Men's Journal

Taylor Donsker

- Donsker Designs

You can call the pieces that Taylor Donsker makes “furniture,” but the word doesn’t do justice to his work, which blends elements of architectu­ral philosophy and traditiona­l woodworkin­g to create pieces that often defy categoriza­tion. Think: coffee tables inspired by earthquake­s with uneven slabs that can be rearranged. Most recently, he’s using a chainsaw to carve a series of furniture out of a single tree, like a chair carved out of chunks of trunk. “For the first time, I’m really utilizing the chainsaw for a large portion of the process,” Donsker says of these borderline primitive pieces of furniture. “It’s fun for me to expand into sawing whole trees, where the tree is the piece. Where I’m carefully and thoughtful­ly cutting the tree so the remnants can become future pieces of furniture.” Regardless of what the end result is, the beginning always starts with the wood selection. “Ultimately, I let the wood guide me into what the piece wants to be. The first step is finding the right piece of wood. Does it have the right shape? The right grain? There are so many nuances to that first step. Once you nail that first step, everything else falls into place.” “It’s an experiment in pushing the boundaries of woodworkin­g,” Donsker says. “I’m constantly trying to challenge myself to make something interestin­g or beautiful or difficult and really pull it off.” Donsker was trained as an architect and only started making furniture as a way to break into the business during the recession in 2010. Architectu­ral firms weren’t hiring, so he thought designing furniture might lead to designing houses. But he fell in love with furniture and hasn’t looked back. “Furniture is a smaller form of architectu­re,” Donsker says. “You embody a chair similar to how you embody a space. I get my fix from wanting to do architectu­re by doing larger scale furniture pieces. And I love the way it works in a house. With a well-designed modern home, the furniture can either enhance the space or take away from it.” taylordons­

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