My love of wood started organically. As an child, I often visited a cabinet shop with my mother near our family home in Seattle’s Matthews Beach neighborhood. She was green long before it was hip, using the shop’s sawdust shavings for our cats’ litter box. The owner of the shop, Evert Sodergren, a now-renowned fourth generation furniture maker, became lifelong friends with my family.
When I was ten years old, Evert moved into the house next door and started to remodel it. That same year, my dad built me a workbench, outfitted it with hand tools, and taught me how to use and respect them. My love of wood grew from watching Evert remodel his home, create beautiful pieces in his home studio, and helping my dad remodel our house. Coupled with this, was an exposure to good design through my parents. As a teenager, I watched the great Northwest architect Ralph Anderson design my family’s house remodel. My parents began filling it with amazing antiques bought at auction, including those of the ever-coveted Danish Modern style. Then, I left home and became a chef.
I spent years in kitchens creating with food, but felt the pull back to my first medium, wood. At the age of 30, with a new wife and a baby on the way, I took a big leap. I built a shop in the garage, quit my job as a chef, and started building kids’ furniture. There wasn’t a great demand for it, but it was a place to start where I left off and begin a journey that’s led me to where I am today – building beautiful pieces that would make Evert proud.
I work from my home studio, making my way each morning from bed, to the kitchen for coffee, to the office for inspiration, and down to the shop when it’s time to get the sawdust flying. I enjoy the concentrated quiet of working in my shop. I’ve come a long way from kids’ furniture. I am lucky to work with clients who share my love of wood and appreciation for design and craftsmanship. I can only hope that my next piece of furniture is the best piece I have ever built.