A Look into Jace Will Designs
Inspired by nature and intrigued by technique, furniture designer Jason McCloskey of Jace Will Designs creates pieces that are as unique as the peaks of the Rockies. Curved wood and sheepskin form a chair that’s purpose is to relax and quiet your mind.
Q: Tell me about yourself. What makes you, well, you?
A: I’m originally from upstate New York but I’ve lived all over. I spend a lot of time in the outdoors and worked as an outdoor educator for 17 years. That’s where a lot of my inspiration comes from.
Q: Where did your love for furniture stem from?
A: I studied music as an undergrad, and started a grad school program for music composition. But, a year into grad school, I found my first really nice wood shop and never looked back. That was it for me. Years later, I went back to grad school for furniture design.
Q: You mentioned that the outdoors is your inspiration for your furniture. How so?
A: One of the things that they do in grad school is really push you to find your own design voice. Before grad school, I had done a three-year apprenticeship with a traditional English furniture maker. But when my professors looked at my early work in grad school, they said “This is great, but anyone can make this.” They pushed me to look for inspiration in the time I spent outside. Up until then, I had kept my design work and my love for the outdoors very separate. When I put two and two together, I found that my designs could stem from the feelings of being outside. What does it feel to be in a canyon? What does it feel to be in a big pile of snow? That’s what I use.
Q: Do you find that Colorado has helped to further inspire you?
A: Definitely. Being in the mountains influences my pieces a lot. The Wing Chair specifically was born from the feeling you get when sitting in a crevasse of a canyon. It’s like your own little niche.
Q: If you could describe your designs to someone who does not know Jace Will Designs, how would you describe it?
A: It’s a contemporary take on Danish modern style with an American twist to it. There’s a natural element to my designs and a touch of a refined rustic style. I make skis as well, and I use similar techniques in my furniture.
Q: Did you start making skis first and then furniture?
A: Actually, no. I was sitting broke one day in my shop thinking about how I really wanted a new pair of skis. Then it dawned on me. I had all of this equipment and I bet that I could figure it out. I’ve probably made 40 or so pairs of skis over the last ten years.
Q: Tell me about your process. How long does it take for one of your chairs to be made?
A: There’s a lot of molding and tapering that goes into the wood when making chairs such as the Wing Chair. It depends on how complicated the molds and the bends are. The Wing Chair takes about two and a half weeks to put together.
Q: Do you have a project you’re working on currently?
A: We’ve been doing a lot of dining tables and side tables, which is kind of a joke amongst designers because we don’t need another side table design. I’m working on the You Side Table—designed to go with the You Lounge—for a client in Vail. I also love experimenting with new materials. Right now I’m working with Krion. It’s awesome.