Jory Brigham is a creative and innovative designer who lives in San Luis Obispo, California. Jory is a very talented designer who created a unique collection of furniture that takes your breath away. Each and every single piece is crafted by hand. Jory uses only organic wood materials for it, which are growing in nature. It was a pleasure for us to take an interview with Jory Brigham and we are happy glad to share it with you.
AP: Jory, tell us about your first works. What did they look like?
JB: I’m sure that question would be better answered by my parents, but I’ll give it a try. My mom still talks about a gum machine I made when I was about 8 or 9. Supposedly the quarter would run down a track and push the gum out. I’m guessing the most intriguing thing to me about that project (other than tripling my money off a stick of gum) was how the mechanism worked. I always loved creating things, and I think it worked out not having many materials or tools to work with. Looking back I realize it trains your brain to be open to all kinds of options. You are able to make something work with the resources and knowledge that you have at that time in your life. Even now I love the challenge of finding somewhat dull or lowly materials, and seeing what I can make of them.
AP: Do you have any formal education in design or were you self-taught?
JB: I don’t have any formal education, but I wouldn’t say I was completely self-taught. My dad has played a pretty big part in my life when it comes to being creative. At some point I realized that the thing that frustrated me most about him was something that I could learn from. He takes forever doing anything because he looks at every option possible, and is a bit of a perfectionist. I’m trying to perfect his system a little, by being open to options at every level when creating. I catch myself all the time getting carried away, and find myself explaining to my wife why the job took twice as long as I figured. Man! It’s just so fun complicating things sometimes. Long story short, I think you gain incredible knowledge when you give yourself a little freedom to veer from the original plan.
AP: What genre are your furniture?
JB: Over the years I have tried all kinds of genres. The problem is I can never stick to the standard lines, colors, materials, and textures of any one genre. I think there are amazing aspects of almost every genre. There are also a few heinous turns they’ve all taken at some point. I choose to take the things I like and leave the rest. All in all, I try to mix it up as much as possible. I hope it really confuses people when they try to narrow down what I’m shooting for. I figure if I can avoid being put in a category my creations may stay in style a little longer (when they get there).
AP: How would you describe your works?
JB: Of course I would like to think my work is unique and unusual, but the truth is I’m just taking a lot what I’ve learned from past furniture designers and making my own concoctions. I hope that my pieces can, for lack of better words, make people happy. I think it’s important to be surrounded by things that inspire us. From there a lot can happen. I want to provide pieces with life, and most importantly I don’t want it to be anywhere close to boring or dull.
AP: What is the most grandiose project you had to work on?
JB: Okay… I’ll be honest; I just looked that up in the dictionary, so I wouldn’t blow this question. Grandiose means “more complicated or elaborate than necessary; overblown: a grandiose scheme.” I would have to say the ice cream cart I made for my wedding. I love ice cream. It’s bound to bring a lot of joy to almost anything. So I made what started out to be a small stand, which turned into a cart with concrete countertops that weighed a ton. I worked on finishing it when we were supposed to be doing all those other things you do to get ready for a wedding. My wife can’t say she didn’t know what she was getting into.
AP: Who or what did inspire you to create your Sisters or Retro Collection?
JB: The Retro Collection started with a trip to Palm Springs. I saw some pulls on an old dresser that fired me up, and a low credenza that got me thinking, and I built the Parker. Like most of the things I build, I don’t really get anything out of my system until I build a few more that match.
AP: What kind of equipment and techniques do you use to create your works?
JB: I use a grinder and table saw for most of my detailed projects, cleaning them up with a lot of sanding. I think one of the perks of learning to make the most out of basic tools pays off down the road. There are a lot of things you can get from standard tools that you can’t get from a CNC machine or shaper. Plus it’s a lot more fun.
AP: Please share with us your thoughts about future tendencies in design?
JB: Well I’m not really sure how to answer that. I feel there are far too many people trying to figure out how to make a killing off art, and far too little time finding out how to make it unique and different. There are a few schools out there that focus on fads rather than originality. I’m pretty sure that’s going to end badly.
AP: What is the formula for success in your activity?
JB: I’m still working out the kinks in that formula. I think one of my theories that has paid off is always creating to my fullest potential, even if it means losing money on the project. The money always gets spent, but the pictures you have, and the clients you’ve kept make it worth it. It definitely gets tougher when you get older, and try to support a family with that mindset, but I’ve always had faith that someday it will pay off. Recently I have come to the conclusion that I’ll bother less with exhibitions and contests, and put that energy and money into turning more ideas rolling around in my head into tangible pieces that I can take photos of and build my portfolio with.
AP: Is there someone who supports you in your creativity?
JB: There are always people out there that I’m encouraged by. I am always pushed when I see people stepping out of the norm, and taking risks. As for people supporting me directly… I would have to give the credit to those who have taught me the things I know, and of course the people who buy my furniture.
AP: Would you like to wish something to your readers and AstrumPeople?
JB: Thank you for showing interest and encouragement!
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