A tray with a glass sake set and sushi rests on a long wooden table. It seems a bit out of place amid the rest of the items artfully arranged on the beautiful, grained surface. There are little boxes with wry sayings emblazoned on their lids, sumptuous scented candles in unusual fragrances, design books, and even specialty pencils for those who take great care in the selection of their writing implements. But at first glance, the Japanese-inspired lunch tray is an odd addition. Closer inspection reveals it to be decorative faux-sushi rendered in realistic plastic, and a Pyrex chemistry flask and beakers repurposed as a carafe and shot glasses. It is one of many items in Zinc Art + Interiors — a store owned by Laura Zeck and her husband, Jesse Doquilo — that appeals to a quirky sense of delight in the unexpected. “Our shop is constantly changing,” says Zeck. “I bring in things that inspire me, that are clever, or beautiful and functional.”
Zeck’s academic background in painting and printmaking and a career in design and interiors fuel her passion for fusing art and life. After a project working on the decor of Walnut Street Coffee brought her to Edmonds, Zeck and Doquilo relocated to the city from Seattle in 2007. Zeck made her studio in the old VFW building until it was sold. The duo then decided to combine Zeck’s art and office space with a retail component that would feature the unique items Zeck found while researching her interior design projects, as well as Doquilo’s handmade furniture.
Zinc Art + Interiors was born from this playful pairing of storefront and gallery, and stepping into the airy space just off of “the circle” in downtown Edmonds is like entering a modern art gallery. Zeck curated each piece using her artist’s eye to source objects that are not only cheeky and clever, but also visually stimulating. To Zeck, every item’s scale, pattern, structure, and weight are important selection criteria, but equally vital is that they have an interesting story.
To illustrate this point, she points to a cylindrical bag that turns out to be a wine bottle carrier made from a decommissioned fire hose. The bag, from Oxgut Hose Co., is unexpectedly chic and totally practical, with a delightful backstory. Here, each object has a tale to tell.
The artwork, though, is Zeck’s favorite part of the shop. “I love our art!” she exclaims. “People don’t realize how much joy art can bring to their lives.” And indeed, the current work on display is lighthearted and colorful, bringing energy to Zinc’s creatively presented space.
That dynamism on the walls finds its perfect counterpart in Doquilo’s architectural furniture. The tables, chairs and other pieces in his line, Modern Object, are at once substantial and elegant yet with surprising angles and gorgeous natural grains that make them both modern and timeless. The Gracer side table, named for their daughter, Grace, is a perfect example of the line’s dynamic shapes and deceptive simplicity. Meticulously crafted from solid walnut, it is incredibly versatile, working just as well as an impromptu perch for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as it does a sleek accent for a thoroughly modern living room.
This kind of playful opposition and unabashed beauty are at the heart of the store. The wide variety of treasures to be found here, from fine art, to upcycled handbags, tongue-in-cheek curios, and even specialty water bottles and mugs, are studies in whimsical cool and sophisticated fun: objects and art that refuse to be boxed into a particular category and don’t take themselves too seriously.
Zeck’s obvious passion for these eclectic offerings is fueled by her clients, whom she says are her primary motivation. “We have met such great people and helping them find the right thing and then hearing that it was the perfect gift—it makes me happy,” she says.
Her delight informs Zinc’s mission: to make the customer’s world fun to live in. “I want to make people happy,” Zeck says. “I want people to own things that bring joy and are well made.” Innovative objects, quality craftsmanship, and genuine delight, the equation at Zinc is simple: Art + Design = Fun.
102 3rd Ave. S, Ste. B, Edmonds