FAQ on SFS - Six Answers About Six Finger Studios.
The elusive, laid-back local artist Nick Mask only comes out of his man cave (shop) for art markets, fishing trips and the occasional black and white movie at the Ellen. When seen selling at art shows, there are about six common questions asked and here are their answers:
Where the heck did the name Six Finger Studios come from? Well, apart from having a six-fingered cat when I started about eight years ago, the name really came from the logo. The logo came from a splat of paint on the shop floor that resembled a pictograph six-fingered hand. That image stuck with me. It became kind of a play off handmade and that I had about six different things I wanted to do — the first being woodworking and the others still to come.
Where did you learn woodworking? Growing up I went to the school of Saturday projects taught by Professor Dad. It was rough on my Saturday morning cartoon schedule, but I learned a lot about working with tools and making due with what we had on hand. That’s why I probably like using found materials to make my projects.
Where do you get your reclaimed wood? I have a few folks in town that let me know when they have a bundle of old shipping pallets to get rid of and I take them away. I then dismantle and cut them into strips to be used for the wood patterns on my coat and key racks as well as my pallet coasters. There’s a lot of character in that pallet wood when you really look at them.
Where do you get your product ideas? Customers usually. A lot of custom requests become part of my product line — the Chonko Key Rack for example. A customer wanted a key rack to match the coat rack I offered so I designed a mini coat rack small enough to hang keys. Other times I’ll get ideas from just messing around in the shop. I like to just throw things together and figure out how to make it work.
Whats the most interesting thing about SFS? Everything is unique. The wood I use for the coat racks is reclaimed and each piece in the design is different. During the building process, I arrange patterns of different wood colors and textures to balance the piece. I never know exactly how it will turn out until it’s in its final stages.
What inspires you to do what you do? I think it’s the transformation of the pallet wood or even the poplar wood I use for the mountain shelves. I like the idea of turning a pile of wood into something useful and attractive. Also, the success and support of other local artists are inspiring. They remind me that the creative life is possible and not just a daydream you have sitting at your day job. They influence me to keep creating and improve. Local support through art markets and shops like Hattie Rex also help motivate this little art studio.
Stay tuned for new work and check out July/August’s HGTV magazine issue for a feature with Six Finger Studios’ mountain shelves!