Holding only a piece of fabric and a tape measure, Kash Ross sits down to design what will become a signature piece in someone's professional wardrobe. He carefully lays out a paper pattern created from 35 individual measurements and hand cuts superfine worsted wool for the suit's outer layer, fully lining it with canvas cloth for shape and body and sewing in buttonholes with fine silk thread.
And if Ross is smiling as he lovingly completes the reinforced, rubberized waistband, it's not just because he knows it will keep a shirt from becoming un-tucked and diffuse electricity in the event of a lightning strike. It's because he is carrying on a family tradition. For more than 40 years, Ross has walked in the well-hemmed footsteps of his father, a respected clothing maker in Bombay who trained Ross in the art of master tailoring. Kash Ross Creations now bustles with a team of tailors and seamstresses consulting with clients in English, Polish, Lithuanian, and Russian, striving to handcraft eye-catching apparel that, like Ross' father's legacy, stands the test of time.
The certified pedorthists at Arch Fitters use state-of-the-art technology to provide healthcare professionals, retail facilities, and individual patients with a variety of pain-relieving orthotics. They craft each custom-made pair by employing products such as advanced pressure-mapping software, malleable foam, and digital foot scans. Their raster-vector 3-D software captures 900 control points on the foot, measuring the effects of body weight and providing the outline for the frame of the orthotic. Senior orthotic designers then use SolidWorks software to edit the orthotic to each patient's specifications, adding custom options such as metatarsal pads to relieve pressure on the ball of the foot, heel wedges that improve spinal alignment, and rear oil-slick sprayers to elude the Fratellis. Finally, computerized machines carve out the wooden molds and cut the orthotics themselves from polypropylene plastic, carbon-fiber graphite, or ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA).
Owner Mike Urquhart takes his business's name to heart: the learning center draws on the talents of three generations of Urquharts, from his business-manager father all the way down to his grade-school-aged daughter Julia, who assists with piano lessons and administration. Signs bearing messages such as "No practicing: only play for fun" and "Mistakes are always welcome" embody the teachers' philosophy that no amount of technical skill can substitute for the sheer joy of playing, singing, and finally figuring out how to snap the fingers on both hands at once. The school's specialty group classes—some held in the new, 2,500-square-foot piano learning center—foster self-confidence with weekly performance opportunities, and the curriculum of songs can include anything from classical compositions to classical rock.
Founded in 1974 by three "hippie glassblowers," Bullseye Glass Co produces internationally renowned glass materials in thousands of colors and finishes suitable for artistic endeavors of all kinds, such as mosaics and stained glass. Aside from being beautiful to look at, most of Bullseye's glasses are compatible for fusing and kilnforming—something that's especially important for glass artists to know. Bullseye also passes on the ancient art of glass shaping through artist-guided classes. Graduates of these kilnforming classes can return to craft additional treasures or explore the cyclical nature of art by turning a wineglass back into a sandbox.
Staccato Gelato sees itself as the intersection between Italian café foods and Oregonian ingredients. With local produce and hormone-free milk, they craft a menu encompassing 18 flavors per day. Although regular flavors include amaretto, cherry chocolate chip, and peach, the daily rotation is up to whoever’s behind the counter. Friday through Sunday, the shop augments its menu with freshly fried donuts, along with illy coffee. Visitors can make use of the café’s free WiFi and soften their scoops with the outdoor patio’s sunlight.
The staff also takes Stacato’s treats offsite, catering to crowds via a full-service scooping cart and a freezer rider. A mobile tricycle, the freezer rider boasts a low carbon footprint thanks to only using methane emissions.
Named Best Homebrew Store by Northwest Brewing News readers five times, FH Steinbart Co. has been outfitting aspiring homebrewers since 1918. A hops-hardened staff runs the oldest homebrew supply store in the country, connecting amateurs and experts with the raw ingredients and equipment to make smooth elixirs. Starter kits can spark a first attempt at fermentation, and resident draft experts can also help transform your fridge into a kegerator. FH Steinbart's extensive brewing classes teach students how ingredients affect the final product and let them witness the rare mating dance between hops and yeast as well as the stumbling walk of shame that follows.