Let's be honest for a moment here, and admit we all feel like we can tackle DIY projects like Joanna and Chip Gaines after watching a couple of episodes on Fixer Upper...The truth is that half of the time they turn terribly wrong...at least in my case. I have been wanting to fix my end tables for a while now but let's just say that after trying my hands around wood I gave up. Luckily for me, a friend from work recommended me to contact Cash, and So I did! He probably thought I was nuts, considering I sent him a giant email with what I had in mind, but he accepted to work with me; and here I am, ecstatic to share what a genius he is! His work is truly admirable, from wall art to furniture his style is tasteful and timeless. I can see his work in every hipster, rustic or art lovers home. His art pieces are a must have and they should go right into your wish list. I know for a fact I will be doing a coffee table next! :) This is why I decided to ask him some question about his process and get a quick inside into his mind! If you haven't heard from him already... make sure to check his work ASAP!
- So, how did you start working with wood, bold patterns and furniture?
About two years ago I bought a miter saw to work on the house we had bought. Somewhere along the way, I decided to make a coffee table with some scrap wood laying around our garage. I posted it on Instagram and received a great response. I got a few commissions from that one design and just picked everything up from there.
The patterns and overall aesthetic I aim for really come from my pursuit to separate myself from being a “woodworker.” I try not to call myself a woodworker and I just don’t think I’m deserving of the title. I really use wood as a medium for visual stimulation. I make some practical pieces such as coffee tables and record shelves but my priority for each piece is always the visual effect. The pattern.
- Do you have a routine or have you found a distinct design process?
I want to be a “process” person so bad. It would make everything I do a lot less complicated. I am incredibly impatient. I wish I could sit and design something top to bottom and know where each piece was going to end up. That’s just not me. Unless someone requests a design illustration, the whole thing goes straight from my head to the wood. That being said, I do usually have a pretty clear(ish) idea of what I want to see in the end.
- Most of your work start from just material... you shape it and work it and somehow it becomes something beautiful...What do you enjoy most about making something from scratch?
The feeling I get from seeing something come to fruition that previously only existed in my mind can’t be replicated through any other means. I’ve been creating or dreaming up designs for as long as I can remember. My parents put a very “DIY” attitude in me from a young age. I grew up drawing/painting. It was hard for me to pay attention to any guidance because I just wanted to see how it came together with my own hands. As a teenager, I got into playing and producing music. This always kept me around artistic people which would constantly lead me to new adventures in making. I even had a very small clothing business my first year of college. My mom taught me how to sew a little and we would sew cloth cutouts onto t-shirts and purses.
- I know this might be a challenging question, but where does your inspiration come from?
It’s hard to put a point on that. It can be really abstract sometimes. It can honestly come from just about anywhere. I know I’ve pulled design ideas from plant life, mountains, stones, street signs, and album covers just to name a few. The internet is abundant with creative ideas. The Instagram community always leads me to someone I can pull inspiration from.
Everything I make really comes down to lines and tone. Lines and patterns mostly come from the natural world like I mentioned before but tone and color are always a large part of a piece. When it comes to tone I really sway between subtlety and contrast. Most people seem to be drawn heavily to contrast. The juxtaposition of two disparate tones can be very striking but there’s something about subtlety and nuance that have always hooked me. Some of my favorite pieces only have slight tonal variations or have a graduated color shift. In addition to the natural wood tones, I’ve started to add a variety of colors to some of my new pieces. Wes Anderson is always my biggest inspiration when I think about color palette.
- Any favorite artist?
For someone who enjoys creating and is involved with the artistic world to some degree, I’m really bad about studying or following art. I’ve really been that way my whole life. I didn’t care about the proper technique to hold a pencil. I just wanted to draw. I grew up playing almost every sport that was accessible. I never really enjoyed watching sports. This all probably links back to my short attention span and impatience. (haha) I’ll always refer back to Wes Anderson when it comes to art though.
- How would you describe your style in 3 words?
Natural, Movement, Balance. (This was by far the hardest question to answer.)
- Well, thank you so much for willing to share your design process with me, I am sure a lot of people will want to buy something from you, so where can we buy your art? What is the best way to reach you for a custom design?
Custom work is almost the only way to get anything from me these days. It would be fun to keep some select products stocked at local stores, but I’ve been mostly focused on creating larger one-of-a-kind pieces. That being said, you can see a few of my wall panels in the Just OK store in Blue Seven and occasionally catch me at a local market. I’ll be at the Powerhouse Flea on May 7 if anyone wants to come see some of the new things I’ve been working on.
For custom orders, you can reach me at: email@example.com
All images copyrighted to Cash Wheeler.