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Chicago Father’s Day Part I : Local Gift Roundup

It’s that time of year. Chicagoans crawl out of hibernation and fathers are celebrated, near and far. Here’s our Chicago-centric gift guide (including a shameless plug of our insanely handsome Father’s Ring). Shop local!

Gifts

+ For the Crafty Dad

Scrimshaw Set

This Mollyjogger scrimshaw knife kit has the potential to capitalize on any of dad’s downtime–give him something to apply his long, contemplative silences to. Here’s what Mollyjogger has to say about the art of scrimshaw:

“Scrimshaw is an early American art form originating from the whaling industry in the late 1700’s. During the many idle hours at sea, a whaler etched drawings of nautical themes on items that were readily available to him such as sperm whale teeth and bones. His primary etching instrument was a sail needle, nail or pocket knife. After he scratched his art work into the surface of the bone, he would rub lamp black or tobacco juice into the scratch to reveal the drawing. As America traveled west, the frontiersmen carried the art form with them, applying it to their powderhorns, knives and other accoutrements.”

+ For the Crafty Dad (with More Time on His Hands)

Woodworking Chisels Fibonacci Curl

One of our employees gave her husband this set and he almost cried. For the aspiring heritage woodworker, these chisels are literally perfection. If you can’t tell, we’re a fan of using reclaimed materials. You could double the impact of this gift with some credit to the Rebuilding Exchange. The great benefit our employee got out of this gift is that her husband now builds unique, handmade shelves, tables, containers, and plant stands for their apartment at a fraction of the cost. <– Watch this satisfying GIF of wood curling into perfect fibonacci spirals.

+ For the Stylish, Nearsighted Papa

Drift Eyewear Chicago

Atticus / Tortoise Matte / Wenge on Walnut

We’ve got a theme rolling here, so let’s keep on with it for a second. What’s cooler than reclaimed/sustainable wooden eyewear? Not much. The dad in your life deserves these Chicago-made eyeglasses. Check out Drift Eyewear for some seriously handsome spectacles.

+ For the Eco-Friendly Papi

Fathers Ring on Cholla

Father’s Ring : Rosewood | Pine | Cedar

This design is one of our favorites yet. It’s so simple and warm. The Father’s Ring represents rustic, nature-lovers well; and, each ring is personalized and custom-made by hand, here in our Chicago studio. For a complete list of birthwoods and their meaning/mythology check out the main Birthwood page.

N. B. Our workload is heavy, especially around this year so, if you’d like your ring in time for Father’s Day (June 18th) you’ll need to order your ring today! Also, be sure to check “Expedite” so that your order gets created and shipped out in three weeks.

+ For the Bearded Baba

Damascus Steel Comb by Chicago Comb

Consider this glorious Damascus Steel comb available on the Horween Leather Company’s web-store. It’s a pricey item at $350.00 but the combs are made in Chicago and come with a high quality non-toxic Horween leather sheath. So, yeah.

+ For the Distinguished Pater

Few Spirits Gin

Last, but not least, help him unwind with a glass of distinguished whiskey and spirits made here in Chicago. Here’s some copy from Few’s “Genesis” section on their website:

Founded as a dry community, Evanston was home to many influential advocates for Prohibition who effectively kept the city free of alcohol for more than one hundred years.Though the city legalized drinking in the late Nineties, it took the perseverance of our Master Distiller, Paul Hletko, to reverse the antiquated liquor laws. With roots going back to some of Europe’s fabled brewing families, Paul and FEW Spirits have marked the end of Evanston’s Prohibition and given the city its very own craft distillery.

Or, if single barrel whiskey is more his thing Koval is the best we know, in town. Plus we’re teaming up with them for something special later in the year. So, stay tuned!

Koval Whiskey

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Bioswale? More Like BioSWELL.

Every morning, on our way into the studio, we walk by a beautiful streetside tumble of native plants. Some are bristly, others green, with blossoms punctuating the landscape.

Along Cermak, on each block, there is a post, with an informative sign, and a small vertical wind mill, and a solar panel.

Our neighborhood is fairly industrial, so the green, as it grows throughout this hot and wet season, makes us smile.

But where did it come from?
In 2012, Chicago’s Sustainability Office set out to make Cermak — a main east-west artery that hosts everything from family restaurants and schools, to artists studios, and factories, even a food truck parking lot — the “Greenest Street in Chicago.” Awesome eco-sustainable-nature/people-loving things they did to make this happen include:

  • recycled and reused construction materials
  • energy-saving reflective paving
  • concrete that includes titanium dioxide to break down pollutants on the surface and up to 8 feet in the air (smog eaters!)
  • environment-responsive lights, powered by solar and wind collection
  • diversion of 80% of rainwater to sustainable landscaping (bioswales*)
  • use of native and/or drought-resistant plants
  • ADA-welcoming streetscapes
  • more bike racks
  • educational signage (like the one in the video above!)

*Bioswales involve grading the land and choosing sustainable plants in order to direct, filter, and make better use of rainwater.

cermak road

Up-close of a bioswale, via Dwell

One day while waiting for the bus, we watched a man pick up litter and throw it away. We followed suit. It definitely takes a community to support a sustainability plan; infrastructure can only go so far. Doing good together feels great. 

We love that our environment matches up with our own SWR mission to make life better for people and the planet at the same time!

FOR MORE INFO: You can access a pdf of the original plan here, and a great Dwell interview with “Complete Streets” program director Janet Attarian here.