How did you get started creating things?
I always liked to make things since I was a little
kid. I would take the balsa wood that my dad
and brother would use to make model airplanes
and turn it into things for my room. I had these
grand ideas of what I would do in my room
when I got older—like I always wanted to put a
hammock in there.
always be different, but with veneer, it’s
How about these shades specifically? How did you
get started making these?
It’s based on something I came across when I
was walking down the street. I found these old
metal egg baskets people used to use—this kind
of a globe, sphere shape, and for some reason it
occurred to me to weave wood through it. So I
kept doing different shapes. The way the light
shines through the wood looked really good.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Well, almost everyone always says
they’re inspired by nature, and I would
say leaves and petals are my biggest
inspirations. But, for me, it’s the
shapes. I see shapes, as opposed to
colors and textures.
Were you a wood-worker? What led you to work
with that material?
When I did the first lamp it was with balsa
wood, as a kid I played around with that. I
hadn’t done any wood-working. I’ve tried to
make furniture, but the stuff I do, it doesn’t have
to be perfect. It’s not actual wood-working
where you have to be so precise. I like more
organic shapes and natural forms, which is why
I’d like to do some other things with pillows or
You’re originally from California, why
did you make the move from the west
coast to Brooklyn?
I’ve been in New York about four
years now. I had barely even been to
Brooklyn. My sister lives in Manhattan and I
had been to visit her a lot, but for some reason I
had this idea of myself being in Brooklyn and
making things here. There’s a lot going on here
in terms of design that I wanted to be a part of.
I’m still slowly just starting on the path of where
I want to be, and all the things I want to make
especially the hydrangea
lamp they used, over several weeks because it’s
very physically tiring. So I did it, and I was
really exhausted when I showed up to start filming. I was already in this out-of-it state, then to
be there, it was really weird—not to mention
seeing yourself on TV. But Genevieve Gorder is
so extremely nice.
How much of the design blogs and community do
you keep up with, for inspiration and such?
I feel sometimes like I’m over-stimulated. I find,
I can go a long time off of a little bit of inspiration. I feel like if I look too much, my attention can be taken in too many directions. I
used to have this experience a lot where I
would see a lamp or see something and think,
“such beautiful things already exist, why am I
even doing this?” But of course, it can work
the opposite way, too.
How is it having people react with the products
Definitely it’s so weird. I’ve been doing this
for a long time, but I hadn’t sold them. I
was just giving them to friends. Then when
I started selling them and I got coverage, I
was looking at the comments that people
have made. It’s a little uncomfortable, it’s
usually positive, but you’re never 100 confident
about something you create, at least I’m not.
You mention the physical toll, this isn’t light work by
any means. How do you deal?
It’s mostly just my hands and shoulders.
Especially with the hydrangea lamp, it’s hundreds of those little pieces and I stamp them out
by hand. I’ve tried other methods— you can
send veneers to laser cutters who’ll cut them for
you, but that leaves burnt edges on the perimeter. But I like the look of the way I do it the best,
which is the thing with handmade goods— you
have total control over it and it will look exactly
how you want, but it takes a lot out of you.
How did you move from the balsa wood to the
veneers you use now?
I started with the balsa wood because it’s very
transparent, but it turned out to be too soft. It
almost starts to decay a little bit. Someone suggested that I try veneer. It works the same
way—it has the light color, and it’s super thin,
but it maintains its shape a lot better. It’s a lot
more consistent. With balsa, the grain will
That coverage led you to TV, and being featured on
HGTV’s Dear Genevieve. How did all of that
They had a producer who had seen them online.
They called me like a week before they needed
the lamp, which was rough because I make the