Windom, 54, studied range management at Washington State University and worked in John Day, Ore., managing grasslands and how cattle graze on them. “One day, my girlfriend, who is now my wife, purchased a piece of bent willow furniture, and it fascinated me,” he says. “I felt compelled to try and duplicate the chair.”
He crafts his furniture in a large shop at his home in Veneta, Ore., where each piece of furniture takes shape as he works on it. “I can never think through a project in its entirety before I start working on it,” he says. “I start with a basic idea of what I’ll do and figure out the details as I go along.”
Windom’s recent work involves creating furniture from found objects. The Detour Table (below) is made from recycled clear vertical-grain fir, a vintage metal highway sign and old brake lights and wheels. “I love going into a thrift store or a flea market and finding some weird old object,” he says. “It’s about the wood and the found object and how to combine them. That’s the challenge. It’s easy to combine things; the difficult part is doing it in way that makes sense to somebody.”
The 41/2-foot-long by 30-inch-high by 18-inch-wide Detour Table is $950.