KEEP THE TRADE ALIVE
Our goal is to collaborate with likeminded craftsmen & artisans to bring unique products to our customers, and to ultimately share the stories of other passionate people who inspire us.
KEEP THE TRADE ALIVE is our dedication to keeping the artistry of handcrafted goods alive and supporting the community of creative makers that we’re proud to be a part of.
We invite you to explore some of the projects and artisans we have had the pleasure to collaborate with, below.
We were first introduced to artist William Godwin through some amazing illustrations he created for an exclusive release we did with Need Supply Co. called Wash Me Over back in the Spring of 2011. After meeting him in person and following his work through various outlets, we were convinced that we had to work with him again. For some time now we've wanted to incorporate our love for spaghetti westerns, the old west and gunslingers into original artwork that we could feature through several mediums. The concept fit perfectly with our Keep The Trade Alive artist series, and we knew William was the man to bring this concept to life. The "Old West" Concept in Detail // The artwork was specifically created for the pocket lining of our new tapered-leg fit, the Strider, that we'll be releasing this September in our signature 14.5oz indigo selvedge denim. It would tell the story of a outlaw gunslinger who is posted up in a town preparing to fight a gang of rogue bandits. William's artwork for the pocket bags blew us away, and we decided we had to showcase the graphics through a few special products, available on our site now. William has printed limited edition hand-signed and numbered 11" x 17" posters, and we're offering 2 new exclusive t-shirts that are printed on high-quality Velva Sheen t-shirts. We are huge fans of Velva Sheen tees and are excited to be able to work with them for this project. The best part of these Keep The Trade Alive projects is the creative process and the sharing of ideas in a truly collaborative nature. We asked William to document his creative process as he was working out his ideas, you can explore his process below. Enjoy! ------------- Working with RGT was a dream of mine for few years, so when Karl asked if I was interested in doing a project in the vein of the classic-spaghetti-western-cowboy-of-the-west, I was ecstatic. He really liked the drawings in my sketchbook, which was super refreshing and terrifying to hear. My sketchbook has no rules: its a “no pencils aloud”, no going back, Martial Law kind of place. The Wild West if you will. Stoked and terrified we set off. I started with some super scratchy sketches for the pocket bags; I didn’t want to work this stage too hard because I wanted to leave some fun for myself in the final. We decided to run with these ideas. This is where I knew it was going to be a stellar collaboration and knew he was going to trust me to just do my thing. Along with watching some good ‘ol Clint Eastwood movies and some other classics, I set up a drawing session / photo shoot with a friend of mine, who agreed to only pose for good beer and not my proposed $20 an hour. Luckily he had everything an authentic cowboy would have just hanging on the walls in his house “ which gun do you want me to hold?” There were about half a dozen to choose from.. This was the experimental stage. I thought maybe I could knock the entire drawing out from life, since 90% of my sketchbook is life drawings. I made 2 drawings from life, trying to add my own sort of feel and tone to the drawing and not just make a drawing of my friend. If anything, I was supplying myself with a vocabulary. I printed out some of my favorite poses and kept the life drawings along side me in hopes to keep some of the life from those drawings and just went at it in my Moleskine. The easiest thing to do is to overwork a drawing and lose what makes it special. I finished the drawing and made a much smaller drawing of some bandits / outlaws for the opposing pocket bag to tie in a little storyline. I immediately jumped into the hand drawn type with some Sumi and a brush. The texture that came through the type was totally accidental; oils from my hands causing the ink to pool and push away from the semi-porous paper. I loved it. From there it just grew organically into it's own thing and just experimenting with what canvas this artwork would lend itself best to. Easily the best collaborations I have been a part of. I was deeply grateful for a chance to work with RGT. Crossing my fingers for more. WORDS & IMAGES // William Godwin
Through collaborations and exclusive releases with friends and artists, we strive to bring an awareness to those who take pride in perfecting their trade. Keep The Trade Alive is our way of featuring talented craftsmen and women who inspire us through their passion and dedication to their creative fields. Our most recent project is a video we worked on with The Kindling Co. to showcase four Rogue Territory supporters who embody the Keep The Trade Alive spirit. https://vimeo.com/131610607 FEATURING // Chris Jenkins (Monsters Outside) - wearing Desert Wash Supply Jacket, 14.5oz Over-Dyed Indigo Stanton Dr. Woo (Shamrock Social Club) - wearing Indigo Selvedge Canvas Officer Trousers Robert Siegel (RS Handmade) - wearing 14.5oz Stanton James Melinat (Reigns Studio) - wearing 15oz Stealth SK, Ridgeline Supply Jacket
For the second installment of our Keep The Trade Alive poster series, we teamed up again with designer Ben Deter to build on the concept and design from the indigo-dyed posters we released last Fall. This time, we decided to explore a new material and color, as well as introduce a new design. Much like our core fits, the Stanton and SK that change fabrics from season to season, we decided to approach the posters in the same way. Linocut Process The posters were printed using linoleum cuts. Linocut is a printmaking technique, a variant of woodcut in which a sheet of linoleum is used for the relief surface. The design was cut into the linoleum surface with a V-shaped chisel, with the raised (uncarved) areas representing a reversal (mirror image) of the parts to show printed. Dying Process A 7 oz duck canvas was used to compliment the new array of Spring goods that feature the material. It is light and thin enough to print on and easily takes on the dye. Ben created a custom dye mix to produce a beautiful antique gold color. The color plays off the hue of the camel canvas used on the new Supply Jacket, Camel Stantons and Camel RK Trousers, while referencing the fresh vibrant colors of spring. All 40 posters were cut and dyed in batches then rinsed and left to dry overnight. Printing Process The linoleum sheet was inked with a roller and then impressed onto the canvas. Each sheet of canvas was printed using a custom mix of navy oil-based ink and then allowed to dry for a week. Because each one is printed separately by hand, no two prints are alike. Using linocut and canvas together really allow for a unique, handcrafted product that looks as if it has been aged over time. A huge thank you to Ben and his friends Garret and Adam for their hard work on this project! These limited edition canvas posters are available online for $50. Each is hand-numbered and signed by Ben Deter. WORDS // Ben Deter IMAGES // Ben Deter
We're excited to announce the newest collaboration in our Keep The Trade Alive: Artist Series. Introducing the Natural Chromexcel Leather Card Case with Wool Blanket Inlay by Hollows Leather. This limited edition exclusive wallet is handmade by Nicholas Hollows in Minneapolis, Minnesota, available in limited quantities on our webstore for $135. Nick is a true craftsman. He takes the time to perfect his craft and makes simplicity and smart design look easy. About a year and a half ago, we started throwing around ideas about incorporating some fabric that we had into one of his pieces. A couple prototypes and lots of testing later, Nick came up with this inlay design card case combining this amazing wool blanket fabric and beautiful natural chromexcel leather from Horween. The mix of the texture in the wool and the rich color of the chromexcel makes this a truly special piece. We've been an admirer of Nick's work for years now, so we're excited to share more of his story. Here's a glimpse into the mind of the man behind Hollows Leather: Who or what would you say are the major influences on your work? I'm inspired by anyone pursuing their craft just for the sake of it. I'm much more interested in getting good at something than I am in building a brand or growing a business. A lot of my heroes are bicycle frame builders. I like the incredible details and understated style of Hufnagel, the no-bullshit practicality of ANT, and the impressive technique of Goodrich among many many others. I also have a soft spot for anyone who has a design that has remained unchanged for decades, like the Red Wing 877, Filson Cruiser, or the Duluth portage packs. It takes a lot of courage, especially in modern markets, to stick with a proven design and resist the urge to "innovate" constantly. How did Hollows Leather come about? I found a box of scrap leather and tools in my in-laws' garage, which had belonged to my wife's uncle. He was a leather hobbyist and a cop who died trying to stop a pharmacy robbery before either of us were born. My first leather project was a really basic wallet, and it actually went pretty well. It was ugly, but it was functional and I enjoyed the work, so I started growing my tool collection and made some more things for myself and for friends. Eventually I posted some work online and started getting requests for custom projects, and it grew from there. Why leather? What about working with leather do you enjoy most? I don't exactly know why leather. I feel a bit like leather chose me. It's a fun medium, but I think I could be just as happy working with something else, and if I ever have more time for hobbies I hope to try my hand at cloth, wood, metal, maybe even glass. I like that the ceiling is really high with leather. I've been making something almost every day for going on 7 years and I feel like I'm just getting started. I'll never run out of new things to learn. I also like how versatile leather is. I've barely scratched the surface. There's a whole world of skills and techniques around garments, footwear and luggage that I haven't really explored yet. Do you have a favorite leather or tannery you like to work with? Most of my leather comes from either Horween in Chicago, or Wickett & Craig in Pennsylvania. They both have great products, but the real challenge is picking the right leather for the right project. I'm a big sucker for Natural Chromexcel from Horween and Wickett & Craig's harness leather. I often wish that I could combine aspects of those two to create the "perfect" leather. What does your creative process look like and where do you find inspiration? My process involves a lot of crappy napkin sketches and slow, iterative experiments. I usually feel like I get 90% of a design right on the first try, but the last 10% is really important. It's slow, with a lot of really small tweaks and adjustments over time, but sometimes making a flawed design and putting it to use is the only way to discover where the improvement needs to be made, so it's worth it in the long run. I think the best designs come from necessity, and that may be why I'm so interested in history. I'm crazy about garment design from the Gold Rush, Great Depression, and WWII eras. There's a lot of inspiration to be found looking back through history. If you had to choose a favorite piece in your collection, whether it be something you bought/found/inherited or made, what would it be? I have a pair of custom White's made from Natural Chromexcel that are like a trusty sidekick. I have a stylus and modeling spoon from my original inherited collection of leather tools that's probably the most boring thing you could imagine, but I use it every day and can't live without it. I have a little cast bronze penrose triangle trinket that I made and usually have hidden in a coin pocket. Anything that carries some story, real or imagined, and just hangs around to remind you that life isn't mundane unless you let it be. When you're not making leather goods, what do you find pleasure in? I'm really into hiking, camping, cycling, reading, and combining those four things as often as possible. If I could do whatever I wanted all the time, I'd basically live like an adventurous hobbit. WORDS // Nicholas Hollows, Karl Thoennessen IMAGES // Nicholas Hollows
We are very excited to share our newest project under our Keep The Trade Alive: Artist Series. This time, we've teamed up with Ben Deter, a designer who explores and practices the parallels between art, design and technology. Like Brian McMenamin, who we have collaborated with on several handkerchief designs over the years, Ben is a Rogue Territory customer. As we've come to know more and more of our customers through Instagram, we discover that many are very talented and passionate creatives who inspire us with the work they do. Ben had the idea to explore a Batik dying method to make hand-dyed indigo posters, inspired by an Instagram photo we posted of indigo-dyed wrapping paper. From there we collaborated on a poster design, featuring our "Keep The Trade Alive" slogan and our signature mountains graphic. Ben comments: I love the simplicity of the design, particularly the way the mountain and typography emerge from the sea of blue surrounding them. Ben used this amazing "slubby" Japanese kuzu paper to tie it back to the Japanese denim use in many of our products. The result is a poster with a rough texture and high quality feel, yet delicate and soft at the same time. THE dying process // To transfer the design to paper, Ben simply traced it using a lightbox. Then each letter and design element was hand-painted with melted soy wax, creating a barrier to the indigo dye. Next, each poster was individually hand-dipped into a bucket of indigo dye, and this is where the true wonder of indigo presented itself. When the paper is pulled out of the dye, it first appears a greenish-yellow color, slowly turns green-blue, and finally indigo blue. Some posters were dipped once, others twice, and some were painted with the dye using a foam brush, giving a nice variety of washes and variations. The indigo dyed posters were then hung to dry overnight. The next day, the posters were sandwiched between two pieces of newsprint, and the wax was heated using an iron. The melted wax gradually soaks into the newsprint, and you are left with the paper you started with. The iron also helps flatten everything out after the poster ripples from being soaked in indigo. The mountains were then filled in by hand using a white wax pencil in order to make them really pop off the indigo blue background and to give them a really nice hand-finished quality. A huge THANK YOU to Ben and his friends Adam and Chris for their hard work and creativity on this project, we are so pleased to offer this as part of our collaborative series. The limited edition posters are AVAILABLE ONLINE for $85, and only 10 were made. Each poster is hand-numbered and signed by Ben himself. WORDS // Ben Deter, Leslie Yeung IMAGES // Ben Deter
For the second installation of our Keep the Trade Alive: Artist Series, we teamed up with one of our very talented customers, Brian McMenamin to create 2 new handkerchief designs. We also sat down with him for a quick Q&A, check out our interview with him below. Keep The Trade Alive: Artist Series - BPMC X RGT A couple of months ago I received an email from Brian asking me if he could stop by the studio to check out some RKs. So as he’s trying on jeans we get to talking. We find out that we’re essentially neighbors (he’s an Atwater Village local too), and I find out that he’s an artist. After he left (with RKs in hand) I checked out his work and immediately thought that he’d be perfect to work with on the next installment of our “Keep The Trade Alive: Artist Series”. To make a long story short, he was down, we knocked about a bunch of ideas, and at the end of it we came up with what I think are some really cool and unique limited edition handkerchiefs. As the project was taking shape I sat down with Brian to find out a little more about him and how he came to be the artist he is today. RGT: Name BPMC: Brian McMenamin RGT: Where did you do your growing up and where are you living now? BPMC: I grew up in Napa and now live in Atwater Village. RGT: What were you doing in your youth? What were you hobbies, interests, fixations etc. BPMC: I drew a lot as a kid. I got into skateboarding around 12 or 13. I remember the Rob Roskopp board series for Santa Cruz is what got me excited about skating and art. My friends and I would skate everywhere, mainly to my buddy’s quarter pipe or to the skate park. When I got my license my friends and I bought surfboards. Every Saturday we’d go to Stinson Beach or Bolinas in Marin and surf all day. The skating and surfing culture were probably my biggest fixations as a kid. RGT: How have you cultivated your creative side throughout the years? BPMC: I like to look at magazines like Juxtapoz or Surfer’s Journal to get ideas and see what other artists that I love are doing. Barry McGee and Margaret Kilgallen are big influences. I love their shapes & patterns and use of color. RGT: Is your art your primary source of income? If not, what are you doing to pay the bills? BPMC: My art isn’t my primary source of income yet. Right now, I have a 9-5 that pays the bills. I’m in the film industry, that’s where I make my money to support my art. RGT: What’s your creative process like? How does an idea become a work of art for you? BPMC: It’s usually something that catches my eye, a certain wave, a pattern, a color. I like the idea of creating something that looks printed, almost machine like. The color/pattern scheme is usually sketched out first then I start with solid blocks of color on canvas and layer stencils on top of stencils, finishing with pens to add detail and outline my work. RGT: Why shoes? What made you start painting and drawing on them? BPMC: I love vans, I grew up wearing them. It started as an experiment on my own pair, I got tired of checkered vans and wanted my own custom colors and patterns. I got some comments here and there and start designing them for my friends and word of mouth has me busy making them. I like that it’s functional and it’s not just something that’s hung on a wall. RGT: Where can we find more of your stuff? BPMC: You can find my paintings and order custom shoes on my website: bmacink.com. RGT: Besides RT’s Keep The Trade Alive Artist Series what other projects are you working on at the moment? BPMC: Right now I’m working on custom shoe and painting orders. That’s what keeps me busy but I’m also looking to do collaborations with like-minded people.
To kick off our Keep the Trade Alive: Artist Series, we thought we'd start in our own backyard. Meet Phil. Phil is our rugged and oh-so-stylish apprentice, and for those who have been following Rogue Territory since our beginnings, you may recognize him as the model in our Inaugural Collection lookbook. Phil has been one of our brand's most loyal supporters, and we wanted to give him an opportunity to create something from his own design perspective. We love what he came up with, and the color is perfect for Spring. This collaborative handkerchief will be offered on our online store in limited quantity, so don't miss out!