Monday, April 7, 2014

WHAT I DO


I make a lot of stuff. A good bit of it functional, as in furniture. I build free standing furniture from salvaged and recycled materials. I have been at it about ten years. I got started buying and selling any and everything at flea markets. At one market I noticed a bed a guy had made from pallet material. It was big and rough, it looked good and sold that day. So the next day I began driving around midtown Atlanta looking for houses being rehabbed where I found lot's of antique pine lumber on it's way to the landfill. I built a few things and haven’t looked back. I NOW HAVE A FACEBOOK PAGE. LIKE ME, DAMN IT!



I started out building beds, tables, armories, ect. I painted everything white and then distressed it. I took these pieces to the local street market, sold furniture and handed out cards. After a year or so doing the same market most weekends, I was approached by a couple of farmers and ask to join the Morningside Organic Farmers Market. Check out a detailed description of this organic market at my blog site.

Anyway I started selling my wares at the Morningside Market and the next thing you know folks were asking if I could build them custom furniture from salvaged materials. So I did. I kept going to the markets on Saturday mornings and also would take on custom orders. Every once in a while I would do a large job for a restaurant or a bakery or some kind of retail space. A lot of my custom orders are for folks second home. Maybe the beach, maybe the mountains. Furniture built using salvaged materials usually works well for the casual look of a vacation home.

I have also done many orders for contemporary homes. The perfectly worn and weathered piece works very well next to a modern or mid century piece of furniture.

Then in December of 2005 I sold my first painting. Well, I had actually sold a few pieces of art I had done over the years. Small pieces of fictional family members with really wild features. I sold a few of these for $50-60 and did not take it to seriously.

Then one day in June 2005, I was in Montreal. I was with my sisters and we were gallery hopping. Just going from one to the other looking and picking out our favorite art at each gallery. At one point one of my sister’s said that she needed a large pieces of art for her home, but she couldn't afford it, she said didn't have any money. So I said I would paint her a picture. She looked at me and replied “I didn’t know you painted” and I said “I didn’t know you had any money”. But we worked it out and negotiated a deal where I would paint her a picture for free. I know, I’m a very savvy negotiator, you don’t have to tell me.

Anyway, I went home and painted a large fish on a old piece of rusty tin roof. I framed it with a black distressed shadow box frame. My wife came home from work that afternoon and looked at the painting I had done for my sister and thought I could sell it at one of my street markets. So that’s what I did, and I sold it at the first market I showed it. I did another for my sister and have been selling them steadily since then.

So now I paint pictures and make one of a kind pieces of furniture and functional art. I also do custom art projects.

I finish most pieces of furniture with distressed paint, for a primitive look. Or I will stain the piece to look like an antique.

I guess my art is folk style. I would prefer a different way to describe it, something like Urban Southern Art. It is a multi media recipe I have come up with. I am self taught in both furniture and art.

Now days I have a circle of builders, contractors, ect that call me once or twice a year with available materials. People who know what I do are always happy to give me materials to work with instead of throwing them away. That means most of the time I can tell the customer where the wood I used, to build their furniture, came from.

14 comments:

  1. Congratulations, man! That's a rather great leap forward. You went from paintings to bigger and more challenging craft. Hope you get a good bead on your cash outs, so you'll keep on having a good handle on how to maintain your expansion and your profits. Good luck!

    Clyde Hudson @ Stewart Technologies

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