Local train cars, non-TriMet variety: boxcar planter set in walnut with bone white accent, $52 from Joe Gibson of Revolution Design House.

Revolution Design House might epitomize what is turning into a typical story of 21st-century Portland. They're a small, new collective, located in the close-in Central Eastside, founded in 2011 by two young entrepreneur/maker types. Wood and metalworker Joe Gibson got together with marketing guy Dylan Lynch, and together they espouse the creative and practical bent shared by so many Portland makers.

The goal of their business is to help makers bring ideas to market. They appreciate handmade, heartfelt craft, but also see the need for strategic, sensible production, sales and marketing to spread the handmade goodness. It's a hard combination to reconcile, and we hope they and others can walk that thin line merging handcrafted quality with fiscal sustainability. 

Some of the makers working with RDH are local designer collaborators, some are inhouse designers, i.e., Gibson himself. A new release this spring falls in the latter category. It's a line of succulent planter boxes by Gibson, the wood and metal maker guy.

The boxcar planters are simple, elegant and diminutive in stature, good for small, sculptural plants which of course is what so many succulents are. They're available as singles or trios, and in solid, natural-finish ash or walnut. The ash is light and sandy, the walnut deep and rich, and each is available with an optional accent color for its “sliced” ends – bone white for each type of wood, or bright turquoise blue (with walnut) or bright green (with ash). 

The planters measure 3 inches high by 3 inches deep, and 13 inches long when the three "cars" in the series line up together. The solid wood is carved out with a 2 ½ inch diameter hole, with a metal insert, into which you plant the recommended succulent. The sets of three are $42-$45 for ash, $52-$55 for walnut. Singles (in walnut or ash) are available for $15.

The boxcars are a welcome addition to the world of sleek, non-traditional ways to show off plants indoors.

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