Time to Catch Up!

Well it's been a year since my last post (yikes!), and we've just launched a Kickstarter that reached 150% its funding goal in a week! Seems like high time to give an update...

It's kind of hard to describe this past year in good detail because it feels like it happened really quickly. I've heard about this phenomenon of time moving faster as you get older, now I feel like I'm actually starting to experience it.

In January Rue and I actually had a talk about that feeling and what we wanted for this year - more specifically, how we really didn't want it to feel like the previous year… There had been so much travel, so much work, and so much change. So much of it was good, but it piled up, and it really felt overwhelming.

Well, this year we've travelled a lot too. Weddings. Back and forth to the west coast a couple times. The Housewares Show in Chicago again, and all over New England. We've done a lot of work too - Nest stuff, freelance stuff together, and I was teaching at RISD again this past spring. Add to that, getting ready to release the 12" Braising Pan.

 
 Some happy highlights: Blizzards with friends and dogs, Chicago, the desert, a few fires in our backyard, my buddy’s wedding (I made the rings!), creative shooting, and visits and support from friends.

Some happy highlights: Blizzards with friends and dogs, Chicago, the desert, a few fires in our backyard, my buddy’s wedding (I made the rings!), creative shooting, and visits and support from friends.

 

Long story short - this year has felt like last year, in a lot of ways... but at least we didn't move again! We've been in our house for just over a year now (I'd mentioned that we'd just purchased it in my first post). It's a late Victorian, built around 1920 (we're doing research to find the actual year). It was livable when we moved in, but it definitely needed work... 

And we've been working on it - but there's a lot to do. Wallpaper on every (every) wall, a kitchen from the 1950s (but not in the good way), and all kinds of "character" that reveals itself at sometimes inopportune moments (toilet valves that break, cupboard doors that fall off their hinges, a column on the front porch that was rotted and sinking, etc). That makes it sound like it's not good - it's good! It's just nowhere near done...

 
 We remade the pillar with a local woodturner. I swear, I gave him a better drawing than this one…

We remade the pillar with a local woodturner. I swear, I gave him a better drawing than this one…

 

We started our work on the bones (plumbing updates, rewiring the whole house, insulating, and rebuilding that structural part of the front porch), and now have basically been trying to take care of the cosmetic work upstairs before we continue the work downstairs. 

At this point you're thinking - Ok. Aaaand cookware stuff?? I'm getting there. Remember when I mentioned that kitchen - the one that's from the 1950s, but not in the good way? Yeah. That...

In getting ready to release the 12” Braising Pan and considering the filming of the Kickstarter video, I had to find someplace to shoot - it couldn't be at our house…

Full disclosure and an acknowledgment of reality here: Good imagery matters. If you haven't seen one of our pans in person or held it in your hands, you're relying on a photo or video to try to understand it and get a sense for how it feels in a space. And we want it to be pretty.

It's a funny thing, trying to make those images and photograph elaborate recipes in this cookware while in a kitchen that doesn't necessarily live up to the dream of what's often seen online... But we're scrappy, and Rue is incredible. She's my One, and she can do a lot with just a little. 

 
 Note that the image on top is shot from the setup in the lower left. Magic!

Note that the image on top is shot from the setup in the lower left. Magic!

 

All this isn't to say that a "nice" kitchen has to be kitted out with Subzero and Thermador or have marble countertops and a huge farm sink (no matter how much I'd be thrilled about that!). Still - another acknowledgment of reality here - our kitchen is not a great space to shoot in, nor is it a good space for video. So to answer the question that some folks have asked, knowing that Rue and I bought a house last year: No. The kitchen in the Kickstarter video is not ours…

We'd started to consider a bunch of different options. We started combing AirBNB for apartments and houses with nice appliances and room to maneuver. We looked into professional training kitchens and tried to figure out what it would look like to rent time. We even thought about trying to find an actual test kitchen set dedicated for filming, but that seemed really out of reach.

Then I remembered FRIENDS. Why did it take me so long to remember my friends???

 
 Most accurate representation of these two individuals. Truly.

Most accurate representation of these two individuals. Truly.

 

Jon and Maddie have been great friends of mine for years. They had actually just bought a house a couple months before Rue and I bought ours. And they'd already renovated theirs...

 
 Even on a rainy day, so cute and winning. Especially with that little wagging tail…

Even on a rainy day, so cute and winning. Especially with that little wagging tail…

 

They have a really cute little kitchen with great light and enough room to move around. Nice big back yard, and most importantly - they’re generous. Like, crazy, amazingly, so lovingly generous. I've experienced this generosity in different ways from them before, but this went a step farther. It's kind of a big request to displace your workout buddy and his 8 1/2 month pregnant wife for an entire day while a whole film crew descends upon their home (more on that in the next post). But they were so fine with it.

So we had the spot for the shoot! It was a huge weight off my shoulders... Next we had to figure out what we were going to shoot - and how. More on that in the next post!

Matt CavallaroComment