Make A Logo The DDC Way

WeMake is proud to host Aaron Draplin for his first logo workshop in Portland! You may have heard him speak and you certainly know his work, but now's the time to get up-close and personal with the big guy and learn from him in this unique logo workshop.

Go behind the scenes with the DDC and learn about Aaron’s process for creating marks, logos and more.

Each student will attack a logo on their own with guidance from Aaron. Could be something you are currently working on, or, have always wanted to make. Tips, tricks, tales and threats will be shared along the way. The workshop will be five hours, and refreshments as well as lunch will be provided. Bring a laptop, Field Notes, pencil and an iron will! 

Exciting DDC door prizes to all who attend. How sweet is that!

PLACE: In our headquarters at Tillamook Station / 665 N Tillamook Street, 97227

Esquire. Ford Motors. Burton Snowboards. The Obama Administration. While all of these brands are vastly different, they share at least one thing in com­mon: a teeny, little bit ofAaron James Draplin. Draplin is one of the new school of influential graphic designers who combine the power of design, social media, entrepreneurship, and DIY aesthetic to create a successful business and way of life.

Different Strokes—A Hand Lettering Workshop with BT Livermore

This summer, Portland said goodbye to one of its beloved sign painters, BT Livermore. But before he headed off to Big Sky Country, he hosted 30 lucky letter-enthusiasts at our WeMake Discovery Workshop on June 10. Students braved the Rose Parade traffic to pay respects to BT and spend three hours exploring letterforms under his expert instruction.

Before class began, each student received a custom mega Scout Book with one of BT's catchphrases: "Be the right tool for the job." This quote launched the class into a lesson in selecting calligraphy nibs. "First you have to know what tools make different marks," BT explained. First he shared the classic A nib is squared off at the tip for broad strokes and a B nib is rounded for curved lines. The C nib is a basic square shape for classic thick to thin strokes. The D nib is good for chunky serifs. 

After some exploration in calligraphy nibs, BT broke out the brushes. His collection featured tools made of synthetic materials as well as the fur of sable and squirrel. He showed us how to saturate and form the brush in order to create rich, fluid strokes. 

As the letters began to flow from everyone's chosen tools, BT shared his career story and insights into how he came to love letters. After gaining a degree in Web Design from Minneapolis Community and Technical College, BT moved to Portland in 2005. After taking some time off from school, he started writing letters and just couldn't stop. His studies picked back up at Pacific Northwest College of Art, where he started integrating letters into his design and illustration work. His love for creating letters continued to grow when he found sign painting. He enjoyed that this typographical artform separate his work from the digital space.

While BT has left our City of Roses, his handiwork can still be seen across Portland. Look for his work in coffee shops, art studios, and other crafty spots around town and get inspired to find your own love of letters.

Check out more photos here. All images by Susie Morris.

RECAP: Making the Cuff—A Workshop with Jewelry Maker Betsy Cross

Hosting a jewelry workshop on Mother’s Day weekend was a great way to bring generations of makers together. A handful of crafty daughters and sons brought their mothers along for a morning of creative community-building with designer Betsy Cross of betsy & iya.

As soon as we opened Tillamook Station’s large yellow garage door, our workshop was buzzing with over 30 attendees, ready to create their own wearable piece of jewelry. After a round of introductions, it was clear the room was full of creatives of all kinds. We had metalsmiths, and also apparel designers. There were sculptors, as well as ceramicists. Everyone was there to make, and also to hear straight from the inspiring Betsy Cross, who started one of Portland’s most successful jewelry brands from the ground up.


With no real training in jewelry, Betsy chose to devote herself to the artform in 2008. “I am a prime example of the ‘just do it’ mentality,” said Betsy. “I am always forcing myself to learn.” In the early days of betsy & iya, Betsy often worried about how to turn her artistic visions into actually pieces. Once she started meeting with industry experts, they told her to not to let fabrication details get in the way of her creativity. “Design is the hard part,” a caster once told Betsy. “Don’t be afraid of the manufacturing. Focus on the design.”

Today, Betsy is always open to inspiration. For example, one of her lines of cuffs is based on Portland-area bridges, and her latest Unu collection is simply inspired by classic, everyday pieces. As we began to explore ideas for our cuffs, she asked us to dream up a memory of when the world seemed easy. “Perhaps it was when you were out walking and saw flowers on a wall. Or maybe it was climbing Machu Picchu,” said Betsy. “Keep the cuff in mind, but let’s just see what shapes come up.”


During the rest of the class, we hammered away, turning raw sheets of metal into unique cuffs. Some people stamped letters or Native American symbols into their cuff. Others pounded in texture with just a hammer. In the end, each participant created at least two bracelets and also the courage to indulge in creative adventures and seek out inspiration wherever it may be waiting.


Check out more photos here. All images by Susie Morris.

RECAP: Creating with Queen Bee

We gathered for a behind-the-scenes studio tour and printmaking workshop at Queen Bee Creations' retail space and working studio in North Portland. Not only did we learn about how they create their goods, but also the history behind why they make.

Rebecca Pearcy demonstrates the die cutter—the tool used to create the signature appliqués beloved in many Queen Bee pieces.

These bright and beautifully textured pieces of art are actually a utilitarian part of the printmaking process. Strips of plastic are used and reused to protect pieces of material that are not meant to be inked. 

Inspired by the tour and ready to create and print with stamps of our own.

Attendees printing wrapping paper on the enormous silkscreen table, which is normally used to print repeating patterns on long lengths of fabric.

Be sure to check out Queen Bee online to learn more. We definitely recommend you snag some of their creations for yourself!

Photography: Daniel Cole
More Photos: On Flickr


Creating with Queen Bee

We make things out of fabric and thread, with inspiration & intention.
— Rebecca Pearcy

Rebecca Pearcy uses print and pattern to bring inspirations to life. Her store, Queen Bee has been crafting original creations since 1996.  It all started with a series of waterproof faux-leather bags & wallets with graphic applique stitched details. Since then they have expanded their collection with a new line of waxed canvas bags, and other materials. They make bags for everyday, the bike commuter, travel, school, baby and more. They also have a line of home goods, accessories, and apparels

Rebecca learned the art of printing on fabric and using repeat patterns through an apprenticeship program she did at Philadelphia's Fabric Workshop in 1997. It was there that she learned how to screen print by hand on tables that were 25 yards long. She fell in love with the process and began incorporating the art of textile printing in her own shop from then on.

We are excited to collaborate with Rebecca on a print making workshop this fall! Attendees will have a studio tour of Queen Bee and the opportunity to see behind the scenes of the process they use to create. Everyone will learn simple print making techniques and produce a sweet canvas pennant, along with gift wrapping and tags. Space is limited. Refreshments and materials are provided.

DATE: Saturday, November 21st
TIME: 10am-1pm
PLACE: Queen Bee, 3961 N WILLIAMS STE 101 PORTLAND, OR 97227