Sean Woolsey

May 5, 2014

Sean Woolsey is an artist, designer, and craftsman living in Southern CA. He specializes in fine art and hand made furniture built to last for generations. He is drawn to old fashioned and often arcane approaches, making every piece by hand in his studio. Woolsey’s artwork is created on sheet metal.  Using different paints and patinas, he explores the similarities and inspirations that he finds in the natural world while traveling. Each piece is resined and framed with black walnut, and bears a brass engraved signature embedded in the side of the frame.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I am an artist and a furniture designer living in southern CA. I work with wood, metal, copper, marble, resins and all different materials to make different artwork and furniture pieces. My art is all on sheet metal and I use all different paints, patinas and acids and finish each piece with an epoxy topcoat. Each piece is inspired by nature, whether it be the patterns, textures or colors that I see while traveling. I recently made a zine showing the intersection of my inspiration between nature and the art that I create, you can find it here.

What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? I just finished some new furniture designs that I am really excited about. A geometric table, called the Haack table, which is named after one of my good friends. I am doing small production on these, and am really excited on how they are being received. Also, I have some new tables that are out of Italian marble that I am really excited about.

How did your interest in art or design begin? My background is in apparel design but I have always made things with my hands, even my own clothes. My dad was an artist mostly working in stained glass and lighting, and I learned a lot from him growing up. After working only on a computer for several years, I really was yearning to make things with my own 2 hands and left apparel design to fully focus on artwork.

What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? I am constantly playing around with new materials, and exploring what I can do with them. I dont want to be pigeon-holed into just one category. My process is very organic, always evolving, and is based off of my curiosity. I am an insatiably curious person.

Tell us a joke. What do you call a guy who never farts in public? A private tutor!!

What’s your favorite thing about your city? My proximity to the beach, I can easily take a surf break whenever I need to get out of my studio and get some fresh air and sun on my face.

What was the last exhibition you saw that stuck out to you? An Ansel Adams exhibit at PS1 blew my mind a while back, and that is what got me back into photography.

What is your snack/beverage of choice when working in your studio? Lots of coffee. Lately I have been eating lots of caramel rice cakes with peanut butter, banana slices, medjool dates, and honey drizzled on top. A perfect combo.

What do you do when you’re not designing? Surfing, camping, tennis, yoga, reading and ping pong.


Any current or upcoming shows we should know about? I have a solo art show currently down in Laguna Beach at a new gallery called Union Gallery.

What are you listening to right now? East forest, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, The War on Drugs, M83, and Moby.