Entries from April 30th, 2014

Instagram: April 2014

Apr 30, 2014

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One more glance at April before we spring forward to May, and hopefully to Spring-like temperatures!

 

Our favourite image this month comes from Brenna, EQ3’s Merchandising and Store Planning Designer. If you meet Brenna, you quickly discover that she’s crazy for all things pink. She enjoys the shade on everything from office pens, to clothing, to accessories. This girl is serious about the colour, and this Instagram (see below) reveals her favourite shade: Pantone 225 C.

 

After months of the winter blues, we’re ready for this vibrant hue too.

Other Instagram highlights include shots the foodie will love, images of Stockholm, a witty variation on EQ3’s Generation Art Contest for Easter (introducing: Generation “Egg”), plus other signs of Spring. Enjoy!

 

Instagrams taken by staff at our Head Office and EQ3 retail stores. For more great Instagrams, follow our company account @EQ3_Furniture.

EQ3 Does Fifties

Apr 28, 2014

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Art City is a not-for-profit community arts centre founded in 1998 by internationally renowned, Canadian contemporary artist Wanda Koop. Located in Winnipeg’s West Broadway neighbourhood, the centre provides high quality arts programming free of charge to local residents of all ages.

 

This past weekend, Art City hosted nearly 1000 people at their Sixteen Candles Fundraising Party and Art Auction at the Marlborough Hotel in Winnipeg. Guests dressed in fancy 1950s attire and enjoyed live music by Canada’s The Reverend Dr. Ottawa Fantastic (Greg MacPherson) and his Fantastics, and a dance party with music by DJ Hunnicutt and DJ Co-op.

 

Passionate about supporting the local art scene, EQ3 supports various art events, projects and fundraisers throughout the year (most notably, Generation Art). EQ3 was excited to be title sponsor of Art City’s annual party, and Marketing Photographer Charles Venzon volunteered his time to work the EQ3 Photo Booth featuring the Replay Sofa, Custom Oak Coffee Table and Marimekko Unikko Toss Cushions. Here are some of his faves from the event!

 

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Image Source: All photographs credited to Charles Venzon for Art City

EQ3’s Casegoods Product Developer Finds Inspiration in Transit

Apr 24, 2014

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Part of being an EQ3 product developer, means getting to visit interesting places throughout the year. And this is certainly true for Madi, EQ3’s Casegoods product developer. She regularly heads to the Eastern parts of the world for long stints in far off countries, and today, Madi’s sharing photographs from her most recent trip.

 

Unlike our Upholstery products, which are made in Canada, the majority of our casegoods collections are manufactured overseas. At EQ3, I work closely with a few amazing teams of people in China, Taiwan, Indonesia and Vietnam, and I have the opportunity to visit them often to review samples, develop our designs and hunt for new and exciting materials to use for our products.

 

During my travel, which is typically every six to eight weeks, I have the opportunity to experience many amazing places and cultures that inspire me, and motivate me in my work and life.

 

I have been to the edge of the North Korean – China border, to the central Java region of Indonesia all the way to Taipei, and have met the most amazing people and seen some equally amazing things along the way. Below are a few of my more memorable photos.

 

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Arial view of Southern China

 

The photo above is taken near Shenzhen China, a city that is part of the Pearl River Delta, and represents the general density of this area in China. The feeling of claustrophobia is un-avoidable when experiencing this area from a detached frame of reference. That being said, I promise that once you embrace the chaos and become accustom to the rhythm of this interesting place, one can draw a lot of inspiration from this country that is changing dramatically each day.

 

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Pink + Green Stone – Marble Supplier

 

Embracing chaos aside, sometimes I need a break from the speed and amount of people that surround me most days.

 

During such a break I turned a corner and stumbled upon the most magical of marble stones. Much like wood, the natural variations in marble create a condition that is completely original and beautiful in the way that not even true talent could create. A totally authentic example of finding beauty where you least expect it.

 

photo3-sizedInteresting wood – Oak supplier

 

As is reflected in our current product line, we’re all going crazy for natural woods, primarily Oak, Ash and Reclaimed teak. When we can, we work with suppliers who have their own sustainably harvested plantations. These suppliers are always fun to visit as I get to spend some time studying the interesting forms the logs have assumed. I love how these permanent deviations in form are meaningful representations of the life each tree has lived.

 

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Albasia Forest

 

Sometimes we spend time touring the forests themselves. Above is a photo of Albasia trees – the supermodels of the forest. These girls grow super tall and thin, and at a very rapid pace. Their wood is low-density, light and easy to work with.

 

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Curbside – Vietnam

 

A lot of my time is spent in transit. Transit creates in-between moments that, for me, were the moments I used to catch up on everything one needs to catch up on these days (email < instagram), but now are the moments where I fall in love with wherever I am, even just for a minute.

The Craft: Roasting Coffee with Other Brother Roasters

Apr 22, 2014

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Other Brother Roasters is a specialty coffee roasting company that operates out of Winkler, Manitoba (just a couple hours drive from our head office in Winnipeg). We first got wind of Other Brother through this post on Make Coffee’s Facebook Page. Their product packaging was what initially caught our eye, and after discovering they were local, we knew we had to learn more about them and the art of roasting coffee!

 

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We met with four of the five members that make up Other Brother Roasters: Sam Plett, Erin Plett, Andy Wiebe and Rachel Wiebe. Jon Plett (Sam’s brother) is also a partner in the company, but currently lives out of province. As is turns out, roasting is in their blood. Sam and Jon’s grandfather roasted peanuts and sunflower seeds, and their father is the owner of Sunny Day Products, a Winkler-based company producing quality, freshly roasted almonds, flax seeds, peanut kernels and other confectionery products. Sam had his first taste of quality coffee in 2011, after Jon launched Jonny’s Java, a socially conscious coffee, tea and smoothie shop in Winkler. Sam’s interest in coffee grew naturally from his brother’s new business venture (hence the name Other Brother), and he began roasting his own coffee beans with a popcorn machine in his garage.

 

In 2012, they moved operations into a real manufacturing space, and Other Brother was born out of a desire to bring good tasting, ethically sourced and locally roasted coffee to the community. Other Brother sells their beans through wholesale to coffee shops such as Jonny’s Java in Winkler and Make Coffee in Winnipeg, as well as restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores. Other Brother also offers monthly or bi-monthly subscriptions to individual customers interested in having coffee delivered on a regular basis, right to their door.

 

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The Art of Roasting Coffee

 

Every roast begins with raw (un-roasted) green beans. Other Brother brings a few samples of raw beans in at a time and all five members participate in a coffee tasting, also referred to as a Cupping. Each member brings their own palate and taste preferences to the tasting, particularly Andy Wiebe (partner at Other Brother and co-owner of Jonny’s Java) who is a Canadian Certified Barista Judge. Together, they form a well-rounded panel and decide as a group which coffee beans to bring in. All of the beans Other Brother roasts are purchased in-season, and have been freshly picked from farms where workers are fairly compensated for their labour.

 

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From left to right: Other Brother Roasters members Rachel Wiebe, Andy Wiebe, Erin Plett, Sam Plett (missing from photo Jon Plett)

 

Once Other Brother has finalized their selection, the beans are thrown through the roaster where they will lose 20% of their weight and moisture, and change colour from green, to yellow, to brown. Beans are roasted until they hear the First Cracking, usually after about 10 minutes or so. The first crack sounds very similar to popping popcorn and produces light roast coffee beans. A light roast accentuates what the bean has to offer – it’s elevation, variety and Terroir. The latter term is used to describe products such as wine, chocolate and tea. Wikipedia defines Terroir as “…the special set of characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place, interacting with plant genetics, express in agricultural products.”

 

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Leaving the coffee beans to roast a few minutes longer will result in a medium roast. And, another few minutes of roasting will result in a dark roast. At either of these stages, Other Brother can develop what they call the Roast Profile. By adjusting how they add the heat and how long they roast the beans for, Other Brother can change the roast and affect the taste of the coffee their beans will produce.

 

Other Brother Roasters believes it is their job to take the green bean and make it taste the best that it can. If you’re using a quality bean, they say the finished taste should be clean, pleasant, and what the coffee offers. There should be no bad or lingering aftertaste!

 

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Other Brother tweaks their roast a little each week, always striving to bring their customers the best cup of coffee they can.

 

Visit otherbrotherroasters.com to learn more about their coffee and to sign up for a coffee subscription! Also, check out the Other Brother Roasters Facebook Page, and follow @obroasters on Twitter and Instagram

 

Source:
1. Wikipedia.com, Definition of Terroir

Visual Inventory: Milan Furniture Fair

Apr 21, 2014

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EQ3’s Creative Director, Thom Fougere, is back to share culture recommendations and findings that are currently inspiring him. His Visual Inventory posts focus on a theme and how he’s seeing it used across different industries (ie. design, film, music, online, photography, etc.).

 

This month’s theme is:

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Milan’s Salone del Mobile is the biggest annual furniture event in the world. This year’s fair was a good one. Agreeable weather allowed for convenient trips around the city to the various off-site shows and to outdoor get-togethers at various open air courtyards, cafes, and galleries. Below, I’ve selected a few highlights to share from this year’s show. It is by no means a definitive guide, but rather some selections and observations of the things I saw during my short stay.

 

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I spent my first day at the Salone. Mattiazzi released a series of new chairs by the Bouroullecs amongst a few others.

 

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One of my favourite Japanese architects, Sou Fujimoto, designed a beautiful reflective forest installation for the Cassina booth.

 

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Vitra re-released a few archived designs by Alexander Girard. A lot of playful patterns and colours. The moon platter (shown in the background) and the triangular side tables were a few of my favourites.

 

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Arper product seemed secondary to their well-designed and colourful booth.

 

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Nanimarquina presented a nice new collection of rugs. This black and white patterned rug caught my eye. It’s vastly different from the selection of new designs they were showing at their booth this year.

 

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Most of my time, as it is with most who visit Milan, was spent walking all over the city to the various off-site shows. On day two I met a friend at the tucked away Project B Gallery which ended up being one of my favourites. Max Lamb created an installation for Dzek of a new marmoreal architectural surface made of resin-cast terrazzo.

 

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Right beside the Dzek installation, Faye Toogood exhibited her new curvilinear furniture set, Assemblage 4 collection, made mostly of raw fiberglass.

 

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A lot of the offsite venues give people the opportunity to venture away from the general public spaces of Milan, and into back alleys, courtyards, apartments, and tucked away showrooms that are often hard to access outside of the furniture fair. This is one courtyard that lead to the JP Home showroom that was quite striking.

 

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Hay made their presence known this year at the show, presenting their new collection in collaboration with Sabastien Wrong: Wrong for Hay, a Mini Market with hundreds of small goods available to purchase, new pieces for the Hay product line, and a packed party on Wednesday night.

 

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Nendo always manages to present their ideas in a dramatic fashion at the Milan Furniture Fair. This year they collaborated with COS on a small clothing line, and exhibited new product in a dark below-grade showroom.

 

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If there was one surprising trend that made an appearance almost everywhere, it was the return of Memphis – thirty three years after the Memphis group made their splash in Milan. If anything, much like the original movement, the Memphis look took over most decorative or graphical applications.

 

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Having never visited the showroom / gallery / cafe / patio Spazio Rossana Orlandi, it was an unexpected treat to come across.

 

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Walk the Line – a collaboration between Luca Nichetto and Toronto’s Mjolk presented the Sucabaruca coffee set, as well as the new Cheburashka tableware. A really beautiful collection.

 

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Berlin-based, long time EQ3 collaborators, 45 Kilo were part of a group exhibition called Desiderabilia, a well presented and interesting show.

 

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Also in the Lambrate area, Jamie Haydon presented some new work. I’m generally not the biggest fan of his work, but I thought one of his new light designs was a nice take on a modern-like chandelier.

 

Image Source: All photographs credited to Thom Fougere

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