October 2013


We are huge fans of the Chemex around here. We love the clean cup quality, utility and the classic design that hasn’t changed in over 70 years. The brewer was first invented in 1941 by German chemist/inventor Dr. Peter Schlumbohm. It proudly sits in the MOMA and Smithsonian permanent design collections, and for most us that work here, on our kitchen counters.

Collectors Weekly wrote a cool piece on the Chemex and on the eccentric inventor Schlumbohm. Read it here.


From Collector’s Weekly:

Though the Chemex was his most successful invention by far, Schlumbohm tinkered with other ordinary objects long after the coffeemaker’s success. Some of Schlumbohm’s cleverest contraptions included the Instant Ice container, which chilled liquids quickly using brine; the Cinderella, a conical trash pail with disposable wax-paper linings; and the Minnehaha, a device that mixed and aerated drinks by forcing liquid through hundreds of tiny perforations. Schlumbohm also patented a stylish hot-water kettle made entirely of glass, a disposable aluminum frying pan, and a cigarette holder tipped with a miniature Chemex-shaped fitting that held a tiny filter, years before the tobacco industry adopted them.

In the LIFE magazine piece from 1949, Herbert Brean detailed Schlumbohm’s formula for a successful new product: 20% was recognizing a problem that needed solving, 40% was coming up with a patentable solution, 30% was good design, and 10% was merchandising. Brean wrote of Schlumbohm, “He is the kind who perceives a problem and logically sets about finding a solution that will be efficient, handsome and profitable. Dr. Schlumbohm does all his own selling, writes his own advertisements, direction leaflets and brochures and even types his own patent applications—one draft only, since he refuses to make a mistake.”

Brean also highlighted Schlumbohm’s unconventional schedule, which the inventor insisted helped to fuel his creativity. On a typical weekday, Schlumbohm woke up late, worked on a few new ideas in the kitchen of his stylish penthouse, dropped by the small Chemex factory during the late afternoon (to check on his mail and eight female employees), and ended the evening hopping from restaurant to bar to restaurant again, where many of his best ideas originated. Schlumbohm liked to live large, cruising around Manhattan in a personalized Cadillac featuring a golden hood ornament shaped like a Chemex.history_christmas_RoyDotyhistory_schlumbohm_LIFE_1

Pick up a Chemex in our online shop here.

James Rhodes“We seem to have evolved into a society of mourned and misplaced creativity. A world where people have simply surrendered to (or been beaten into submission by) the sleepwalk of work, domesticity, mortgage repayments, junk food, junk TV, junk everything, angry ex-wives, ADHD kids and the lure of eating chicken from a bucket while emailing clients at 8pm on a weekend.”

Concert pianist James Rhodes wrote this compelling piece in The Guardian about his life as a concert pianist/creatively obsessed human. We think it’s well worth a read.

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Opening Reception 4-6 Saturday, November 9th

David Berkvam encourages his viewers to, “Please feel free to rotate and mutate the paintings. Have fun with circular symbiogenesis. Discover round transmutation. Enjoy rotary gene transfer. Experiment with turning clockwise and counterclockwise to evolve and devolve.” If you are in Portland, check out this playful and interactive new series from one of our favorites, David Berkvam.

See more of his work here.


Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook Trailer from MAST BROTHERS CHOCOLATE on Vimeo.

Check out this incredible video by our friends over at Mast Brothers Chocolate promoting their upcoming cookbook. You may be familiar with the brothers’ exquisite single origin chocolates in glorious hand-wrapped packaging. You’ve also embarked on the fantastic voyage with these bearded bros if you’ve ever ordered a mocha latte or hot cocoa in one of our New York cafes. We’re proud to team up with these guys who are so very good at what they do. Bravo fellas!


We’re happy to be in the throws of Portland Design Week. Check out the full schedule here and don’t miss our own legendary Tim Root at the No Bones 4 Halftones event Friday, where you can bring something to print on and the participating artists will screen print it for zero dollars. Read more about Root and the other talented folks making rad art accessible to everyone here.


No Bones 4 Halftones
HD Loft Studios
2319 NE Glisan Ave
Friday October 11, 6 pm – 1 am


On the very opposite end of the visual spectrum, Kinfolk is hosting an open house complete with snacks and Cold Brew pick-me-ups, as well as discounts on their mag and cookbook.