My name is Eric Mehl of Sawdust Industries. I am from Plain City,
Ohio. I am an Aquatics Director of a large water park by day and a furniture designer by night. I have always been interested in art, and my unique designs are my creative outlet. I originally started my business in 2011 when I needed a new desk for my office. After completing it, my family convinced me to start selling them online in my Etsy shop. From there, I have just been adding more and more ideas and designs to my portfolio.
I'm one of those rare male crafters, so of course my projects require me to use as many power tools as possible. My designs are a mixture of industrial and modern style. My main source of materials is black gas piping combined with reclaimed wood. I'll also take anything old and beat-up I can get my hands on to re-purpose into unique and functional items. My main business is drawn from custom orders for desks and bar stools.
My greatest inspiration is from working in my grandfather’s workshop as a child. He used to let me sit on a stool and work the drill press while we worked on craft projects for my grandmother. He slowly graduated me to the band saw when I was older. He always had an appreciation for good furniture. An older, sturdy, real wood piece of furniture. This has inspired me to start building solid pieces, made from real materials and shaped by hand.
I really enjoy the look of rustic pieces with a hint of modern thrown in. Hard lines and little flare can make a real statement in a room. I like things with character; a dent here and there, chipped paint, rust. These make a piece truly unique. So much better than buying prefab items from a big chain store.
My creative process usually consists of getting dirty in my workshop. I
start out with a general concept formed from a need I usually have for my
own uses. My first project came from a need to build a new desk for my home
office. I take that concept and just start messing around with different materials. If something doesn't work, I throw it in the corner to use later and
start over. Eventually I get what I picture in my head. No two items I make are ever exactly the same. The materials I use don't allow me to make exact copies. Sometimes the materials are a rare find, making that piece a one of a