Follow us on:      ELLO      INSTAGRAM      TWITTER      PINTEREST




Handmade Profiles: The Beautiful World of YIELD Designs


One of the most challenging discussions that I’ve had with individual makers over the years of running the LAB has to do with growth. Many makers wonder how to move from being solo creators to the next step of expanding their business beyond the confines of a one-person operation. I’ve seen this goal accomplished in a variety of ways, with varying results. In the end, expansion is a personal decision that has the potential to lead to some pretty extraordinary creative opportunities. For those who are interested in this type of growth, one could not do better than to examine the journey of Andrew Deming and Rachel Gant of YIELD Designs.

Modern Handmade Goods from YIELD Design via

It seems like ages ago that I first came across the YIELD Design and their once separate jewelry business, Endswell. The sleek and contemporary aesthetics of this now unified and expansive collection of jewelry, homewares and accessories reflect the immense love for modern design that Andrew and Rachel share. Their growth has been well documented, both in respected design resources like Dwell and in a plethora of online blogs and magazines. In fact, many of you might be the most familiar with YIELD from their Squarespace commercial, showcased below.

I’m happy to share a recent interview with the YIELD team for my continuous Handmade Profile series. It’s an insightful look at the inspiration and creativity behind the YIELD brand. I’d love to hear your thoughts, both about this interview and regarding growth, in the comments below.

Modern Handmade Goods from YIELD Design via

What inspired you to begin your collection?
Much of our collection was born out of our personal search for items that we either couldn’t find, or couldn’t find produced at the level of craft that we desired. Rachel and I haven’t shied away from creating a collection that speaks very much to our own tastes and lifestyle.

Describe your creative process. Where do you start?
I guess I started to answer that already. In the past, the initial spark for a new product has often come from a fruitless search for a specific item that we’re looking for. More recently as our collection has grown, we’ve gotten a lot more feedback from customers on things they want to see us make, or extensions of existing product lines.

Once we get into the process of designing something new, the ideation, sketching and modeling all tend to move pretty fluidly and quickly. We 3d print a lot of our hard goods prototypes and try to refine scale and form there. We spend the longest amount of time ironing out the details and issues in the manufacturing process. Our French Press was 95% designed in a single evening. It took a year to iron out production and quality control.

Modern Handmade Goods from YIELD Design via Modern Handmade Goods from YIELD Design via Modern Handmade Goods from YIELD Design via Modern Handmade Goods from YIELD Design via

How do you maintain your creative drive?
We used to run ourselves ragged at home and then rely on trips to refresh our energy and get inspiration. We still place a lot of value, but since we moved to St. Augustine from our apartment in San Francisco, we’ve established a day to day routine that’s more refreshing. We live in a house, have a yard, take regular beach walks, take our dog to the park. We think it’s really important to regularly get away from the office and get some perspective.

What materials do you love to use?
We gravitate towards materials with a natural warmth and richness. We are minimalists and create goods with subtle forms and clean lines; it’s the material use that tends to lend our products their characteristic warmth.

Every product has a story. Is there a story behind one of your pieces that stands out to you?
Our Endswell jewelry collection started when close friends of ours asked Rachel to design their wedding bands. It started with a dinner conversation where the four of us were discussing weddings and their tendency to take on a life of their own, beyond symbolizing the beauty and trust that accompanies marriage. What they wanted was something true to their vibrant personalities and low stress, just a party with friends and family. They also wanted rings that symbolized more than wealth or the inherent value of the materials.

The initial rings were made without stones or ornament, but instead had form details connoting continuity and the meaning behind their commitment. These became the start of our larger collection.

Modern Handmade Goods from YIELD Design via

Do you have a dream collaborator?
Naoto Fukasawa.

What are some of the challenges that you face as a maker?
Finding our appropriate scale. We are a small company, most of our items are produced in small batches, but we also aim for efficiency and pricing that’s inclusive and as accessible as possible.

Modern Handmade Goods from YIELD Design via

How do you use social media and blogging to promote your work?
Instagram is where we focus most of our attention and share frequently. We’ve loved the connections the platform has brought us and the feedback we get through it.

We’ve always struggled a bit with blogging diligently, but we’ve been a bit better in recent months as we’ve expanded our scope, covering a wider range of topics that are of interest to us in the studio.

Modern Handmade Goods from YIELD Design via

YIELD is an independent design house: part industrial design studio, design label and manufacturer. YIELD designs and manufactures a range of bags, jewelry, and goods for the home with an aim to pair American craft and ingenuity with an eye toward the future. YIELD’s products are sold in over 250 retailers in the U.S. and abroad and have been featured in numerous publications such as the New York Times, Dwell, Sunset, SF Chronicle and more.

YIELD was established in late 2012 by Andrew Deming and Rachel Gant in San Francisco where the two met at the California College of the Arts (CCA). Yield is now based in the historic coastal town of Saint Augustine, FL, the oldest European settlement in the U.S.

About The Brand, YIELD Design

Modern Handmade Goods from YIELD Design via

Where do you see your shop/project going?
We’re looking forward to a future where YIELD products have more mainstream relevance and the growth of our company employs more of our local community. We’re currently mostly an online company, but we look forward to experimenting with more brick+mortar retail in the future.

What are you working on right now?
We’re working on a new furniture collection for our first showing at ICFF this May. It’s coming up quickly 🙂

YIELD Design:

Shop | Instagram | Facebook | Etsy

modern handmade design



What’s New: Beautiful Handmade Ceramics from Freefolding


I love Michal Keren Gelman’s Freefolding collection of handmade ceramics. The way she blends her unique shapes and designs together is rather enchanting. Know for using folded stoneware and porcelain sheets, Keren has added some new pieces to her handmade ceramics collection that feature printed designs. They’re amazing.

Handmade Ceramics from Freefolding via

The newer pieces feature silhouettes of trees, like this ceramics bowl. This additional design element doesn’t take away from the overall serenity that is the trademark of the Freefolding collection. What do you think of these new pieces? Let me know in the comments below. I’ve included an excerpt from an interview that I did with Keren back in the summer of 2015. Her thoughts on the challenge of being a maker still resonate today.

Handmade Ceramics from Freefolding via Handmade Ceramics from Freefolding via Handmade Ceramics from Freefolding via Handmade Ceramics from Freefolding via

What are some of the challenges that you face as a maker?
I’m a one woman show: creating, designing and making each piece single-handedly, so my first big challenge is a lack of time, and learning how to combine time between my creation at the studio, and my very own personal creation – my family.

At the beginning I wanted to live at the studio 24×7.  The fact that I had to do the laundry, wash dishes and cook was totally unacceptable to me. But reality forced me to draw the line. It is very comfortable to live above your studio, especially because clay can be a very demanding material, but it takes some discipline.

I also find a challenge and pleasure at the fact that I actually create “slow pottery” in a world that moves in a crazy tempo .  I am surrounded by so much visual information, so many images that caught my attention, and this is exciting at times, but can also be overwhelming and confusing.  At the studio, the ceramic making process brings my attention to be present at the moment, through small details: the touch of the clay, its temperature, flexibility, the contacts of two sheets, the touch of the delicate pattern lines or the stamped texture, it’s all very sensual, very vivid.

Clay as a material has its own slow metabolism. Preparing the clay, building the pot, drying, firing, glazing, firing again…you can’t rush it. I think the challenge for me is to expose and to point out this “slow making” quality through my teaching, the visuals I use on social media, and hopefully, my work.

Eventually, I always seek for balance. In life, as in my work –  The balance between my passion to create, and the obligations of daily life, between the times when I’m making my pots in the studio, to the ones spent in front of the computer promoting and marketing my shop. Between finding my own language in clay, and the endless possibilities of change. Within the clear limits, I can fly.

Handmade Ceramics from Freefolding via Handmade Ceramics from Freefolding via Handmade Ceramics from Freefolding via Handmade Ceramics from Freefolding via Handmade Ceramics from Freefolding via

Michal Keren Gelman:

Shop | Facebook | Instagram

handmade ceramics