DESIGN WEEK PORTLAND ARTIST FEATURE: MAKERS WOODWORKS

Garrett Michael of Makers Woodworks

Garrett Michael of Makers Woodworks

Garrett Michael is a craftsman out of Vancouver, Washington that along with partners, Dan McCarl and Justin Appel opened Makers Woodworks in 2013. They specialize in building and installing custom furniture for people or businesses in the Portland metro area. The passion for their work comes through in the pieces they build; “When the client tells you they love the piece, then we’re happy,” says Garrett.

1. How would you refer to yourself? Woodworker? Artisan? Craftsman?
Craftsmen

Garrett Michael, Justin Appel, and Dan McCarl of Makers Woodworks

Garrett Michael, Justin Appel, and Dan McCarl of Makers Woodworks

2. How did you get started?
I was introduced to woodworking in about 6th grade. I loved the ability to create something tangible from rough lumber with machinery and hand tools. There’s also an element of danger and caution you always have to keep in mind.

3. Why wood?
I think I was kind of drawn to it. It’s so random and varied in species; each has its own distinct characteristic, color, pattern, even within that species. Wood is workable, yet super strong, and has a warmth that invites you to feel it. It’s also kind of instant gratification seeing an idea progress through different stages and take shape. You can change direction along the way.

4. What was the first thing you made from wood?
I don’t remember the first thing, probably a mirror or something like that. I do remember making an 8 sided box in a school shop early on.

5. What does being creative meant to you?
Expression. The thought of coming up with something that’s interesting and just a little different than anything you’ve done yet. You can’t help but get inspired by all the awesome stuff being created out there.

Taking some of the black paint off the Kentucky Fence Board

Taking some of the black paint off the Kentucky Fence Board

6. Do you have any rituals?
Coffee in the morning.

7. What is your favorite piece?
That’s a tough question, there are really so many. I’ve really become partial to the mid-century stuff over last few years.

8. Who inspires you?
There are so many awesomely talented people out there, you see fantastic stuff all the time these days with social media. Historically, maybe Tage Frid, Sam Maloof, Greene brothers, even some architecture is inspiring. And I can’t forget my wife.

9. What do you hope to communicate through your work?
That we are into what we are doing and want our clients to love it.

10. If you weren’t doing this what would you be doing?
Don’t know, can’t imagine that at this point. I’ve always wanted to fly though…

11. Ultimate piece you want to create
I would love to build my own home.

12. What’s your favorite thing about PDX?
The rain…haha. The casual vibe, color, music and art scene, biking, and the FOOD.

13. Favorite song?
Too many; I could change daily. I love music.

14. Favorite bridge?
St Johns, though there are still one or two cool old covered bridges around town…I think.

15. Favorite neighborhood?
Hmmm… maybe Laurelhurst. There are so many great areas.

16. What’s your favorite tool?
Whatever I need for the next step.

Preview of the bench Garret is constructing for Design Week Portland

Preview of the bench Garret is constructing for Design Week Portland

Garrett Michael from Makers Woodworks at read:grain, works with reclaimed wood on Friday, April 28th from 4-7pm during Design Week Portland. For more information, go here.

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Design Week Portland Artist Feature: Tiny Shed

Jordan Saia of Tiny Shed

Jordan Saia of Tiny Shed

Jordan graduated from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn with a degree in fine art with a special affinity for woodworking and welding. He spent some time in Atlanta, creating works out of reclaimed plywood and then bounced back to a NY community of craftsman, further honing his woodworking skills. In 2013 he made the move to Portland, discovering his Tiny Shed workspace at Green Anchors right next to Cathedral Park in North Portland. There, with his workmate Dane of Two Ravens Forge, they practice their crafts to the sounds of the Misfits.

1. How would you refer to yourself? Woodworker? Artisan? Craftsman?
Woodworker, sculptor

2. How did you get started?
Building reclaimed structures with my step-dad

3. Why wood?
It smells good and I love trees

4. What was the first thing you made from wood?
Tiny planter seed box that worked like a jack-in-the-box

5. What does being creative meant to you?
Happiness and freedom

6. Do you have any rituals?
Firing up the wood stove, coffee

7. What is your favorite piece?
Strange burled drops I keep on my desk

Burled wood drops

Burled wood drops


8. Who inspires you?
Isamu Noguchi and Richard Neutra

9. What do you hope to communicate through your work?
Modern functional design with an emphasis on sustainable ethics

10. If you weren’t doing this what would you be doing?
Astronomy

11. The ultimate piece you want to create?
A tree temple

12. What’s your favorite thing about PDX?
The summer

Axe throwing

Axe throwing

13. Favorite song?
Misfits, Hybrid Moments

14. Favorite bridge?
St John’s

15. Favorite neighborhood?
St John’s

16. What’s your favorite tool?
Circular saw

Game table for Design Week Portland

Game table for Design Week Portland

 

Jordan Saia from Tiny Shed at read:grain, works with reclaimed wood on Friday, April 28th from 4-7pm during Design Week Portland. For more information, go here.

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