3 Design Brands That Highlight Quality Northwest Craftsmanship


White plaster light fixture


Tamara Codor and Sterling Voss, Codor Design

The collaboration of classically trained painter Tamara Codor and fine woodworker Sterling Voss, Codor Design blurs the line between function and artistry with its handmade, highly crafted furnishings, each one holding its own as a sculptural composition. “Whether the form is pared down or overflowing with shapes and elements, our first impulse is to get the composition just right,” says Codor. Approaching each object as a creative experiment, the Seattle-based duo imbues their designs with the same freedom as a work of art. “Our new plaster lighting fixtures are inspired by the light and play of coffered architecture,” Codor says. “Each one hangs like a sculpture in midair.”

Handcrafted mugs


Natasha Alphonse, Natasha Alphonse Ceramics

Hailing from the Denesuline tribe in northern Saskatchewan, ceramic artist Natasha Alphonse finds both her muse and her method in the natural landscape. “Because I grew up being outside all the time, nature has become my palette, my artistic language,” she says. Uniting simplified forms with experimental firing techniques such as Anagama, which uses a Japanese single-chamber wood-fired kiln, Alphonse’s textural, elemental pieces evoke the stark Canadian wilderness of her youth. “There’s only so much you can control in the firing process, but that means every piece is unique,” says Alphonse. “The flame becomes the paintbrush.”

Hanging blue panels behind furnishings and striped rug


Chelsea and James Minola, Grain Design

The brainchild of Chelsea and James Minola, Grain Design is one of the Pacific Northwest’s best design secrets. But with commissions for Design With Reach, Hem and Anthropologie, the word is getting out. “We mostly sell our work outside the Northwest, but our influences are entirely regional,” says James. With designs for everything from lighting, furniture and rugs to jewelry, textiles and ceramics, a commitment to social and environmental responsibility grounds Grain’s practice. “Right now, we’re actively working to become a B Corp,” adds Chelsea. “We’re a tiny business on an island in the woods, and we know our reach is small, but that’s never stopped us from showing up for our values.”