|Who is Kristian Brunsdale?|
|The Kristian Brunsdale Studio was named after my
Grandfather: Kristian Edward Brunsdale. He built a cabin on the shore of Lake
Superior in a virgin forest that was over 300 years old. The trees were big and
varied and each was it's own character.
I spent my summers playing as a boy in these woods as Kristian tended to his trees. He worked on them all - big and small, trimming, thinning, planting and protecting them from whatever he possibly could. His spirit was boosted when the growth of a tree was great and then he worried when a tree was dying. Kristian didn't work on his forest for the lumber, but only for the beauty they offered. I remember him sitting in the crotch of a tree, smoking his pipe and staring at some other tree in sheer pleasure while he began one of his many stories..."you see that tree over there..."
As I grew older and was able to lift, dig and saw, I too began to help him in his forest. This I did for many years. When my Granddad died at the age of 94, he had been working in his forest for almost 40 years. It was there I last saw him, in his forest, the day he died.
What lives on now is that forest and the memory of all of those beautiful trees - the result of my Granddad's efforts to see that beauty continue. I feel so inspired by trees and what they represent: their strength, inner & outer beauty, and longevity.
When looking to name my new business, it came naturally to me to honor my Grandfather - Kristian Brunsdale - because of his love for his forest.
As I began to promote my work nationally doing shows around the country and advertising in national magazines, a strange thing happened. People would call the office looking for a furniture designer named Kristian. Well that wasn't possible (unless someone knew a great psychic) so we'd always tell the caller that the furniture designer was Edward. These callers were confused and always asked why the company was named Kristian Brunsdale and I would explain it over and over until one day a customer called and asked for Kristian, and I said "speaking..." Now I have a nickname!
|About the Artists Edward Kristian & Diane Grunseth|
I studied architecture at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. After awhile, I found my interest in fine art to be stronger
so I switched to studying sculpture. Ever since I was 13, a little voice in my head kept saying "Furniture, furniture..."
Was it because my Grandma was a painter and sculptor or my Grandpa a Norwegian boat-builder
or the influences of trips up north to my Granddad's forest? Who knows, but
their ghosts were pushing me to make furniture.
So, what could a poor boy do? I looked for an apprenticeship and the worldwide search landed me with a
very talented young man named Peter Danko who lived in Washington, D.C. Peter
was a painter, sculptor and furniture-maker. He later did a national furniture
tour in many major museums with Sam Maloof, Wendle Castle and George Nakashima.
Those guys I consider to be the "Grand-daddies of contemporary furniture".
During my apprenticeship at Danko's Studio, I learned wood is like plastic. We carved it, bent it, and molded all sorts of different woods into human, animal and abstract forms. It was great fun, maybe too much fun, but I left with a wealth of knowledge.
I worked in two other shops after my apprenticeship. One shop was a large cabinet shop that did custom kitchens, baths, libraries, furniture and general wood projects. There I learned a more traditional, formal approach to woodworking.
Then, as life does, I was accidentally in business for myself. It happened suddenly. I was in a partnership, but after a few years we went our separate ways although we continued to share a studio. During this transition I learned to link my sculptural experiences with my more practical cabinetmaker experiences. From this linking of ideas came sculptured furniture, flowered bookshelves, gull-wing coat racks, lightning-bolt libraries, fantasy beds, a new style of kitchen cabinet doors, and my trademark collection - to mention a few.
Diane entered my life in 1997. We met at a trade show where I was displaying my furniture and she displayed her talents as a self-employed art dealer/picture framer. She had worked 11 years for several large and small galleries learning not just custom framing, but how to turn out large production orders for clients (like hotels), sales, design and management. During the next 10 years with her own business venture of a highly custom and service oriented business, her talents grew to being not only an apt crafts person, but also a fine Interior Designer and Art Dealer.
We moved to a great location in the Crazy Mountains and built a shop with great studio capabilities. Our interest in the challenge of creating something fresh or classic to fit the needs of our clients in their unique settings is a goal we both share. Both of us get our hands dirty as well as run different parts of KBS.
|© Custom Woodworking & Furniture by The Kristian Brunsdale Studio, Ltd. 2009|