Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sawdust Industries

Tell us about yourself and your style! My name is Eric Mehl. I am originally from Plain City, Ohio but now reside in Carmel, Indiana. I am an Aquatics Director of a large water park in Carmel by day and a furniture builder by night. I have always been interested in art, and my unique designs are my creative outlet. I'm one of those rare male crafters, so of course my projects require me to use as many power tools as possible. My designs are a mixture of industrial and modern style. My main source of materials is black gas piping combined with reclaimed wood. I'll also take anything old and beat-up I can get my hands on to re-purpose into unique and functional items. What inspires you? My greatest inspiration is from working in my grandfather’s workshop as a child. He used to let me sit on a stool and work the drill press while we worked on craft projects for my grandmother. He slowly graduated me to the band saw when I was older. He always had an appreciation for good furniture. An older, sturdy, real wood piece of furniture. This has inspired me to start building solid pieces, made from real materials and shaped by hand. I really enjoy the look of rustic pieces with a hint of modern thrown in. Hard lines and little flare can make a real statement in a room. I like things with character; a dent here and there, chipped paint, rust. These make a piece truly unique. So much better than buying prefab items from a big chain store. What is your creative process? My creative process usually consists of getting dirty in my workshop. I start out with a general concept formed from a need I usually have for my own uses. My first project came from a need to build a new desk for my home office. I take that concept and just start messing around with different materials. If something doesn't work, I throw it in the corner to use later and start over. Eventually I get what I picture in my head. No two items I make are ever exactly the same. The materials I use don't allow me to make exact copies. Sometimes the materials are a rare find, making that piece a one of a kind. What can we expect from you at this show? I have recently come across some new materials that I am saving for this show, so you can expect to see some new pieces that I don't normally sell in my shop. Again, all of my items have a unique look, but are all functional pieces. Tables, stools, accessory racks, beer/bottle carriers, all kinds of fun stuff. I will also be taking custom orders, so if you like my designs and know you need something of a specific size, I can do that easily as well. I look forward to seeing everyone at the show. www.sawdustindustries.etsy.com

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