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REFUELED 02 T H E

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C O M M U N I T Y

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T E X . U S A

ONE SERIES

H E R I T A G E

D I S C O V E R Y


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ISSUE NO.02

ONE COMMUNITY. HERITAGE. DISCOVERY.

TEX.USA

© 2 016 R E F U E L E D . A L L R I G H T S R E S E RV E D .

REFUELED Printed in the United States of America. © 2016 Refueled. All Rights Reserved.


: : VOL 1 ISSUE 02 APRIL 16 : :

PASTRANA STUDIO Photography by Gustav Schmiege

PUBLISHER / CREATIVE DIRECTOR Chris Brown SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER Gustav Schmiege

Š 2016 Refueled Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Any commercial or promotional distribution, publishing or exploitation of contents, is strictly prohibited unless you have received the express prior written permission from our authorized personnel or the otherwise applicable rights holder.

REFUELEDMAGAZINE.COM INSTAGRAM.COM/REFUELEDMAGAZINE FACEBOOK.COM/REFUELED

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THE REFUELED ONE SERIES The Refueled ONE Series. One single subject, photographer, craftsman or artist. A modern take on the printed paraphernalia of my youth. The faded pages and colors of LIFE magazine. The satirical tone of MAD. The low-fi quality of comics. The rebellious feel of the 60’s and early 70’s. The size of vintage scout manuals and Stuckey’s road trip souvenir activity books.

Second in the series is Julian & Kate Pastrana of Pastrana Studio. I met them both at Denton Camera Exchange last Fall. In my opinion, the Pastranas can be described with one word - creative. The all American outdoorsman whoms passion for building stretches back to his childhood, and the beautiful, country girl-next-door with a imaginative spirit. I knew their story had to be shared.

Senior photographer Gustav Schmiege and I spent a gorgeous day with them on their expansive property in Aubrey, Texas. We were graciously invited into their home, sat around a old wood-burning stove snacking on cheese, fruit and nuts, tromped through the woods snapping Polaroids on a vintage Land Camera, viewed their beautifully crafted stools, planter stands, side tables and decorative ladders, watched Kate start a painted portrait and kicked up sawdust in the workshop with Julian.

Presented here is that day. Enjoy.

- Chris Brown, Publisher

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Polaroid Portrait by Julian Pastrana

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fig. 01

MEET


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I AM A FIRM BELIEVER IN THAT HOW AND WHERE YOU GREW UP AND WHAT YOU WERE EXPOSED TO AS A CHILD PLAYS A HUGE ROLE IN TO WHO YOU BECOME. WHAT WERE YOUR CHILDHOODS LIKE? WHAT WERE YOU'RE INTERESTS?

Kate Pastrana: I absolutely agree with the thought that what you are exposed to as a child shapes who you become. My family is very active; my father is the ultimate outdoorsman and lover of nature so we found ourselves outside a lot growing up. Trips to the mountains, rivers or national parks, we were always trying to escape the busyness of life and slow down as a family. As a child, I didn’t understand the reason why but looking back I can see how necessary it was for my Dad and is also necessary for Julian and I now. My mother never stops; she is a strong woman and the biggest “trooper”. When my dad was showing us how to climb up or ski down mountains she was right there with us. I can’t remember watching TV or many movies; I am the last person you want on your team in any kind of pop-trivia game. My brother and I had a lot of freedom so there were times to create stories, play dress up and draw when we weren’t outside building something together. To this day my parents are still encouraging my imaginative spirit asking “have you been painting?” or “what is the latest project?”

use our imaginations and create! It’s amazing what you could do with just a manila folder, some tape and scissors. We would occupy hours building cities, cars or airplanes out of Lego’s and stuff we found around the house. We did a lot of what we called “exploring” as kids too, which basically consisted of digging giant tunnels underneath the huge Oak tree in our back yard. We would ride our bikes to a near by field and play pick up baseball games with kids from the neighborhood. We were always active and outside finding someway to have fun. I can remember as a child spending countless hours sitting at the kitchen table trying to draw Looney Tunes characters and being frustrated that I couldn’t draw them like the pictures. My mom would tell me, “Just keep trying, you’ll get it.” You see, growing up, my parents believed that if I wanted to achieve something, I was to try and achieve it out on my own. They were always encouraging me to figure it out and not to give up until I did. Even though it was little, seemingly non-important things at first, as I grew older, this way of learning continued and stuck with me. When I was in high school I taught myself how to play the guitar. At that time, it felt like the hardest thing I’d ever done in my life. But, I kept remembering those words and just kept at it until I figured it out. It’s amazing how just a few words from childhood can really shape and mold your attitude towards life and accomplishing the goals you set for yourself.

Julian Pastrana: Growing up with a brother close in age, we were always outside playing sports, or finding bugs to collect. The best was building forts and playing pretend war with our friends who lived across the street. Back then there was no internet or social media to congest your day with unproductive nonsense, we were encouraged to

(Left) Kate Pastrana

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: : VOL 1 ISSUE 02 APRIL 16 : :

“PASTRANA STUDIO’S WORK IS LIKE A DANISH MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE DESIGNER TOOK A VACATION TO TEXAS IN THE 1950’S AND NEVER LEFT.”

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I never really worked with power tools as a kid. I can hardly even remember if I drove a nail with a hammer. But it wasn’t for lack availability. As a kid though, I was just more interested in using my thoughts and imagination to challenge myself or find something to do. It wasn’t until I got older until I learned to appreciate and respect the hard work of manual labor. It was then that new doors were open for me and the satisfaction that came in working with your hands was revealed. I can look back and wish that I would have had more time around tools, or that I would have learned to change a carburetor, but the concept gained from my parents that I could learn and do whatever I set out to accomplish keeps me driven to this day and is much more of a life lesson, in my opinion, than the above for mentioned.

and screw it together. But even in my amateur attempts, I was developing a sense for proportion, understanding the math and science behind the craft and I was figuring out what I liked and didn’t like. As I began making pieces for our house after we got married, I started experimenting with more advanced joinery and techniques while still using lower quality materials. Kate and I would design pieces together and although we were limited by my ability at the time, she was insistent on pushing me to the next level. I was still honing my craft and developing the style we have come to embrace today. The most important part of the learning process was the critiques. With Kate’s art background, she was very experienced in this area and was not afraid to demand nothing short of perfection. I had to have extreme patience with myself while trying to pay attention to each detail and be meticulous in every stage of the building process. But we wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for all those hours spent with each piece.

HOW DID THOSE THINGS HELP OR INVOLVE IN TO WHAT YOU BOTH ARE CREATING TODAY? Kate: When Julian and I met what we first bonded over was completing projects and coming up with ideas. Our first conversation was about treehouses and teepees. I think because we are both inherently active and imaginative and grew up that way it would be hard not to create. Pastrana Studio is a showcase of us working together.

Kate and I are both wired in a way that we are continually thinking about creating. This is sort of a curse as much as it is a blessing, because it is a never-ending carousel of ideas that we have spinning around in our heads. With countless house projects and future pieces that we want to design, it seems like we are always working towards finishing something. We always are trying to come up with ways to improve our pieces as well. We want them to be the absolute best that we can possibly make them and at a quality that is sustainable beyond our lifetime. This process takes hard work, imagination, and self-motivation, all of which are characteristics we have both grown up implementing in our lives.

Julian: When I started working with wood, of course I knew very little, but I was eager to learn and to create. So like with anything when you are trying it for the first time, you make mistakes, which I did. However, learning from those mistakes has really taught me a lot about the right way to do things, and the wrong way to go about it. At first, I was making pieces for my apartment out of lower quality materials and using the joinery that I knew at the time, which was basically nail it

(Right) Julian Pastrana

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HOME


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“THE PRODUCTS WE FILL OUR HOME WITH CREATE AN AESTHETIC THAT COMPLIMENTS THE WAY WE LIVE. THE THINGS THAT WE ARE INSPIRED BY AND ENJOY MOST ARE EVIDENT IN THE PRODUCTS WE MAKE.” DESCRIBE YOUR HOME/DECOR AESTHETIC & LIFESTYLE. We both have an affinity for the lifestyle and aesthetic of the 1950’s. We are easily drawn to the seemingly simple way of life back then. The clothes, the music, the classic cars, and of course, the furniture. It all influences us in how we live today. The design style in those times was simplistic and minimal while at the same time being extremely functional. Returning from the War and The Depression people had to be. Thankfully we haven’t seen some of these things in our life but we try to keep in mind these important attributes when designing our pieces and decorating our own home. Whenever someone asks us about out lifestyle the words “old-souls” come to mind. We love being home, it’s where our studio is and it’s where we create. A couple of years ago we found the property we live at now we saw the potential and have been working on it non-stop, its fun and what we enjoy doing. Once one project is finished we start on the next. When we aren’t in the workshop we do yard-work and then after a long day of hard work enjoy cheese and crackers, a drink and watch wildlife on the porch. The inside of our home is still a work in progress, continuously adding more hardwoods and plants to warm up the space and reflect our love of nature.

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GOODS


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portant ones. It is in this time that we change and make alterations to the piece in order to create the finished product design. Launching these larger pieces in our product line is really were our desire to do business lies. This will allow us to work one on one with clients on a made to order basis and get to know the people who we are making our pieces for. We are excited to take our brand to this level and anticipate the release of these new pieces.

W H AT P R O D U C T S A R E O F F E R E D THROUGH PASTRANA STUDIO? Currently we have a few simple and smaller items that we launch our business with. These items are a part of our lifestyle and an easy way for us to introduce what our philosophies are. Items such as our serving boards, stools, planter stand, decorative ladder, side tables, neckerchief slides and other small goods are both aesthetically pleasing and functional in everyday life. All of our products are made with quality hardwoods and feature a consistent shaped look that we have incorporated in our signature style. Each piece goes through an extensive sanding and finishing process in order to obtain the level of quality that we strive for.

DOES PRODUCT DICTATE LIFESTYLE OR THE OTHER WAY AROUND? For us, our lifestyle dictates our products. We create for a purpose and we believe that when you are not creating for a purpose that’s when our lives start to get filled with the unnecessary. Simple products that serve a purpose and that are also designed to function as art. For example, our serving boards get a lot of use and when we are done with them they go right back on the wall and act as a decorative object. We call it functional art.

This year we will be launching larger furniture pieces that will take our brand to a new level of craft and design. We have been designing and developing prototypes for these pieces over the last few months. This is a very timely process for us because it is one of the most im-

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: : VOL 1 ISSUE 02 MAY 16 : :

“OUR FIRST QUESTION, AFTER WE DETERMINE WHAT PIECE WE ARE GOING TO CREATE, IS WHAT THE FUNCTION OF THAT PIECE WILL BE. IF WE’RE GOING TO CONSIDER MAKING A TABLE, FOR INSTANCE, WE WANT TO UNDERSTAND HOW THE TABLE WILL FIT INTO A PERSON'S LIFE.”

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STYLE


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HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? Kate: My style allows me to create a story. Each morning when I wake up I get to ask myself “who do I want to be today?” The answer changes from day to day, year to year depending on what I am influenced by so I can’t really pinpoint a specific type of dress. Right now I have been influenced by American vintage work wear and ranch wear, mostly because that’s where I find myself most of the time, in the workshop or doing yard work. Also, I’ve always loved the tailored style of the 50’s. I buy a lot of vintage pieces because sometimes the story has already begun and I can just jump into character. I have a deep appreciation of craftsmanship so when I am purchasing something I look at the details, how it was made, who made it. This is hard since everything has been made so cheaply for such a long time some people don’t even know what craftsmanship looks and feels like. We are buying into these “trends” that change with the wind and consuming quantity over quality instead of purchasing a timeless, well-fitting garment that you might have to save for rather than the instant gratification that our generation is use to.

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ART


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WHERE DID YOU STUDY ART? Kate: University of North Texas in Denton

DESCRIBE YOUR PAINTING STYLE. After graduating from art school I was burned out and I stopped painting for years. There was such an emphasis on “what message” you were trying to convey and I got stuck in my head. Now I am finally getting back to a good place and trying to find my style. Some days I’ll be driving and see a group of colors that sticks out to me and those colors turn into an abstract painting, other times its a still-life or portrait I want to interpret. Maybe it will turn into a message of some form but right now it’s my expression of what I think is beautiful around me.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Nature. Creation.

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SHOP


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“WE PREFER NOT TO RUSH THE PROCESS FOR THE SAKE OF FINISHING AN IDEA.” WHAT IS THE DESIGN PROCESS WITH A NEW PRODUCT?

prototype itself to keep record of alterations that we have made. We document this process extensively because this will act as a template for when we make the actual product. We continually critique the piece throughout this process until we get the outcome we desire. This also helps us to know about how long it will take to complete each piece. Once we have the templates we can begin to construct the actual piece.

Julian: Well it all starts with purpose. The question we start with is, “why?” We ask ourselves what is the reason for the piece. This helps us when designing because it forces us to think of function. It is with this initial idea that it branches into how a pieces will look, or what material we should use. Often times we think of a need in our house, and begin there. We will sit and brainstorm ideas by drawing several sketches and talking about what we would like the piece to look like. We will often times pull inspiration from our natural surroundings or even the wood itself. When designing, we try to incorporate an organic flow so that the piece feels like it flows naturally.

WHAT DRIVES THE AESTHETIC OF A PIECE? In a word, functionality. This to us in one of the most important aspects of a piece. If we make something that is appealing to the eye but is uncomfortable or does not serve the purpose it was made for, then what good is it? With simplicity in mind, we try to achieve both functionality and beauty. Our interests and the things that we enjoy of course influence us as well. For instance we love shaker style furniture and pull influence from Danish designers as well. We want our pieces to have a timeless look while also obtaining heirloom quality.

After we get a basic idea of how want the piece to look, then we will head to the shop and begin building a prototype. The prototype is usually made with a cheap and disposable wood that is of little value. This allows us to make mistakes that are not costly and also to change things we don’t like about the piece easily. We often will even write on the

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Š 2016 Refueled Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Any commercial or promotional distribution, publishing or exploitation of contents, is strictly prohibited unless you have received the express prior written permission from our authorized personnel or the otherwise applicable rights holder.



Refueled ONE Series / Pastrana Studio