Friday, January 27, 2012

Local Artist Interview: Open Grain Woodwork

Open Grain Woodwork

Open Grain Woodwork

Our friends at Open Grain Woodwork are having a very exciting call for ideas contest that we wanted to share with the D.I.Y. Louisville community.  If you’ve ever had a great idea for a child’s toy or home décor item made from wood, but lacked the skills (or tools) to implement that idea, this is a great opportunity for you to share your idea(s) with a local, eco-conscious company and possibly win the chance to see that idea come to life.

If your idea is chosen, you will be given one of the winning products once it has made it through production.  AND, as if that isn’t just plain awesome in and of itself, the top twenty (20!) local runner-ups will win a domestic tree ready for planting provided by Tower View Farms.  (Non-local runner-ups will have the tree planted on their behalf.)

Here are the official details provided by Open Grain Woodwork:
We’ve just recently launched our second official Open Grain Woodwork contest for our Sapling Collection. All you have to do is think of a great product to implement into our Sapling Collection: Children’s Toys & Home Décor and simply email the Grain Guy himself your idea and drawing ( We ask that you make all entries as detailed as possible with a drawing or quick sketch to help us make the best decision.

This contest ends on the last day of February and the winner will be announced March 9th. The lucky winner will go on to have his or her idea pushed into production for our Sapling Collection and once completed will be given to the winner free of charge.

But we’ve always believed that every participant should be rewarded, after all, it’s not just the winner, but everyone that ends up helping out. So we’re partnering up with Tower View Farms so that the top twenty runner-ups that submit their ideas alongside their sketches or drawings (no matter how big or how small) will have a domestic tree native to our area at the shop waiting for them and ready to be planted.

Now that all of our fans and customers are cranking their craniums, we are working hard to get our Sapling Collection’s next big project off the ground. Coming soon we will be able to present various themed clocks that are sure to add a great aesthetic touch to your little one’s bedroom. So get involved with our Sapling Collection contest and be involved with Open Grain Woodwork today to help us create a better home and environment for our Louisville Community.
Open Grain Woodwork

Read on to learn more about Open Grain Woodwork:

What type of art do you make and when did you get your start?
I like to describe our creations as highly functional and innovative wood art. In all shapes and sizes. This includes, but is not limited to, furniture, signage, jewelry boxes, pens, household items, displays, and children’s décor and toys.

I’ve had the desire and ambition to create starting as a child. My first outlet was drawing in mediums such as charcoal and water colors. I always participated and took advantage of every learning opportunity available throughout my education as a child and adult. While in college I supported myself remodeling homes and felt artistic gratification through my work. This period of my life gave me the foundation I needed and opened my eyes to a new and unending world of art; Wood.

Open Grain Woodwork Open Grain Woodwork

What makes you D.I.Y.?
Wood never dies. It will forever change shape and size with the changes of climate,seasons, humidity, and geographic location. I think what makes us D.I.Y. is that we bring our ideas to life with “these two hands.” Also, the years invested in education and resources that bring it all together. Since wood is stronger than we are, every design provides its own list of challenges and obstacles of how to create a piece that will withstand daily use, wood movement, and the test of time.

How does your business impact Louisville?
We are a small, locally owned business that is dedicated to developing relationships and resources in our community that allows us to incorporate a wide range of mediums into our products. Many of our pieces utilize skilled glass, stone, and hardware experts to fulfill the vision of our unique products.
Whenever possible, we use local saw mills and display the beauty of domestic woods found right here such as cherry, walnut, coffee tree, and oak. Aside from doing our part to support local artisans and economy, we offer our community the opportunity to have a dream and see it come to life. We also provide production pieces for those who don’t want ordinary and strive for extraordinary furnishings and décor for their home.

What are you currently working on?
I have had two major inspirations to drive me to focus on production pieces. The first, my two beautiful daughters have motivated our Sapling Collection. Nothing makes me happier than creating for my children. Being concerned about the health and development of my loved ones and the planet has sparked the creation of wooden décor and toys that are fabricated and finished with child and environmentally safe products. We plan to introduce at least one new product to the collection each month and are currently moving forward with production of various themed clocks.

Secondly, the Greene Brothers from Pasadena,California Circa 1900. Accompanied by the craftsmanship of the Hall Brothers,they were able to produce some of the most sought after pieces of their generation and ours. With a style of their own they have been commissioned by families such as the Gambles from Procter & Gamble, and with most of their work in the hand of collectors and museums. Their work has inspired a home collection currently in design.

Open Grain Woodwork

What is your favorite thing about running your business?My favorite thing about this business is I come to work and put myself in a great environment filled with great people. We get to share ideas, feed off one another, and depend on each other. It’s really awesome to walk in and utilize everyone's strengths to produce invaluable works of art. I also get to work alongside my wonderful wife, who is the master mind behind many of our works, and is tremendously supportive of my passion.

What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
The most challenging aspect of my work is picking one thing and seeing through to completion. With so many good ideas, areas of education, and tool refinement,you can never just pick one. We have to put many irons in the fire and coordinate amongst each other the most efficient processes in order to reach completion.

Coffee & End Tables

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists/business owners?
“Go With Your Gut.” Every day, as a business owner and artist, you are faced with obstacles and there are always numerous ways to handle it. Be sure to pick one immediately and don’t look back.  No one is perfect and we make mistakes. The trick is fixing your mistakes, learning from your errors, and turning your obstacle into an opportunity. Therefore, you won’t waste valuable time making those decisions and won’t be scared to make a mistake.

Open Grain Woodwork

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