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  • Wool Felt iPad Sleeve

    Oh goody! Here comes our next new Grove product, and it’s mighty fine! Compatible with first, second, and third-generation iPads, our iPad Sleeve is a fashionable addition to our new product line inspired by Apple’s latest release. The Wool Felt iPad Sleeve is a protective yet stylish sheath for your iPad made with our natural bamboo veneer and thick premium wool felt imported from Germany. Available in charcoal or sandstone, the sleeve is a great option if you’re concerned with protecting your iPad but still want to enjoy it’s slim feel while using it. Our sleeve doesn’t mind sharing the spotlight; it’s great for use along with the Apple Smart Cover. While the Grove iPad 3 Case and most others aren’t likely to fit in the sleeve, your case may fit if it is exceptionally thin. Since we hate to disappoint, our suggestion is to assume the sleeve cannot be used with a case. Along with sheer beauty, ease-of-use is an important benefit of this chic clutch. The iPad is kept secure with a snappy magnetic closure easily opened or closed with one hand. The solid design of our sturdy felt and bamboo veneer allows the sleeve to make a strong statement without any floppin’ around. We mold the bamboo veneer to the shape of the iPad and sew both materials together using special techniques that ensure a smooth feel for our customers. As is the Grove way, the sleeve also comes with the bragging rights of supporting an ethically produced product made by hand here in Portland. Please beware that if you go with this sleeve, people will probably invade your personal space to reach for the silky, hand-oiled bamboo and pleasantly textured wool. Go ahead and soak up the attention. Or, hide. It’s your choice. The Wool Felt iPad Sleeve will be priced at $99, with a limited-time introductory price of $79 through the end of March. We think you’re gonna love it! Article by Mary Yajko. Mary is a Grove customer support rep and crazed blogger originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.
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  • "The Month From Health"

    Who’s ready for an onslaught of healthy living?   Team Grove has declared March as “The Month From Health”, and we’re pulling out all the stops.  What started as one lad’s simple wish to eat better, has spiraled into a company wide, no holds barred, face full of HEALTH!   “It’s all about breaking old habits, and replacing them with something positive,” said Ginger G, woodshopper extraordinaire.  “Hopefully it will change into a regular routine by the end of the month.”    By checking in with each other daily, we are helping one another reach our own personal goals.   Wholesome highlights include: a raw food cleanse, daily yoga classes, walking to work, nutritious breakfasts, morning chin ups, homegrown alfalfa sprouts, working out at the gym, organic apple cider vinegar drinks, evening jogs, Ken’s cilantro juice fast, and of course, bikes!  goGrove! What healthy practice will you pick up this month?  Let us know! Written by Mike Schultz. He is an oil painter from Ithaca, New York.  When he is not working for Grove, he’s painting and drawing to his heart’s content.  You can see his work on his blog and his website.
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  • Grove Buzz on DigitalTrends

      If you’re a Grove fan, you probably know our co-founders Ken and Joe. But if you don’t, come meet them! Digital Trends, an online resource with easy-to-read reviews of trendsetting consumer products, posted an article covering the 10 necessities that our two cofounders can’t live without. Written by Kelly Montgomery, the post mentions a myriad of items, from a rainproof Nau jacket that allows Oregonians to comfortably commute on bike to a MacBook Air with its portable sleek design and reliability. It also provides a glimpse into the Apple-centric and outdoorsy Pacific Northwest world of Grove’s cofounders, culture, and products. Their choices really shed light on what Joe and Ken value and how their unique personalities came together to form Grove. “...Tomita had experience with custom-designed wood furniture, and Mansfield had previously worked engraving laptops, laptop cases, and leather covers for Moleskine notebooks. Now they run a successful small company (where everything is done in-house) that focuses on design, quality, and customer satisfaction.” Thanks, Digital Trends! We hope to keep you buzzing with our newly released product lines! Written by Sylvia. She is a member of the Grove Customer Service triumvirate with a penchant for correcting spelling errors and a love for languages and world cuisine. She wishes she had superhero powers to fight against modern day slavery and human trafficking. For now, she aims to be a voice for the voiceless.
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  • What surprises Apple had in store for us on the "iPad 3"

    Yesterday Apple announced their latest and greatest 3rd generation iPad. Our development crew eagerly watched the live stream from engadget.com as the drama of the product launch unfolded.  As case makers, what really matters to us is the external shape, not hardware and software upgrades. The rumor mill was mostly correct on new features headlined by the retina display, 5 megapixel camera w 1080p HD video and 4G LTE capability so no drama there.    “Say the name already!”, one of us screamed as Tim Cook and other VPs continued to ramble on about software and technical specs. There was much speculation over what the new iPad would be called in the weeks leading up to the announcement. Most referred to it as the “iPad 3” while a few days before rumors started spreading that it would called “iPad HD”. Finally, an hour and a half later the press conference ends with Apple simply referring to it as “the new iPad”. Our team was prepared to launch our new case but we needed to know what to call our product before we could officially put it online.  “The new iPad case”? That is not gonna cut it as the name of our product. Apple always gets us with a curveball somehow everytime.  Last time it was the magnets and smart cover. This time, the name is where they really surprised us all!   article written by Ken Tomita, Grove co-founder
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  • Say Hello to the Grove iPad Case for the iPad 3 errrr.... "new iPad"

    This is the first of our 3 product releases for the brand new iPad, announced today by Apple.  Sound the alarms and get ready to show off the head-turning Grove iPad Case for the new 3rd generation iPad.  Surrounding the big reveal of the new iPad specifications, our design team has been working around the clock to create a case for the product building off the popular aesthetic of our iPad 2 Case. Eye-catching design, functionality, and natural materials come together in this tight ensemble crafted in our Portland workshop. In addition to our all-natural vegetable-tanned leather, we’re excited to offer a new variation of our case. Our luxurious wool felt imported from Germany is a great accent to the bamboo shell of the case and a perfect alternative for those who choose not to use leather products. In listening to your feedback about our iPad 2 case, we’ve made a design improvement we think you’ll love: the new single panel leather cover is now permanently attached to the bamboo shell, making it work great on your lap in landscape mode. This offers a more convenient experience and can easily be folded flat against the back of the case for optimal functionality, also putting the new iPad to sleep automatically when not in use. We’re thrilled with the visual result of our newest case, but we’ll let you be the judge: In terms of functionality, the bamboo shell is incredibly secure; the new iPad won’t slip out of the case no matter how hard you dance while holding it (we dance pretty hard around here) with our special over-hang design. Our all-natural, vegetable-tanned leather has the same wonderful feel as our iPhone Leather Backs  released last week. For the leather option, choose from plain, Artist Series, or a custom image of your choice if you really want to make your friends jealous.   The new iPad Case is priced at $139 for wool felt, $139 for plain leather, $149 for Artist Series Leather, and $179 for custom engraved leather. Place your order by March 31st, and we will offer a $20 discount to celebrate the launch of iPad 3! Yeah, we’re pretty excited over here. Have further questions? Reach out on our Facebook wall and we’ll get back to you in no time. Stay tuned next week for our next all-natural accessory for Apple’s latest release! **UPDATE 3/8.  We do not know if our new case will fit the iPad 2 until we get our hands on the new iPad and finalize the fit.  For now, please assume only the new iPad (3rd gen) will fit.  Please stay tuned!** Article by Mary Yajko. Mary is a Grove customer support rep and crazed blogger originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, the art in everyday life, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.
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  • Welcome to Grove, Ariella!

    We’d like to introduce the newest member to Team Grove, Ariella!  Earlier this month, she started her position as a production assistant, and is already sanding her heart out and sewing the leather covers on our iPad cases with gusto.  Ariella aka “The Songbird” aka REI aka “Sticky Fingers”, hails from the piney meadows of Limerick, ME, a quaint hamlet nestled in the Northeast’s most cherished state.  Recently, she graduated from Reed College with a Bachelors of Art in Anthropology, and wrote her thesis on “Human Zoos”.   Already, she’s known around the wood shop for her good humor, enthusiastic spirit, and bursting into cheerful song at a moments notice. She appreciates the relaxed atmosphere in the workshop, as well as the emphasis on making the Grove community a healthy environment to work in. We here at Grove are very deliberate about our company growth, and strive to maintain a positive culture in the workplace! Important facts you should know about Ariella: She took karate for 8 years, and is ready to kick some tushy if you badmouth Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.  She’s a bloody Mary enthusiast, a French macaroon lover, and owns a notorious cat, Moxie.     She’s also been singing her entire life, and has been performing her unique blend of R&B, funk, and folk, for seven years.  Her band is called “SlowClap AfroNation”, and you can peep them here on Sound Cloud. We welcome Ariella to our community with open arms, as Grove enters a vibrant expansion stage.  As she said on her first day of work, “We’re halfway there, livin’ on a prayer!”  Indeed... go Grove! Written by Mike Schultz. He is an oil painter from Ithaca, New York.  When he is not working for Grove, he’s painting and drawing to his heart’s content.  You can see his work on his blog and his website.
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  • All About Mike Schultz, Grove’s Studly New Production Assistant

    Mike “Schultzy” Schultz is one of the newest additions to Team Grove! He is a proud founding member of the Grove dance squad, The Meryl Streeps, for which he moonwalks and carries a bike chain.  His daytime cover is a production assistant who diligently sands down iPhone and iPad bamboo cases, but don’t be surprised if you hear loud laughter over the sound of CNC lasers and rough sandpaper!  The wood shop crew definitely loves to keep each other laughing - good humor is a prerequisite!   Mike was drawn to Grove because he feels that “[Grove] takes care of its employees, and is engaging in deliberate slow growth to preserve its culture.  I like to work for small, people-powered companies!”. Mike hails from Ithaca, New York but is most recently joining us from a 15-month stint overseas along the Thai-Burma border.  He was instrumental in developing a fully functioning arts and crafts studio in Mae Sot, Thailand called The Puzzlebox Art Studio, where his passion for art as an oil painter naturally lent itself to teaching foundations drawing and design to the Burmese migrant youth. Be sure to check out Mike’s stunning collection of art! Mike is now back in Portland with his lovely partner Elizabeth and their insane kitten, Little Nova. He also enjoys healthy living, which means bicycling to work - as does 80% of the Grove team (I’m guesstimating!) - and growing tasty sprouts in his kitchen for himself and his lady.   Welcome home, Schultzy! Written by Sylvia Choi. She is a member of the Grove Customer Service triumvirate with a penchant for correcting spelling errors and a love for languages and world cuisine.  She wishes she had superhero powers to fight against modern day slavery and human trafficking. For now, she aims to be a voice for the voiceless.
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  • Five Bold iPad 3 Predictions

    Since the iPad 3 is expected to hit the markets soon, here’s a run-down of some of the rumors that have been circulating about the highly anticipated hardware: The iPad 3 will be announced next Wednesday, March 7 and will feature a quad-core processor and 4G LTE chipset technology. According to some credible Apple-devoted websites, the iPad 3 is due to be unveiled in the beginning of March (in other words, really, really, really, really soon)! The new iPad is said to feature a quad-core A6 processor, 2048×1536 “Retina” display (also featured in the iPhone 4), and 4G LTE chipset technology. More on this rumor from TUAW, MacRumors, and Cult of Mac: http://aol.it/x4RGEu http://bit.ly/A2lscH http://bit.ly/wZTZ1n The body of the iPad 3 will be slightly thicker with a tapering bottom, accommodating a new 8 megapixel camera. The iPad 3 will have some real curves - it ain’t no size-zero prototype model! According to TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog), the iPad 3 will have a body about about 1 to 1.5 mm thicker up top with a tapering bottom. The alleged increase in thickness fuels rumors about a possible 8 megapixel back camera on the device.   More on this rumor: http://aol.it/wU68Ip http://bit.ly/w5YJY1 The iPad 3 will have a 2048×1536 “Retina” display. After a display was acquired that was rumored to be made for the iPad 3, talk of a 048×1536 9.7 inch “Retina” display (the same display used in the iPhone 4) has been backed-up. MacRumors literally compared the supposed iPad 3 display to one from an iPad 2 under a microscope and found that the pixels on the iPad 3 display are one-quarter the size of those on the iPad 2. More about this rumor: http://aol.it/vZBxHY http://bit.ly/xmmFEi An image of the front glass of the iPad 3 reveals no significant changes (aside from a larger camera hole). Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo got its hands on what appears to be a glass screen manufactured for the iPad 3. The image shows that the front of the iPad 3 will be nearly identical to the front of the iPad 2, including the same round home button. The only differences in the display are a larger camera hole and an altered positioning of the inner ribbon cable. More about this rumor: http://bit.ly/yALxig http://bit.ly/zdhvpc Source suggests spring romance is budding between the iPad 3 and Ryan Gosling. Ryan Gosling was evidently seen canoodling with the iPad 3 on the set of Only God Forgives this weekend. According to an eye-witness, Gosling was holding the iPad 3 in his hands and caressing it lovingly with his fingertips. Gosling was quoted as saying, “even though the iPad 3 doesn’t exist yet in the market, I can’t keep my hands off it. I find that I smile to myself throughout the day just thinking about my future with the iPad 3.” More about this rumor: http://bit.ly/siVn Needless to say, we are on the edge of our seats for the official iPad 3 specs to be released so our team can get down to business designing an amazing case worthy of this fancy new tablet. Wah hoo! Tell us what you want to see on the iPad 3 on Twitter @grovemade #ipad3 by Mary Yajko
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  • Grove Leather Backs!

    We are so excited to introduce the new Grove Leather Backs for the iPhone 4 and 4s! Grove Leather Backs are genuine leather and hold fast to the iPhone with a special adhesive similar to double-sided tape. In typical Grove fashion, we use all-natural leather and craft the Backs entirely in our workshop in Portland, Oregon. Our 100% vegetable-tanned leather is sourced from Hermann Oak, one of the last tanneries still based in the United States. We go out of our way to use vegetable-tanned leather because it’s all-natural, full of unique variations, and feels great in your hand. Real leather also ages gracefully, developing a beautiful patina with everyday use.  We wax the edges by hand with natural beeswax! Several of our team members have happily tested our Leather Backs on their iPhones during the past few weeks. The Leather Back is removable, and the adhesive leaves no residue or damage on the surface of the phone. You may be able to reapply your Leather Back effectively a few times, if necessary. Available in London tan or black, the Leather Backs will be offered at a special introductory price of $19 for plain and $29 for the Artist Series. Be sure to place your order by March 31st, when the price will rise to $29 and $39, respectively. We’re pumped about presenting our tightly curated Artist Series of world class illustrations in this medium.  The Grove Leather Back is a classy and affordable way to set your iPhone apart while introducing a little art into your daily routine. In the future, we’re planning to create a custom option for Leather Backs for the artists among you.  The current lead-time on plain and Artist Series Leather Backs is two to four weeks. Stay tuned for more info on new products from Grove right here and on Facebook. Wrangle your iPhone and slap some leather on that lil’ doggie. Yeehaw! by Mary Yajko
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  • MacWorld 2012

    Joe and I just got back from MacWorld 2012 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Neither of us had ever been and we were curious as to how the event was holding up since Apple pulled out a few years ago. Trade shows have been on the downturn in general and we've read that MacWorld has changed from a business-to-business model to a business-to-consumer model in an attempt to buck the trend.     There were accessories for everything you could imagine! Lots were cheap, plastic, "Made-in-China" type goods. The most impressive products (coincidentally or not) were made in America and it was obvious that their employees were more knowledgeable and had greater pride in their offerings. Some things you just can't fake! Overall, there were many smaller vendors and fewer of the big boys such as Griffin and InCase. It seems like MacWorld is becoming a place for developing businesses to shoot for the big leagues rather than for established companies.   While we didn't have a booth this year, it was worth checking out just for fun. Maybe we will be back next year. So long MacWorld! 
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  • Good Times on Instagram

    We really like transparency here at Grove.  Being an all inclusive team doing everything from design to manufacturing, we really want to be able to connect with our customers in a direct way.  A little known fact about Grove is that we do our web development in-house as well.  One of our shop guys, Jamey, built an instagram app for our homepage showing our recent feed.  We are working on an even more high powered version but this will do for now.   My favorite instagram picture so far!  It looks like an album cover.  Come follow us on instagram @grovemade! 
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  • Shark week is every week!

    What says "Merry Christmas" better than helping in the fight to protect the world's sharks? Serious. PangeaSeed is a grassroots organization based in Tokyo Japan dedicated to educating and raising international awareness on the plight of sharks and the destruction of their habitat. Through volunteer activism, research and the various mediums of art, music, film, and photography, PangeaSeed aims to create an open dialog with the global community to develop an understanding of the need to preserve and protect sharks and the oceans. These guys are doing some great work for ocean conservation and have partnered with some amazing artists in the process, including Josh Keyes, Rhys Cooper, and the master behind our new case design, illustrator John Fellows. We at Grove are very pleased to collaborate with PangeaSeed on our most recent iPhone 4/4S case release, and a portion of each case sold will go towards helping their cause. Additionally, please consider taking a look at PangeaSeed's website (which is a work of art in its own right) to learn more about their latest international events and what you can do to help. Be warned that some of the imagery may be graphic.  CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
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  • Grove at the Portland Bazaar

    We're stoked to be presenting at the Portland Bazaar this weekend at the Sandbox Studio building at 420 NE 9th Avenue, Portland. The Portland Bazaar is curated by Grace Bonney (Design*Sponge), Greg Hennes (Antler and Co.) and Matt Pierce (Wood & Faulk). The fair is a celebration of some of the most talented makers in the Pacific North West and we're flattered to be chosen as a vendor. We'll be selling bamboo iphone 4 cases and bamboo art, and are excited to see what the other makers have to show off. If you happen to be in Portland this weekend, stop by to say hi! 
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  • It's Movember!

    Look at these beautiful Grove mustaches in training!  This month, the Grove Team has donated our upper lips to raise awareness for men’s health. Movember is a worldwide movement which helps raise funds and awareness to combat prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. Grove will be matching the donations our team members receive. We’ll also be donating 100% of proceeds for the rest of November on the Mustache Bamboo Backs for MacBooks. Don't forget to visit the Grove Movember page http://mobro.co/grovemade to Donate!
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  • @Grovemade Twitter Contest

      Woohoo we are at 2000 twitter followers!!! So rad.  In celebration, we're giving away 2 Grove "tree" iPhone4 cases! RT (re-tweet) to be eligible to win 1 of 2 Grove Tree cases. Ends Nov30 retweet this: Tweet
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  • Cyber Monday Sale!

    Those of us who survived the chaos of Black Friday can now move onto Cyber Monday.  Grove is taking part with a 30% off special on all Grove Bamboo Art through the end of November!  Break away from the rectangle with our laser cut and engraved Bamboo Art.  Makes for great stocking stuffers or a little somethin for yourself ;) Use discount code: 30BambooArt.  [Valid through November 30]  
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  • Open House November 12th!!!

    Set your calendars! We are having our annual open house Saturday November 12th at 17 SE 3rd Ave #502 Portland, OR 97214 from 6pm till 10pm.  We will be making a special sculpture for the event, have some product displays, be giving away some free stuff, and have discounted Grove merchandise for sale.  Last but not least we will have a keg. Looking forward to meeting you!
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  • Bamboo Bezel is Back!

    With the release of the iPhone 4S in white we have received an overwhelming number of requests to bring back the Bamboo Bezel.  Its true, the bamboo bezel option looks much better than the black bezel on a white iPhone.  We always try to listen to what our customers are saying and do our best to fulfill their wishes.   To commemorate the launch of the iPhone 4S we are bringing the bamboo bezel back at a special price starting at $69!  I do really think it looks great on the white iPhone.  I hope you do too! 
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  • iPhone 5 or 4s?

    Tomorrow is the big announcement on the new iPhone(s).  We at Grove have been following the rumors for months.  Blogs such as TUAW and MacRumors are great for keeping up on the latest.  Unlike the iPhone4 which had the infamous Gizmodo leak (Apple engineer leaves a prototype at a bar), Apple has been able to keep their latest plans relatively leak-free, thus shrouding the latest iPhone release in mystery.   Much of the confusion results from new case designs which have been popping up in China showing a slightly tapered tear drop design.  Some case makers feel confident enough about that direction that they have been manufacturing these cases for weeks, believing it to be the "iPhone 5".  However, there have been no reliable reports of any of these being made in the supply chain fueling theories that the next iPhone will be an "iPhone 4s" which is identical to the iPhone 4 on the outside but upgraded inside, similar to the iPhone 3/iPhone 3GS.   Most media publications are going back and forth on whether it will be a completely new "iPhone 5" released or just an upgraded iPhone 4.  We at Grove are ready for either scenario to develop a new case as soon as possible.  By doing all the design/prototyping/production ourselves right here in our workshop in Portland, Oregon, we can be quicker and much more nimble than the big corporations to develop new products.  No need to fly to China. ;)  
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  • Introducing Grove Bamboo Backs!

      Introducing Grove Bamboo Backs for MacBooks! Instantly break the ice when you open your MacBook's display with a personalized cutout that subtly but unmistakably transforms your MacBook's logo to one of Grove's growing collection of 40+ quirky icons. You can get a mustache for the ironic hipster in your life, the "@" sign for web nerds, or a radiation symbol to warn others of your dangerous nature! When the Macbook is turned on your personalized cutout will illuminate just like the Apple logo. Starting at $29, Grove Bamboo Backs are a fun and affordable way to stand out from the crowd and express yourself! Check out the stop motion video we made of the bamboo backs in action!
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  • "Radiant Totem" by Damion Silver

      We're pleased to introduce a new design from long-time collaborator Damion Silver (iPhone, iPad). We got a chance to ask Damion for a bit of insight into his process... Please give us a brief bio and description of your background as an artist. I grew up in Connecticut and got into skateboarding when I was around 11. I always drew as a kid, was always into art and music. I took Intro To Design in IA Class in high school and that kind of set my path, screen printing shirts and selling them at contests and such. I started showing work in the early 90's in cafes and galleries, lots of photo work initially followed by more paintings. What medium do you prefer to work in? My latest work is collage and assemblage based, lots of found objects, paper goods and such. I mix my character totem-esq drawings in along with other words and doodles. I have been bringing back these faces I have been drawing forever. They are like little meditations on people and places. The work is always changing and evolving. I really enjoy working with a mixed bag of things. Old paper, spray paint, ball point pens, photo copy transfers, acrylics, then using some technology too. Laser etching and digital prints. What's in your artists toolkit A band saw, table saw, compound miter saw, wood glue, all kinds of paint, lots of found wood and signs, silk screens, boxes of paper, wood carving knives. My favorite new tool is a blow torch. Experimenting with that now. It's fun. What's your work space like? My space is now in the basement of my house. My wife says its a "man cave" but I like "studio." Two large tables, full wood shop, screen printing turntable, piles of wood and records, empty beer bottles and lots of pieces in the works. Can you walk us through your typical work day? During the week I do the nine to five as a Design Director so that's alot of meetings, drawings and problem solving. After nine I get in the studio and work for a few hours. On the weekend it's me kicking it with my kid, hitting up flea markets in the good weather and when he naps I get in the studio and work. I guess I'm constantly trying to create things with my kid, at work or in the studio. Who are some of your influences? Artistically, Rauschenberg has always amazed me. Early 90's (Adam) Cost and Revs in NYC, and Dondi White. His work is just timeless. Personally it would be my grandfather. He was the most influential person in my life. He was not an artist or anything. Just a solid guy. I still try to rise up and be like him. Miss ya Gramps! Does music influence your work? If so, what are some of your favorites? Oh for sure. It feeds the creative process. I have been blindly buying records as of late. Some new good stuff I've been listening to has been Mahavishnu Orchestra, Buddy Miles and Santana, Richard Pryor, Shuggie Otis. Hendrix will always be at the top. It all depends on the mood. Some Classic BDP, Primus, Iron Maiden. Lots of new metal like Priestess, Witch, Electric Wizard. I'm all over the place musically. What would your dream project be? A big public installation using objects and iconography from the surrounding area for a park or maybe a museum courtyard. That would be a great project, leaving something behind that outlasts me. Finally, what advice would you give to a young artist? Stay the course, have fun, experiment. Don't let people tell you what your work needs to be like, just do what feels good. If you are looking to show work in galleries find spaces where you respect the artists they show and reach out to them.
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  • Introducing "Submarine" by Ryan Chapman

    The hits just keep on coming! We're pleased to introduce "Submarine", a new design from England-based illustrator Ryan Chapman. Chapman works in a variety of mediums including paint, vector, and plasticine figures. Ryan was able to give us a bit of insight into his work and process. Please give us a brief bio and description of your background as an artist. Ryan Chapman : I've always drawn as far as i can remember. I don't come from an art family but I do remember my mother painting our walls in chalkboard paint so me and my brother could draw on the walls. When I left school I applied to study graphic design at college but I was told I had to get the right grades from school to be accepted. When I got my results they were not good enough, so I decided to just go along on the first day of college anyway as I had nothing to lose. They did a call sheet and at the end asked if anyone had not been called out. A few other people put up their hands, me included. Four years later I finished with a dagree in illustration. What other jobs have you done outside of the fine art world? RC : After graduating I worked in advertising in London, then spent a good few years living and traveling all over the world, doing a range of design and non-design related jobs including surf instructor, furniture removal man, graphic designer and product designer. What tools are in your toolkit? RC: I use a lot of solid bold colours when i paint so i really enjoy cell vinyl paint. Its thick and drys quickly, but the results are the best. What's your work space like?  RC: I used to share a beautiful old top floor warehouse space in Estonia. It was a great space I shared with a group of designers, film makers and musicans. The summers were amazing, but the winters in Estonia would reach - 20°, so it got a little chilly. I'm now living back in London and working from a small but cozy studio/home pod. Can you walk us through your typical project process? RC: I start with my sketch book which I carry everywhere. I usually look through it for ideas and sketches, things that i scribbled roughly and forgot about. Then from there it's onto the computer or paint. What are some of your influences?  RC: Forests, the ocean, waves, shapes, traveling, airports, surfing, boats, instruments, people living simply in order to stay creative. Do you create to music? If so, what's currently on your playlist? RC: Currently on my playlist is Wild Nothing, Serge Gainsbourg, Slayer, M83, Nick Drake. What's on the horizon?  RC: I have just been taken on by YCN London agency for my illustration commissions. I'm currently in the process of creating a modern and simplistic version of the 'Ship in a Bottle.' It's a tricky process, but the end result should be eye-catching and something I hope to release in a limited edition. I'm also working on a range of landscape posters based on surf locations I visited on my recent trips to Australia and California. Do you have a dream project? RC: I would love to write and illustrate a childrens book based on a small Turtle that loses his shell. That's all I have for now.  Finally, do you have any advice for upcoming artists?  RC: Draw. Try not to look too much at what others are doing (it just makes you sad) and introduce yourself and your work to as many companies and people as possible. You never know where it might lead.
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  • "Two Birds" iPad 2 case now available!

    Many of you have asked us when Mike Klay's popular design "two birds" will be available for our iPad 2 case, and the answer is now! His design has been a long time favorite on our bamboo iPhone 4 cases. The intricate branches look even better stretching across our leather iPad cover. Check out the short interview with Mike below and be sure to browse his other work at PowerSlideDesign. Please give us a brief bio and description of your work. I'm originally from San Jose, CA and currently reside in Seattle where it doesn't rain as often as people may think. I design and silk screen art prints and concert posters. My work consists of sleek patterns, rough textures and vector shapes without complicating things.  I also take on other freelance projects to keep things fresh. What inspires you?  The great outdoors.  Nothing gets the brain flowing more than open spaces with views. What medium do you prefer to work in?  I'm a vector man, Illustrator is my friend.   What's in your artists toolkit? A sketchbook, pencils, pens, a macbook & iMac, some emulsion, screens, ink & squeegees. What's your work space like? I print in my garage, pack tubes with prints in my basement, and draw everywhere else. Can you walk us through your typical work day? Not really.  Every day is different.  I do have a day job though, so that's pretty much the same Monday-Friday. Who are some of your influences? My fellow poster artists on gigposters.com.  Some of the most talented individuals creating art on the planet right now. Does music influence your work? If so, what are some of your favorites? As a seasoned concert poster artist, I usually ask myself just one question before starting on a design for a certain band. What does the music look like? If I follow this recipe, I usually end up creating something that works really well.  Bloc Party w/Menomena (19" x 25" 3-Color Screenprint) What piece/project are you most proud of and why? It always ends up being my most current project or print.  I guess that's what keeps me going in a forward direction. What would your dream project be? Finishing my Music City series of prints.  4 out 12 completed.  After that, I can start thinking about something new. "Electric Beat" from the Music City series (24" x 18" 2-Color Screenprint) What's on the horizon? Printing just got a little easier now that I bought a semi-automatic press.  Less trips to the massage therapist! If you could have one super power, what would it be? The ability to clone myself to do 2 things at once. Finally, what advice would you give to a young artist? Only create art if you're passionate about it.  Don't listen to anyone else, the only opinion that matters is your own.  
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  • Hand-rubbed Natural Finishes

        Apple products are so clean and shiny with perfect looking materials such as anodized aluminum and glass.  Pretty much when you take em out of the box for the first time they get damaged or scratched and we groan “arrrgggghh”.  They instantly degrade and slowly get worse and worse over time.  We buy cases for these products because we don’t want that to happen.  The Grove way of thinking is the total opposite where our products are made of natural imperfect materials and they are supposed to wear gracefully with time and get better, not worse!        Typically, mass produced wood products are sprayed with a laquer or polyurethane clear coat which gives the wood a plastic layer of protection.  While being the most efficient and protective way of finishing wood, quite often it results in a plasticky look which I object to.  Covering up the wood with plastic to give it properties that are not wood like is strange to me.  Why use wood in the first place if you want it to be plastic?  From my many years of building custom furniture www.tomitadesigns.com I have always preferred hand rubbed natural oil finishes.  Oil finishes penetrate and go into the wood, rather than on top.  They bring out the beauty of the grain and still allow you to feel the material for what it is because it is inside, not outside the material.  It allows the material to be what it is and be true to itself.  In the long run an oil finish will hold up better than a plastic clearcoat.  Clearcoats scratch easier and can yellow or peel in time and are near impossible to repair yourself.  Oil finishes get better with age and can be reapplied if necessary by amateurs.       At Grove we use a 4 step proprietary process for finishing our bamboo products.  Some of the ingredients in our process are tung oil, special aged linseed oil, beezwax, pure citrus solvent, pine rosin, sunflower oil, soybean oil, thistle oil, carnauba wax, and candelilla wax.  The oil has to be rubbed in by hand and then buffed out.   The result of all this tedious hand work is a finish that will patina gracefully with time.  As you touch it your hand oils will darken the finish similar to how leather darkens with use.  Many people love the smell too, primarily from the pure citrus solvent which smells like orange peels!  If you are lucky you will get a case hand finished by my mom. She does about half of them herself!          The laborious process of hand rubbed oil finishing requires a full day waiting between coats which slows down our production time and increases our costs significantly.  However, the aesthetic beauty is superior and the concept behind an oil finish are well worth the extra effort.  We hope that with Grove products you will think differently than with the original Apple product and appreciate the unique patina created by the passage of time.  Instead of being disappointed with the constant degradation and separation from perfection lets be at peace with natural aging.   written by Ken
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