My favorite part of the holidays, hands down, is sharing meals with friends and family. Nothing feels more festive - or fortunate - than a table stacked with wholesome (and sure, maybe a bit indulgent) foods. Every year I go a little more overboard, researching recipes and techniques, sourcing ingredients I'll need. But it's a time of year when making time for cooking - scratch cooking, craft cooking - feels effortless. And I'm certainly not alone here.
Furniture designer and builder Farzan Nemat works under the brand of MSTRF. His pieces border the line between rough and refined, with a modern feel. I love his use of standard construction materials and "lesser" woods (like pine plywood or poplar) to create beautiful, interesting furniture. I also sense a little bit of Piet Modrian's minimalist influence in the laser cuts shapes in his work.
There are lots of interesting shows, exhibitions, and sales coming up all across the country. Whether you're looking for a break from the holidays or just looking for the perfect handmade gift, there's plenty to choose from. Here are a few of our favorites:
For the cover story of our December/January issue, I had the great pleasure of spending an afternoon with Nick Offerman, who, when he's not playing the iconic Ron Swanson on the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation, makes fine furniture, boats, and other objects in wood.
We dropped by the home and studio of furniture maker Garry Knox Bennett, in Oakland, California, for a wonderful interview and discussion of everything – craft-related and not. Garry has quite a setup, living with his wife, Sylvia, above his workshop. And, he says exactly what he thinks, whether you like it or not. Check out these excerpts from the interview.