Entries from November 30th, 2013

Instagram: November 2013

Nov 30, 2013

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And just like that, it’s the end of the month and time for another Instagram round-up.

 

This time, our team sent in photos from their holiday celebrations, outdoor adventures and personal design projects. The highlight: Alex, one of our graphic designers, dressed up as a certain movie character for Halloween (pictured middle row, centre) and we think he really nailed the look. His Followers must have thought so too – the Likes from this photo trumped all previous shots. Of course, it wouldn’t be a true EQ3 Instagram round-up without at least one pet shot, so we’ve thrown a doggy-gram into the mix, as well. How could we resist?

 

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Top row (left to right):

 

1. Dreidels on the first night of Chanukah. I’ve had these for twenty years!  – Jill, Director of Merchandising

2. There’s something about this time of year that makes the sky extra beautiful.  – Heather, Graphic Designer

3. A two page spread from a catalogue I released earlier this year.  – Thom, Creative Director

 

Middle row (left to right):

 

1. LEDs.  – Charles, Marketing Photographer

2. I was Forrest Gump for Halloween.  – Alex, Graphic Designer

3. People watching in her favourite spot!  – Heather, Graphic Designer

 

Bottom row (left to right):

 

1. A prototype made of cardboard for a table base.  – Thom, Creative Director

2. Lettering experiments.  – Alex, Graphic Designer

3. An architectural line study en route to the Millenium Library.  – Charles, Marketing Photographer

 

 

Instagrams taken by members of our marketing, merchandising and product design and development teams.

For more great Instagrams, follow our company account @EQ3_Furniture.

The Craft: Block Printing in India

Nov 28, 2013

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While travelling in India for work this past October, EQ3’s Accessory Product Manager Carla Zacharias discovered the art of Block Printing. She came back with beautiful photographs documenting the process of this craft, which she likens to that of stamp making – just on a much larger scale.

 

Every block printing project begins with a graphic or design drawn or printed onto paper.

 

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From there, the artisan sets up a wood block and lays a piece of carbon paper (paper with black on one side) over top. The paper graphic or design is then layed on top of the carbon paper and the artisan traces over the original design. The carbon paper transfers the tracing onto the wood block and the artisan then carves out the design using a thin, sharp piece of metal and a hammer that’s essentially just a piece of wood. A handle is added to the back of the carved block and the stamp is ready to be applied to fabric, paper or some other material.

 

The block print artisans are extremely skilled (as you can see from these photos!) and designs can be as simple or intricate as desired.

 

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Are you an artist or designer who’d like to see your work produced and sold across the country and beyond? EQ3 is currently looking for designs that can be produced with the block printing technique. Submit your art and designs by email to blog@eq3.ca or send us a private message on the EQ3 Facebook Page.

Please include ‘EQ3 Art + Design Submission’ in the subject line.

Interview: Carla Zacharias from EQ3

Nov 27, 2013

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We’re always amazed at the incredible amount of talent floating around our head office and retail stores. It’s a wonderful and inspiring thing to be surrounded by so many creative people. We wanted to give you a taste of what it’s like to be a part of our little family, and hopefully inspire you in the process, so we sat down with designer Carla Zacharias to learn all about her role here at EQ3!

 

Carla joined the product development team a little over 3 years ago, and has been bringing fresh, new designs to the EQ3 product line ever since. She’s a fantastic designer and has a great eye for detail. She’s also a go-to for the latest in design and colour trends, and has a deep understanding and appreciation for the craft of handmade rugs. This girl knows her stuff!

 

Read on to learn more about Carla’s work…

 

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Image source: portrait of Carla by Charles Venzon

 

EQ3  Tell us about your role here at EQ3. What does your job entail?

 

CARLA ZACHARIAS   My official title is Accessory Product Manager. My job is to develop, design and manage the creation of accessory specific products which include, but are not limited to lamps, tableware, rugs, and textiles. I oversee the entire process of a product from design brief to retail introduction. The process of any new launch of a product includes responding to a marketplace need, working with designers or designing, finalizing colours and materials of a product, finding a supplier, overseeing any manufacturing challenges, working with the graphic team on the packaging of a product, and finalizing product placement in the store with the visual team. Or to put it simply, my job is to develop product.

 

 

EQ3  What is your design background (educational / work)?

 

CZ  I went to school at the University of Manitoba in the Faculty of Architecture and graduated with a Bachelor of Environmental Design, specializing in Interior Design. Within that time, I also had an opportunity to be part of a furniture design studio.

 

 

EQ3  How did these experiences prepare you for your position?

 

CZ  The furniture studio prepared me for understanding materials and the importance of designing a product around the characteristics and the properties of each material. For example, wood is a living material and will shrink, grow, warp and change colour overtime, and understanding these properties is important for the design of a product, and can be celebrated within a design.

 

We also did a lot of space planning and floor planning, which have really helped me understand how people use space and furniture; and, that essentially affects everything that we do here at EQ3 in terms of product.

 

 

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EQ3  Let’s talk about designs you’ve done for EQ3. Can you highlight a few of them? Any favourites?

 

CZ  My first design that went into production was the Zach Rug. Some newer designs would include the Plaid and the Duplex bedding which just hit stores this fall, as well as the Chess Rug, Roscoe Rug and the Castra Rug. Coming in early next year are oiled oak stumpy wall hooks, and a collection of table linens. The Cheese Board, Cutting Board and Pizza Board were a collaboration with Creative Director Thom Fougere.

 

 

EQ3  What about the products you’ve brought in as a buyer. Any favourite finds there?

 

CZ  Definitely Urbio. The Tino Pendant. And, the Tiller Rug.

 

 

EQ3  We’re curious…what was your last EQ3 purchase?!

 

CZ  A Reverie Sofa and loveseat in Durango Rio (leather).

 

 

EQ3  You get to travel a lot for work. Where have you been? What experiences stand out most in your mind?

 

CZ  I have been to India, China, Taiwan, Germany, and Sweden. The place that stands out most is India, of course. I really got immersed in the handicraft side of production and the skills and crafts that are involved with that, especially the handmade rugs. Did you know it can take up to a year to make a hand knotted rug? Unreal! I also always really enjoy travelling to Europe…because of the coffee…and the food.

 

 

EQ3  What other perks come with the job?

 

CZ  Because we have to be aware of the marketplace, global trends and emerging design trends, a major perk in my job is that I’m “forced” to read blogs, magazines, and attend design shows. I think it’s awesome that that is part of my day-to-day tasks of working. Obviously, another perk is travel. I get to travel to places in the world that I would probably not have had a chance to otherwise see. I normally get to visit the locations unknown to tourists, getting a real feel for the culture. Also, how can you not enjoy working in an office environment with so many young, creative, talented people.

 

 

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EQ3  Your job requires you to stay on top of design trends. How do you manage this? Where do you look for inspiration?

 

CZ  Definitely at shows. I think the biggest show for inspiration would be Ambiente in Frankfurt. A lot of the well-known design brands showcase their new products and the show focuses on up and coming design trends and overall good design. It is always interesting to see how common materials are being transformed into design ideas – products you wouldn’t normally expect. Other inspiration comes from blogs, there’s always design weeks around cities, magazines, visiting design orientated retail stores while travelling…that type of thing. Sometimes just a weekend at the lake. I might see something that inspires me…the look of it, or the shape, and then that becomes something else.

 

 

EQ3  Do you have any reading recommendations – sites, blogs, magazines or other publications – that we should check out?

 

CZ  The EQ3 blog…haha! Also, My Scandinavian Home (myscandinavianhome.blogspot.com). I love European and Scandinavian influences.

 

 

EQ3  What are you currently working on? What’s next for EQ3’s accessory collection?

 

CZ  This spring we’re launching a collection that focuses on cottage living: textures, materials and natural, rustic references will be a key part of the collection.

 

I’m most looking forward to the Fall 2014 collection, but I’m not saying anything more about it!

 

 

EQ3 Guess our readers will have to wait and see! So, it’s clear that your job here at EQ3 keeps you busy. But, when you’re not working, where would we most likely find you?

 

CZ  In summer, at a lake, or on a patio. In winter, coffee shops or cooking/baking in my kitchen.

 

 

EQ3  What are your 3 must-have tools for living and working…things you can’t live / work without?

 

CZ  Pantone swatches, Illustrator & AutoCAD, and EQ3’s ice cream club.

 

Thanks Carla! We really need to find a way to join that club. It sounds amazing.

EQ3’s 12 Days of Giftaways

Nov 25, 2013

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Celebrate the holidays with 12 days of gifts from EQ3!

 

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Starting today, visit the EQ3 Facebook Page and sign up daily (between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. CST, from now thru December 6th) to be entered for a chance to win the daily giftaway in EQ3’s 12 Days of Giftaways contest. Winner(s) will be drawn following each giftaway, and will be contacted by email.

 

Click here to enter today’s giftaway. And, remember to keep checking back on the EQ3 Facebook Page to sign-up on each of the twelve days!

 

Shop this look:

Radiate Paper Star ($7.99) / EQ3+ Sagaform Santa Bottle Opener (9.95) / Hurricane Lantern, small ($9.99) / Juniper Wall Clock in red ($29.99) / Abisko Table Runner ($19.99) / Shadow Vase in red ($19.99) / EQ3+ Marimekko Vellamo Ornament ($11.00) / Check Pillow in red ($29.00) / Honeycomb Ottoman (price varies depending on fabric selected) / Ski Throw in red ($49.00) 

 

Note: Please review the Official Rules and Regulations here for complete details. Campaign ends December 6th, 2013.

The Craft: Making Artisan Ice Cream with Cornell Creme

Nov 22, 2013

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Today we’re exploring the craft of handmade artisan ice cream with Lisa Dyck, the owner of Cornell Creme.

 

Named after Cornell Dairy – the dairy farm Lisa and her husband William run just outside of Anola, Manitoba – Cornell Creme produces “perfectly handcrafted ice cream” made from milk and cream straight from their farm. Like most business ventures, Lisa started out by making ice cream for her family and friends. But everyone loved it and, soon after, Cornell Creme was born.

 

Of course, it’s not surprising why. Lisa’s ice cream is the real deal…the kind that’s made with real, pure ingredients.

 

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Cornell Creme packaging designed by Jolene Olive.

 

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Cornell Creme’s ice cream containers bare the ‘100% Canadian Milk’ symbol. Learn more here.

 

How It’s Made

 

There’s no secret here, just milk, cream, eggs and sugar.

 

These four simple ingredients form the base of every ice cream flavour Cornell Creme offers. Added to this delicious custard base are a variety of fresh ingredients – things like blueberries, vanilla beans and beer (yes it’s true!). There are no fillers or stabilizers…naturally.

 

We joined Lisa earlier this fall at the Dairy Science building on the University of Manitoba campus to get the inside scoop on the production process. The building facility is licensed by the Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and houses a Dairy Pilot Plant, complete with a pasteurization room and several production rooms for making cheese and ice cream. Lisa currently uses the facility to create small batches of Cornell Creme ice cream, which she packs in 1 litre containers and sells through various retailers in Manitoba. She also packages 4 litre pails for a number of local restaurants that offer Cornell Creme ice cream on their menus.

 

 

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Lisa and the plant’s dairy manager were in Day 2 of a production run, and they were using the Continuous Ice-Cream Freezer machine to fill containers with Cornell Creme’s Natural Vanilla Bean flavour. A group of university students majoring in Food Sciences were there lending a hand to gain practical work experience in their field. Careful attention was given in the set-up stage to have everything laid out in a small assembly line. Everyone was then assigned their task for the day – pouring the custard base into the machine, filling ice cream containers, covering with lids, taping the sides and finally, running full crates of ice cream containers down to the basement freezer.

 

Once production got under way, the process was actually quite simple, and the mood surprisingly light. Music played in the background, while the group described each step and threw out the occasional joke. Everyone was focused, though, and the assembly line ran like a well-oiled machine. During the process, the group took 3 samples of ice cream to test (one at the beginning, one mid-production, and end at the end). The dairy manager explained that samples are taken during every production run to test for contamination. The ice cream cannot be sold until the samples come back confirming it’s safe to eat.

 

Here’s what the process looks like:

 

 

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The custard base is poured into the Continuous Ice-Cream Freezer machine.

 

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The Continuous Ice-Cream machine transforms the base mixture into ice cream.

 

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The plant’s Dairy Manager fills containers so that ice cream is properly distributed.

 

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The lids go on immediately after containers are filled with ice cream.

 

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The lids are secured with tape on each side.

 

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Cornell Creme owner, Lisa Dyck transfers packaged ice cream containers into a nearby crate.

 

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Filled crates are moved downstairs to the basement freezer for storage.

 

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Post-production, floors are hosed down and milky water disappears down a central drain.

 

 

A big thank you to Lisa and the Dairy Science building’s Dairy Manager for inviting us in to document the process. Visit Cornellcreme.com to learn more about Lisa’s product.

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