LOCAL MAKERS SHOWCASE: SEAN CARLETON
Continuing our local makers series, today we are featuring Sean Carleton, owner of Carleton Fine Work Studio in Bothell, who creates amazing sculptural fine art furniture from metal, wood and glass including tables, chairs, shelves and stools that you’d never find in a typical furniture store.
WHEN DID YOU START WORKING WITH METAL AND WOOD, SEAN?
I first fell in love with metalwork when I was about 15 years old. My father taught me how to operate a welder while building scenery for a Theater in Seattle and I became immediately hooked. Over the years I had the opportunity to study different metal and wood practices and techniques as well as travel the world pursuing my passion which allowed me to grow professionally.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Inspiration for my work comes from the various industrial and residential design environments. These surroundings flaunted the work of highly skilled craftsmen from the Seattle area for me to learn from hands on. I decided to combine my skill sets gleaned from 15 years of craft work into a single creative endeavor to explore the boundaries of furniture and sculptural objects.
HOW DO YOU CREATE YOUR PIECES?
Each piece is created in one of two ways. Either I use the piece of wood chosen to direct a complimentary metalwork design, or I use the metalwork to dictate what purpose the wood should serve in the design. These processes are perfectly flawed due to inevitable mistakes along the path to a finished piece. I believe that this creates a beautiful functional object that feels natural and not forced to a certain destination.
WHAT TYPES OF WOOD AND METAL DO YOU USE?
The finished pieces are made of metal and wood that is hand cut, joined together with varying techniques and sanded to finish. I use alder, oak, walnut, madrone and other types of wood that come from Bainbridge island. The finished wood is never stained, but rather treated naturally to reveal it’s beauty and texture.
Everett steel provides the metal. I prefer mild steel because it’s deeper tone resonates better with the color of the wood. The steel gets treated with a baked-on durable clear coat.
All my pieces include a hidden welded plaque with my signature and authenticity number so that they can be remembered generations from now.