Top 3 Reasons we made the Jared Rusten Video
1. He embodies his philosophy
Jared not only makes well made artisanal furniture, he adores and adorns himself with artisanal made goods. He appreciates well worn clothes which he calls, “worn just right,” and is on his feet all day in his redwing shoes, the favorite pair out of all his work shoes.
He says, “Products made with integrity can be hard to find, and they’re going to cost more, but they’re always worth the extra expense. So, the construction worker CAN afford Red Wings if he just saves his money a little… and, it’ll be worth it to him to have a perfectly worn pair of boots that he doesn’t have to replace every six months.”
He built up his own loft apartment in San Francisco’s Mission District, and it is a constantly morphing and featuring new additions- from wooden kitchen cabinets to one of his California tables as a desk.
He told us, “I committed myself to building furniture 13 years ago, back when it wasn’t cool to be interested in tools or trips to the hardware store…. when the only woodworkers anyone ever heard of were the flannel-wearing dudes on PBS on sundays.”
2. He’s a rare kind of artisan
What’s an artisan again??
Oh right…all our furniture comes from IKEA. Here’s a quick refresher.
- (noun) An artisan is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, sculpture, clothing, jewelry household items and tools or even machines such as the handmade devices of a watchmaker.
Let’s face it, artisans are becoming exceedingly rare in our world of rapid technological innovation and mass production. Sure, Jared uses an iPod and owns a computer, and yet his whole environment and wardrobe are seemingly in reverence to a world of finely tuned and crafted goods.
He shared with us that when he was young, his father moved their family to the Bay in 1981 when the area was just beginning to be known as the Silicon Valley.
He said, “My Dad worked at one of the very first retail computer stores and was a founding member of a start-up that was developing something new called “electronic mail” for intra-office communications….haha.”
Jared’s steadfastness and dedication to the mastery of his craft have no doubt attributed to his current day success as an artisanal woodworker in the United State’s tech capital.
3. He creates something from nothing
He is someone who looks at raw materials and can not only envision, but execute a refined, finished product.
In our video, he talks about the difficulty in honoring wood and design. He chooses his raw materials carefully, and honors them by shaping them into pieces that wood is meant to support.
Jared works almost exclusively with domestic hardwoods, and about half of what he uses comes from responsibly harvested forests in the mid-west. The other half (like the Claro walnut he uses in the California series) he gets from local sawyers around the Bay Area and central California.
"These are all individual guys, some retired, some master woodworkers themselves - who’ve made it a hobby or profession to hunt down trees that have fallen in storms, or scout fallow orchards, or otherwise salvage dead trees destined for the landfill."
He told us about the process of preparing this wood. “They mill them and dry them (a process that takes a number of years) before the wood is finally ready for me to use. But, like many things, the patience is worth it. Local, air-dried walnut is my favorite wood -it has the most color and personality of the species I use. I feel grateful that I have the opportunity and the means to create everyday. I consider it a gift, and honor, and a responsibility. ”
Blog by Julia Maryanska, Producer at TeKino
Jared Rusten, Furniture Maker