For this panel, in conjunction with the in-person exhibit “Bay Area Made: Small Batch & Made to Order” at Arion Press on June 12/13 & 19/20, we will be in conversation with five of the Bay Area’s leading makers in their industries. We’ll discuss the benefits of small-batch and made-to-order production, and the conscious choices they have made from concept to finished product that result in products that are better for the user, the community, and the planet. From the clothes we wear to the food we eat, to the products we use daily, what WE MAKE locally and HOW WE MAKE IT really does matter.
The panel discussion will be preceded by a short video about Arion Press and the “Bay Area Made: Small Batch & Made to Order” exhibit, produced by Martin Risberg of Ten Thousand Hours – a collaborative project between three San Francisco creatives that help tell the stories of local businesses that take the time to do the right thing.
Shujan Bertrand, Aplat
Every day is Earth Day at Aplat. A collection, of thoughtful zero-waste designs for home-kitchens and outdoor gatherings. Aplat products are made for people and the planet, changing the way we live at home and changing the way our industry manufactures.
Founder Shujan Bertrand uses the art of origami principles and the golden ratio to inform and inspire new ways to design without waste. Committed to a circular design process, Shu’s mission is to reduce pre-consumer waste in local cut-sew factories, to create products that are plastic-free, elastic-free and metal-free. 100% organic cotton, upcycled and 100% biodegradable.
John McConnico, Bespoke Watch Projects
John McConnico founded Oakland-based Bespoke Watch Projects in 2013. The brand has become known for its distinctive combination of heritage-inspired details and Modernist design influences for made-to-order timepieces.
As a Creative Director, Designer, and Artist John has created products, strategies, and campaigns for companies such as Apple, Sony, and NBC over the past 25 years. This varied experience has also informed the production process as an independent watch brand, enabling him to apply unconventional methods for the creation of key components. His latest “Intaglio Edition” watch dials are all engraved & patinated in house with direct influences from painting and printmaking—resulting in pieces that look both familiar yet unique.
He continues to explore, collaborate, and create with other artisans and makers in the interest of promoting watchmaking & small-scale product development in the United States.
Lauryn Menard, Manos by Concreteworks
Lauryn Menard, IDSA, is an Oakland-based designer and strategist. She is currently the Chair of Women in Design SF and the Director of Product at Concreteworks where she is working on building MANOS, their new product brand. She has spent the majority of her career in the worlds of furniture and material innovation but has also worked within the realms of sustainability research, design and product strategy, fashion, and footwear. She is obsessed with the future and building an optimistic vision of it.
Lance Winters, St. George Spirits
Master distiller Lance Winters is the creative force behind St. George Spirits, known for his “penchant for gleefully shunning the spirits world’s conventions” (Esquire) and respected for having “a passion for his craft only equaled by his explosive imagination” (The Bold Italic).
Lance came to St. George Spirits in 1996 after working as a U.S. Navy nuclear engineer and brewer. Motivated by the desire to make whiskey out of his favorite ales, Lance became interested in distillation. He approached St. George founder Jörg Rupf with a bottle of homemade whiskey as his resume and has been with the distillery ever since.
In the 25 years since joining St. George, Lance has been instrumental in expanding St. George’s portfolio and catalyzing its growth from a dedicated eau de vie distillery into one of the most prolific and innovative craft distilleries in the nation. Under Lance’s watch, St. George has launched many of the iconic spirits that the distillery is best known for today: St. George Single Malt Whiskey, St. George Absinthe Verte, St. George California Agricole Rum, the St. George gins (Botanivore Gin, Terroir Gin, and Dry Rye Gin), the St. George vodkas (All Purpose Vodka, California Citrus Vodka, and Green Chile Vodka), Baller Single Malt Whiskey, and Bruto Americano.
The James Beard Foundation has recognized Lance’s contributions to the spirits world with nominations five years running (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) in the category of Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Producer.
Ian Yang, Gantri
Ian Yang is an entrepreneur who merged his passion for great design with his fascination of technology to conceive and found Gantri.
Yang knew from a young age that he wanted to be an entrepreneur and credits his parents with giving him his entrepreneurial drive. Growing up in Shanghai and the U.K., he watched his parents start with nothing and work hard to build a successful global logistics company.
He received a degree in Government and Economics with honors from the
London School of Economics, and studied at the design school Central St Martins, where he was exposed to a range of disciplines – from architecture to furniture to textiles – as well as designers in those fields.
In early 2015, Yang joined San Francisco TechShop to explore hardware technologies and immediately became fascinated with 3D printing. Having spent so much time as a child touring factories with his parents, he understood how it could revolutionize manufacturing. He also recognized it could be a powerful tool for designers, such as the ones he met at Central St. Martins. That’s when the idea for Gantri was born, bringing together Yang’s passion for design, his expertise in technology and his entrepreneurial bent.