July 2022 Issue
Photography courtesy of Jordan Johnson
Current Residence: Bluffton
Hometown: Alpharetta, Ga
Family: Jake, my dog
How did you discover your talent?
I stumbled on woodworking back in 2011 while looking for new things to furnish my first home. The Pinterest craze was booming with all kinds of people posting all kinds of projects, and I joined in figuring I could do it too! So I put myself to the test, bought a few tools, got comfortable using said tools, and feverishly tackled bigger and better things. By the time my dad’s birthday rolled around, I challenged myself to make a Big Green Egg table for him. The table was a huge hit for him, his friends and a few others who added a few custom features to my masterpiece. From this simple start, my long shot hobby turned into my passion. I turned a pile of wood into a beautiful, sentimental, lasting piece. I was wholly gratified.
What makes you a Lowcountry Original?
I love working with my hands. Hand work is a huge part of Lowcountry culture and tradition. From farming fields, to weaving baskets, preparing food, stitching clothes, casting nets, fishing the waters, milling lumber and building communities, our very rich history is derived from our hands. When I, for example, build beds, or planters, joggling boards, lanterns, chairs, or swings, I feel that I pay forward a small piece of the history of the Lowcountry.
What do you hope people “get” out of your art?
For me, personally, getting to know my client allows me to grasp what it is they are looking for in a piece. In some regards, it’s like trying on a pair of shoes to check the fit before you buy them. I love making unique pieces that are specific to the likes and desires of my clients, and when I can incorporate the beauty and aesthetic of the Lowcountry into the piece, that is a really good day’s work. Once complete, it’s my hope that the piece I created will be so valued it will be passed from one generation to the next.
What’s the best encouragement you’ve ever received in pursuing your artistic talents?
The support of my family and friends is very humbling. My success has been fed by my people who believed in me when I may have doubted myself.
How do you get your “creative juices” flowing?
Depends on the task at hand! Sometimes it’s Van Morrison, sometimes it’s Snoop Dog… sometimes Maroon 5. Other times it’s Hall and Oates. Sometimes its Mozart!
People always think creative people are messy and chaotic. What’s your take?
I never start a project with a messy shop, but it doesn’t always end that way! Ha!
In your artistic pursuits, what is your proudest moment so far?
My proudest moment occurred when I realized I was able to transform my passion from a self-taught hobby into a career and the birth of my business, Haint Blue Design. Every time I complete a project and know my client is delighted becomes another proudest moment. This is what success looks like for me.
In addition to your art, what’s your next best talent?
What’s something unique in your workshop that more than likely no one else has?
First, my sidekick and shop dog, Jake! Secondly, I have inherited many of my granddaddy’s tools.
I use them every day. Even though they may be outdated, I would never replace them because they were his.
When someone finds out what you do, or where you are from, what question do they always ask you?
Upon learning that I am a carpenter, people will make the comment, “You don’t look like a carpenter.” To which I reply, “I guess I’m not your average carpenter!”