Maker Stories: Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Co.

I have to admit that I was completely won over after I saw the above photo of Joshua Vogel of Blackcreek Mercantile and Trading Co. — it makes quite an impression when you’re standing next to your medium of choice, which just so happens to be giant logs (there’s probably a more technical term for that). I’ll leave the wood-shop talk to Josh, who founded Blackcreek with a background in anthropology and art history and over 17 years of experience in the furniture and design industries. Blackcreek’s collection exhibits stunning wooden creations that are both decorative and functional, placing an emphasis on sustainability, quality and value. Visit their website to browse the entire collection and the stockists page to find a store near you (mostly located in New York and California). I hope you enjoy my interview with Josh! — Stacy

Photos, unless otherwise credited, taken by Steffen Thalemann


Photo by Rose Callahan

Where are you from?

I’m originally from New Mexico.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing what you’re doing?

If you mean that if I had a choice about what chose me, what would I choose? I’ve always wanted to be a musician.

What are the essential parts of your day?

I like to find a reason to be outside every day somehow. It’s a way for me to set my internal barometer . . . calibrate the instruments; connect with the larger world around — a shift of focus to gather perspective.

The interview continues after the jump . . .

Do you have any pets?

We have two Yorkshire terriers and a recently adopted cat. Cecil, Felix & Clarke.

Who is your favorite artist or craftsperson?

“Favorite” is hard for me to wrap my head around. I love and am inspired by a great many favorites. In the first grade, my hero was Leonardo da Vinci. Brancusi, Bernini, Calder, Rodin, Noguchi, Goldsworthy, Laib. I love all of it.

What’s the last book you read and liked?

I love to read & try, even a little, every night. Recently, I’ve been reading Don Quixote.

What’s your go-to drink?

I’ve been accused of ordering “old man” drinks on more than one occasion for enjoying things like Campari and Grappa . . . not together necessarily.

If you had to work with the same type/shade of wood forever, which would it be?

Wood is such a diverse category, and I’m very interested in specific types of wood being used for special purposes. I love the idea of white oak being a unique and integral wood for making barrels; it’s easy to take for granted the special character such a union imparts to anything aged inside. Cedar shingles, a locust fence — the list of these unions is both long and venerable . . . as a woodworker, if I could only work with one wood forever, I’d choose Holly  — it’s my favorite.

What kind of music do you listen to?

I was raised with a love of music of all types. I can remember my mom playing Jimmy Cliff’s The Harder They Come soundtrack when I was growing up. I think that there’s a music for every mood and some moods that can only be described through music . . . Mozart to The Melvins, Wagner to Willie Nelson . . . R.L. Burnside to Ali Farka Toure. I love it all. Recently, I’ve been captivated by the Argentinian folk hero Jorge Cafrune.

What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday night?

As the seasons change and things get colder, I’m enjoying getting a fire going in the stove and just putting my feet up.

Alicia Potthoff

My brother Josh is such a talented and wonderful artist, and an incredibly intuitive, kind hearted person. A lovely interview.

MikeP

Wonderful pieces of art! Always admired people who could take a piece of wood and give it meaningful shape – something I can’t do for the life of me! :)

MB@YarnUiPhoneAppv2.6

Amazing…I think I like the cutting board adorned with simple notches at the handle. Lovely. Does this guy make knitting needles, crochet hooks? Just wondering.

Rebecca

Lovely. His work is alive. Thanks for the intro to a new wood artist.

Joe

A wonderfully modest, truly talented, and inspirational soul, Josh is a modern day sage, his connection to the wood is life defining

Karen Rohde

Oooooh, I’m just lucky to count his Mom as a great friend. That’s only one degree of separation

J. C. Wolfe

I love using Josh’s cutting board that his Mom gave me for C-mas last year. It’s a piece of artwork.

Heather

This is awesome! I don’t know this dude, but I’d like to be his best friend! I’m jealous of his workspace because it looks neat and amazing!

Kristin

your work is amazing !!!! I am absolutely captivated by the shapes

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