Furniture Designer and Chef, Los Angeles, CA
Chris Earl is a furniture builder, designer, and chef, based in Los Angeles that is dedicated to bringing a sense of timeless beauty, grace, and lasting heritage to everything he creates.
Q: How did you end up growing up in Papua New Guinea, and in what ways has this experience influenced your work?
A: My parents were volunteer workers. They went over there when I was one and I moved back to the states after graduating high school at 18. Papua New Guinea is a truly incredible but still rugged place. A lack of resources often forces you to be innovative and creative. Growing up, constantly being forced to look at materials in new ways or figure out a way to fix a faulty design really shaped my perspective and approach.
Q:In addition to your work as a furniture maker, you also occasionally work as a chef. How do you feel like these two practices inform one another?
A: To me, furniture and food go hand in hand. There's something really amazing that happens when people gather around a table for a meal. If I can have a hand in making the table and preparing the food....there's something pretty awesome there.
Q: You also do ceramics. Have you ever considered just building the full dining experience from furniture to food?
A: Yah, I actually host "Earl Residence dinners" about once a month where we do just that. I made a long communal table that 16 or so friends and guests gather around, we set it with the ceramics and other complimentary items, and I prepare a coursed meal with drink pairings. They're really great nights of community and conversation.
"A lack of resources often forces you to be innovative and creative. Growing up, constantly being forced to look at materials in new ways or figure out a way to fix a faulty design really shaped my perspective and approach."
Q: A lot of your current work focuses on the juxtaposition of walnut and maple hardwood. How did this process begin and was there a particular reason you chose these species?
A: The initial spark for that idea came from the spears they make in Papua New Guinea. The blond bamboo shafts contrast with the dark hardwood carved tips. As far as wood species, walnut is always a natural choice for me. It's a gorgeous wood that's a pleasure to work with. Using maple creates a nice stark contrast and I find an added benefit in using ethically grown domestic hardwoods.
Q: What are your plans for the next year and what are you most excited about?
A: I am very much looking forward to launching another furniture collection, as well as bar tools, and some other gathering goods.