Tag Archives: woodworking

People Who Inspire Me: Scott White

Scott White is a phenomenal furniture maker based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I first met Scott when we represented Scott’s work in our gallery. I had seen his work around town for at least a couple years before we opened Chroma Gallery and when I started filling our huge 4,500 square foot space, I knew Scott’s furniture would complement the art perfectly.

Once I met Scott, what struck me immediately was his positive outlook on life. Like Aaron and I, he had experiences similar to ours with serendipity, and he knew he was following his heart by making things with his hands. This is what first struck me and still inspires me about Scott. He is living his soul purpose.

Scott uses recycled metal and wood in his craft, as well as plywood and other woods. His chairs are just plain gorgeous and comfortable to sit in. Though he doesn’t like to consider himself an artist, his furniture is sculpture and therefore, Art with a capital A!

Scott’s Statement about his Craft:

In the current environment where ‘disposable’ is practically shoved down people’s throats, my longing is to make objects that will outlive the owner. This culture needs to revive the art of craft wherein the pieces that reside in your space will effect you even when you aren’t physically there. They possess the energy of the maker where the hand touches everything and they think about every line. My technique has evolved predominantly, to that of sculpture, where the object appears to come out of a single piece of wood. I collaborate with the material and rarely make sketches, paying attention and sensing how the form will resolve. The process is conscious and deliberate.

Paula: If you had the power to change one thing in this world, what would it be and how would you change it?

Scott: I have the power to change many things in this world simply by opening my mouth…..or opening a door. Many have said “you’ll never make a difference,” but to those I say, “wait”. One never knows what a kind word or even gesture will do for someone else. I think we are all here to plant seeds…

Plywood chair by Scott White

Plywood chair

Paula: What or who inspires you?

Scott: People who are passionately authentic inspire me. Those who are willing to be vulnerable….anomalies in a culture that stresses uniformity.

Paula: Who has had the biggest influence on your craft?

Scott: In the realm of furniture, George Nakashima and Sam Maloof are my go-to people. I lean towards George’s aesthetic…….. “luscious utility”. I came across Sam years ago before I started building furniture and he was etched in my mind from day 1. He once told a story about the mailman being all worried that his mail contained some bills, knowing Sam and Freda, Sam’s wife, were struggling. Others include Rebecca Solnit, a force of nature who eloquently talks about real change. The natural world is huge for me….not that I get out a lot but to see the genius everywhere is invigorating.

Paula: What do you want your art legacy to be?

Scott:  I don’t use the word ‘artist’ to describe myself. That’s such an ethereal word and employed by a lot of people (on the outside) who deem what is or isn’t ‘art’. I make objects yet wouldn’t even go as far as to call myself ‘maker’. That said, I hope my ‘legacy’ is that I helped more than I hindered, and that I’m remembered occasionally.

Three Tiered Round Table, Mahogany by Scott White

Three Tiered Round Table, Mahogany.

Dead Apple Farm Furniture

Child’s desk by Jay Lester

I decided to share with you today, a young up and coming artist/craftsman by the name of Jay Lester. Jay is the owner/craftsman at Dead Apple Farm Furniture and also my second cousin. His grandfather and my grandfather were brothers. We didn’t meet until a few years ago, I think it was actually 2002, but I can’t remember for sure. I also don’t remember all the details of our meeting, except for the fact that I got a phone call explaining that my young cousin was hitch hiking/riding the bus/exploring the USA all the way from Maine and was going to be coming through Albuquerque, NM.

Of course we invited him to come stay with us and we had a lovely time getting to know this relative that I had never met before. He ended up staying in Albuquerque for about a month. A week with us and several weeks at one of the local Route 66 motels. He spent Thanksgiving with us, played football with my boys and generally hung out. About a year later, we traveled across the country with our family and visited his family in Portland, Maine. What a wonderful group of people! It was a great visit and we were just a bit surprised that none of their family likes lobster, and they live in the lobster capital of the USA! However, they did make us a delicious lobster pie that we all still remember.

Fast forward several years, my young cousin is now married with a couple of kids of his own. He is working on starting up his own business, Dead Apple Farm Furniture. He builds beautiful pieces using reclaimed wood and using crayon sketches as his inspiration. He currently has a kickstarter project going to raise funds to expand his wood shop. Please, if you have a minute, check out his project, watch the video, and pledge to help out his project. There are 17 days left on his kickstarter project and he is a third of the way to his funding goal. The rewards he is offering for funding go from a crayon sketch all the way up to one of his whimsical toy/blanket chests.

I love supporting young artists/craftmen, this is the good stuff of life!