Indy on Indies: Carpenter Fashions Practical Art

By Savannah Scott in A&E

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to the body and soul,” said naturalist John Muir, who founded the Sierra Club and whose dedication led to the creation of Yosemite National Park.

Casey Herring crafted the name for his new business venture from this quote, calling it the “Beauty and Bread Woodshop.”

Herring, a 27-year-old who attended Clark two years ago, married his love of art to create furniture, home decor and more in his own backyard. Each piece sells for $500-$3,500.

Herring’s work started when he needed a new bed frame and wasn’t happy with the prices at Ikea, he said. So he decided to look inward, much like Muir did.

Herring studied professional furniture designers and then saw “how my own eye would shape some of the pieces they made differently.” He said the style may or may not be as good as the professionals, “but at least its mine.”

Nature and the greats aren’t Herring’s only sources of inspiration.

“How does anyone learn anything? Watching YouTube of course,” Herring said. “The skills I have acquired are from a lot of reading and turning what I read and learned into experience through trial and error.”

Herring works hard in his free time, producing heirloom quality goods that can last generations.

“I really love to provide people with extremely well-made items that are not only functional, but are beautiful and make their living spaces more pleasant and rich,” Herring said.

Herring claims that his work is helping to stop the wasteful cycle many people fall into.

“The waste in cheaply made goods that get purchased and thrown into the landfill each year is enormous, the labor it takes to make those goods is therefore also wasted and gives life to the same wasteful cycle,” Herring said. So one of the goals to my craft is to help stop that cycle.”

By creating sturdy and functional furniture and home art, Herring said that his woodwork is helping people become more conscious consumers.

“He’s always working away on a new project he’s discovered or something that he wants to add to the collection,” says David Roberts, a long-time friend of Herring. “Its not just busy work to Casey, he loves it and he’s making a difference with the things he creates.”

After deciding he was interested in woodworking, Herring began to soak up every bit of information on the subject he could.

Herring said that the kick-off of his “Beauty and Bread Woodshop” is very much a communal effort from his wife, friends, family and the community.

“Its overwhelming how supportive everyone in this community has been. Vancouver allows me to be me and love what I do and that is all I could ever ask for.”

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