This week on Handmade Men we’re going to take a journey into the fun & eclectic world of amazing upcycled home furnishings from Fun & Eclectic Home Furnishings! This amazing Etsy shop proffers an amazing selection of one-of-a-kind home decor and function houseware items that combine unique upcycled and recycled materials with some very progressive and unique designs. We are so thrilled to be sharing this amazing shop and its owner, Brian, with you – Enjoy!
Welcome Brian! Thanks for taking some time away from your work and play to chat with us. Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I am a former in-house graphic designer who has a great appreciation all sorts of art mediums, music, and design. I am married with 2 kids; a son who is 3 and a daughter who is about 7 weeks old.
In the past I’ve been in bands playing guitar and bass, worked with computers and printing, I have even been a life guard (but mainly by title only because for three summers I landscaped, braided fence, dug ditches, laid pipe, and bunch of other odd jobs). Currently I work as an online software tester.
I’m telling you this to say that I am a jack of all trades. Pair that with being a huge smart-aleck and you have me and my work. I love making fun things that often leave people say, “Well, that’s really neat” (as they chuckle, and/or scratch their head).
There is so much amazing work and energy happening in your shop. Introduce us to your work, how you got started, and what you’re all about…
I originally had the idea, years ago, that it would be neat to make shelves, or bookshelves, out of books. A few years later someone beat me to the punch. But I thought instead of making them as artwork and charging a lot of money for them, as this person does, that I would be much more practical with the representation and cost. Other ideas just came from there, added with items I saw here and there that I thought I could make more affordable versions of.
Show off a few of your favorite pieces and tell us a little bit about each one…
My first item I started with was the “Book” Shelves, as I was calling them back then. I would find books at thrift stores, or books being discarded. I then would replace the bulk to the pages with wood.
Later I began to think about creating themed shelves by trying to not only find books that matched in color, but also their subject matter.
I later tried thinking of more fun house ware items to make, and ran across someone making lamps out of wine and liquor bottles. So I thought to try my hand at it, putting my own spin on the concept by adding footers, matching liquor colored marbles, and 3-way switches to ones with nightlights.
You can imagine what happened when I thought to mix my new found lamp idea with the unwanted books I was beginning to collect…
As a man and as a handmade artist, why do you think that handmade gifts and the handmade and DIY industry as a whole is so important for the male market?
Men love handmade and one of a kind gifts because they often can be customized to be exactly what they are looking for, or fit their personality best. Like with my bottle lamps, I have some that are made from Rum bottles because I know someone out there likes that particular drink. But I also have Starbucks, Wine, and Vodka bottle lamps as well. Or like my Book Safes, they aren’t just for women. Men can use these to hide small arms, cash, all sorts of things really. And my Safes/Hollowed Books are just as reasonably priced as the so-called book safes you buy online that don’t even look like real books.
Handmade, or handcrafted, often means expensive. I my mind, for me, it means that item is made the same way it would have been if I were making it for myself. I think things should be of good quality at a fair price, and that’s just I handle business.
Tell us where we can find you and your work online…