1.  Trolling for trash is an honorable pursuit. “God’s not making this stuff anymore,” said an old carpenter.  Long-leaf pine. Old-growth redwood. Western red cedar. Most of the forests have been cut down. Let’s keep perfectly good building materials out of the landfills. Discarded lumber is of great value.  There is nothing more pleasurable than finding a trove of junk on the street-curb and hauling it away to make something with, months or years later.  What you find may be all that may ever exist. Ever.


2.  Explore the possibilities. Design to find the soul in each material and every object. Don’t rush the process just to make crap to sell. This isn’t about consumption — it’s about appreciation.


3.  Though shall not unnecessarily circumcize. Leaving boards the length and thickness they were found preserves the material’s history, essence, patina — and makes for little or no waste. It came that way – for one to find its innate story and next purpose. Cutting is easy, too easy.


4.  Don’t overbuild, but build for forever. Use only what’s necessary. Frank Lloyd Wright was right: “Form follows function.” We’ve been taught to waste and keep buying because it keeps the economy moving. Whose economy? Economy is owning objects that will last a good, long time.


5.  Our hands are tools meant for making. Let the spirit and touch of the maker be seen. Don’t be afraid to show (and see) the imperfections – in welds, sanding-marks, redos – in each piece of work. That’s where the beauty is. Who wants boring, cookie-cutter perfect, anyway? You can get that from China, to watch it fall apart in short order.

Benjamin Arseguel, 2014

6. When buying from an artist/maker, you’re buying more than just an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of failures and experimentation. You are buying days, weeks and months of frustration and moments of pure joy. YOU AREN’T JUST BUYING A THING, you’re buying a piece of heart, part of a soul, a moment of someone’s life. Most importantly, you’re buying the artist more time to do something they are passionate about.” We encourage everyone to be maker, and less of a consumer.


7.  Take. Borrow. Reinvent. Godard said:  “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”  Ideas, concepts, joinery are here for the taking and remaking.  Only from the genius of others can we evolve. Anyway, there really is nothing new under the sun. It’s all been done, and redone. Genius is in the meeting of (preferably) reused materials, intelligently efficient design and knock-out aesthetics. You know it when you see it!


8.  Use metal whenever possible. First, it’s strong as hell. And then, it’s essentially a recycled material picked up by those guys in smelly old beater-trucks to be melted down and reused. We believe in honest, raw steel!


9.  Make it in the good, ol’ U S of A. This is a great nation, full of great people. Why can’t we make our own stuff, instead of relying on slave labor in China, Pakistan and elsewhere? Let’s bring production back to the USA. It stimulates the economy, raises our standards – of living and appreciation of quality, and creates pride in our country and in those that make things. Less consumers, more makers, is our way of thinking.


10.  Good things can’t be rushed. Deadlines are for the IRS, your boss and other uptight people. Fast, good, cheap: you can’t have all three. So quit kveching if you can’t have it immediately, or if it’s going to be late!!

Benjamin Arseguel, 2014

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