Friday, October 24, 2008

High Point Profile: Lawrence Berndt

Gibson guitar and various hardwood veneers by Berndt
Fender stratocaster, tiger eye maple neck

Lexus steering wheel, unfinished

I am surrounded by amazing designers, thinkers and artists here at CaBoom in High Point, NC. Lawrence Berndt is one of the visionaries at this exciting show. Lawrence discovered his passion for wood 30+ years ago and never looked back. Today, his company that has made the birdseye maple wood component in the Lexus steering wheel, the body of Gibson guitars, the neck of the Fender Stratocaster among other technically refined projects involving wood. 

His expertise and depth of knowledge is inspiring. Located in Cornish, NH his company is FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified, an early adopter achieveing this sustainability standard. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

High Point Market, Caboom East and Cisco Brothers

I have been here about 5 days now and am very happy. High Point is an old mill town in central North Carolina. Historically, High Point was been the center of furniture manufacture in America since the late 19th century.  Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the High Point Market which brings together furniture manufacturers, designers, retail store buyers, the press and  hunters and purveryors of fabulous things for the home from all over the world. There is a huge variety of mostly furniture, but home accesories and antiques are here too.

I am part of CaBoom - a groovy show which has been going on in Santa Monica, CA for 5 years and is debuting here this market. Partnering with Cisco Bros., a furniture design company and manufacturer based in LA, Charles Trotter and Cisco Pinedo are an awesome duo.

I plan to profile a couple of other designers while I am here this week. Today, a couple of pictures of the building and my booth.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Staying Energized Admidst Turmoil

The second debate is over. The Dow continues to tank. Where do we draw inspiration from in seeming dire times? Today's blog post from Seth Godin really struck a chord. He calls it "Is effort a myth?". In my business, I do nothing but work hard it seems. I chose a long time ago not to outsource. So when I make a thing and sell it, it is my effort that is being rewarded. My talent helps, but it is my effort that propels me forward.

I am working hard not to get too downtrodden by the drama queen media - CNN, MSNBC are 2 places that can really put a wet blanket on work. My new favorite commentator is Fareed Zakaria. His international affairs focus keeps the big picture in view. I also like to take the long view because otherwise, again, the darkness is always ready to fall. The long view suggests that alternative fuel is a growth industry. Education is a growth industry. Local economic develoment is a growth industry. Making things and selling them is a growth industry.

As an artist, I am often alone making work, not sure if it will be appreciated. The longer I do it, though, the more I realize that in the long run, it will be appreciated. What I do IS kind of heroic because I am doing what few dare to do. Making art for a lifetime. I have been lucky in many ways. But, Seth's post today reminds me that luck is only part of the equation. Hard work and continued focus is what will win in the end. Anybody anywhere doing anything with care, focus and quality in the effort is heroic, in my book.

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Mad goes to Pittsburgh

I am heading out to conquer the midwest this weekend, or at least sell a few sets of dishes. This lovely store, Tournesol, is operated by Barbara Reilly who has become a good friend for a number of reasons. She appreciates the hand made. She is in love with the table, with sustainability, fresh local food and entertaining with spirit, soul and meaning. All told, I am looking forward to a lovely time and meeting new friends in Pittsburgh!

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