Fine Art Furniture
I am a fine art furniture maker based in Austin, Texas.
My furniture creations are styled on Mid-Century Modern, which implies a simplicity of design. They are characterized by geometric designs in pleated fabric with a unique application of buttons to add character to my art.
Recent Work and Biography
Years ago, as a stay-at-home-mom to three kids, I taught myself sewing as a means to keep me sane during my early years parenting. I really enjoyed the process of sewing—selecting fabrics (the colors! the textures!) and patterns filled a creative void I knew was there, but didn’t know how to fill. I just knew that I had to make something with my hands. After I honed my sewing skills, I began trading my handcrafted children’s clothes for the work of amazing local artists. Being able to have art I really loved in my house inspired me to create something artistic myself.
Furniture came next. I attacked my first upholstery project the way I live my life and raise my kids—I dove in headfirst. “What’s the worst that can happen?” My inability to put that chair back together led me to an upholstery class at our local community college and an obsession with reviving decrepit mid-century modern furniture. (Shout out to Austin’s former Home Girls shop, the now-defunct vintage furniture store, where I sold my rehabbed pieces!) This growing commitment inspired a splurge on an industrial sewing machine. Just starting it up was intoxicating.
One bench in particular became my calling. Not even good enough for Goodwill, it was put directly into the dumpster outside the thrift store…that’s my kind of challenge. It was covered in a hideous, disintegrating mustard velvet that made my thighs itch just thinking of sitting on it, but it was a delicate bench with scrolling contours along the sides of its tufted seat and I fell in love. My husband went dumpster diving for it (he loves when I ask him to do that) and rebuilt the frame for me. I recovered it in a neutral linen, but trying to figure out what to do with the buttons threw me. It looked like a blank canvas waiting for paint.
I had amassed hundreds of scraps of designer fabric over years of owning an upholstery shop. I never knew what to do with all of those random pieces until that bench. I cropped the colors, lines and shapes of dozens of modern textiles to create mini-compositions on each button. Every button was like a little piece of art. When all of the different colors, textures and patterns were scattered across the neutral linen backdrop, they made sense altogether and the whole piece came alive. That juxtaposition became my signature, and Iron Thread Design was born.
I see my furniture as I see myself. Normal/sedate from across the room, but move a little nearer and you’ll see there’s a whole lot of fun to be had up close.