Think Oregon

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Tony Furtado: Musician

A child prodigy of the banjo, California-born Tony Furtado won national bluegrass competitions as a teenager. The first time he played before a live audience, he says, “I heard the applause, the energy of the crowd, and it was like a drug.” He left college at 19 to join a band. “I love playing live music,” Furtado says. “It’s something that’s always stirred my soul.” His versatility on banjo, acoustic and electric slide guitars ranges from classic folk songs of the 1930s, to Tom Petty and original work. “I love a wellcrafted melody and soulful lyrics,” he says, having added singer-songwriter to his many musical credits. His sixteenth and most recent recording was captured in 2011 in Portland, “Live at Mississippi Studios.” This performance encapsuled his energetic, funloving style of play, as well as his banter with the audience and other musicians. That love of live performance has put him…

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David Logsdon: Brewer

David Logsdon discovered yeast while in college. No, in a good way. At Mt. Hood Community College in the late 1970s, Logsdon studied food science and fermentation. Disappointed with beers on the West Coast, the native Ohioan began home brewing. His first was a stout, which he had just finished before his father, brought up in the Midwestern lager tradition, visited. The elder tasted the dark liquid and then declared, ‘Well it’s not beer, but it’s not bad,’ says Logsdon. So began Logsdon’s lifelong specialization with beer’s key ingredient—yeast. He continued to experiment with yeast and beer, before the industry was well developed. “The first hops I found were at G.I. Joes on the shelf in a brown paper bag,” Logsdon recalls. “They were as brown as the paper bag.” At the same time, Logsdon started collecting yeast strains from breweries and began culturing his own brewer’s yeast. By 1985,…

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Cory Carman: Rancher

Star chef Vitaly Paley walked in and Cory Carman’s hopes walked right out. “He said, ‘I will try your sample, but I will tell you, I don’t like grass-fed beef,’” Carman recounts as Paley’s opening sentiments. “Well, he tried it, and he’s been a customer ever since.” Likewise the chefs at Beast, Laughing Planet, the University of Portland, Lewis & Clark College, and Oregon Health & Scienc University also began serving Carman Ranch’s grass-fed beef after tasting it themselves. Growing up on a traditional ranch run by her uncle, Carman set off for Stanford University and a subsequent spell in Washington, D.C. “I thought that I would come back to the ranch when I retired,” says Carman, 33. “I thought I would be involved in agriculture policy and international development work.” It was under the tutelage of sustainable agriculture icon, Stanford professor Walter Falcon, that the traditional Eastern Oregon ranch…

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Heather Straw: Jewelry designer

Jewelry designer, mom and business woman extraordinaire, designer Heather Straw was selling about $1,000 a month in handmade jewelry when she attended a trade show in Las Vegas in 2005. In two days, she sold $43,000 and knew that her life was about to change. “I was a young mom, I’d just lost my shop in downtown Bend, and I was terrified about the future,” she says. “I gave my boyfriend, now my husband, the stack of orders, and we started filling them in our home.” Nashelle Jewelry soon had five employees working in her living room. In 2006, she leased an industrial-sized bay on Bend’s east side to house a showroom and work area. The business grew at warp speed, today encompassing six industrial bays and twenty to thirty employees, depending on the season. More than 400 boutiques worldwide carry the Nashelle and Nash (for men) lines. Nashelle rings,…

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Jo Hamilton: Crochet artist

A wall of yarn is her palette, a steel hook her brush. With these, Portland artist Jo Hamilton crochets a new twist on an ancient craft with elaborate cityscapes and portraits that unravel crochet as granny craft. By painting in yarn, Scottish-born Hamilton, 41, blends fine art training from the Glasgow School of Art with the craft she learned from her “gran.” She moved to Portland in 1996, and painted in oil and watercolor for almost twenty years, but says, “I hadn’t found my medium.” In 2006, inspiration struck at a nontraditional show of tapestry, sewing and embroidery at the Contemporary Craft Museum (now the Museum of Contemporary Craft). She went home, picked up the crochet hook and began a cityscape of Portland that took years to complete. Next were the portraits—friends, coworkers and even dogs. “Portland excites and inspires me to do unsanctioned things and not think about what…

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Darren Orange: Painter

A video of Darren Orange spraying, wiping, smearing and throwing paint on a canvas matches his own description of how he works: fast and furiously. Part of a small exhibit at the Newport Visual Arts Center in January, the video conveys a feverish quality. Red, orange, black and white streak across the canvas, capturing a moment in time and place. “I paint where I live, and where I live permeates what I paint,” he says. Raised on an apple orchard in Yakima, educated at Western Washington University in studio painting and now a resident of Astoria, the 38-year-old painter finds inspiration in windmills, fishing villages, shipwrecks and broken down cars. “I’m drawn to marks that man has left on the environment—ruined architectural elements, discarded things and reminders of the obsolete,” he says. They’re his window to history, the human scale in the natural environment. Abandoned railroad tracks, the bow of…

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Scott Henry: Trellis System Designer

Syndi Henry Beavers tells the story of going wine tasting with her dad, Scott Henry. After the tour, her dad handed his credit card to the young man behind the counter to buy wine. The man glanced at the name on it and said, “Did you know there’s a trellis system named for Scott Henry?” “Almost immediately, the light went on,” Beavers says. “He [the cashier] was so excited that Scott Henry was standing in front of him, he pulled a book off the shelves and showed my dad the well-thumbed page marked with the Henry trellis system.” In 1972, Henry planted grapes on his family homestead in the Umpqua Valley near Roseburg—the start of Henry Estate Winery, one of Oregon’s oldest. Educated at Oregon State University as an engineer, Henry’s background proved helpful in the early years, when the vineyards produced a crowded bunch of grapes that were prone…

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Memorable Faces

One Oregon artist seeks meaning and familiarity in the faces of others.