The owner of HW studio, Heath Wagoner is talented in many functions; a trained goldsmith, a lover of hosting and hospitality details and an industrial designer. Based in New York, Wagoner has intricately and delicately created silverware, accessories and jewelry that is perfect for all occasions, big or small. Whether you enjoy the intimacy of a weekend dinner with exquisite details for your guests, or dressing up a space or outfit with sophisticated accessories, he has revolutionized these corner markets with his designs. This week’s Maker Monday is the designer and creative director behind HW studio, Heath Wagoner.
HW Studio designs range from cutlery, to jewelry to all different types of home and life accessories.
Andrew Joseph: If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
Heath Wagoner: I would have to say a whale. As a child growing up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I would delight in any sighting of a whale, I’ve always been fascinated by their high intelligence. Whales have few natural predators, they are social creatures, and are very peaceful. I think if we could be more like whales the world be a better place. In general, I am very connected to the ocean, and make a habit of seeking out water as much as possible.
AJ: What is something you hope to see trending in design in the future?
HW: A return to handmade and slow craft. I think that we currently are living in an overload of instant accessibility. A slowdown and the creation of better things in lower quantities will ultimately make for a more sustainable society. I think that sustainability is such a buzzword, that is used to mask the overproduction of things, I think that less is more is a better model both for consumers and for makers. Not everyone needs the same objects, that’s not unique or special. Design needs to be more special.
Heath’s background as a goldsmith and industrial designer are key to his handmade process of creating unique pieces.
AJ: What’s a guilty pleasure you have?
HW: Cheese, I absolutely love it. I have a small snack of cheese while cooking most nights. I have a preference for blues and sheep milk cheeses. I love to pair them with rustic crackers or a baguette. I usually can be seen multiple times a week with a baguette popping out of my bag as I head to my studio. I usually use my aperitivo set when I am hosting, but If it’s just my partner and I, I’ll use one of my butter knives and a condiment spoon.
AJ: What was your first job?
HW: On the books or off? My real first job was tending to the softshell shedders when I was a kid, picking out soft shell crabs from hard crabs, or helping repair nets. My father was a crabber and commercial fisherman when I was growing up. My first on-the-books job was for the Town of Duck, NC as an ocean rescue lifeguard. I spent six summers greeting beach patrons and performing rescues. It’s a job I recommend to anyone who is a good swimmer and enjoys the beach. It introduced me to a variety of people that I might not have interacted with in art school or my own friend group. It taught me how to find ways to relate to all different types of people, and perspectives.
While Heath’s passion has been creating his own individualistic pieces, he has also designed for brands such as Pamela Love, Marchon, and Tiffany & Co.
AJ: How would you describe your personal style?
HW: Elevated Uniform. I love fashion but usually end up wearing a uniform. Traditional men’s suiting really intrigues me and I find ways to weave that into my style. It also influences my work, plackets to be specific. I have been having a clogs moment paired with canvas pants and some sort of button-down, it is very Brooklyn.
AJ: What’s inspiring you in life (in the industry) right now?
HW: Cooking at home, and the way people are hosting. I love seeing photos of people hosting and the aftermath of a good dinner party. It’s the mix of fashion, converting one’s apartment, the evolution of the night, and how the table is set that I love to see. Seeing the table after a meal has taken place before it’s cleared is always an inspiring canvas for me. It makes me think of where my pieces will start and end on the dinner table.
About The Maker | The creative outlet of Heath Wagoner, HW. Studio is a mixture of functional objects and art pieces for the table. Heath is a trained goldsmith and industrial designer. He uses traditional metalsmithing techniques paired with industrial design ergonomics. Each piece is made by hand in his Brooklyn, NY studio or cast in Rhode Island.
Inspired by the way Heath likes to host and eat, each piece is a functional yet elegant object that can easily adorn the table of a dinner party or be used for dressing up the middle of the week takeout.
Heath is a jewelry and accessories designer based in NY. Originally from the Outer Banks of NC, he has lived in NY for the past ten years designing for brands such as Pamela Love, Marchon, and Tiffany & Co. Heath has also designed restaurants and events. This combination of multi-hyphenate experiences helps him create flatware that is functional while looking like jewelry.
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