Austin Heitzman

I am a studio furniture maker. I work with wood because I love everything about the material, from the way it looks and feels to the challenges it presents. To me trees provide a reservoir of infinite fascination, with each species possessing a character and personality all its own.

Exploration is the key to my process. There is always something over the horizon no matter how far you have already walked. I push the potential of my medium through constantly exploring new design influences, ever challenging joinery and underutilized species of lumber. My studio practice entails dedicating my life towards growing my skill and knowledge like the rings of a tree.

Each of my pieces is unique. Whether I am reproducing a popular design or crafting an entirely new custom creation my material brings an individuality to the piece. I devote countless hours towards sourcing the most exceptional and original timber, often deriving inspiration from its natural forms and defects. I mill this lumber myself from city trees, brought down by progress and storms, or find it at small local mills processing their lumber sustainably from their own lands. Healthy forests are important to me, as they ensure the sustainability of my craft and planet.

My furniture is built well. Each piece is made to last generations in order to repay the time it took the tree to grow to maturity. Owning things that only improve with age is both a sustainable and satisfying way of living. We engage with our furniture everyday and when it entertains the eye and rewards the touch the interaction is made all the more fulfilling. I create furniture so its owners can delight in their home, not just for today but for generations to come.

Austin has received several awards for his work, most notably the 2012 Niche Award for Cabinetry. He lives and works in Portland, Oregon.