Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Carving Artists in Toledo

By Angela Conley and Jordan Killam 

David Picciuto

Photo Credit: Angela Conley

The Vlog Virtuoso: Make Something
In a world enamored with video technology and social media, David Picciuto capitalizes through his YouTube channel, Make Something, where David shares woodworking video tutorials and vlogs (video blogs) with an affable mix of humor and accessibility.

Unlikely Beginnings
His journey into woodworking technically began in high school, but materialized via hobby photography several years ago. While preparing for Artomatic 419, David needed frames for his photographs. To save money, he chose the DIY route with the assistance of YouTube videos.

Photo Credit: Angela Conley

From that point, David became hooked on a new hobby: woodworking. While continuing to work as a web developer with Concentrek Group, he documented his hobby his hobby as The Drunken Woodworker on YouTube. David explains, “It started off as a joke. Me and a buddy were having some drinks at a backyard firepit and he jokingly said, ‘Hey, let’s do a couple more shots and go in your basement and make a table or something.’ … The next day, I started a Facebook page called The Drunken Woodworker and people started liking the page because of the silly name.”

Photo Credit: David Picciuto

Leap of Faith
With videos highlighting David’s projects, his love of beer, and fellow woodworkers, The Drunken Woodworker became a YouTube sensation. Eventually, he was able to leave his day job by earning enough money through sponsorships, ads, books, and plans. His innovative spin on woodworking has earned him acclaim, but David also believes in showcasing his errors, saying, “Creativity comes from failures. You won’t learn any faster than by failing at something. Creativity is a skill.”

He recently rebranded The Drunken Woodworker into Make Something, but the goal remains the same: teach others how to be creative. David says, “There are so many people that think either you’re born creative or you’re not, and I don’t think that’s true. I think creativity can be taught. … My mission is to show that anybody can make stuff.” —AC

To view David’s video tutorials, download plans,

and see more, visit makesomething.tv/.

Ramsey Brothers Restoration

Photo Credit: Kelli Miller

The Masters of Reincarnation
With a creative mix of new and old, Ramsey Brothers Restoration skillfully brings classic wooden boats back to life. Fusing traditional aesthetics with modern preservation techniques, they provide boat owners with a sense of nostalgia and function.

From Wood Shop to Legit Business
Amazingly, Scott and Dave Ramsey are mostly self-taught in their craft. “Most of our woodworking skills came from what we learned in Springfield High School shop class,” says Dave. Scott adds, “We had parents that were outlandishly trusting and let us run power tools in the garage.” The pair also acquired valuable skills in former jobs for automotive restorations and mechanical repair.

In 2006, the Ramsey’s received a call for a restoration job, spurring them to turn their boat storage building into a formal business and Ramsey Brothers Restorations was born. Until that point, the brothers had only worked on the family boat. To this day, that same customer brings his boat to them for yearly service.

Photo Credit: Kelli Miller

Remixing the Classics
When asked what they love most about their job, Scott says, “You bring something in that has been neglected and there’s so many aspects to the project, but it all comes together to make something beautiful when it’s done.” Dave relates the historical aspect, “I like the historical aspect of digging into the history of a boat and where it came from, and placing it in the time period that it was in.”

Their passion is evident in their collection of Dart boats, a Toledo speedboat company that fell victim to the Great Depressions. The Ramsey brothers revived the rights to the Dart Boat Company in 2012, successfully recreating the mahogany boats. Scott explains, “We’re trying to capture a niche with these newly built boats, where you’re appealing to the nostalgia but the maintenance issues aren’t there.”

In addition to restoring classic boats, Scott and Dave create components like hardware, instrument panels, and mechanical parts. For more information on Ramsey Brothers Restoration and the Dart Boat Company visit ramseybros.com and dartboatcompany.com. The Ramsey’s also host the Toledo Antique & Classic Boat Show every August. —AC

Lacey Campbell

Photo Credit: Kelli Miller

Doing Better in Toledo, for Toledo
Furniture designer Lacey Campbell is no stranger to a career full of twists and turns, from designing for a mega-corporation, to reality show contestant, to creating her own furniture line. Currently, she’s finding her groove with 10th Street Collective, a collaboration between a builder, designer and a chef.

Setting the Framework
Lacey’s career took shape in northwestern Ohio when she moved here to design for Sauder Woodworking Company in Archbold. After several years, she risked her comfortable corporate job for a spot on a Spike’s reality show for furniture designers, Framework. The show wasn’t a hit but was enriching nonetheless. Lacey says, “The best part out of all it was getting all these friends that were just as geeky about wood, tools, what kind of finishes to put on furniture, and really obscure furniture designers. It was amazing to be able to connect with people on that level…”

Photo Credit: Angela Conley

Investing in the Glass City
Lacey advanced to fourth place on Framework and moved back to Toledo once filming completed. Motivated, she continued her line of mid-century modern furniture and commissioned pieces. She also began creating furniture for local businesses, like a massive dining table for Black Cloister Brewing Company and stools for Imagination Station.

Her collaboration with local businesses continues with her new position at 10th Street Collective. As the lead designer/builder, Lacey’s passion for Toledo grows with the unique pieces she’s built for restaurants like Social Gastropub in Toledo and Plat8. She excitedly explains, “It gives me a chance to be creative, have that collaboration, be an individual in this space, but still be able to produce a quality product because of the different ways that I go about my process. Plus, we’re all about Toledo and making the city cool, approachable and fun to be in.” —AC

For more information on Lacey’s work, check out
laceycampbelldesigns.com or facebookcom/10thStreetCollective.

Matthew & Mairi Against the Grain

Photo Credit: Kelli Miller

The Home Grown Couple
Aaron Matthew Lawson and Stephanie Marie Parks founded their woodworking and furniture company, Matthew & Mairi against the grain, based on a mutual love of food and art.

What inspired Matthew & Mairi against the grain?
Aaron: My dad’s a woodworker. He made knickknacks and Amish style furniture. For as long as I can remember, he’s always had a garage workshop. I always wanted that to be part of my life. It was just a matter of finding the right person to do it with.
Stephanie: We met in the food world and we both realized we had this interest to become entrepreneurs and create a well-rounded business. That’s why it says “A Chef & Bartender. A Woodworker & photographer” on our Facebook page. We thought “Against the Grain” could tie into a business that incorporated Aaron’s cooking and my photography originally.

What do you make and how do you source your materials?
Aaron: We build pieces mainly for the home or for businesses. This includes home living items like tables, beds, headboards, and coffee tables. We design custom pieces either with the client directly, or they just allow us the freedom to do what we do best and design something around what they’re looking for.
Stephanie: New material makes up very little of what we use. We use around 80-90% reclaimed materials. We try to save everything we find. Every piece of hardware has the potential to be used for something in the future.
Aaron: Most of our sourcing comes from Defiance, Whitehouse, or Waterville. Our most recent batch of new materials comes from Michigan.
Stephanie: We go to estate sales, barn picks, or search on Craigslist. We are always looking for items that excite us and get us thinking “What can we do with this? How can we repurpose this to be something someone can love?”

Photo Credit: Kelli Miller

What has been your favorite project?
Aaron: We’re most proud of our farmhouse tables. Those are made from a lot of old materials, like 100 year old barn beams.
Stephanie: We also have a coffee table in our house that was once a bar. We weren’t able to sell it as a bar because nobody wanted it. We chopped it down and made it into a coffee table. Every piece of lumber on it is at least 100 years old. We couldn’t part with it once we saw it as a coffee table. Some things are too sentimental for us to sell!

Anything else you’d like to tell us?
Aaron: For all our custom orders, whether it’s a headboard or a table, we include delivery up to 75 miles one way in the price.

Where can we see your work in the wild?
Stephanie: We have a piece we call the log bench that’s in Kengo Sushi & Yakitori in the Warehouse District. The top beams are 100 year-old farm beams that came from the same house that our coffee table came from. We also have a bench in Calvino’s at Cricket West. Smaller items also available for sale at Devoon on Adams St.


New Roots: Craig Mossing of Mossing Studios
and Toledo Butcher Block Co.

Photo Credit: Kelli Miller

Craig Mossing turned his hobby passion into his career in just seven short years! Throughout his life, he always maintained an interest in woodworking, building furniture, and design. However, he decided to pursue law after attending college at Arizona State University. After school, he moved back to Toledo and began his career with ABLE (Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc.).

“I worked for them for five years doing community outreach. On the side, I did long-term care advocacy. I handled complaints and issues with long-term care facilities, which was pretty stressful.” he said. “I needed to decompress from that line of work and building things helped me do that.”

Once he felt more confident in his abilities, he targeted restaurants to see if they’d be willing to commission his work. He built tables for Kengo on St. Clair Street in downtown Toledo and wanted to do more. “I felt like it was a now or never type moment,” he shared. “The projects started coming in and I felt like it was life-giving and what I wanted to do.” Craig worked hourly as a subcontractor for the Toledo Zoo, designed and executed a project for Imagination Station, and built furniture for Maddie & Bella, a coffee house also located in downtown Toledo. He then brought on other artists like Adam Sanzenbacher, who specializes in glass and wood, and Joe Kowalewski, who had a background in building specialized booths for trade shows. As the work became more complicated and style-driven, he needed a team to reflect the needs of his clients.

Photo Credit: Kelli Miller

Craig formed two sister businesses, Mossing Studios and Toledo Butcher Block Co., housed at 1210 Jackson St. Mossing Studios serves both as a design studio and retail space in the front of the building. Toledo Butcher Block Co. is dedicated to utilizing only materials reclaimed within a 20 mile radius of Toledo and specializes in contemporary, high end design forward kitchen furniture, rolling carts, prep tables, cutting boards and counter tops.

“The tables at Maddie & Bella were old bowling lanes that came out of BG.” Craig explained. “People ripped them out and listed them on Craigslist.” It’s important to network in the community to get the scoop on the best new material entering the marketplace. Over the years, he’s formed relationships with the Lucas County Land Bank and tree removal companies. “We did a table recently out of 100% materials from 2 different Land Bank houses, and we also used the windows and turned them into bloomed glass vases.” he said. “It’s having the vision, having the patience, knowing it’s going to be a long process to get those materials to the point where you can use them. Toledo is rife with people, skills, and resources and you can get things relatively affordably.”


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