Five Questions With A Craftsman
I. Who are you and what is it that you do?
My name is Sean Woolsey, I'm a self-taught custom furniture and lighting maker. I was born and raised in sunny southern California. I'm 26 year old and I co-run a small workshop in Costa Mesa.
All of my lighting is made out of reclaimed wood. I usually work in series on everything I create and I attach a story to each — sharing the dialogue of the materials used and the time period that they come out of.
II. How did you get into this?
My background is in the rags trade, a.k.a. fashion business. After working on a computer for 6 years designing cut and sew apparel, I decided I wanted to take a different route, roll up my sleeves a bit, and create things with my hands. Things that are more tactile and have a long term relationship with the end user.
My most recent lamp series are made out of salvaged metal, reclaimed wood and rusted cans found in the Salton Sea area. I have gone camping out there several times and it's one of the most magical places I have ever been to.
To me, my process is more important than the outcome. I like to draw together evocative moods, textures and meaningful objects that linger somewhere
between the past and present. My work is infused with memory and desires you to connect with a more romantic time.
For me, curiosity breeds creation and for years now I have been particularly curious about how things are constructed.
III. What do you bring to the table that others don't?
A wise man once said, "Experts are closed, beginners are open. Stay open." I try and stay open — open to all possibilities, insight and collaborations.
My intense curiosity has led to a cross pollination of many mediums, on many platforms, which is a constant ignition to my passion.
IV. For whatever reason, you are no longer able to do your craft. What do you take away from having done it?
I have gained a deep respect for all craftsmen and a resounding appreciation for those who practice their craft daily —
whilst maintaining a curiosity and passion for what they do. My constant love affair for creating will never die. I am obsessed with the ephemeral objects of bygone eras, as with imperfection and impermanence.
When you stop searching you stop finding. Never stop searching.
V. What's your drink of choice?
Photographs: Jimmy Pham
Interviewers: Aaron Martin, Danny Jones
Visit Sean Woolsey