My day job is owner of Capital Joinery Furniture, where I create custom furniture for both residential and commercial clients.
I’ve always loved to build. As a kid we lived on a non-working farm that was pretty much a treasure trove for a kid who liked to make things: a pallet fort especially stands out.
Although I went to school for wildlife ecology, I realized pretty quickly I didn’t want to make a career of it. I knew I liked to build things and my first job as a carpenter was on a construction site. I didn’t have the right temperament for that and looked around for something that was a better fit.
I took a job at a local family-owned business that made roll-top desks, and that’s when I started to have fun! After a few years, I decided it was time to get some more intense training and was accepted at the College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking Program in California. There I was incredibly lucky to be a student under James Krenov, a renowned cabinetmaker who attended and later taught at the Carl Mamsten Furniture Studies (Mamsten is seen by many as the father of Swedish design). I was one of his last students.
During my years of designing furniture, I’ve found that my fellow practitioners tend to come down on either the side of being an artist or being a craftsperson. It’s a topic that stirs up a lot of strong feelings. I’m probably slightly more toward the crafts side of the equation. I especially enjoy the challenge of problem solving: When my clients come to me with an idea I love figuring out how to make it happen.
My most memorable caffeine was during my drive from Wisconsin to California when I was headed to school at College of the Redwoods. I had my wife and daughter in the car with me and I remember trying to drive quickly across the country—the Salt Flats in Utah are a memory from that trip—with Stop Leak in the radiator and coffee to keep us awake.
My current caffeine of choice is black coffee—nothing fancy.
The person I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with is James Krenov. When I was his student, I was only in my 20s. I’d love to have the chance to sit down with him now that I’m nearly 20 years older—I have so many things I’d like to ask that I didn’t know to ask him then. He was an incredibly intimidating person, especially the first time you interacted with him—he would just eviscerate people. But if you handled that first encounter right, he became downright nice! I guess I handled it correctly.
World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine: I wouldn’t begin to presume I could solve any of the world’s problems. But maybe if we each just did whatever it is that we’re capable of doing, and everyone got into that mindset, we could solve the world.