West Coast Craft Winter 2018: Nov 17-18

Looking for a special holiday gift for yourself or for a loved one? I’ll be selling at West Coast Craft for the first time this winter! Mark your calendars…

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Zai Divecha at West Coast Craft
Nov 17-18, 10am-6pm
Fort Mason Center

Add to Google calendar:

Open Studios Oct 27-28

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Come by my cozy little studio and get a peek into my process! Come for a cup of tea; stay for a paper-folding demo. This will be a low-key, intimate vibe -- keep me company while I make pieces for the holidays. For those eager to get a head-start on holiday shopping, I'll have a handful of pieces ready to purchase. My studio is dog- and kid-friendly.

My studiomates J·Liston Design and Niki Ulehla will both be showing work as well! 

WHEN: 11am-6pm, Saturday Oct 27 & Sunday Oct 28
WHERE: 1426 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA 

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CAN'T MAKE IT? I'll also have a booth at West Coast Craft Winter '18 Nov 17-18 at Fort Mason! Come shop then!

PARKING: You can park in any of the spots labeled "ShopFloor" or "Harmonic." There are spots available on both sides of the building (Minnesota St and 26th St). 

FINDING MY STUDIO: Walk in through the giant roll-up garage door. Come up the stairs. My studio is the last one on the right.

MAKE A DAY OF IT: As long as you're in the neighborhood, check out some of my favorite local gems:

- Grab a beer from my friends at Harmonic Brewing!
- Get your caffeine fix at Philz Coffee - Dogpatch Minnesota
- Swing by a dozen galleries at the Minnesota Street Project.
- Try fusion Gujarati food at Besharam.
- Get a pizza or a meatball sub at Long Bridge Pizza Co..
- Savory or sweet pastries at Neighbor Bakehouse.
- Walk your dog to Esprit Park - 20th Street Overpass.
- Shop local makers at The Workshop SF or Industrious Life.
- Go bouldering at Dogpatch Boulders (don't break your ankle there like I did).
- Swing by the Museum of Craft and Design (or at least the gift shop).

Click here to see the Facebook event. Click the button below to add the details to Google calendar:


And if you want to explore the rest of the San Francisco art scene, check out all five weekends of Open Studios! From ArtSpan, the organizing group:

Each weekend, artists in different neighborhoods of San Francisco welcome the public into their studios and exhibit spaces to share their artwork. You can explore bustling group sites and tiny private workspaces. Whether you are shopping for art or seeking to connect with the creative soul of the city, you are welcome to attend.

Here’s the full schedule — I’ll be opening my doors for Weekend 3, October 27-28.

WEEKEND 1 | OCTOBER 13-14
NORTH/SOMA: Marina, Russian Hill, North Beach, Pacific Heights, Western Addition, Downtown, Tenderloin, MIDMA, SOMA, Hayes Valley, NOPA, Upper & Lower Haight, Buena Vista, Cole Valley

WEEKEND 2 | OCTOBER 20-21
Hunters Point Shipyard

WEEKEND 3 | OCTOBER 27-28 (This is my weekend!)
SOUTH/EAST: Dogpatch, Potrero Hill, Bayview, Bernal Heights, Portola, Excelsior, Balboa Park, Visitacion Valley, Outer Mission, Diamond Heights, Glen Park, Islais Creek

WEEKEND 4 | NOVEMBER 3-4
WESTSIDE/FT. MASON: Fort Mason, Presidio, Richmond, Sunset, West Portal, Ocean View

WEEKEND 5 | NOVEMBER 10-11
SF CENTRAL: Mission, Castro, Noe Valley, Duboce Triangle

All five weekends are open, Saturdays and Sundays, 11am - 6pm. Click the map below to see the PDF of all participating artists:

Studio Music: Lush // Grit

Here's what I've been listening to the last few months. It's a lot of hypnotic, edgy beats with lush instrumentals and couple sexy vocals thrown in. Enjoy!

Micro Pleats!

Just as an experiment, I replicated one of my larger pieces at half-scale. I halved it again, making an even smaller one. I thought I was done, but my studiomate Emi Grannis, lover all things microscopic, challenged me to half the scale again! Challenge accepted! I did some of the smallest pleats I've ever done. Here's the largest and the smallest ones:

Connections: Open Studio Exhibit

My studiomates and I opened our doors and showed off new work this past weekend. I showed a paper installation that featured projected light effects by Phil Reyneri and Lightform

Work on Display at Farley's Coffee

My absolute favorite local cafe, Farley's Coffee, has my work up on the walls for the month of July! They're a mainstay of the Potrero neighborhood -- they have a lovely parklet right outside, they host an annual pet costume parade for Halloween every year, and they always feature local artists' work on their walls. And they have bomb empanadas and oat milk matchas, too. Go check it out: Farley's Coffee SF 1315 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94107.

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Red Stitched Accents

I've started incorporating tiny red stitched accents into my paper pieces, and I'm feeling pretty excited about it. It's such a small detail, but on a simple, otherwise monochromatic piece, it can change the feel of it.

Bob Cut Feature

Bob Cut recently did a feature on me! They describe themselves as "a culture platform and magazine that speaks to living, loving, and being in the best city on the west coast." As a Bay Area native, I'm totally honored.

In this deep-dive interview, we discuss the recent name change, my creative influences, and how I feel about metal versus paper. Check out the interview here!

Zai's Annual HIV/AIDS Fundraiser

Every year, I raise money for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. I've raised $35,000 for the cause so far, and I'm planning to raise another $3,000 in the next month. In the past, I've raffled off a handful of prizes. This year, I'm switching it up a bit by guaranteeing a prize to everyone who donates a given amount! 

Here's how it works:

  1. Decide which reward below you'd like to "purchase"
  2. Donate that amount here with a credit card: http://tofighthiv.org/goto/zai2018
  3. I'll send you a separate invoice for the shipping cost
  4. I'll ship you your reward!

Additionally, everyone who donates any amount under $50 will get one ticket in a raffle to win a small pleated paper piece or an enamel pin. Thus, everyone has a shot at winning something, no matter how small the donation. 

Fine print: I'm capping my fundraiser at $3,000. Once I hit $3,000, you can still donate, but I can't guarantee any rewards. 100% of the donated money goes to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center, two organizations that are doing critical, life-saving work to support people in my community. The shipping fees go to me, just to cover my shipping costs. 


$50 (plus shipping): One enamel pin

$100 (plus shipping): One small pleated paper piece

$200 (plus shipping): One medium pleated paper piece

$300 (plus shipping): One large pleated paper piece

$500 (plus shipping): Large pleated paper piece + I will bike up the infamous Quadbuster hill an additional time

Under $50: One ticket in raffle to win a small pleated paper piece or an enamel pin


Some backstory:

This June, I'll be participating in AIDS/LifeCycle for my seventh year in a row. AIDS/LifeCycle, for those of you who have never met me, is a seven-day, 545-mile bike ride from SF to LA. It's a massive fundraiser that supports the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center, two organizations that are doing critical, life-saving work to curb the AIDS epidemic in California. This video about the ride will make you laugh, cry, and want to sign up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoxJ6G5OKTg

I participate in AIDS/LifeCycle every year for a number of reasons. I first got involved because the focus of my master's thesis research was HIV/AIDS, STIs, and sexual and reproductive health, and I wanted to find ways to support the cause outside of academia. I fell in love with AIDS/LifeCycle, and I kept coming back for more.

This will be my seventh year in a row participating in AIDS/LifeCycle. Prior to this year, I've personally raised $35,000 for the cause, and for two of those years, I was founder and captain of the Box Team, which raised over $130,000 while I was in charge. I'm currently a training ride leader for AIDS/LifeCycle, and spend most of my weekends leading rides and supporting people new to the community.

I ride because I have friends who have have been touched by HIV or AIDS, and I see that the fight isn't over. I ride because the federal government still refuses to fund effective harm-reduction programs like clean needle exchanges -- which means that we rely on private donations to keep these services afloat. I ride because I love the AIDS/LifeCycle community -- including everyone who has ever donated! -- and what we can accomplish together!

What I Listen to While I'm Working

I was recently interviewed by Various Artists about what I listen to while I work. Various Artists is a neat project that features creatives and the types of music that they listen to at work. Check out the article for a discussion of the role music plays in my work, some of my guilty pleasures, and a link to my go-to playlist. Enjoy!

Elektra Steel is now Zai Divecha

Exciting news! Starting today, I’m retiring the Elektra Steel brand, and will be going by my given name, Zai Divecha. Elektra Steel has been good to me, but I’m ready for a new chapter (at least with regard to the name). Cheers!

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You can find my artwork on Instagram at @zaidivecha. And if you're interested in my cycling adventures, my personal Instagram account is over at @zaiilsa

Photo by Jaclyn Le, one of my fave portrait photographers around. She’s based in SF, and she’s currently accepting bookings!

Kettle Collab with Fellow Products

Introducing my collab with Fellow Products! We’re raffling off this hand-painted Stagg Kettle to raise money for Girls Inc. of Alameda County. This collab fundraiser is in honor of Women’s History Month (aka #BossLadies Month). Raffle tickets are only a few bucks, and you can get them here: go.rallyup.com/fellow. Raffle closes March 31st, 2018.

Here are some behind-the-scenes videos of me working on this piece:

Experiments with Paper Folding

I've been experimenting with paper folding lately! I've been making pleats and pop-ups, working my way through Paul Jackson's beautiful instructional books. I love that it requires precision, it's highly tactile, and it involves a good amount of logic. 

Cocobolo Serving Boards

One of my new year’s resolutions for last year was to make most of my Christmas gifts. Mission accomplished! I made these half-moon Cocobolo serving boards for everyone in my family.

It was a team effort, though! My (soon-to-be) father-in-law introduced me to his favorite exotic wood supply place, and my Maker Fam bud Jeff Goodwin from Krakatoa Design helped me with every step of the fabrication at his woodshop in Alameda. 

Surprise: Wood is fun! What a revelation. Might consider making some of these to sell if there's interest...

Loczi Design Opening

Had a lovely little opening at Loczi Design in San Francisco in early December! My work will be up on their beautiful walls for the next few months. If you missed the opening, swing by before April 2018! All of these pieces are available for purchase

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Renegade Craft Fair - Holiday 2017

I showed off some new work at Renegade Craft Fair this past weekend -- which included my largest piece to-date, a six-foot high ribbon wall hanging. Thanks to everyone who came out and said hello! 

I've got a couple more holiday events on the calendar, so if you'd like to come check out these pieces in person, check out the events page. And if you'd like to place an order for one of these four pieces, you can do that through my online shop

Maple Loop for an Interior Designer's Home

I recently made a Maple Loop for a San Francisco-based interior designer's home. His taste in decor is obviously impeccable, so getting a commission from him -- for his own home, no less! -- was an honor.

If you'd like to discuss a custom piece of your own, get in touch through this form

Early Elektra Steel Pieces on Sale

I'm moving into a new studio space* next month, and because I'm all about that Marie Kondo life, I'm paring down my possessions. I have a handful of one-of-a-kind pieces in my studio that I'm never going to make again, and I'm ready to find homes for them. Take a look, and let me know if any of these strike your fancy!

Claro Cart: Normally $1,800, on sale for $1400

Dodecahedron Floor Lamp: Normally $1,200, on sale for $980

Nest: Normally $2,2,00, on sale for $1,800 

Large Geo Vase: Normally $580, on sale for $450 -- UPDATE: SOLD

Cube Rose No. 2: normally $1,200, on sale for $700

Mountain: Normally $400, on sale for $250

*For those of you curious about the studio move, I'm staying at ShopFloor, but moving into a bigger, nicer space within the building. And I'm going to be sharing it with one of my favorite makers and humans on the planet, Emi Grannis!

LOOPS Opening Reception at Harmonic Brewing

On Thursday, I had an opening reception to celebrate some new works going on display at Harmonic Brewing in the Dogpatch. The three new wall hangings feature some new materials for me: maple, walnut, and mirrored acrylic. Check it out:

As an extrovert who's running a business solo, events like these totally give me life. It's highly motivating to have a deadline, and it's such a treat to have customers, friends, and loved ones show up and hang out for a few hours. Some of the neighbors came by, too -- folks from both Center Hardware and Philz Coffee stopped in to chat! 

I also used the event as an excuse to do a soft launch for my new line of enamel pins, which are essentially wearable, micro versions of my wall hangings. Pins are available now in the shop.

Come by Harmonic Brewing if you'd like to see these pieces in person! They have excellent beer and cheesy popcorn, and they often have a food truck parked outside. If you're interested in an enamel pin, my online shop is open for business.