All photography by Andrew Paynter
I had the pleasure of being introduced to Josh this fall via our mutual friend Andrew Paynter when we did a shoot at The Woodshop
in San Francisco where Josh runs Chairtastic
. He is a super rad human and I really love the work he does. See below for a quick 5:
POBS How did you get into woodworking?
I was collecting vintage chairs and began making new seats for them in my friend/studio mates (Luke Bartels) garage. It was really loose and fun. Luke was kind enough to teach me how to use the tools. Luke had just started making furniture for friends in his garage and we started sourcing reclaimed hardwoods all over the Bay Area. His landlord called it "Lukes cabana club" and evicted him. We laugh about it now.
POBS Favorite furniture designer or source of inspiration?
JD I don't think I can pick a favorite designer, but I have some designers I always seem to pull from or check in with. Here are a few designers that I find inspiring;
Alvar aalto, Josef Hoffmann, Paul Mccobb, A book I love for inspiration is "2100 Metal Tubular Chairs"
POBS Feelings about the Avenues? Change is good?
JD I think change is good. I say that right now, but I do spend time complaining about the cost of living in SF. It seems to be a problem that is spreading into a lot of cities in America. I hear it in Portland and Austin. The outer sunset still has foggy summers and wide streets. The ocean is a constant and it really is a funky beach town. I find it inspiring. Urban beach communities seem to contradict each other while they are complimenting one another.
I did just run into an acquaintance who is in the skate community and is making great work in his garage with broken skateboards. His landlord who has been kind to him is selling the house and he needs to find a new place. This happens often and it is really hard because we both know that another place does not really exist financially. The reality for a lot of people is the change is so large that they are forced to move and upend there life. This change I grapple with. I have a fair landlord and we thank him every time we see him for the opportunity to be in San Francisco doing what we do.
POBS Favorite pieces or build outs that you have done in the last
JD My favorites are all my vintage chairs I rework. It is endlessly rewarding taking apart a beat up chair and putting it back together. They really tell great stories. The labels, old gum under the seats, and old hardware. When I can make a broken chair work again it feels really good, but those old wood vintage chairs just add charm to life.
POBS How'd those shirts work out that I sent over?
JD I have not taken my flannel work shirt off this month. It quickly became my favorite shirt. The fabric is really good. Your shirts feel like vintage shirts to me. They seem to jump right into the wardrobe. My navy blue work shirt is a favorite as well. I actually wear it when I am working. I really appreciate how it wears well and I just dust it off. Thanks Bob.
POBS (blushing smiley face "ah shucks" emoji thing) Thank YOU Josh! Talk soon!
Located in San Francisco's Outer Sunset district, Woodshop is a workspace and showroom for four accomplished artisans who came together through a common interest in craft and design.
Luke Bartels designs and builds unique custom furnishings from locally salvaged and sustainably harvested hardwoods. Danny Hess brings the history of surfing into the future with his beautifully engineered, high-performance wooden surfboards. Josh Duthie (Chairtastic and Club Spoon) reinvents old chairs with new ideas. Jeff Canham is an artist, designer, and sign painter with a penchant for the written word.