Koostik Builds a Coffee Cart!

A few weeks back I got a phone call from an old friend saying that he knew a couple of guys who needed some help with a bicycle coffee cart build out and asked if I’d  be interested?  It sounded interesting to me so I agreed to get together with them to discuss their needs.  I had never built a coffee cart before- but cabinetmaking is cabinetmaking- so why not? 

I met with Jason Farrar from Commonwealth Coffees in our shop and he explained what they needed.  Basically, they already had the three wheeled bike and frame made by Oak Cliff Cargo Bicycles for their new business venture; but needed someone to do the woodwork for the cart which would house coffee making equipment and supplies while supporting a commercial espresso machine, hand grinder, sink with faucet, etc.  I liked the challenge and saw it as an opportunity that could be mutually beneficial.  I would provide the labor to build out the coffee cart if Commonwealth bought the materials.  In exchange, we would get to market our products while the coffee cart was in use.  Their plan was to be set up daily in front of a popular Highlands (Denver area) restaurant called Uncle where they would offer high quality, fresh roasted coffee drinks.  

I suggested that we use a combination of African Mahogany plywood and solid African Sapele wood to build the cart.  Jason and his partner Ryan Fisher brought the bike over to the Koostik shop and after a brief discussion, I set to work.   Oh- did I mention they had an event in less than 2 weeks and would need the finished coffee cart by then?  Details.  


Over the course of the next week and a half, I built out the cart as shown in the photos.  I custom mixed a stain to slightly color the materials to match, then finished with three coats of semi-gloss Marine Varnish.  They rolled out the coffee cart for a trial run in front of Uncle restaurant and it was a huge hit!  Everything worked as planned and Commonwealth Coffees will soon be set up there daily- they just have to get the license stuff completed.  

A few days after completion, I posted a photo of the bike and cart on Facebook.  A friend who works for a company in LA immediately contacted me to see if we’d be interested in making / selling them some carts.  Who knows- maybe by this time next year, KOOSTIKARTS will be a regular item on our site! 


September 27, 2013 by Jim Simon
Tags: Art Design

Wood Contemporary Sculpture: Ursula von Rydingsvard

Ursula von Rydingvard has been using wood in her artwork for most of her career. Her forms are both breathtaking in scale and intricacy. Here’s a few images of her work as well as a video of her discussing her work for “Against the Grain”. An exhibition at the Museum of Art and Design in NYC. The exhibition features work by contemporary artists and designers that work with wood. Truly inspiring work!

September 24, 2013 by Caleb Zwanzig
Tags: Art Design

Our Journey to the Spiral Jetty!

Over Labor Day weekend, Marshall and I took a trip to Salt Lake City with our ladies. After enjoying In and Out Burger, We took a trip up to the north side of the Great Salt Lake to see the Spiral Jetty. Built by Robert Smithson in April 1970, the jetty stretches out for 1500 feet. Here’s a little bit of what we experienced:



This was my second trip to the jetty… and it definitely did not disappoint. The ground around the jetty was entirely encrusted in salt and the water was pink. It really felt like a landscape you’d find on another planet. The landscape is such an integral part of the jetty. It’s pretty awesome to see! Smithson and this piece in particular have had a profound influence on how I see my own artistic process. As I discovered his work a few years ago, it challenged me to imagine my work outside of a conventional art gallery as well as stretch my understanding of what art can be. For me the Spiral Jetty includes the lake itself, the mountains in the background, the remnants of exploration for fossil fuels. And this is the beauty of Land Art for me… It stretches us to pull our surroundings into focus and realize the power they can have in art and in life.


I had never heard of the spiral jetty before taking this trip, come to find out I was in the same boat as many of my friends. Driving towards the jetty was half the fun! Eventually you hit dirt road and have to drive another 10 miles to get there. It was like driving through a desert from centuries ago, just us and the wilderness. When we arrived at the jetty we saw the rocks from a distance making a path out into the lake of salt. It was unlike anything I've ever seen. My wife and I took our shoes off and walked out into the salt where the water starts to rise, it was awesome! It's crazy to me how we are surrounded by art, beauty, and existence. It's easy to forget that and get caught up with the things that are less important. Though I'm a novice when it comes to art, I had a true sense of awe and was inspired that a man ventured out years ago to create these beautiful rock formations in the middle of nowhere.


September 09, 2013 by Caleb Zwanzig