what's on my desk

What’s on Textile Designer Sara Berks’s Desk

How someone organizes their desk can tell you a lot about how they get work done. That’s why we’re stepping into the offices of enviably creative (and productive) people to look at what’s on their desks — pens and notebooks and gadgets, but also décor and tchotchkes. Today, we’ve asked New York textile designer Sara Berks of Minna to show and tell.

Sakura Pigma Micron Ink Pen Set
$12 at Amazon

I always have a handful of these around in my bag or on my desk. They are my favorite pens for writing or sketching: I really like the fine-tipped points, and the lines that they create are very crisp and clear. I’ve been using them since art school and I buy them in black only.

Sol LeWitt: 100 Views
$41 at Amazon

I have a stack of books behind me, but the ones I look to for inspiration most frequently are Sol LeWitt: 100 Views and Agnes Martin. I’ve always been really inspired by minimalist art, and these are two of my favorite artists. I actually have one of Sol LeWitt’s drawings tattooed to my arm, and Agnes Martin is a huge influence in my work. We have this rug called the “Agnes” rug, which is named after her. I also reference Interaction of Color by Josef Albers a lot — I’ve had this one since color theory in art school.

Agnes Martin (Dia Foundation)
$48 at Amazon
BTW Ceramics Mist Vase
$110 at Etsy

I have one of these on my desk (the exact one isn’t sold anymore, but this is similar) that’s turned into a catchall for pens and pencils. My friend Brooke of BTW Ceramics made a whole bunch of them in different sizes for my wedding last summer. I had her make 30 of them for our wedding, and we kept a handful, then sold the rest in our brick-and-mortar.

Appointed Dot Grid Workbook
$22 at Spring

I swear by dot grids. I always have one next to me at my desk for writing notes down, to-do lists, initial sketch ideas, etc. The dot grid helps keep my to-do lists neat and subtle enough to have in the background in design sketches.

Minna “Shapes” Cotton Scarf
$78 at Aha Life

Our studio/store is usually freezing (it’s an old building!), so I always have a scarf hanging over the back of my chair. This is a favorite from our line. We sell them as table runners and scarves, so I always have it with me to wrap around my neck when I get cold.

Pigeon Toe Simple Mug
$42 at Food 52

I met the founders of Pigeon Toe a couple years ago at a trade show — they’re really cool ladies — and I love all of their work. Everything they make is really simple and utilitarian, but then the color palette is spot on. We carry these in the shop in a bunch of different colors, the terra-cotta one being my current favorite. I have a really bad coffee habit and have been trying to slowly transition to herbal tea in the afternoon as a pick-me-up instead of more caffeine.

Kick a Cold! Blend
Photo: Kristen Schwartz/Echinacea Purpurea copyright by Kristen Schwartz
Kick a Cold! Blend
$16 at Good Fight Herb Co.

I usually always turn to herbal remedies before anything else, and I always have a mix of tinctures on my desk to get me through the day. I use Kick a Cold Blend from our neighbor Good Fight Herb Co. whenever I feel a cold coming on.

Migraine Melter
Photo: Wain Tan @brucewainn
Migraine Melter
$14 at Wooden Spoon Herbs

I also swear by Wooden Spoon Herbs Migraine Melter. I usually just put a few drops on my tongue, but you can always mix it into water as well.

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What’s on Textile Designer Sara Berks’s Desk