I’m a sucker for “homemade” anything, especially gifts. Can you imagine having such a cool skill in 2018, when we as humans are lucky if we can move from using Outlook to Gmail seamlessly? And honestly, bonus points if you can not only make something that’s not only pretty, but actually useful in life.
It seems to me if you want to find some skilled artisans in Hudson County, that are not only technically skilled but also make beautiful work, the Yardley Building in Union City is the place to be. Having featured 2 other businesses that are amazing, it was time to visit CAM Design Co, who I found on (where else) Instagram. Amazing with large pieces, I was very interested in owner Chris Miano’s smaller pieces he makes in his time lapse videos.
Walking into these workspaces is always a little overwhelming to me— they’re filled with tools that I don’t understand, but I know can severely injure me. Chris’ space is also filled with what looks like an almost done dinning room table, ceramics he’s made and a kiln. He explains to me that he actually used to take a ceramics class at Parsons, taught by past featured artist Jono Pandolfi, and is actually how he found his space in the Yardley.
He’s decided to make a butcher block and a charcuterie board. As we start sawing, sanding, glueing, staining, etc., Chris explains that often he receives wood in its most natural form, bark and all, and mills it down to workable pieces from there.
Perhaps the coolest thing that Chris does, and what he calls his signature, is butterfly joinery. Seen in the charcuterie board we made in wood, he usually does it in a metal material. Although it’s beautiful, it’s actually used to stop wood from splitting, and a fairly meticulous process, requiring a tight, exact fit between the cutout space and the metal butterfly.
Chris’ work is generally commissioned for large projects, but he’s making more small pieces. To snag one of his amazing pieces, you can contact him directly. And as always you can follow him on Instagram here and his website here.
*All photos by Chris Miano.