Custom Furniture by James Oleson

My first furniture creations were plywood beds for my children, clearly utilitarian objects designed for specific functions. As I continued to design and make furniture my vision began to change and I saw the object as composed of related shapes, lines, and curves in three dimensions – a sculptural object that embodied aesthetic ideas.

I imagine a shape, abstract or suggested by nature, and then make sketches with many variations in order to develop the design. After the basic design is established I go through a problem solving exercise involving selection of materials, defining structural and mechanical requirements, and satisfying functional needs. This problem solving process provides intellectual stimulation and great satisfaction.

I prefer a spare and elegant aesthetic that incorporates relatively few decorative accents. I use woods that have intrinsic beauty of color and grain to reinforce the design concept. With each piece I enjoy exploring the use of a new material, technique, or design, and this has enabled me to continually develop and expand my skills.