Designer insights with David Stine

David Stine is a designer of custom wood furniture, creating unique pieces at his own company David Stine Woodworking, using raw materials harvested from his own land. David is the fourth generation steward of his family’s land, milling his own lumber to create design inspirations. David has been named one of the regions top 10 green entrepreneurs by St. Louis Magazine and has been featured in Forbes Life and Architectural DC. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Dave Stine.

Designer Insights - David Stine

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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?

I sustainably harvest all the wood I use in my work from my family’s 500 acres. I don’t torture the wood and try to bend it to my will. I let the wood speak for itself, and my designs maximize the raw, natural, singular beauty of the wood.

2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?

It always starts with the wood itself. I am inspired by how and where the tree grew. Often, as I mill the boards I see what I will build. The wood always speaks to me; it knows what it wants to be.

3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?

The designers and architects who can put the right craftsman in touch with the right client are the best! They seem to keep a catalog of artisans like me and pull them out of their hat when the right client comes along. I much prefer this to the designers who try to remake every client's home or office in their own personal aesthetic.

4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?

I rarely need inspiration, as the wood always speaks to me. The right client comes along and the right board appears. However, I draw creative strength from being in the woods and stewarding my land. A walk in the woods is calming and inspirational.

5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?

A certainty that this is what I was meant to be doing. This is very hard work. Stewarding the land, culling dead and dying trees, milling the boards, designing the right piece of furniture for the right client. It’s a symbiotic and holistic process. This isn’t just furniture making; this is my life and passion. Few people can do what I do — harvest their materials from their own land and control every aspect of their craft, from materials to sales. I would say stick to your vision, don’t compromise, and know that hard work, lots of it, is the real key to success.