OPEN HOUSE- For birds and people

We had a great time at our Open House and appreciated everyone who came out to celebrate with us—eat taco’s, make prints, drink pints, and buy a birdhouse!

If you missed the event there was a nice right up in the Oregonian about the event. Plus you can check them all out here, along with information about the makers and their inspirations.

Thank you to all of the makers who participated this year! During the night, 36 custom birdhouses crafted by local artists, makers and designers were auctioned off with proceeds benefiting The Right Brain Initiative, a Portland-based arts education advocacy program supporting K-8 students. $2500 was raised. Whoot!

And the winners are...

This year we let the people vote on a winner and Highrise by Emmanuel Carrillo won, he also won the Bird Brain Award (Most Original Concept).

Other winners included:

Home Sweet Home (Most Functional/Best Place to Live) - by Elizabeth Goss

Most Fly Crib (The Over-the-Top Award) - by Rory Phillips

Cuckoo Award (Craziest Contraption) - by Dave Selden & Thom Schoenborn

Peacock Award (The Best Use of Color/Illustration) - by Keith Carter

See birdhouses from years past here, here, and here

A big thank you!

To the Judges:

Rilla Alexander, Designer, Illustrator, Author

Eric Hillerns, Designer, Advocate, Author, Angler

Rebecca Burrell, The Right Brain Initiative: Outreach Specialist

Joseph Blanchette, Contemporary Fine Art Painter, Art activist

Ann Takamoto, Development Director: Portland Audubon Society

And these rad guys:

 Jeremy Pair Photography & Golden Rule Design.





OPEN HOUSE—a creative interpretation any bird would be proud to call home.

Have nothing in your house that you do not believe to be beautiful or useful.
— William Morris

Or crazy, or imaginative, or ....

CALL TO ARTISTS. WeMake is seeking artists, designers, architects, builders, and makers of all sorts to help us raise money for arts and music education in Portland, Oregon. 

We are selecting a total of 40 artists and/or teams to participate in this project with a live auction to be held on April 19, 2016 during Design Week. Apply below to be considered. 


The project formally known as Put A Bird In It, maybe taking on a new name, but the spirit is the same—raise money and make something awesome for the birds!


Check out last year's houses here

Put A Bird In It for Arts & Music Education—The Line up

For the last three years we have been holding a celebration for design and making with the spirit of community in mind. We call it WeMake Celebrates. Each year we have closed off the festivities of Design Week Portland with a big-o-party, inviting the community, our friends, and families to come play, learn and make. During the event we host live maker activities and music, as well as our design in action fundraiser—Put A Bird In It. We’ve raised close to $20,000 for arts & music education, and last year we raised $11,000 in just three hours, Boom!

This year we hope to out do ourselves, and need your help!  80+ makers have been invited to create a unique one-of-a-kind birdhouse that will help us with this goal. These makers are illustrators, designers, furniture makers, ceramists, industrial designers, painters, and general creative geniuses. 

For this week only we offer these houses up for a BUY NOW option in a pre-sale. Check out the store here

The silent and live auction happens on Friday night, Oct. 10th, at the Leftbank Annex. Starting time is 7pm—we hope to close the auction by 9-ish, so be sure to come on time to get the house you want! We are happy to have Andrew Dickson as our MC and auctioneer, he will definitely add some fun to the show! 

It’s because of the community and generous sponsors that we are able to hold such gala event. Friday night will be one DWPDX event you won’t want to miss, and it’s FREE!


• Big Cartel is planning a collaborative maker activity with Jolby & Friends called “RAD LIBS”—a make your own poster station using custom stamps illustrated for the event.

• Tanner Goods is pulling in their truck and setting up shop!  You can make some nice leather swag for free and get to know some of their guys behind the scenes.

• A special edition print made by Jessica Hische (when she had her sketchXchange with us back in May) is the art we are using to silkscreen whatever you like! Golden Rule Design is once again operating the press, so bring a t-shirt or buy one on site and you can pull the screen for free. This is a one-of-a-kind print made especially for WeMake and we are thrilled that Jessica is letting us share it with you!

• School of Rock is performing two sets and these kids can rock! There will also be great food by Bunk Sandwiches, Home Plate Sliders, Fifty Licks and CHOP. Plus we have an assortment of libations for any pallet.

Proceeds from this event will help fund arts & music education. Come out buy a house, buy a beer, and make with us. It will be a night to remember!

A NOTE ABOUT PARKING: There is parking in the Rose Quarters West Garage for $5 a car. The street car and The Max also runs right in front of the building. The Leftbank Annex is the very large building on the corner of Weidler & N Vancouver.


Directly before the party is a private sketchXchange with celebrated artist Lisa Congdon. She’ll be talking about process, pattern making and sharing her sketchbooks. Plus we’ll have a few of her books on site for you to get signed. All attendees of sXc will also receive a free special edition 5x7 Scout Book designed by Lisa.


We couldn’t put on this amazing event without the help of our sponsors and in-kind donations.


In-kind donations from: Rose Bean Events, Scout Books, Jill Dryer, PrintGraphics, Jeremy Pair

Put A Bird In It—Featured Maker, Justin "Scrappers" Morrison

Written by Chloe Miller

Earlier this year, Justin "Scrappers" Morrison launched the magazine Stay Wild, a publication centered around the unconstrained adventurous spirit and journeying into nature. We’re excited to have this Creative Director/Art Director/Art Producer/Illustrator/Maker take part in Put A Bird In It, and we appreciated him taking the time to answer our questions.

CM: What inspired you to launch Stay Wild?

JSM: I wanted to work for a magazine that brought travel, action sports, sexy-nature-loving, art, and all the other stuff that totally inspires people to stay wild. I looked everywhere for that magazine, but only found it once we made it.

CM: Describe a typical day.

JSM: Here we go: fart really loud, wife (Amy) pushes me out of bed, announce “I’m Up!”, son (Camper) walks in on me peeing and punches me in the butt, boil water for coffee, stretch, push ups, stretch more, sprinkle brown sugar & honey & maple syrup on healthy boring cereal for Camper, check email titles to see if there is anything that can’t wait till I get to work, Instagram, drink coffee with Amy, talk about dreams (both asleep and awake kinds), Camper jumps on me spilling coffee on my swim trunk peejays, pack lunches for me and Camper, put on pants from yesterday, put on fresh t-shirt with awesome friends art on it, walk Camper to school early to play on the jungle gym, drop him off at kindergarten, try not to cry, hop on bike, go to work, surf an endless wave of emails and try to make fun stuff happen all day long until I wash up exhausted in bed with a belly full of ice cream. That ice cream will make me fart really loud the next morning and start the whole ride over again.

CM: Tell me about your birdhouse.

JSM: My first idea was a giant hand flipping the bird. Get it, “birdhouse”. Then I decided that was too obverse and the world doesn’t need another middle finger. I really like big goofy, yet graceful seagulls, so I wanted to make one of those instead. Somehow I’m turning the bird into a house. Should look pretty stupid/genius since I’m paper mâche-ing it out of back issues of Stay Wild. I don’t have a process. I don’t want a process. Get your laws off my body!

CM: Beverage and music of choice for birdhouse building?

JSM: Pineapple soda pop & old exotica records.

CM: What do you make in your “free” time?

JSM: Driftwood forts, sand castles, Lego space ships, retarded doodles of human animals, bathroom graffiti, camp fires, and Stay Wild magazine.

Put A Bird In It—Featured Maker, Maryanna Hoggatt

Written by Leah Noble Davidson

First, she shared the secret thoughts of bartenders with her hilarious two-volume-comic Adult Babysitting. Then, she created a jaw-dropping illustrated series about “the internal struggle to bring ideas and dreams to life against our most powerful enemies: Fear and Doubt.” (We know, right?!) THEN, as if to taunt us with her genius, she taught herself to sculpt, and blew Portland’s mind with some of the most gorgeous and soul-wrenching collections created. Now, beloved Portland illustrator gone sculptor, Maryanna Hoggatt brings her Animal Battle to Put A Bird In It, and boy are we excited.

All Photos Courtesy of Maryanna Hoggatt 

LND: Tell us about how you ended up building your first birdhouse for WeMake.

MH: I was at WeMake last year, and I had a lot of artist friends who were participating — there was such a great variety of results! Last year, I wasn’t sculpting, and this year I am, so it totally makes more sense for me to participate this time around. Last year, I made a silkscreen poster of one of my Animal Battle houses— I started playing around with the environments that they were going to inhabit, and that was the first one I did. Now, I can flex my sculpting muscle, and it’s for such a good cause.

LND: Can you tell us more about your process? How do you do this?

MH: Well, it’s very rich in fantasy, and there’s a really strong narrative in this world that is taking place. All the animals are named and have roles and purpose in this world. What I normally do for the process, is start with a drawing that I’ll turn into a sculpture. And then, I color the drawing, and measure it out. And I just start sculpting and I make sure that everything matches those dimensions as I go along. 

LND: How long does it take?

MH: All my sculptures usually take about two weeks.

LND: So the sculptures are to scale for your drawings?

MH: Yes. Everything I sculpt is to scale. I thought about making this birdhouse bigger, but then, I decided not to. …Birds are small. I don’t know what’s going to happen to it after Design Week, but I’d like to make sure it’s at least functional, like, there’s even an actual birdbath in here. It’s funny how this project came along, and I already had an idea that I painted months ago, so it only seemed natural for me to run with that I idea.

LND: Is there anything different about the house that you’ve done?

MH: It’s a very basic process, but if I don’t map it out, then there could be some very big mistakes in the foundation of it. I hadn’t built a structure before, so I expected that this was going to be new and interesting. This was a big experiment for me. I’ve been watching some Youtube tutorials and nerdy dollhouse tutorials, and on building model train towns— educating myself. Oh, and there are lights incorporated in it! [Click here to see them in action]

LND: So, you have this story. Can you tell me more about where it came from? 

MH: This is the furthest I’ve taken it. I don’t really go so far when I’m doing 3D work; it sort of just lives in my head. I guess, that’s working towards someday, maybe, an actual storybook, and I’m playing with it.

LND: We should be so lucky.