Maker Monday: An ASPIRE Exclusive Interview With Skylar Morgan

This week’s #MakerMonday is Skylar Morgan. Born and raised in Montana, this handyman discusses breaking into the Atlanta furniture scene, drawing inspiration from nature, and learning to focus on solo projects while running a design studio.

These flawless seats are taking us to new heights.

Andrew Joseph: The most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?
Skylar Morgan: I have always been very adventurous. As a kid, my dad always pushed me to find my limits, which is something I’ve carried with me into adulthood and why I’ve been able to build my company into what it is today. 

My biggest adventure to date was leaving home, a very small town in Montana, and moving to Atlanta when I was a young man. I had to find my own way in a big city, but it’s been a fun and exciting 17 years. Lots of ups and downs, and risking everything on what feels like a daily basis.

Andrew: If you had one more hour in the day what would you do with it?
Skylar: I wish for more time every day. I come in early to the shop so I can work quietly on my own projects. It’s my only time I have to myself to creatively get it all out. I usually only get 2-3 hours before people start showing up and start working. If I could just have 1-2 more hours in the shop every day I would be much happier.

Andrew: What’s inspiring you in life (in the industry) right now?
Skylar: Right now I’d say nature is what’s exciting me most. I have land in the country where I spend most of my weekends, and it’s very quiet and peaceful. My mind relaxes from the workweek and the creativity starts to flow. The simplicity of nature and the organic connection that we have with it I think ultimately inspires the pure, straightforward forms and materiality of my design.

Sparks are surely flying in this radiant wooden table-top.

Andrew: How do you define beauty?
Skylar: Speaking within a design context, beauty for me is modesty. I’m personally drawn to simple, highly edited forms that can elevate an everyday setting. I think anything that evokes a strong personal feeling is beautiful.

Andrew: A skill you’re working on mastering?
Skylar: I’m currently trying to figure out the crazy world of high-end upholstery. I started with leatherwork, and previously apprenticed under a handbag designer in New York City which gave me enough insight to start thinking in my own ways about creating with fabrics. The more I continue to get into it, the simpler I’m finding it to be — while I don’t think I’ll ever be able to call myself a “true” master of the craft, I’ve gotten comfortable enough with it that most of our upholstery is now done in-house, which has opened up a whole new realm of exciting possibilities for us.

About The Maker | 
A native Montanan and former apprentice to master furniture maker Jeffrey Greene, Skylar Morgan originally established a name for himself in Atlanta as a fabricator, crafting custom millwork and architectural woodwork for both homes and commercial spaces within the city, and across the Southeast. After founding his eponymous West Midtown design studio in 2002 and expanding into furniture manufacturing, Skylar Morgan has since emerged as one of the premier furniture makers in the South, whose comprehensive line of handcrafted, Atlanta-made living, dining, and bedroom furnishings blend warm yet minimal stylistic thought with a clear respect for natural and reclaimed materials – a hallmark of his studio’s work.

With a singular American Modern style, a penchant for stunning juxtaposition, and rare command of elevating the every day through intricate hand-carved detailing & clever plays on mixed materiality, Skylar Morgan creates sleek, sculptural furniture meant to be loved and lived in for generations.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here

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ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, ASPIRE creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, ASPIRE explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.