We had the opportunity to work with the brilliant, plant minded folks at  Companion–Platform on our most recent Earth Tones zine. Collaborating with such talented Earth loving creators is one of our greatest joys at Wooden Spoon Herbs.  Learn more about  Companion–Platform, their ethos, and their work from our recent interview. 
 
Who are each of you and who is Companion—Platform?
 
Companion–Platform is the graphic design practice of Lexi Visco and Calvin Rocchio. We make things in close collaboration with the environments and communities we live within, believing that nothing emerges isolated from an ecosystem, and that the background is as much the foreground when introducing something new to a landscape; be it a book, a drawing, or a website. We live and work in Berkeley, CA, the ancestral and unceded land of the Chochenyo speaking Ohlone people, and within what was once the Codornices Creek watershed. 
 
How was Companion—Platform conceived and birthed?
 
Our studio emanated from collaborating on a site specific print room project at 2727 California Street, in Berkeley, CA. We built and facilitated a space for residents of 2727 and the surrounding community to come and experiment with the concept of "publishing." We were interested in not only the idea that publishing is the act of making something "public," but also asking; how can we make the process of publishing a public act? We were incredibly fortunate to collaborate and work with so many generous and brilliant artists and writers through that project, and slowly started to see an opportunity to use graphic design as a communicative vessel for making things with others in a co-generative way. And so began Companion—Platform; a graphic design studio, and a space we feel is a home for all of our sprawling interests, as well as a place to invite others to reflect on their practices and ways of engaging with the world around them. 
 
When starting a new project, how do you immerse yourselves in the world of your client / partner?
 
Much of our process and many projects stem from a space of co-cultivated language and shared worlds of metaphors. Before anything visual is developed or established, we deeply enjoy the conversations and exchanges that happen with a new collaborator that begin to establish a linguistic environment that we can continue to dwell in together for the duration of the project.
 
I know you both are as in love with Mother Earth as we are. What are some of your favorite places on Earth? Favorite plants?
 
Many of our favorite places are not too far from our home in California. We consistently return to many of the estuaries and intertidal spaces along the coast of Mendocino County, the original territory of the Northern Pomo People, looking for specific migratory birds and plant species throughout the year, and to check in on the river otters at Big River. We also spend as much time as possible backpacking along the steep slopes of the Eastern Sierras, the original territory of the Western Shoshone and Paiute People. Especially in June and July when many of the tiniest alpine flowers begin to reveal themselves amidst the decomposed granite. We’re always excited to come across a Trillium ovatum blooming underneath the shade of a redwood, a patch of Eriogonum latifolium clinging to exposed, sandy outcroppings, or a small Calochortus leichtlinii growing between thick slabs of granite.
 
Favorite wellness practices?
 
Drinking water, getting eight hours of sleep, stretching, and moving our bodies outside as often as possible. 
 
For Earth Tones, you pulled plant pressings of Goldenseal, American ginseng, Wild Yam and others digitally from the Alabama Plant Atlas. What inspired this decision?
 
The practices, thoughtfulness, and rigor of Wooden Spoon Herbs is what informed this decision! When making something that demonstrates a way of interfacing with the botanical world, we first seek to engage with the work / practice / research of those who have long engaged the specific process / species / environment we're interested in. We are perpetually inspired by the work of Herbariums like the Alabama Plant Atlas, both for the encyclopedic breadth of recording species (both endangered and prolific), but also the poetic perseverance it takes to preserve such specimens.  
 
What inspires you, generally?
 
We are most often inspired by the practices of listening and observation, and by the people who prioritize these ways of being in their lives and work. It's when we maintain a certain openness to our environments that generally something outside of our immediate perception comes forth and changes the way we think about or see something. These are the moments that are most informative to our work, and we in turn use our work as a way of being constant witnesses to the world around us. 
 
What's up next for Companion—Platform?
 
We’re about to embark on a number of new projects that are all quite different from one another in content and format; however, the thread that connects them all is a focus on interfacing with plants. We feel very grateful and excited to be learning through all of these different lenses. 
 
P.S. 
Earth Tones ships free on all orders while supplies last. 
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