For many of us, "arts and crafts" started and stopped with junior high tie-dye projects or earning a sewing badge in Girl Scouts. But it’s come a long way – including a long way from its adult purveyors being only the stereotypical pony-tailed hippies 1970s selling hand thrown pottery at weekend festivals. "Craft" today has many meanings, from craft beer to handcrafted chocolates to, well, handcrafted furniture. And Portland lays claim to being the capital of craft.
Delia Furniture is a small company that takes its crafting seriously. Naturally, they're located in Portland – in a North Portland building around the corner from Peninsula Park. Up until about six or so years ago, when Delia moved in, the building was a wholesale casket warehouse. Caskets were a dying business, but crafts are alive, if evolving.
Delia uses common, simple materials in somewhat unexpected ways. They can make metal sweet, silly and whimsical, for instance, in the popular garden gewgaws that Portlanders love, and in wine racks, even beds and tables. Other pieces – a line of simple, solid and clean-lined beds – use sheets of shiny steel that has been chemically treated (oxidized) until it has a resonant, deep tone that looks like richly colored wood.
See more of their work and the goings-on in the former casket warehouse by clicking on the slide show.
6524 N. Albina
Portland, OR 97217