Regina Connell

Regina Connell

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Design with Personality: Woodsport

  • Scott McGlasson Mr Drink
  • Scott McGlasson Credenza
  • Scott McGlasson’s: Vases
    Scott McGlasson Vases
  • Scott McGlasson Woodsport Chaise
  • Scott McGlasson Woodsport Credenza
  • Scott McGlasson Woodsport Jewelry Cabinet
  • Scott McGlasson Workshop
Personality. It’s a good word, when it comes to design. But it can also be a word to make you nervous. In the wrong hands, it can be scary. It can be that piece of furniture that is the life of the party because it has the lampshade on its head. It may be fun but you don’t want to take it home with you. 

Handcrafted wood furniture by Scott McGlasson’s Woodsport has tons of personality. It sparkles. It has a dry wit. But it’s not going to leave you with any deep regrets in the morning. It’s going to make you smile with its smartness and offhand cool.  His logo bears the line, “expertly crafted, for your pleasure”. And that’s what it delivers.

There’s Mr. Drink, a beverage caddy (it rolls to where it’s needed) that comes with a built in bottle opener. In lesser hands, said bottle opener would look like it’s a bolt-on, an afterthought. But with Mr. Drink, the bottle opener is an extension of the vertical table support, and a handy grip for wheeling the table around to exactly the right spot. 

Then there’s the Woodsport chaise, a wooden take on the familiar woven plastic version. Comprising 207 tiles woven together with prusik rope, it flexes and conforms to the sitter while still managing to be a pretty spectacular piece of sculpture. The killer touches: the “stitching” and the wenge and walnut beads, and the caption: “engineered for deep contemplation”. Oh yes, and then there’s the fact that it’s made from cut-offs from other projects. Nice nod to sustainability there.

Another blend of craftsmanship and humor? The Finny stool, a sculptural but classic stool, with an optional Icelandic sheepskin for winter warmth. Both adorable and thoroughly functional. 

Woodsport, based in St. Paul, MN, makes handcrafted hardwood furniture, lighting and accessories. It’s modern but you can feel the old world craftsmanship, the expertise. It’s design with soul. 

As suggested by the chaise, it’s not just craftsmanship but sustainability that’s a core part of what Woodsport is about. It harvests lumber from the “urban forest” and seeks to avoid waste of any kind. Accessories are designed in order to use scrap. Small scrap pieces heat Scott's sauna. Shavings end up in local chicken coops or pottery kilns. Finishes are the low VOC.

Lots of ink gets spilt on the concept of design “intention”. Quite honestly, most of it doesn’t make sense to me. But Scott’s does: “I have a set of criteria that I use when designing.  First, it has to have a purpose to exist.  I can't make conceptual furniture or sculpture.  I want someone to know exactly what the piece is and hopefully they want to live with it in their home.  Next, it has to work well and be built for the long haul - proportionality and usability are paramount, and craftsmanship is always first rate.  Last, would be the design, often a mixture of disparate elements - rough with smooth, old-timey with modern, beautiful hardwoods matched with bold colors or even plastic laminate.  The pieces are simple but I'll use a subtle detail or grace note to set them off.” 

We need furniture with personality but not silliness. Scott McGlasson’s furniture absolutely fits the bill.