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Shop Share 04.08.16 – Modern Handmade Goods



It’s back! Every Friday, I’ll be hosting the LAB Shop Share, an opportunity for modern makers of all kinds to promote their modern handmade goods on the LAB. I’m so excited to bring back on one of my most popular posts, but I’ve upped the ante as you will see. So, how does the Shop Share work? Here’s the details:

  1. Share one item from your shop in the comments below: All modern handmade goods are welcome, in all genres: Clothing, jewelry, apothecary, kids clothing and toys, edibles, menswear, leather goods, independent magazines and stationery, to name just a few. Include a shop link to the item and a brief description. If you’re on Instagram, please include a link to your profile so I can tag you when I share your item there. Read my Submission guidelines to see what kind of items I will not promote.
  2. Discounts and sale items are welcome: If you’re having a sale in your shop or have a discount code, feel free to include it. I’ll be giving special attention to makers who create LAB-specific codes, i.e. LAB10.
  3. LAB Newsletter promotion: I’ll be sharing a selection of the best items in our Monday newsletter, including links to the shops and Instagram profile of the featured artists. You can sign up to the newsletter here.

I’m looking forward to discovering new artists to share and feature. This revised Shop Share program will appear every Friday and you can share an item every week if you like. Bring your modern handmade goodness to the LAB and let’s spread it all over the web. Let’s go!


Featured artists in the header image: Bininoar, Micush, Seth Damm, Vestige Home & Freefolding

modern handmade


Handmade Profiles: Handmade Furniture from Sean Woolsey


It’s been a while since I’ve done a proper feature on Sean Woolsey, the Southern California-based maker, artists and handmade furniture designer. I know that description covers a bit of ground, but as you’ll see, Sean really is all three and more. There aren’t a lot of people like Sean. He truly relishes his ability to create beautifully designed goods, from skateboards to furniture and he does it all so well.

If you follow Sean on Instagram (which you should), you’ll get to see the full scope of his work. I think one of my favorite posts is the one which features his White Oak X coffee table, on display in the Hypebeast office, designed by Workof. I’m not sure how you could get that many members of the creative intelligentsia in on image, but there it is.

Handmade Furniture by Sean Woolsey via

Right now in Sean’s shop, you’ll find a little bit of something for every part of your life. Need a new cutting board? How about one with a leather loop? Ready to play? Perhaps a new cruiser would do the trick? Got an office to furnish? Try a standing desk? I could go on, but you get the point. I haven’t even mentioned his copper art, which you need to see to believe.

I’m sure you’d like to get to know this talented maker better, so enjoy the following Handmade Profile. I’m including a recent video from OluKai recently produced, featuring Sean and Honolulu-based artist Matthew Ortiz. It’s worth watching. After you enjoy this enlightening interview, do the right thing and visit Sean’s shop for yourself.

Handmade Furniture by Sean Woolsey via

What inspired you to begin your handmade furniture collection?
I first started making furniture out of necessity. Needing furniture then tearing it apart and making it. Failing. Learning. repeating. I still do a bit of this from time to time. Right now, we have been doing it with some chairs we are working on. When working on an idea, it often births an additional 10 ideas, and from there, we develop 1 or 2 of the best, most needed ideas. We make things that we love, and that we would use personally.

AnywhereAloha® – The Craftsmen – Orange County from OluKai on Vimeo.

Describe your creative process. Where do you start?
At first it is rough and getting ideas out on paper and with my coworker. Then we usually build a model out of ply or MDF. Then, if we need to, it gets make in Sketchup, and we hand off the design to a welder/fabricator. We do all the woodworking. When we have a working sample, we have som coffee, and enjoy it around the prototype. Thinking in detail about every little piece of it. We make tweaks/adjustments, then go into production if we like it!

Handmade Furniture by Sean Woolsey via


How do you maintain your creative drive?
By creating. I find that most ideas come to me through the process instead of the waiting, or searching for inspiration. The creative drive is fed and replenished by happy clients, enriched lives, and people that value high-quality products.

What materials do you love to use?
We love wood. That is our expertise and what we focus on. We plant a tree in the forest for every piece of wood furniture that we sell. We do work with a lot of welders/fabricators as well on things that we need. I love the unexpected mixture of materials. Putting brass somewhere where its a nice touch, or a glass drawer bottom, or leather drawer pulls. I focus on the details. That is what separates a high-quality good from an average one in my mind, no matter what it is.

Handmade Furniture by Sean Woolsey via

Every product has a story. Is there a story behind one of your pieces that stands out to you?
My artwork on copper has the story that is closest to my heart. My father grew up making stained glass lamps with beautiful and ornate copper bases. They would patina over time, and he would create his own patinas, to which he held a highly secret patina mixture book for years. This was way before they started making store bought and packaged patinas for specific metals. I had been doing my artwork on steel panels for about 5 years, and had always wanted to harken back to the memories of my father working with copper. I took a trip up the coast with a friend for a week, and we took photos of the coast, surfed, and enjoyed being close to the water.

The ocean is a magnificent and mysterious thing. It is so peaceful yet so wild and unforgiving. It has always captured my emotions to the core. What evolved over the course of the next few months after that trip was a series on copper that was fully inspired by the ocean and my relationship with it. They are my favorite pieces to date.

Handmade Furniture by Sean Woolsey via Handmade Furniture by Sean Woolsey via

Do you have a dream collaborator?
Robert Rauschenberg.

What are some of the challenges that you face as a maker?
Oh man. So many. The price of rent. Overhead, hiring the right employees. Being a good leader. Finances.

How do you use social media and blogging to promote your work?
I have a love/hate with social media. I only use Instagram now, which can be viewed here @thewoolsey.

Handmade Furniture by Sean Woolsey via

The ocean is a magnificent and mysterious thing. It is so peaceful yet so wild and unforgiving. It has always captured my emotions to the core. What evolved over the course of the next few months after that trip was a series on copper that was fully inspired by the ocean and my relationship with it. They are my favorite pieces to date.

About Art, Sean Woolsey

Handmade Furniture by Sean Woolsey via

Where do you see your shop/project going?
Our dream is to maintain a small and concise collection of pieces that are indoor/outdoor and highly design-conscious/functional that will enhance the value of everyday life.

What are you working on right now?
We are working on a new desk design, with tons of bells and whistles that I can’t wait to launch. We are also working on wrapping up a ping pong table that I have wanted to make for years. Both will launch soon. Also, scheming building a house in my free time…

Sean Woolsey

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