8 days of this last week. Made it real hard to come back.
Ross Lake. North Cascades. Washington State.
To avoid some gawking strangers, I randomly strayed up onto a nice slope-y rock route that I *never* normally take. As I trotted up over a smooth rise and started picking up speed on the other side—THIS!—stopped me in my tracks.
When Ben Delaney & Darrin Griechen connected with me, asking me to check out their Kickstarter project for PACT, I was a little hesitant. After to all, I’ve featured a lot of leather goods on the LAB and the idea that anyone could reinterpret or reinvent the iStuff carrying case concept beyond what I’ve seen already, is pretty slim. Then I watched the video: …Sold!
When you use an object everyday, it really can sort-of become a part of you. You depend on it. You reach for it because you know you’ll find it. And in an odd way, it shapes you. It does! Slowly it begins to influence the formation of certain minute habits and physical choices. And, like all little things, these eventually do add up.
If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you may have gathered that I don’t tend to “get behind” things that I don’t actually believe in on some level. And while this ethos applies to my blog, it naturally applies even more in real life.
So when I got involved with my friend Darrin a few years ago to help him craft some images and messaging for a small personal art project he had been working on, it was because something about it resonated with me. I started to get it on a level that went deeper than just "oh, cool, neat stuff."
The reason it resonated with me was that it was actually about something. Something more than just The Stuff. It was about a set of Ideas. It was about creating and embracing limitations as a way towards growth. It was about stripping away whatever was non-essential in order to arrive at a purer version of a constructed object. And it was, deep down, about taking control over one’s life and developing a sense of Order, even in seemingly small ways.
These ideas, and others, have become the founding principles underpinning PACT, the design partnership that we have recently formed.
Why? Because even though our society is currently inundated with STUFF, we have decided to believe the old-fashioned notion that underneath the stuff can sometimes be found clues and pointers to the more important Stuff. We’re committed to that pursuit. And we hope that we can maybe find ways to live just a little bit better in the process, and inspire others to do the same.
(for more info… http://bit.ly/makeapact)
I am excited today to tell you all about a project I’ve been working on for the better part of this year! It’s called PACT.
My friend Darrin and I have formed a partnership centered around great design and built upon a highly principled foundation. Our first collection of products has been over 5 years in the making and reflects an uncommon refinement, a deep respect for the material, and an ethos of minimalism and simplicity that goes deep.
We have decided to pre-sell our initial collection via Kickstarter, so that we can acquire the specialized equipment necessary to produce it.
Specifically, we need lasers.
Because these pieces are pushing the edges of modern leather-craft in ways that no one else is doing, they require extreme precision to produce. You see, all five pieces in the collection are made using nothing but leather. No buckles, no clasps, no rivets or snaps. No stitching and no glue. Just leather—the best we can find, cut to sub-millimeter tolerances, and then carefully woven and folded together by hand to create fully integral cases.
We’re really proud of these and I would be honored if you’d give them a look over on Kickstarter.
Like any crowdfunding campaign, it’s critical that we get it in front of as many people as possible, especially in the early days. So I’m reaching out to my Tumblr friends to see if you’d help me spread the word. If you like what you see (and even if these aren’t the right product for you) it would mean the world to me if you’d share it with your friends and followers (or reblog this).
Thank you!! —Ben
I have often said things like "I miss the old days" about this sort of thing. But nostalgia is a trap. I don’t believe in it anymore. There is no such thing as the old days, just my memories of them. I can choose the things that I make part of my life right now. And when I do, they aren’t part of the “olden days”, they are the way I live right now. In 2014.
Can’t wait to throw a roll of film in it tomorrow.