Camira chats with MorningWorks, a Californian design + make studio

Made by hand in their rural barn in Northern California, each piece of furniture by MorningWorks Studio is a work of art. Blending traditional handcraft with a love of modern design, their seating catalogue is filled with chairs and benches that are impeccably crafted, sustainably sourced, and filled with the kind of attention to detail that makes you marvel.

Founded, owned, and ran by husband and wife team Sean and Leslie Wood, we spoke with designer and maker Sean to learn more about his craft - where he finds inspiration, how he brings each chair to life, and, of course, the fabrics he loves to use. 

"My design process often begins with textiles."


The process of design is so amazing, and can be so frustrating! There are no shortage of ideas that’s for sure. The frustrating part is carving out the time to do development when the order board has things quite busy. I find product development to be rather easy until the last ten percent. Then you start to critique what you have done and modify until you find something that is your own voice and at least as good as what you have done before. That last ten percent, for me at least, can take months, sometimes years.


In terms of inspiration, I love European vehicle design from about 1930 to the 70s. But often I will begin with textiles (I am a textile nerd!). Fabrics, leathers, woods, cords – the inspiration there is infinite.


Featured in large image: Main Line Flax on the Roadster 
Featured in small image: Sean and Leslie Wood 


"I consider myself primarily an upholsterer, just with additional skills."


My chairs require multiple disciplines to make. It begins with the frame, that’s woodworking. Generally next is the cord work. I work with Danish paper cord on most of the pieces currently in our catalog. And finally comes the upholstery and leather work. I began as an upholsterer 35 years ago and still consider myself primarily an upholsterer, just with additional skills.


In terms of process, being a one-man shop allows me to adjust my workflow to keep the energy and motivation up. So when I’m doing a batch of dining chairs for instance. I can stagger the processes so that each day I’m doing a bit of everything – woodworking, finishing, weaving etc. Rather than doing all the woodworking first and then having to do nothing but sand for days on end. Ugh! The way I do it keeps things fresh and creates a variety of achievable goals throughout each day.


Fabric Gallery


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