We had the good fortune of connecting with Taylor Donsker and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Taylor, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
“The world is bound with secret knots” – Anthanasius Kircher. This quote has guided my attitude towards design, friendship, business relationships, and community. In regards to design, it has influenced my belief that every material has a grain, a strength and a weakness, an origin and an end. Knowing the qualities of materials allows me to combine them in new and unique ways while exploiting their aesthetic and physical strengths. I believe that the combination of materials such as glass, bronze, wood, and stone in my work produce a freshness in otherwise familiar forms.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am an artist/craftsman who works primarily in wood but intermingles materials such as cast bronze, glass, and stone into one another to create a new interpretation of somewhat familiar forms. I began working in my parents garage after graduating during the peak of the recession in 2010. After a brief stint practicing architecture, I decided I wanted to be more hands on and pursued furniture design and building in a shared studio in Santa Monica. Since then, I have continued to pursue more challenging projects that excite me and provide clients with pieces that subtly modify the way they interact with and experience furniture. I believe that my work stands apart due to my questioning of unwritten rules such as whether a table truly has to be flat.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would start with a trip to my favorite coffee spot, Parts and Labor Coffee, and get one of their Ethiopian single origin siphon brew coffees with no cream or sugar. My studio is down the street so I would be inclined to give them a tour around our 6,000sqft warehouse stocked with gorgeous slabs of wood and partially/fully finished furniture. One of my favorite brunch spots, the Tasting Kitchen would be the next stop along with a bit of people watching and window shopping along Abbot Kinney. If we are feeling gluttinous, I would follow that with a stop at Salt and Straw for one of their insanely delicious ice creams. To work that off I would follow up with a hike through Temescal Canyon in the Pacific Palisades and consider a trip to the beach in Santa Monica afterwards. Tongva Park in Santa Monica is one of my favorite public spaces and would likely be the next pit stop before heading to dinner. A trip to Manchego Tapas and Wine Bar followed with a drink along main street or a cup of tea at Urth Caffe would likely round out the day with some fun conversation.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
During a semester abroad in Asia at the USC School of Architecture, architect and professor James Steele led my classmates and I through ancient civilizations, temples, and modern buildings alike. While visiting Japan, I was particularly in awe over the beauty, simplicity, and durability of traditional Japanese temples. As a result, I began to fall in love with wood as a building material and later formed a relationship with it more intimately as a craftsman. Professor Steele had twelve years of experience leading students throughout Asia and provided us with an irreplaceable experience that forever changes the course of my life and career.

Website: www.taylordonsker.com
Instagram: @taylordonsker

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