Put A Bird In It—Featured Maker, ADX

When it comes to teamwork, the crew at ADX is the perfect example. ADX offers up an amazing facility with wood and metal shops, co-working desks, and big open areas for large projects. They provide the opportunity for makers of all types to explore their craft, prototype products, and enlist the support of industry experts.

Two Portland/ADX makers, Jon James Staton and Alexandria Cummings put their heads together to create this well-crafted and creative birdhouse. Let’s hear a little more about what makes them tick and see how this project came together. 

Tell us a little bit about yourselves.

Jon has been working as a commercial woodworker and in carpentry for years. He started out in central Arizona at a local cabinet shop and moved to Portland on a whim in 2011. Moving through the ranks of ADX, Jon started out as a working member, then Project and Facilities Manager. He is now with Orange Design and Construction

Alex attended Western Michigan University where she studied ceramics. She has shown her work throughout northern Michigan and has worked in ceramic studios and wood shops for most of her life. Alex moved to Portland about four years ago, lured by the OPA, one of the biggest potters associations around — and of course the Portland atmosphere, bikes, woods and rivers.

Jon and Alex met through ADX as co-workers and grew to become great friends. The two have enjoyed getting together again and making art for Put a Bird In It, combining wood with ceramics and even laser engraving. “It always feels good when we get to make that one art piece like the birdhouse,” said Alex.

What are your influences and inspirations? What excites you about design?

Growing up in Arizona, Jon was exposed to Frank Lloyd Wright at an early age and was impacted by both the control of and subjugation by nature that was present in his work. Jon is constantly pushed forward by materials themselves, allowing them to dictate process. He enjoys the constant challenges of working with raw materials and trying to make them work within the confines of his imagination.

Alex is very inspired by her family’s art practices. Working in various studios at a yong age has pushed her into the world of craft and design. She is also very interested in architecture, structure, form process of construction and making was seems like the impossible, possible.

What did you find interesting or challenging about creating this birdhouse?  Please give us a little detail about your process and approach to the project.  What have you enjoyed about it?

“Honestly, working out of a co-working space definitely poses some challenges. We couldn’t find our WeMake Put A Bird In It bag with our materials and had to start almost from scratch. Luckily, the originals were cute at ADX and we were able to round up a few pieces,” said Alex, “ We definitely wanted the birdhouses to reflect our first series of work using live edge pieces of wood and ceramics. We spoke briefly about the project, figuring out materials, finishes, glazes and just got to making. Each little bird says the word ‘bird’ on it as a play on words ‘Put a Word on It’. We figured two birds were better than one!”

We think so too! Thanks for your hard work, Alex and Jon. Your birdhouse is a great addition to our auction and will help raise money for art and music in Portland’s public schools.

So here’s the plan: we are throwing two events back-to-back on Friday, October 12th. There are still tickets available to see the one and only Aaron Draplin speak at our sketchXchange event so grab those while you still can. After hanging out with Draplin, stick around for our Put a Bird In It auction and party to celebrate! The party is free and you can RSVP on our Facebook page and get all the info. See you there!