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Meet the BikeCrafters: Liz Carlis, Tomas Quinones, and Chris Chapman

Posted by on December 12th, 2017 at 11:38 am

Just three days until the big Friday preview party and BikeCraft weekend!

In case you haven’t heard, Portland’s bike-centric holiday gift fair is back. BikeCraft 2017 is December 15-17 at the Bike Farm (1810 NE 1st Ave.) and it’s powered by Microcosm Publishing.

To get you ready, our friend Elly Blue (Microcosm’s co-owner and marketing director) has been profiling the fantastic people behind the crafts (see the all of them here). Below are three more BikeCrafters you’ll get to meet at the big event. (Note: This is the final post in this series. See you at the event!)

1 by Liz – Liz Carlis (Website)

Liz Carlis has a thriving business in a very particular niche: making wall clocks out of chainrings. She has another early BikeCraft success story—her first one was in 2007 (check out the historical vendor list here), where Jonathan seems to remember that she sold out of all her clocks. And she’s kept at it ever since, in multiple cities, now with a snazzy website. It’s great to have you back, Liz!

What’s your bike craft?

I make clocks from used bicycle gears and limited edition fabric, textiles, and topographic maps. I also make holiday ornaments and magnets from small cassette pieces and pins from textile remnants.

How did you get started?

I first started making clocks while working as a preschool teacher in Portland. Inspired by the way children see possibilities in all materials, I started playing around with some of my husband’s bike parts. I never imagined I would still be making them 10 years later (yes, 10!) I have since lived and worked in Oakland, CA, Brooklyn, NY and now call Seattle home. Bike Craft was was one of the first events I participated in and I’m thrilled to be returning this year!

What’s your favorite thing about what you do?

I love the design process of combining the industrial shape of gears with color and texture found in textiles and topographic maps. There are so many different chain ring styles out there and it’s always exciting to come across ones I haven’t seen. I like to think the clocks highlight the hidden beauty of each gear that often goes unnoticed on the bike.

What’s your biggest challenge with it?

I have a toddler at home and also teach for PSU so finding time to work on clocks while managing my other responsibilities can be difficult—but it’s also what allows me to stay at home and teach part time so I wouldn’t have it any other way. If only making clocks could create more time in the day…!

What does bicycling mean to you?

There is nothing quite like the feeling of riding a bike—the fresh air, sounds and sight, the movement, the freedom. It is a full on sensory experience that reminds me of being a child. It’s fun!

Tomas Quinones – Flying Sail Creations (Website)


I remember the first time Tomas brought his newly-assembled Bike Parade coloring book to BikeCraft and there was a sort of explosion of excited small children that bled over into excited adults talking about it online. I had never realized until that day the size and hunger of the market for illustrations of cheerful, colorable animals riding bikes, and it’s great that he’s kept at it and made even more.

Are you at BikeCraft? When are you coming to BikeCraft? Why aren't you at BikeCraft right now? #BikeCraft

What’s your bike craft?

I illustrate to a younger audience with picture books in mind. This is my third coloring book project but a picture book is next on the table.

How did you get started?

My first bicycle-themed coloring book was produced in 2011 and debuted at BikeCraft a couple weeks later. It was a huge success.

What’s your favorite thing about what you do?

I get to watch kids smile as they look at my drawings and color my pages. It’s great to see the impact my drawings have on children and adults.


What’s your biggest challenge with it?

I work a full-time day job, so finding time to dedicate to drawing is my main challenge right now.

What does bicycling mean to you?

Bicycling is freedom and adventure above all. I love going places on my bikes that I can’t get to in a car.

It’s in my Heart – Chris Chapman (Website)

First-time BikeCraft vendor Chris Chapman has licensed the green heart in Oregon design to print on bike jerseys so y’all can express your love and aspirations for this beautiful, if often troubled, state of ours. His replies to our questions were the most concise of anyone’s, so we don’t know much about him except that he has a gift for summary. Which isn’t a bad quality at all in this wordy world of the internet. It’ll be nice to meet you next week, Chris!

What’s your bike craft?

Designing graphically pleasing bicycle apparel.

How did you get started?

I spent some time skiing in Switzerland and became interested in outdoor apparel and graphic design.

What’s your favorite thing about what you do?

The freedom to express on a blank moving billboard (a bicycle jersey).

What’s your biggest challenge with it?

Establishing worldwide distribution.

What does bicycling mean to you?

It’s in my Heart.

Make sure you visit BikeCraft this Friday through Sunday. Friday is the preview party benefit for BikeFarm. Saturday and Sunday are free, and Sunday will feature free grilled cheese sandwiches from the Franz Bread’s food truck and a performance for the kids by Olive & Dingo at 1:00 pm. Full details here.

— Elly Blue, @EllyBlue on Twitter

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  • Jojo December 12, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    We love Bike Craft. This will be our 9th year. It is the best craft fair in town.
    See y’all this weekend (We’ll be there Friday, actually.)

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  • Tomas Quinones December 12, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Link to online shop is

    See you all this weekend!

    Recommended Thumb up 7

  • John Liu December 14, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Looking forward to this event and I appreciate BP’s posts previewing some of the artists and vendors we’ll see. Things like BikeCraft keep Portland’s bike culture fun!

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • John Liu
    John Liu December 15, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Stopped by tonight, there sure are a lot of vendors and cool stuff. Didn’t have time to see it all, so I’ll have to go back this weekend.

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