Walrus

Help Us Grow with Indiegogo!

Over the past couple years, we’ve grown at a rapid pace–so much so that we’ve outgrown our workspace! We can no longer fit all of our projects in our garages, living rooms, and back yards; we need a dedicated workspace where all of our equipment and staff can collaborate for new projects. Our newly launched Indiegogo campaign is designed to help us grow up and expand into the future. Larger scale projects, a more comprehensive apprenticeship program, and a showroom section are on our wishlist–and you can help us achieve it (in return for some great perks, of course)! Help us out by donating to our campaign and spreading the word to anyone you know who’s interested in helping out a local sustainable small business! Click here to check out the campaign, donate, and...

September First Friday Featuring Sande Anderson

This month we’re featuring the work of Alameda-based multimedia artist Sande Anderson! Using old photos, prints, and other materials, Sande creates dreamy canvases that feel like a new spin on old visual textures. Her collection fits in great at the store, showing off our reclaimed shelving to its full potential of decorative possibilities! In her own words: “Color, texture, forms and shapes, contrasts of ancient and new, dark and light are things I explore in my work. Painting, printmaking and textiles are media I use often making mixed media pieces. I also love to make books [featured below].” Summer was still swinging outside in the Alley, with live music, dancing, and facepainting for the little ones! See you next...

Paint Like the Pros: Furniture Painting Workshop

The next in our lineup of spring workshops was an oldie but a goodie–furniture painting! We’ve taught these workshops before, so it’s great to get back into the swing of things. We taught with our usual brand, Annie Sloan chalk paint, on account of its ease of use and vibrant mixable colors. No priming required, just a bit of sanding and you’re good to go! This was a small workshop, so we were able to do it right in the store. Our students were careful and unafraid of color–exactly the people we like to teach! The pieces turned out great, freshly waxed, varnished and ready to head to their new homes! For more info on our future workshops, check out our...

Spring 2015 Ask.com Collection: Products for Perks

In our continued partnership with the Downtown Oakland headquarters of Ask.com, we were approached to outfit their new coffee lounge freshly named Perks of the Job. Last fall, we made a selection of decor pieces to go alongside their rented furnishings for the space. These days, they’re transitioning over to purchased furniture and decor, so we were at the top of their list! A massive sectional, 6 tables, three couches, a handful of coffee tables and armchairs, a fleet of dining chairs, and 2 bookcases later, we got Perks all decked out in reclaimed and upcycled style. We mixed up a special blend of eclectic styles which suit the changing face of Oakland as a creative city with an industrial foundation. We commissioned local Walrus partners Palms to create an exclusive line of handprinted fabric to use on upholstered accents, like these dining chairs and this drawer unit. We flexed our upholstery muscles on cozy nests with masterfully crafted construction and details. These pieces are a balance of comfort and function, as shown by this plush ottoman with expansive storage hidden underneath the lid. We also stuck to our roots of one-of-a-kind furniture paint jobs in bold attitudes, like this statement pedestal table painted in distressed southwestern style.   These ladies were the leaders of the project–Brittany handling the upholstery side, Wendy overseeing overall production, and Maria acting as our corporate partner from Ask. Great job, ladies (and everyone else involved in this mammoth project–the biggest we’ve done yet)! For additional photos of the spread, check out our Facebook...

Workshop Recap: Whittle Me Wild

At our second Spring ’15 workshop, we hosted Gwen Gunheim of Hendley Hard Goods in a casual afternoon of the basics of whittling. Gwen is a consignor artist with Walrus, selling her meticulously crafted cutting and serving boards to the foodies of the East Bay. We cleared out space for a small whittling circle in the store and set to work. Safety tips and tools were passed out and soon the floor became littered with shavings of all shapes and sizes. Whittling is more an act of meditation than production; sometimes you cut into your original design, sometimes your don’t even really have an end product in mind. It’s more about the feel of steel on wood than making something perfect. After a couple hours, new pieces began to take form. Spoons, doorstops, and cubes sprang into existence from mere blanks of wood–just watch your fingers! Our upcoming workshops are promoted through our Facebook page–join us next...

Workshop Recap: Beginners Make Pillows!

Kicking off our new season of spring and summer workshops was a lovely time this past Sunday! Walrus seamstress Evelyne Hougardy joined us for a Sunday afternoon in the store to teach a pair of beginners how to make a store-quality pillow with reclaimed fabric and an invisible zipper. She led our pair of intrepid workshop attendees through the whole process, starting with fabric selection all the way to the finished product. The small group was just the right size for personalized instruction and individual equipment–no waiting in line! With Evelyne’s patient teaching (allowing attendees to snap instructional photos to refer back to), a new batch of pillows came to life with minimal fuss! Typically an invisible zipper can be a little advanced, but installation was a breeze under her watchful eye. Check out our future workshops through our mailing list and our...

April’s First Friday: Alison Limoges & Camp Grounded

This month’s First Friday events kept our plates full as we doubled up on our guests both in the store and outside. We also debuted our newly painted store sign–ready for the weather of years to come! Local artist Alison Limoges brought out a show of her found-object collages to remain in the store for the whole month of April. Her pieces borrow heavily from the forms she comes across in her wanderings, instilling them with a sense of whimsical flow. Her piece “Red Leaf” is a prime example of the composition and nature of her work.   Store partners from Camp Grounded brought out their popup display to promote their 2015 season as well! Walrus staff will be present both weekends of the camp in May to teach crafts and contribute to the camp gift shop. Their table display included a variety of analog entertainment–just like what you’d see at this no-tech camp in the Mendocino redwoods! (We’ve also been given a store code for $100 off camp admission to Walrus friends–drop by the store to get...

Upcoming Workshops!

Due to popular demand, we’re revamping our workshop schedule to expand our repertoire and give you more opportunities to learn! Walrus staff and partners are now offering a more expansive calendar of small workshops designed for personal instruction–in the span of a couple hours, you’ll be able to go home with a new piece that you’ve made yourself! Join us on select Sunday afternoons at 3pm for light snacks and creativity! All workshops will take place at our store in Temescal Alley, spaces can be reserved in person at the store or via the Eventbrite links provided in each description below. Basics of Machine Sewing April 19th Beginners and those looking to dust off their machines will do great in this workshop taught by Evelyne Hougardy, Walrus’ expert sewer. Following an orientation covering machine mechanics, safety, and operation, you will be off and running making your own pillowcase with a sewn-in zipper. Reclaimed fabrics (the same beautiful ones Walrus uses and notions) will be provided, but those with machines are encouraged to bring them along! Workshop price $60 Reserve your spot here or in the store 6 spaces available Whittle & Whine April 26th In this workshop taught by partner Gwen Gunheim of Hendley Hard Goods, you will learn basic whittling techniques. An assortment of wood and hand tools will be available to you. This workshop with give you an opportunity to complete a small project (a hand carved spoon) or the techniques you need to start a larger one (a life-size bust of your neighbor). Dress comfortably in clothing that can take a few wood shavings and dust. You...

Introducing a New Partner: Palms

We’ve recently paired up with Oakland-based design duo Palms with an exclusive line of fabric goods–pillows, bags, and cases chock will of bright, graphic prints great for the upcoming spring and summer seasons! Graphic designer Robin van Wijk and pattern-maker Marie-Louise O’Rourke collaborate through the collection of reclaimed textiles from local sites and silkscreen printing at the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley to create highly limited runs of splashy, Bay-inspired imagery for the body and the home.   At our most recent First Friday reception, Palms revealed their new collection of pillows and totebags to be carried by Walrus, as well as raffling off several tote bags accompanied by a signature Walrus-made stuffed squirrel. This was a great way to build buzz behind all of our products–anticipation fueled by the wine and delicious desserts baked by Marie-Louise herself! Triple chocolate cake, cinnamon ‘dough balls’ (as named by Marie-Louise’s grandmother), and raspberry peanut butter cupcakes graced our tables and our guests’ appetites. All around, a great night and a great welcome to...

Walrus Gets Spooky

The day started drearily,with heavy clouds and steady rain. The alley was quiet save for the constant dripping and the occasional slosh of tiny rainboots through a puddle. It looked like it would be a soggy Halloween, but through some good fortune, the skies lightened just in the nick of time for the Temescal Trick-or-Treat event. For a stretch of Telegraph Avenue, merchants opened their doors (and their candy bowls) for local trick-or-treaters to have a safe place for the spooky festivities. Folks of all ages traipsed through the alley–some scary, some silly. There were Batmans, Elsas, and a few ladybugs having the occasional nap-deprived meltdown. There was a consistent stream of folks into the store to give a visit to the Walrus Witch and her bounty of sugary treats. Clearly a good time was had by all, as evidenced by this bounding skeleton. See you next...