What better time than the last Manday before Christmas for a rounding-third-base-and-heading-for-home gift guide for guys. (Sports analogy free-of-charge.) Honesty and functionality are both themes for this guide that draws on beauty through utility and living through doing.
I’ve compiled a mix of useful, well-designed items that stand the test of time and Tulsa-centric pieces that explore Tulsa’s past and future.
Without further ado, I humbly present a few last minute things that I think are “cool” and that the significant male in your life might like – otherwise known as the “Manday Gift Guide for Guys”. Enjoy!
The Chemex Coffeemaker
There is no better morning ritual to start the day than a cup of great coffee. A ritual performed millions of times a day across the country; we have allowed electric coffee makers to ruin not only our coffee, but the act of making our coffee. Add meaning to your guy’s morning coffee ritual with the Chemex Coffeemaker. Designed by German chemist Dr. Peter Schlumbohm in 1941, the Chemex Coffeemaker is known to create arguably the best cup of drip coffee possible. The design adheres to a no frills, ultra functional aesthetic featuring an hourglass body wrapped with a wooden collar and leather tie. Three years after Schlumbohm invented the Chemex Coffeemaker, it became a part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection; in addition it was selected by the Illinois Institute of Technology as one of the 100 best-designed products of modern times. The best part is that once you purchase a Chemex, you’ll never need to buy another coffeemaker again. A great cup of coffee and a masterpiece of design to start the day – what more could you ask for. The coffeemaker is sold at local gourmet shops, or is available on both Chemex.com and Amazon.
Bison and Bear
Having trouble finding that perfect last minute gift for that certain guy? Drop by Bison and Bear, one of the Deco District pop-up shops, located in the Philcade building downtown. Joel Hitsman (pronounced heights-man) has curated a wonderful collection of gifts for guys, including a line of Hitsman neck-ware, skincare by Portland General Store and a great variety of vintage “mantiques”. That said, the Hitsman line of ties is something special. Designed by Joel’s brother Michael, these Tulsa natives have had their neck-ware featured in many publications including GQ magazine. As the story goes, Michael had trouble finding a tie that he liked, so he did what more guys need to do – he made his own. That ingenuity has evolved into a successful business. Bison and Bear stocks Hitsman neck-ties and bow-ties in a variety of smart patterns, colors and materials. These are American hand-made ties meant to be heirloom pieces – something that’s rarely found today. In addition to the ties, Joel has brought in a variety of men’s skin-care products including a gift pack of Portland General Store items containing shampoo, conditioner, aftershave splash, wet-shave soap and shaving jelly. This temporary shop is an absolute must this season if you have a man on your list.
Vintage Industrial Stapler
There is no other place your guy spends more time, aside from home, than his office. Most likely, a lot of that time is spent at his desk and there is no reason that the mundane office supplies necessary to do his job can’t be stylish, well-executed examples of industrial design. The stapler is an easy entry-level piece of collectible utilitarian design. The thing I find so appealing about them is their simplistic beauty, and the fact that after sixty years or so, the things still work flawlessly. They are examples of a time when products were designed and built to last. There are two routes to finding a great stapler – your first option would be a thrift store or estate sale. Often times these items can be scored for as little as a couple of bucks and are usually still loaded with forty year old staples. The other option, (excuse my shameless self promotion) is to drop by the HOOD pop-up shop located in the Thompson building downtown in the Deco District. The chrome strike plate, hammered paint finish and wonderful typography are sure to make any guys’ desk a bit more sophisticated.
Images via K Willow Gallery and Shane Hood
Gaylord Oscar Herron
An appreciation of the arts is a must for any man. A great starting point for that appreciation is one of the sepia prints of Tulsa photographer Gaylord Oscar Herron. Most people are familiar with his bike shop, G. Oscars, located in downtown Tulsa. Herron has also been a prolific photographer in Tulsa for almost 50 years. He has spent the majority of that time documenting a changing Tulsa. Images of a Tulsa that used-to-be are powerfully juxtaposed with our own mental images of the Tulsa we know now, evoking strong feelings of nostalgia for what might have been. The images are an honest reflection of Tulsa’s history and Gaylord Oscar Herron is a True Tulsan. Most recently Herron had an exhibition at Dwelling Spaces in the Blue Dome District in downtown Tulsa. His prints are currently available at Dwelling Spaces, you may also contact him through his website at kwillowgallery.com.
Images via Shane Hood and Fab Lab Tulsa
Fab Lab Memberships
Last but not least, here’s something that has been an interest of mine for quite a while. There is a generation gap in the US between those who know how to make/fix things and those who don’t. It used to be common to fix your own car, build your own addition on your house, tinker around fixing appliances and such, even gardening. Nowadays our hands are bound by our own fascination with efficiency and automation. We know how to code a computer or push buttons on an interface, but might not know about bleeding brakes or building a dog house. Fab Lab to the rescue. Rekindle the interest in making stuff in your man’s life.
From Fab Labs website: Fab Lab is short for Fabrication Laboratory. It is a community workspace providing access to an array of computer-controlled fabrication technology such as 3D Printers and Laser Cutters that can be used to conceptualize, design, develop, and fabricate almost anything. Fab Lab was originally developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It has been deployed to over 100 different locations on 5 different continents. Fab Lab Tulsa is one of the first in the Midwest. It is a community center for innovation, entrepreneurship, and technological education.
What better gift than the gift of “fabrication technology”? The Fab Lab has a variety of membership packages available in the form of hourly equipment usage. Memberships include orientation on the equipment and assistance from the Fab Lab crew in helping your man make whatever his heart desires. You can visit fablabtulsa.com to learn more about the lab as well as membership opportunities.
So there you go, five last-week-before-Christmas ideas for your boyfriend, husband, father or brother. Have a great holiday and a Happy New Year.