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In the Atelier with Matt Wlotkowski of Rough Sawn Detroit | Featured November Artist

As a company built by creatives for creatives we are truly inspired by the makers, out-of-the-box thinkers, and artists. We search and seek out the modern, whacky, and beautiful objects. From local painters to far-away potters, and everything in between. fleurdetroit is committed to finding and supporting artists and small businesses from all over the world.

This month’s featured item is made right here in Detroit! Rough Sawn Detroit is handmade from local finds, with votive holders starting at $25 these are a great housewarming or thinking of you gift.

Tell us about your workspace: Where do you do your creating and what tools do you use? What’s the most important tool in your workshop?

I work out of my dad’s workshop in Royal Oak, he has been woodworking as long as I can remember, and I kind of picked it up from him.

I use a wide variety of tools in the shop, table saw, planer, jointer, drill press, and sanders. Between my dad and I we have a fairly wide range of tools, that have accumulated over the years from a wide range of projects.

I think the most important tool in the shop is the table saw, it seems to get used on a daily basis.

How do you go from an idea to a finished product? Do you begin with sketches or start hands-on with the materials? What’s your workflow like?

I start most of my projects by trying to fill a need – if I need a lamp, I make a lamp. I wanted a couple of side tables for the basement so I took some old pallets off a job and made them into side tables. A lot of times I will find some material and then figure out what I will make from it.

I have never been very good at drawing, but that being said I do try to sketch projects first, and the rest of the time I just start cutting.

Workflow seems to move in waves, being that my woodworking is more of a hobby at this point I only take on as much as I can handle in my free time.

Where do you find inspiration?

I am constantly looking at what other people have done transforming designs in a way to make them my own.

I have always loved mid-century modern design: Eames, Girard, Platner, Saarinen and the like. I try to take my cues from design of that era.

What’s next on the horizon for your shop? 

There are a few things in the works, a couple of large coffee tables and a reclaimed dining room table are on the list. I recently acquired a few large live edge boards and now I just need to find the right project for them.

What are your goals for the future?

I would love to just keep on making things that push me to get better at the craft and it is always nice to make a little bit of money while doing so. It would be great to ultimately have a showroom one day, but for now I’m happy just spending time in the shop.

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