Meet Sally Zheng, Industrial and Interaction Design Student at Syracuse University. It’s a world of tools, mock-ups, plans, and designs brought to life through a little elbow grease and creativity. Prototyping is one of Sally’s favorite pastimes. It’s a chance to validate an idea through the trial and error of building it out. It’s the opportunity for your brain and hands to work together, optimizing the function and appearance of products.
In the photos above, Sally walks us through the making of a desk shelf constructed from a piece of reclaimed walnut and steel rods rolled into legs. Through her hard work, she has learned to respect the process. Nothing is as simple as you think it will be. With every tool and process, there is a wealth of knowledge and skill behind it.
“I want to design not to simply make more products but to create mediators that foster human connection and interaction. I seek to encourage the natural human tendencies to form relationships, and through those relationships do we become better people and learn about ourselves.” -Sally Zheng
Sally is wearing: Carhartt Women’s Minot Shirt, Weathered Wildwood Jacket, & 1889 Slim Double Front Dungaree.
It seems like a romantic notion to grow up and spend the rest of you life with your high school sweetheart. But what if your paramour was your craft? Aimee Inouye took a Hawaiian crafts woodworking course while in high school in Honolulu and was taken with it.
After college, Aimee left Hawaii to pursue her education even further. From San Francisco to Portland, it’s been a long journey of building knowledge and skills. Merging her background in architecture, furniture design, and woodworking, Aimee hopes to move towards the furniture/product design field as a well-rounded maker.
She can now approach projects from start to finish with every aspect of the process in mind. Beautiful sketches fill her studio, each one reflecting the Shaker belief that “beauty rests in utility.” Woodchips cover the floor as design meets chisel.
In a time when woodworking as a profession is rare, let alone female woodworkers, it’s moving to sit and watch the sawdust fly. Perhaps it’s time to look at benches and bed frames in a whole new light. A labor of love comes from the handmade.
How much passion comes packaged in a ready-to-assemble bookshelf?
Take a closer look at Aimee’s stunning work here.
What Aimee’s wearing: Carhartt Women’s Dunlow Sweatshirt, Calumet Crewneck T-Shirt, Women’s Slim-Fit Nyona Jeans, & Duck Nail Apron.
Alright all you ladies out there who wish you could weld, listen up! Emily has some great advice. Welding and grinding can seem really intimidating at first, but if you take it step by step, you can handle it. Try thinking of it as something you do on a day to day basis. It’s like baking cookies or putting together a bookshelf from Ikea. One step at a time and you’ll get the hang of it.
Check out these awesome benches Emily and her boyfriend, Ryan, made out of fire hose and a metal frame. You can snag one for yourself on the Handmade America website. Follow this creative duo on twitter and instagram. ( @emilybelden | @ryanlange )
See what Emily’s wearing: Force Performance Quarter Zip & Fargo Jacket