Issue Archives
PRISCILLA CYPIOT
Washington
Even as a young child, Priscilla Cypiot was drawn to the colors and textures in her home. “My mom had a wonderful eye for design and decorating and those details held so much power for me.” Today, Priscilla’s work as a furniture maker is enlivened with those “small details” she loves—from sandcasted aluminum to rubber washers, beads, felt, cloth, and tile. “They add such an incredible layer to my work and they enhance my furniture in a way I can’t do with wood alone,” she says. “I’m always buying stuff because I just know I could use it in my work.”

“I am so grateful I ‘stumbled’ onto making furniture. It’s such a good fit for my skill set since I was a math major in college. Making furniture lets me be analytical and creative at the same time!” Priscilla says. “I appreciate the craftsmanship but it’s the pulling together of the design, texture, and color that excites me, the challenging blend of art, craft, utility and design. For me, a successful piece of furniture should balance all of these well.”

When Priscilla isn’t at her bench, she works as an assistant at New City Arts in Seattle, inspiring other young artisans to find their own voice, as she did, in the wood.
For more information on her work log on to www.cypiot.com or www.guild.com.


PETER JAGODA
Washington
For Peter Jagoda, one idea always leads to the next and that’s how he shifted the focus of his work from small-scale metalsmithing and bladesmithing to larger works like tables. “When I’m finished with a piece, I leave with all kinds of ideas that foster the next one. I happened to find a business that had large pieces of granite as cast-offs and I began setting them in these larger pieces. My tables and other larger pieces still reflect strong sculptural influences since I was trained as a sculptor.”

Peter likes using a variety of metals in his art to add color and he intricately and skillfully blends form and design. He’s equally interested by the plasticity of a material. “Copper allows me to manipulate it more readily. Steel, when forged, is very much like clay when hot, and when it’s cool it still has that look even though it’s very sturdy. I enjoy the different surfaces I can make with hammermarks and filemarks in the metals as well.”

Inspiration for his art truly comes from every aspect of Peter’s life. “It may be something I’ve seen that inspires me or something I’ve sketched. Or I may just be working my way through my shop and I see a piece of metal and a shape catches my eye and that’s the start of the next work.”
See more at www.jagodadesign.com.

TERRY BOSTWICK
Oregon
Fine craftsmanship is inherent in every piece of furniture designed by Terry Bostwick but that’s just the baseline. Terry says, “I take my craftsmanship with the wood to the nth degree. It has to be there. But I really want to provoke people’s interests, to make them think, to smile with my work. I want them to say, ‘I’ve never quite thought about a table in quite that way; it’s really quite an honor for that pot to sit on that table.’”

Historical reference is key to everything he does and you’ll see influences of the Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and early American designs in his furniture. But Terry takes those ideas and runs with them—perhaps tongue in cheek or perhaps giving them a more elegant stylization—giving each a bit of himself. “I’m interested in design but I’m really interested in exploring furniture as a form of expression. I want to take the architecture of a piece of furniture and make my lines unique to find that perfect line or curve.”

Terry’s continually exploring new ideas—incorporating plant forms and the body, both human and animal, into his designs. His fascination with the nearby Columbia River Gorge is now leading him to discover how to incorporate the layers of light and shadow found there into his furniture.
Log on to www.terrybostwickstudio.com to see more.

BILL MORE
Oregon
When asked how he designs his metal and woodworks of functional art, Bill More simply says, “It’s an unconscious process. It just happens…all of a sudden, I have a piece.” A lifelong desire to be surrounded by beauty, in part prompted by a childhood spent in rather dreary central New Jersey, brought Bill to furniture making. Architectural studies at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute impact his work, particularly “the Golden Sector”—the rule that the short side of a rectangle is directly proportionate to the long side by a certain percentage. Well-known in architectural and mathematical worlds, Bill says, “You find the Golden Sector all over nature—in plants, leaf patterns. All Greek and Roman architecture based their classic buildings on it. I think it keeps my work elegant and unique.”

Indeed, there is a certain rhythm in all his works. Bill lays out the various pieces of slate and glass, creating movement through the patterns in the slate and color variations. “No two designs are ever the same,” he says. Bill balances colors and visual weights as he works. The welding skills so essential to his work were learned in the first few days of a community college welding class. “I had what I needed so I dropped out. Other than that, I’m entirely self-taught.”

Visitors will soon be able to see more of Bill’s work; since moving to Bend early this year, he’s creating a small gallery as a part of his studio. Find out more by logging on to www.forgedelements.com or visiting his booth at the Best of Northwest spring and fall shows.

MARK WEDEKIND
Alaska
Mark Wedekind seemingly redefines wood in his furniture, creating flowing lines that seem to defy the traditional joinery that holds them together. “As I finish each piece, I think about what I could do to make it even cooler and then I try that on my next pieces. That keeps building momentum; I’m always pushing myself to try something new.” The sculptural elements in his work, sometimes incorporating other natural materials, follow organic lines, and Mark takes much of his cues from objects or line in nature. His works invite you to touch them and indeed many seem to be quite alive. “I respect the wood that I work and I like to think of my work as an extension of the life of the tree.”

Since his youth, Mark’s always done some woodworking but after graduating from college, “I wanted nicer furniture than what I could afford. So I started playing with building furniture and soon that grew to more than what I could build for myself. So I read and really immersed myself in woodworking.” Mark built a following while living in Utah but it wasn’t until moving to Alaska in the early 1990s (because of his wife’s job as a photojournalist) that he could afford to design and make his furniture full time.

“My earlier work had straighter lines and simpler elements than what I’m doing today. I often see a nice shape when I’m out walking and take notes or I see a photo that my wife has taken. And sometimes, the wood just tells me what to do. But whatever I do, I always design for function. I want to make something that will last but also something that has beauty.”

See his furniture at the Earth, Fire and Fibre show at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art every two years, or by visiting www.blackstonedesign.com.