With an appreciation for Scandinavian design, Andrew Moe designs and creates simple, elegant furniture. That he also designs with the small space in mind makes his furniture even more appealing to us here at Apartment Therapy. A recent transplant to Portland, Andrew recently sat down to answer our Meet the Maker survey.
Name/Location: Andrew Moe / Portland, Oregon
Where did you grow up? I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. When I was three my family moved to Maryland, outside of Washington, DC. Over the years I've lived in New Mexico, Colorado, and Alabama. Most recently I spent six years in New York City before moving west to Portland. I love it here.
Where did you study/train? I first started taking studio art classes at Princeton. A few years after graduating I apprenticed with a furniture maker in Boston and soon after enrolled in the BFA program at The Massachusetts College of Art, where I spent two years in the sculpture department. But my real training came when I opened my studio and found out quickly what worked, and what didn't.
What was the first thing you made and sold? My first month I was in business I made a dovetailed coffee table for an old family friend. It was a mercy purchase and I appreciated it very much.
Who is your design idol? Nature. Examples of perfect design are all around us, in infinite variations. I'm struck by the inherent beauty in efficiency, and how the Maker chooses to remain anonymous.
Where do you find inspiration? Mid-century Scandinavian furniture, Japanese architecture, Shaker dressers, tobacco barns in southern Maryland, the sculpture of Martin Puryear, the writing of William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. Anything that is well made.
What’s one thing you wish YOU had made or designed? I wish I had time to make a wooden canoe.
What’s your advice for a designer/maker just starting out? Let yourself play. Listen to what wants to come through you, and follow it. Experiment and be willing to fail. Don't judge your mistakes. Practice. (It's advice I need to take myself.)
To see more of Andrew's work, check out his website: Studiomoe.
(Images: Studio Moe)