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James Harrison and Evan Holt of Arborela work out of a studio warehouse in the Central Eastside, near outposts of the Pacific Northwest College of Art and Oregon College of Art and Craft. The two designers met through a mentoring program at the schools, where Evan was a student.
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Even craftspeople have to sit at a desk sometimes: Evan Holt at work in the Arborela studio. While he's launching the business with Harrison making the steel garden structures, Holt is continuing to use his woodworking skills. His solo business, Holt Woodworks, takes up an adjacent part of the warehouse.
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A primal form: the first egg. The official name of Arborela's largest piece is "the Cove," but Harrison often uses an affectionate nickname, "the Faberge Egg." The first one they created remains here in the studio, where they use it as a sculptural mold on which to form new eggs. (To date, no chickens have been involved.)
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Installing the tomato cages can involve some muscle. The 3/8-inch square welded solid steel is very sturdy, and can take a lot of weight, so one can push it solidly into the soil. By contrast, typical tomato cages often come off the delivery truck broken.
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The newest piece in the Arborela line of garden structures is the Arch. Here, newly installed spanning a sidewalk, its light lattice look is on display. If planted with climbing vines, it could become a magical green gateway? An emerald threshold?
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