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About

I grew up in a small town in southern New Jersey called Dividing Creek... If you’re from there, you know it as Split Ditch. I’d spend the days trudging through the mud, swimming, canoeing, water skiing and exploring the little creek that winds its way through the stinkin’ marsh to the Delaware Bay. On the bay the stripers strike hard and the crabs and oysters are plentiful, quite a handful of my younger days were spent working on commercial fishing boats out there with my old man. If you go out of the creek, around egg island, and north up the bay a ways, there smack dab in the middle sits a little cast iron lighthouse on a shoal. Ship John Shoal has always stuck with me as a memory of my growing up. Maybe it's the backwards old-style vocabulary in the name, the beauty of the lighthouse itself, or the fact that you can barely see it from land... I just like it. It's my Hickory Wind.
Over the past decade, I've learned from scratch a trade that I now cherish, the trade of leather work. Mistakes have turned to ideas, ideas have created products and designs that are simple, beautiful, and harken back to a time when things were made with care and longevity in mind. I've recently added some trusted hands to pass along what I've learned over these years to keep expanding this vision of mine. Thank you for checking it out, and supporting all of us on this journey.
   
~ Cap'n. Mike Elias
   
  
Meet The Crew!
   
Jeanine
  
Favorite album(s) lately: Miss Colombia by Lido Pimienta -- but more often I listen to podcasts over music so my new favorite podcasts are: Maintenance Phase hosted by Aubrey Gordon (YrFatFriend - best insta account you can follow) and Michael Hobbes (of You're Wrong About podcast). It's a health podcast that debunks lies we've been told about health/wellness all our lives. And Sofie Hagan's Made of Human podcast. Thoughtful, funny and with SO many accents! 
Favorite candy from the gas station across the street: Not a big sweet person, but I have a weakness for Cheetos-- and I do eat them with chopsticks.
Favorite tool in the shop: The twill tape/webbing attachment for the (f)Artisan machine. I have spent HOURS trying to do the perfect work that this attachment does with absolutely minimal effort. 
Favorite color: Green, with pink coming in a solid second.
Hobbies / craft / business outside of Ship John: I make custom clothing for women! Sadly, I can't do personal fittings in the middle of a global pandemic so it's been on pause-- but I'm hopeful about some projects I have in the works with other artists. I also do a ridiculous amount of other handicrafts as I've never been good at keeping my hands still (knitting, needlework, papercrafts, etc). It has ended up being rather helpful having so many hobbies since I can no longer fill my extra hours eating and drinking out.
Proudest moment this year: I was one of those people who learned how to make sourdough bread this year, and my country loaf is actually pretty dang impressive. I have friends (humble brag) who cook professionally who have complimented my loaves and that is what I am going to be taking away from this year.
Favorite Portland bar or restaurant: Free House. Started going out of convenience when I lived close by, but really do enjoy it! Great burger, great patio.
Born / raised in: Born in San Antonio, TX but raised from the age of 6mo in NE PDX. Contrary to popular belief, there are tons of people who grew up in Portland still living here.
  

Val  

Favorite album(s) lately: Movements – No Good Left To Give, Neck Deep – All Distortions Are Intentional, Jason Isbell – Southeastern
Favorite candy from the gas station across the street: That thin, “deli style” beef jerky from Tillamook Country Smoker. Meat treats > sweet treats.
Favorite tool in the shop: My left-handed Gingher shears. I love them so much I made a post about them. (Like Frank and his typewriter in “You've Got Mail.”)
Favorite color: Blue. Honorable mention to grey (with an 'e', thank you), even though it's a shade.
Hobbies / craft / business outside of Ship John: I write songs about my feelings and record them. And in normal times, play them on stages. Search Val Bauer on Spotify, Apple Music, etc. if you're curious. Also a devoted cat dad, denimhead, and copywriter. HMU if you need content written.
Favorite Portland bar or restaurant: Kelly's Olympian; Thai Peacock
Born / raised in: Lebanon, OR and Vancouver, WA
Anything else you’d like to add about yourself? I believe that Black lives matter. I'm also big on mental health awareness. Follow my Insta (@valbauermusic) for songs, fit pics, discussions on mental health, and photos of my sweet boy, Aldous Tuxley. 
  
Janelle


Favorite album(s) lately: Ungodly Hour by Chloe x Halle, Freya Ridings, The Lion King, the Gift “Deluxe Edition” by Beyonce 
Favorite candy from the gas station across the street: Well, I haven’t gone there yet, but my favorite candy is sour gummy worms
Favorite tool in the shop: The big ole hammer/mallet 
Favorite color: Yellow
Hobbies / craft / business outside of Ship John: I’m really passionate about fashion design and different forms of art. I have been  growing my personal brand “Dorotheaa”. Over the past few years. I have designed and made women’s and children’s ready-to-wear collections. Through this brand, I have also begun selling handmade jewelry and graphic designed t shirts and other accessories. Also, I love art and painting, and really enjoy getting to create a small business from my artwork, and create custom pieces for people. 
My brand encourages diversity and inclusion, and celebrating all people, through colorful and fun designs. To see more you can on my websitehttps://www.dorotheaa.com
Proudest moment this year: Graduating from college in the midst of a pandemic, and also being able to get a job post graduation in the apparel industry.

  

Joe
Favorite album(s) lately: Butch Walker "American Love Story", Tom Petty "Wildflowers & All the Rest", Bruce Springsteen "Letter to You"
Favorite candy from the gas station across the street: Reeses Pumpkins, formerly known as Reeses Eggs, and soon to be known as Reeses Christmas Trees
Favorite tool in the shop: Stitching Horse
Favorite color: Blue in any shade, except Periwinkle - that guy's just showing off
Hobbies / craft / business outside of Ship John: Drawing, woodworking, record collecting, & training to be the first man to walk on the Moon 
Proudest moment this year: Going 6 for 8 with the mouse traps in July (or buying a house in October)
Favorite Portland bar or restaurant: The Desert Inn, or "The DI"
Born / raised in: Born in Great Falls, MT and raised in Ontario, OR, birthplace of the tater tot
Anything else you’s like to add about yourself? If you feel so inclined, have a peek at my drawings and other random nonsense in my bi-yearly posts @joetaormina on Instagram. Or have a gander at my work at josephtaormina.net
  
Chris
Chris is a mystery....
  
 
Ellen

Favorite album(s) lately: 'Crushing' - Julia Jacklin, 'II' - Fuzz, 'Unlocked' - Denzel Curry
Favorite candy from the gas station across the street: Peanut m&m's all the way! Not candy but spicy munchies are frequently consumed.
Favorite tool in the shop: EZ edge beveler or Google Sheets
Favorite color: True blue
Hobbies / craft / business outside of Ship John: Dabble in a little bit o' everything in the visual art world ~ mostly drawing, painting, collage, film photography. Personal work can be found at ellenrobinette.com. Also proud Art Director for Buckmxn Publishing. Check out the biannual anthology, found at buckmanjournal.com and most local bookshops!
Proudest moment this year: Designing a bandana :~) honorable mention is pooping in the woods for the first time while backpacking.
Favorite Portland bar or restaurant: Bye & Bye, or any crusty dive bar
Born / raised in: Born in Cincinnati, Ohio (skyline chili babay!), raised in Oregon since 1996.
Anything else you’s like to add about yourself? Nope. But tabasco sucks
  
 
Steven

Favorite album(s) lately: "It Must Be Magic" Teena Marie
Favorite candy from the gas station across the street: M & M's with peanuts
Favorite tool in the shop: (F)Artisan cylinder bed compound walking foot single needle
Favorite color: Indigo
Hobbies / craft / business outside of Ship John: Learning to play the bass guitar
Proudest moment this year: Mya HS graduation and being accepted to NE in Boston
Favorite Portland bar or restaurant: Khao Moo Dang (Thai food)
Born / raised in: SF
Anything else you’s like to add about yourself? I built a house once
  
Mike

Favorite album(s) lately: Bob Dylan - Time Out Of Mind, Tom Waits - Foreign Affairs, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Ghosteen
Favorite candy from the gas station across the street: Reese’s Fast Break
Favorite tool in the shop: My Good Art HLYWD silver utility knife
Hobbies / craft / business outside of Ship John: Learning a little piano and makin’ mustard
Proudest moment this year: Buying our first house!
Favorite Portland bar or restaurant: Laurelthirst Public House
Born / raised in: Dividing Creek, New Jersey
Anything else you’s like to add about yourself? I love riding motorcycles on road and off. I love my family and our pets. I don’t like bay leaves in my stew.