Surrounded by some 30 acres of woodland in the far reaches of New Hampshire, lies the workshop of sculptor / furniture designer Peter Sandback. While his light-filled studio once served as a garbage truck garage, the gorgeously renovated space now turns out handcrafted furniture of the utmost creativity and beauty.
The son of noted minimalist string sculptor Fred Sandback, Peter is one of those souls who seems to have been born to design and was lucky enough to enjoy a creatively enriched environment from day one. Today, Peter’s locally sourced, handcrafted work bears the rich simplicity epitomized in his Drum Table collection which Dshop is thrilled to welcome to our offerings. These simple beauties have a fascinating back story and truly put the drum in drum table (riff intended). Drum roll please….
D: Hi Peter. Thank you for chatting with us today. Shall we start with a bit about your background?
PS: I grew up in New York City – in Brooklyn and in Soho. Soho in the seventies was just being settled by artists like my father. We lived in an old factory on Crosby Street with an open sided elevator. William Wegman and his dog lived downstairs. There were artists and art around a lot. I drew and built things – I remember walking down to Canal Street to the industrial junk shops to buy little items to assemble.
D: What was your path to establishing your own furniture making business?
PS: I went to art school in Michigan [Univeristy of Michigan], and then graduate school in Chicago [School of the Art Institute of Chicago]. I met the most beautiful and delightful woman at the end of school and we moved out to California to start our lives together. She painted and I made sculpture, and we made TONS of money. We didn’t actually – so she started working in a furniture store, and I hung acoustical ceiling tiles. She thought that her boss might try to sell a piece of furniture if I made one, so I did.
D: What inspired the drum table design?
PS: The drum table was inspired by the amazing material that I make it from. Here in New Hampshire is a very old factory that makes the world’s premier acoustical drum shells. All rock star drummers use drum sets made with these maple cylinders. They precisely cut 8 thick sheets of maple veneer and press them into a flawless cylinder in an ancient press that looks like an iron lung. With steam coming out and everything. Being that these are made down the road I though that I would make something out of them.
D: What do you most strive to achieve in your work?
PS: Some sort of lasting quality. I hope that they will not be thrown away the way furniture often is these days.
D: As a furniture designer/maker who also runs his own business… could you offer some insight into the unique benefits and challenges that come with that dual role?
PS: It is the only way to go – for me. It limits my growth potential, but that is a small price to pay for the relaxation that I get from working on my own.
D: What advice would you like to give your younger self or designers just starting out?
PS: My younger self would have been very encouraged to hear from my current self that it will all work out in the end. I worked feverishly for a lot of years, motivated by fear that I might have to do something else for a living.
D: Thank you again for the chat Peter, and welcome to Dshop!
Sandback Drum Tables are made by hand in Peter’s New Hampshire workshop, where each cylinder is finished in a seamless coat of white and each top outfited in a meticulously log-sliced wood veneer. Custom cylindar colors and heights available upon request. Explore the collection at Dshop!