riverhouse Convention Center
$50 registration (includes box lunch), ($40 for ACA or NAO members.
Call Michelle Solley at 541-508-8785 for ACA membership information.)
Arts & Culture Alliance Members:
2nd Street Theater. Art in Public Places, Art in the High Desert, Arts, Beautification & Culture Commission, Arts Central, Atelier 6000, Bella Acappella Harmony, Bend Chamber of Commerce, Bend Dance Project, BendFilm, Caldera, Cascade Arts & Entertainment, Cascade Chorale, Cascades Theatrical Co., Central Oregon Mastersingers, Central Oregon Symphony Association, COCC Barber Library Rotunda Gallery, Des Chutes Historical Museum, Deschutes Public Library, High Desert Chamber Music, High Desert Journal, Les Schwab Amphitheater, Lubbesmeyer Studio, Mockingbird Gallery, Museum at Warm Springs, Redmond Community Concert Association, Roundhouse Foundation, Scalehouse, Sisters Folk Festival, Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, Sunriver Music Festival, Sunriver Stars Community Theater, Terpsichorean Dance Studio & Tower Theatre Foundation.
Membership is open to creative arts practitioners, nonprofits, businesses, artists, groups and organizations that focus on the arts.
by ALLISON DALEY, Cascade A&E Editorial Intern
Active. Artsy. Authentic. These words describe Bend’s community, but they also perfectly fit Bronwen Jewelry. This local business handcrafts feminine but sturdy jewelry, inspired by a life lived in motion. Bronwen pieces are versatile and can be worn anywhere: to the beach, yoga or a nice evening in town.
Bronwen Lodato, the owner and designer, has been making jewelry for as long as she can remember, describing herself as a “hobbyist-turned-professional.” Aside from serving as an assistant silversmith, Lodato is “almost exclusively self-trained...I learned everything by doing,” she said.
After living in several states in the Pacific Northwest, she decided Bend, Oregon was the right fit for her family and the business. With her husband of 14 years as her full-time business partner and about 10 other employees, Lodato works out of a beautiful studio in the heart of downtown. While some parts of the manufacturing process are outsourced to other local, talented craftsmen, all Bronwen pieces are handmade in Bend.
The concept of active jewelry came naturally to Lodato, initially coming into fruition as she led backcountry expeditions for Outward Bound in her 20s. “At basecamp I would be making jewelry as a hobby,” she said. Soon, other women were asking for pieces.
“You’re out there for a long time, you’re dirty and not feeling so pretty...but we needed jewelry that would hold up.”
This was when the important features of versatility and durability became ingrained into her jewelry designs. “Our pieces have a strong function component; sweat in it, shower in it, swim in it, leave it on...we have a lifetime warranty,” Lodato said.
From that point, Lodato continued to make and sell her pieces as a hobby. Over time, she recognized this niche in the jewelry business was going unfilled and that she could turn her passion into a serious business endeavor. Lodato launched her brand in 2008 at the Outdoor Retailer show, where she landed some of her biggest accounts including Athleta and Sundance Catalog. Today, Bronwen Jewelry is in hundreds of retail stores across the U.S. and she’s now selling internationally to stores in Japan.
Looking forward, Lodato’s goal is to remain small and profitable. “I want to always stay handcrafted in the States,” she commented. She also wants to position her brand as the industry leader in active, lifestyle jewelry. “The [active] category is growing huge...so we want to stake our claim. We’ve been doing this for a long time,” Lodato explained.
Lodato leads an active lifestyle herself, staying busy with her three-year-old daughter and enjoying the wonderful outdoors of Central Oregon. Her creativity is fueled by adventure, travel and color.
“Color is probably my biggest source of inspiration in life...if I’m traveling or sitting in my own house, color is imprinting on me,” she explained.
Lodato and her husband Michael have sailed all over the world, which has inspired her collections. “Travel has been a gigantic part of my life. I’m a total wanderlust.”
And after seeing many beautiful places, Lodato decided Bend was the right one to make home.
Signs are something we see every day, but we rarely think about the creative mind behind them. Barton Stubblefield is one such creative mind, and has been a professional in the sign and design industry for over 40 years. Recently moved from Madison, Wisconsin, he is transitioning from the signage business to selling his artwork. “I wanted to move to a different area that would expand my creativity,” Stubblefield said. After visiting Bend, he liked the climate, the people and the bustling art community.
At a young age, Stubblefield learned to use many hands-on tools while working with his father, a finish carpenter. “I was always interested in drawings, graphics...and larger signage,” he said. Leaving home at 13, he started lettering trucks and windows and painting signs in his small farming community. By 20, he was a master hand letterer and had started making electrical, metal and wood signs.
Stubblefield is primarily self-taught. He begins his projects with hand-drawn designs and continues through with the engineering and installation process. “You have to be able to design, engineer, sell...be a welder, an electrician; you have to do it all,” he explained. Stubblefield creates signs for offices, businesses and homes, and can work with almost any material: steel, aluminum, glass, reclaimed woods, gold leaf and others. Depending on the project, a piece can take anywhere from three hours to a week to complete, with some of his largest projects including the Memphis Redbirds scoreboard and a LED sign for the Atlanta Braves.
He continues to make signs, but is now focused on his artwork. In June, Stubblefield had his first showcase at Bend Furniture and Design. Owner, Heather Cashman, said, “Barton’s Word Project is what captivated us. Almost everyone has a word that resonates with them. Barton’s clever way of creating a dimensional piece using mixed mediums is a totally unique approach, like nothing we have seen before.”
Stubblefield primarily draws inspiration from the people he works with. “I mostly enjoy working with the client, because they help me create...they let me know what their purpose is behind the piece of art..and I can help them with that,” he said. Cashman commented, “His ability to connect with people allows his commissioned work to be completely personalized.”