The subtle scent of turned wood lingers in the air as we first entered the studio of Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Co. Wood shaped on a lathe always leaves its mark with shavings on the ground and a fragrance distinctive of the wood type. The smell of wood is often unappreciated by most people, but to the craftsman these subtle attributes create the foundation for delight and discovery. I spend most of my first moments in the studio trying to decipher the wood origin of this scent in the air. It was most likely Oak.
We sit down with the studio’s founder, Josh Vogel, in an enlightening conversation about the makings of the company. Josh was certainly a cerebral conversationalist as his thoughtful answers to our questions underscore his considerate and conscientious approach to design. There was an honest and human quality to his responses that makes it a pleasure to share this conversation.
The company itself was initially founded as a cottage industry business where it uses basic available resources to make “unique, recognizable products”, explains Josh. Small-scale production and loosely organized product selections highlight his emphasis on the process of creation, and bridging a growing gap between designing and building. This desire to connect the maker with the end user is the basis of Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading and the reason why we consider them one of the finest examples in the re-emergence of American made craft and design industry.