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Maker Monday: An Aspire Exclusive Interview With Ian Love

Ian Love sees vibrancy and complexity where most see dissolution. While he designs with a variety of tree wood, he especially enjoys utilizing aging or diseased wood. Love’s rough, unconventional work reflects the messy beauty he uncovers in nature, as well as the intuitive philosophy he applies to his own life. A musician of many years, Love still works with his hands to create furniture, lighting fixtures, and artwork from an assortment of wood and mixed media. Introducing this week’s Maker Monday, Ian Love.

Love’s bleached side table, beside his poplar sculptural chair, was designed from spalted, or diseased, holly.

Love’s bleached side table, beside his poplar sculptural chair, was designed from spalted, or diseased, holly.

Andrew Joseph: What is the last book you read?
Ian Love: Mark Lanegan, Sing Backwards and Weep.

Andrew: How would you define your work in three words?
Ian: Intuitive, free, primitive.

Andrew: If you could live in any home in a movie or television series, what would it be?
Ian: The house from the movie Parasite.

Andrew: If you weren’t a designer, you’d be a ….?
Ian: Well, a musician – probably because that’s what I did before I was a designer.

Andrew: What’s the best thing that happened to you this month?
Ian: Watching my daughter sing for her Juilliard college audition and her reading me the essay she wrote for it.

Andrew: What’s your favorite cocktail?
Ian: Since I don’t drink, I love a bangin’ mocktail!

In addition to furniture, Love incorporates ebonization, charred wood, and mixed media in a variety of unusual sculptures, decorative objects, and wood wall hangings.

In addition to furniture, Love incorporates ebonization, charred wood, and mixed media in a variety of unusual sculptures, decorative objects, and wood wall hangings.

Andrew: What would you like to be remembered for?
Ian: Hopefully having inspired someone or preferably more than one.

Andrew: What’s the weirdest thing a client has ever asked you?
Ian: A 16-foot diameter tree root system hanging from the ceiling with lights and crystals hanging from it. That one’s in the freedom tower in NY on the 76th floor in a company’s office.

Andrew: What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
Ian: I’ve been doing transcendental meditation for about 6 years and meditate 20 minutes a day twice a day.

Andrew: What was your first job?
Ian: Handing out fliers for a computer store in Soho in the 80’s, but I got fired because I would just throw the fliers in their garbage and go home and go back to sleep.

Andrew: What are three things you can’t live without?
Ian: Right now probably my chainsaw, angle grinder, and orbital sander.

Love allows the natural shape of the timber to influence his design in this black walnut side table.

Love allows the natural shape of the timber to influence his design in this black walnut side table.

Andrew: What’s one ingredient you put in everything?
Ian: Sawdust, and not by choice. I think I’m made of about 30% sawdust.

Andrew: Favorite app?
Ian: Pinterest.

Andrew: Secret talent?
Ian: Gardening.

Andrew: If you had one more hour in the day what would you do with it?
Ian: Knowing me, work another hour.

Andrew: Best advice you’d give your teenage self?
Ian: Beat yourself with a feather, not a bat.


About The Maker | With an innate attraction to spalted (diseased) wood because of its marbled character, Ian’s mediums span all genus of timber: cherry blossom, walnut, oak, cedar, maple, elm, hickory; as well as resin, concrete, alabaster, stone, metals and mixed-media found flora. A constantly evolving practice, Ian’s signature hand-chattered imprint finds its way into many of his designs, validating an appreciation of the imperfect in his holistic design concepts and their unconventionally beautiful finished products.

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