Oregon Home Team
To make the legs of his tables black, furniture designer Ken Tomita uses sumi, Japanese calligraphy ink. He got the idea while studying architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. “We were given an assignment to come up with 10 different ways of making wood black,” he says. “I used the ink for one of them. I discovered that it has the right amount of gloss, and it’s a deep black. It’s like painting a void.”
Marjin Wall took up woodworking because she needed furniture for the house she moved into to attend Reed College in Portland in the 1970s. “I didn’t own any furniture, so I signed up for a wood projects class at Portland Community College so that I could make a desk for myself,” she says.
You can take an artist out of his hometown, but you can’t always take the hometown out of the artist. "I was born in a little town in Poland called Zamosc," says Tomasz Misztal. "It’s an Italian Renaissance town: An Italian architect designed the architecture as a twin town to Padua, Italy. I just realized about 10 years ago how that little place explains the Renaissance tones in my art."
For furnituremaker Craig Windom, it’s all about the wood. “I love old wood,” he says. “I love searching for it. It’s usually wood that has a certain patina or grain. It may have been real weathered and beaten up and had some nails in it, but I can see the potential in it. I clean it up and it becomes a beautiful piece of wood.”