Jessica Reno is the owner and craftsman behind Felled Woodcrafts. She has been passionate about nature for as long as she can remember and after trying her hand at many types of art, she has fallen in love with woodworking. For the last two years, Jessica has dedicated any morsel of free time to the design and creation of jewelry, toys, and home goods produced sustainably out of salvaged wood. Her creative process entails finding a piece of scrap wood with a wood grain pattern that inspires her and immediately drawing the product design onto the wood for development. She finishes all products by hand in her studio with natural oils, as it is her belief that the natural beauty of wood should be preserved without the interference of the use of additional stain. This finishing technique allows the organic beauty of the products to be showcased, while maintaining the standard that all products are food and baby safe.
To meet Jessica and learn more about Felled Woodcrafts in person, be sure to stop by the upcoming Minneapolis/St. Paul Mini Maker Faire at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds Grandstand on June 3rd, 2017.
Talk about the beginnings of Felled Woodcrafts. What inspired you to begin this endeavor?
I have always been an artist, but no medium ever held my attention for long until I discovered woodworking. I fell in love with the natural beauty of wood grain and have been inspired since that time to design and create functional works of art, to adorn my customers homes and bodies.
In terms of living and making in Minnesota, do you feel connected to this place?
Minnesota has a wonderful culture of artists and makers, who have been crucial in supporting me in my endeavor to continue to grow as a woodworker. I have become deeply connected to the maker community in Minnesota and plan to continue to participate in it, in the hopes that I can encourage other young craftsman to follow their passions.
Where in the process of making do you find fulfillment?
I find fulfillment in losing myself in the process of designing products. Working exclusively with salvaged wood challenges my creativity as each piece has imperfections and a unique grain pattern. I strive to use the preexisting natural design to influence my work, to create in the end a perfectly imperfect product that can be used and valued.
I think a lot of people yearn to make things, utilize their hands, and dream of becoming more self sufficient. What advice would you give to people who have a desire to make, but don't really know how to satiate that desire?
My best advice would be to encourage people interested in making things to simply start creating... one project at a time. To as much as possible not be afraid to fail, as this is inevitable and instead to learn from every experience to become a better craftsman.
What do you see for the future of your business?
I hope to secure a shared studio space in the community with several other female craftsman, in which Felled Woodcrafts can continue to grow. I also hope to venture into the creation of larger pieces of furniture.
Have you participated in MSP Mini Maker Faire before? What will you be sharing there on June 3rd?
This is the first year that I will participating in the MSP Maker Faire. I plan to sell my woodenware, as well as demonstrate wood carving throughout the day.