You may recognize the piece shown above. It's called The Butler and it has appeared here on Apartment Therapy many times over the years, as we are fans of its modern design and organic aesthetic. The Butler's designer, Curtis Micklish, recently sat down to chat about his history, inspirations and advice in our Meet the Maker series.
Location: San Diego, California
Where did you grow up? I grew up in San Diego, moved around a bit after college, but came back because I missed it too much.
Where did you study/train? I guess I could say I've been studying most of my life. My dad was a carpenter so I started making things at 4 or 5. My interest for design sparked around 18 so I would spend weekends in bookstores and much of my spare time researching and beginning to narrow my interests.
What was the first thing you made and sold? The first piece of furniture I made was for my girlfriend. It was a bench/coffee table I made out of old beat up scaffold planks. I ripped them down and glued the laminated pieces face up for a cool linear grain effect. We actually still have it in our house. It's full of mistakes but it was a great starting point for me.
Who is your design idol? I can't say I have one particular design idol. I was originally very interested in Noguchi for his cyclone table, and then I got pretty fond of Le Corbusier. I like to combine wood and metal in a lot of my pieces so the past couple years I've really enjoyed Jean Prouve's works.
Where do you find inspiration? Most of the time it seems like I draw inspiration from two places. The first and most common is from different shapes I see. I might see something on a walk or in a magazine, so I write myself a note and see if it makes sense in the future. The other place I draw inspiration is from a need for something that has not yet been created.
What's one thing you wish YOU had made or designed? It would be pretty sweet to say you designed the iPhone. It's an amazing piece of technology and design that has defined a generation.
What's your advice for a designer/maker just starting out? I still feel like I'm just starting out, with so much to learn.One thing that helps me enjoy every day is to always stay inspired and never lose that child like curiosity.
To see more of Curtis' designs, check out his website: Micklish.
(Images: Curtis Micklish)