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©Alex Feggi




with Seth Gravette

Our Q&A section features well known artists and designers. In 20 short answers they share with us the little things that define their work as well as their personal life: How do they work? Who or what is their source of inspiration? What's the best piece of advice they've been given? And what's on top of their bucket list?




Seth Gravette embarked on his woodworking journey by creating furnishings for his own home - pieces that proved elusive in conventional retail stores. His aspiration was to craft furniture of timeless aesthetic simplicity, durability and affordability. While holding a daytime role as a graphic designer, his evenings were dedicated to extensive research and sketching of furniture and wooden creations. His unwavering passion was to step away from the computer and craft tangible, substantial works with his own hands. Throughout his formative years, Seth's father, a contractor renowned for crafting outdoor structures, played an influential role and instilled a deep-seated belief in his son’s ability to create and craft. Seth's journey in the world of woodwork remains a continuous exploration, with his current focus centered on sculpting wood into pieces of varying scales—ranging from small and delicate to the medium and large formats. 



photos by Alex Feggi


1. Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Seth Gravette, I am a sculptor who works in wood.


2. Tell us how you work. 

I mostly work in a linear way—ideate, sketch, carve, sand and apply finish. But, somewhere in the carving process I take a break. I’m not sure why, but I can’t simply take a piece all the way to the end without allowing time for it to go sit and be ignored for a while. It is something that, in the past, I was afraid of and was incredibly insecure about—I saw it as being stuck, or a creative failure. I have learned to embrace it as a necessary part of my working process.

I sketch a lot. It is something I work at every day and thoroughly enjoy. My pieces always start from a sketch and there are points along the way where I reevaluate the form. I will photograph the workpiece and make sketches over a printout. Sometimes, this pushes the piece into an entirely new direction.


3. What role does the artist have in society?

To me, an artist represents and documents culture; past, present and future. The artist also provides exposure into the philosophies, emotions, memories, struggles of the current time.


4. Explain your art in three words.

Hard, soft, quiet.


5. What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?

My parents had friends with a house near the water in Santa Cruz and we spent a few weeks there each summer. I have good memories of being in Santa Cruz, it is the perfect mix of California beaches and redwood forrest.


photos by Alex Feggi


6. What has had a lasting impact on you and your work? 

I grew up in Fresno, California. Stan Bitters’ work was everywhere, but his large murals have stuck with me. I try to visit those pieces each time I go back to Fresno.


7. What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

I went to school to be a graphic designer, and I worked in that field for about 15 years prior to becoming a full-time artist. In high school I worked for a pager (before cellphones) company as a repair technician.



8. What and who inspires you?

I am deeply inspired by the work of Danish sculptor Erik Thommesen


9. Name something you love.



10. Name something you don’t like. 




11. Name some artists you admire.

Brancusi, Noguchi, Calder, Corbusier, Richard Diebenkorn, Peter Voulkos, Cezanne, Erik Thommesen, Minoru Niizuma


12. Favorite or most inspirational place?

Big Sur, California.


photo by Alex Feggi


13. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?



14. What advice would you give your teenage self? 

Stick with it and push through the difficult times. 


15. Which furniture did you last buy?

I purchased two tonsu chests from a Japanese antique shop. They are incredible. One has drawers and cabinets of different sizes and ways of opening. It makes the simple act of opening a cabinet into a ritual-like experience.


16. What’s your favorite place at home? 

The living room. It’s where the fireplace and the record player are. It also has a nice view of some mountains.


17. Name your top 5 Record Albums ever.

Brian Eno: Music for Airports, The Specials: The Specials, Rachel’s: Music for Egon Schiele, Radiohead: OK Computer, Talking Heads: Remain in Light, The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds


18. Which book did you read lately and which one has shaped you the most?

Most recently I was reading Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention. It sounds pretty heady, but it was recommended to me by a friend and has been really insightful into my own creative process.


19. What’s on top of your bucket list?

On top of my list would be to visit Japan—which, I have planned for the end of this year. It is a country that absolutely fascinates me.


20. What would you like to learn? 

I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the piano.


photo by Alex Feggi