Interview with Dustin Kroft | Toronto Modern Furniture Designer and Maker

Interview with Dustin Kroft | Toronto Modern Furniture Designer and Maker

In my day to day business of selling houses, I hear a lot about furniture and interior design, and architecture. I am excited to introduce you to Dustin Kroft - Toronto furniture designer and maker.

Anne: Can you tell us a little about yourself and how modern handcrafted furniture design became your passion?

​Dustin: I have been a student of design my entire life. I have always been interested in visual arts, architecture and many other disciplines of design. When I was getting ready to transition careers, I was deep into a woodworking addiction. I thought that furniture offered the most opportunities to express myself as an individual and as a designer. I also truly believe that our environments can heavily shape who we are and who we become and I felt that furniture offered me the chance to be a part of that environmental dialogue.​

Anne: What would you say make your design process and pieces beautiful and unique ?

Dustin: ​I think its just a very subjective and personal process. We painstakingly make and remake our prototypes until every last inch is what it needs to be to my eye.​

Anne: When selecting wood for your furniture, do you look for anything specific?

​Dustin: Yes! It depends on what we are using the boards for but for a top, we look for consistency in colour, grain and texture. Everything else is very specific but you definitely want nice character and harmony. ​

Anne: How long does the wood need to be cut and resting before you can use it?

​Dustin: We usually let the lumber acclimate to our shop for a few weeks before milling it. Then after milling, we sticker it and let it sit for a day or two before final dressing and joinery.​

Anne: Can you explain your creative process a bit? What part of the process excites you the most?

​Dustin: Everything about it excites me but most of all seeing something so organic and raw turn into something beautiful and functional. Dressing rough boards into finely milled lumber is like opening a present every time. You never know what you are going to get when you uncover the beauty of that particular tree and it is always rewarding to see the beauty that sits inside this amazing resource.​

Anne: What designers particularly influence you over the years and era you draw from?

Dustin: I was definitely original drawn towards mid century modern furniture. That was definitely the catalyst. But as time has passed I have expanded on what influences me. I like everything from old shaker furniture to Japenese designer Naoto Fukasawa. I think you can find inspiration in so many things. Sometimes the best inspiration comes from observing nature and the natural and everyday objects around us.

Anne: The simplicity and functionality of your pieces are distilled to show classic craftsmanship and modern form. Can you explain from beginning to end how these tables are made?

Dustin: ​The tables are all made from scratch. It is a very intimate and personal experience and no two tables are fully alike. We are patient with the materials and the process and treat each table differently, even though the designs remain constant. The most rewarding part of furniture making is finishing. It is always magical to see the oils that we use seep into the wood and intensify the beauty of the wood.​

If you are interested to connect with Dustin Kroft, you can find him at 160 Pears Ave at Designer's Walk, or through social media and his website KROFT.CO.

Related Article: How Toronto-based Dustin Kroft went from furniture mover to furniture maker.

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