A salute to Tom's Consew 206RB sewing machine: purchased in 1980 and still in continuous use at our Seattle factory.
Excerpted from Tom's interview with The Setup:
"One of my most obvious tools is a sewing machine (Ivan Illich would call it a tool, not a machine—I like that). The sewing tool I used for over two decades was a Consew 206RB, with a compound walking foot. Basically a machine made for heavy work like sewing leather and upholstery—an incredibly flexible tool. (If you buy a new one today it's reputed to be not so great - buy a Seiko STH-8BLD instead. Seiko was the OEM for Consew, so it's the same as the old Consew machine. I mean tool.)
That specific Consew I started with is now over 30 years old and still sees daily service in my factory: Tao uses it to do three-fold bias binding. These days when I am sewing prototypes, I either am in the factory using whatever sewing machine is available or I'm in my studio using my new Seiko. One of the things I appreciate most about our company is that a lot of the design process is happening in the factory—there's a beautiful co-evolution between design and manufacturing that you don't get when the design process is physically removed from the build process."