We tree kings
Sandvig Studio makes stunning modernist furniture from reclaimed wood, ensuring that every piece is unique
“What I love about using wood and trees is they’re almost like us, there’s only one of them in the world,” says Mitchell Sandvig, of Sandvig Studio. Working with large slabs of reclaimed wood he creates unique pieces of furniture inspired by his own life and experiences. His pieces are designed to be treasured for several lifetimes: works of art that are also highly functional.
Mitchell originally trained as an architect but soon realized he was drawn to the more intimate process of making furniture. He moved to Chicago and attended interior design school before securing a place studying furniture-making at the Bauhaus Apprenticeship Institute. Today he works from a studio in rural Oklahoma, surrounded by hills and woodland. Much of his inspiration is drawn from nature, as well as his deep respect for the reclaimed wood that he uses.
“It’s almost a gift to us,” he explains. “Whether it got hit by lightning or blown over in a storm, when it’s reclaimed it has taken on its second life and we get to enjoy and appreciate it.” Mitchell uses traditional joinery techniques to create his striking pieces and has also developed an innovative way to “bend” large slabs of wood, creating a perfect arc.
Visitors are welcome by appointment at his studio, but Mitchell sells most of his furniture through art shows and galleries around the United States. People tend to have an immediate reaction to his distinctive style of work and Mitchell says he usually knows within minutes whether they will buy something.
“For me that’s very special because it speaks to them not just in a material way, it’s kind of an emotional thing,” he explains. Clients can purchase a ready-made piece but more often they will commission Mitchell to create something that is designed to function with the colours and dimensions of their own home.
As every piece of furniture that Mitchell designs is different, and each piece of wood that he works with unique, customers know they are buying something that no one else in the world will have. And, having given his reclaimed wood new life, Mitchell gets immense satisfaction in seeing his creations installed and becoming a much-loved part of their owners’ homes and lives for generations to come.