A River Runs Through It
Greg Klassen (360.305.5070; gregklassen.com) somehow breathes “life” into his furniture designs.
The one-time theology student, who studied his craft at California’s College of the Redwoods and Sweden’s Capellågarden School of Craft & Design, only opened his Lynden, Washington, studio in 2008. Already, though, he’s become a staple at Seattle’s Northwest Woodworking Gallery (nwhwoodgallery.com), and at this spring’s Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, D.C., his works not only attracted the attention of that doyenne of domesticity, Martha Stewart, but, during an interview with the 32-year-old designer, drew some rather fulsome praise from Stewart, who described his creations as simply “amazing furniture.” It was Klassen’s first-ever invitation to the prestigious event, and it was a high-profile showcase for his new River Table Collection ($3,500 and up). The collection was inspired by the exciting edges and vivid grains found in the trees sustainably taken from the banks of the very Nooksack River that twists below his studio. Klassen married these wood slabs with vibrant inlays of blue glass to evoke the river’s active, meandering lines. His one-of-a-kind oeuvre, which includes some funky, chunky clocks ($125)—has him frequently scouring the nearby Whatcom County sawmills to select the choicest maple, elm and walnut slabs for his works.
“I’m close to the materials from the beginning,” says Klassen, “sometimes waiting several years for a piece of wood to dry. I always want my furniture to have a sense of life—of movement.”