Perfectly Pieced with Kristy Braman

Kristy is the woman behind the wooden art pieces in our store. We talk about how she got started and learn about the long process of creating her artwork. 


You make these incredible pieces all made out of wood and perfectly pieced together. How did you start making these pieces? 


I have always been drawn to working with my hands and am a little bit (okay maybe a lot) of a perfectionist. I studied architecture when I went to A&M and loved the process of making models so in my senior year, I decided I needed to take advantage of the university's amazing woodshop while I still could. I'm so glad I did. I fell in love with woodworking immediately. After I graduated, I worked in architecture for two years before having my baby girl. In the months leading up to having her, I knew I wanted to stay home with her but would still need a creative outlet. It seemed like the perfect time to get back into woodworking! My husband and I brainstormed what kinds of things I could make and we kept coming back to this style of wood art. It just so perfectly represents my aesthetic. Simple, yet powerful. Precise, yet organic. It's exactly what I knew I needed to make.

Your pieces all have different geometric patterns on them, how do you design them? Do you make a paper copy, or just draw them and out and go for it?


Currently, I draft everything on the computer. It lets me be extremely precise with the dimensions so I know exactly how all the angles and colors will interact. When I started, I would sketch my designs by hand but I'd find myself going to the computer anyway because the perfectionist in me wanted to be as accurate as possible before making any cuts. "Measure twice, cut once" or so they say. It also helps me feel free to play. Working on the computer means I can create ten different designs in the time one sketch could take. I sometimes try twenty or more designs before I feel like I've found just the right one. 


I've always been curious, about how long does each of the pieces take. Do you work in batches or one at a time?


One piece can take between maybe 3 and 10 hours depending on the size, if it's painted, if I'm making it at the same time as other pieces, and things like that. In addition to the actual work time, there’s a lot of waiting for things to dry like glue, stain, paint, and the finish coat. All of this means it usually takes several days to have a completed piece. I try to work in batches when I can but for some of my larger pieces, there are so many strips of wood involved, I just do one at a time or the shop gets a little crazy. I also really like to do one at a time when I'm experimenting with new techniques. That way I can focus and play and not feel like I have another project waiting for my attention. 


What projects do you have in the pipeline that we can expect to see in the store soon? 

I'm really excited to start making some breakfast trays. I'm toying with some of the details but they'll definitely be in the works soon!


Do you have any advice for aspiring makers?

Don't be afraid to experiment, and don't be afraid for it to go terribly. For every horrible thing I've made, I've learned a lesson and made something better the next time. Yes, you're out some time and materials, but you're growing as a maker and honing in on what is uniquely you in your work. That is invaluable. 

Make sure to check out Kristy in Market 1023 or online. You can find her Esty shop here.

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