After close to a year off, we are kicking the Interview Series back off. To do so, I had a little chat with my cousin, Eythan at Hidden Scripture Design. Eythan has been plugging away for the past couple years doing some really great work.
Growing up in a a close nit immediate family circle, Eythan and my other male cousins (all within 5 years of each other) spent most weekends and summers together growing up. I can tell you right now, EK is one of a kind. He has been there, and he's done it. I am proud of the man he has become, finding his happy place in life and knocking it out of the park!
He is a man of faith, family, and the outdoors... well wood too. Check out the interview, and be sure show him some love on his socials linked at the bottom !
(I had to add a picture of the clipboard I made for EK's wife to give to him as a gift, shameless self-promotion.)
Jesse: Can you introduce yourself. Where are you based out of, and tell us what your craft is?
Maker: My name is Eythan Klimkoski, I am based out of Fort Worth TX and I build commercial and residential furniture specializing in wood and metal work.
Jesse: How long have you been making_______?
E.K.: I have been full time for almost two years now.
Jesse: What got you interested in this craft?
E.K. : My father was very much a jack of all trades and a very creative guy, same with my mother. Growing up around that kind of blue collar influence and strong work ethic I was able to experience at an early age the feeling of pride one gets when he manages to dream up an idea, then construct it from the ground up with his own hands. It was monumental in the sense of child development. A lot of life lessons can be learned in such an environment, such as patience, persistence, problem solving, stress management, all of which encapsulate the craft of woodworking. Needless to say I'm drawn to the challenge involving mind, tool, and material.
Jesse: How did you get your start?
E.K. : To make a short story long, I had spent the last decade chasing things of the world in search of happiness, leaving a trail of destruction behind me. I had hurt a lot of people, hurt myself, was always surrounded by “friends” yet felt alone and isolated, and frankly hated who I had become. As an attempt to stop drinking and stay out of the bars I replaced the bottle with a bible, and a mitre saw. Over the course of a few months the Lord began to change my heart. While doing so he also rekindled my passion for creativity. They say sin robs you of creativity and I'm a firm believer in that. It started with building myself a headboard out of pallets, using only a cheap chop saw and a screw gun, then continued to manifest from there. After finding out that mistakes I made in my past would eventually rob me of my dream career path I found myself unemployed. My wife, fiance at the time, pushed me into taking a leap of faith and going full time as a woodworker and God has been providing ever since.
Jesse: Are you a fulltime, part-time, or hobbyist maker?
E.K. : Full Time
Jesse: If you are a part time or hobbyist maker, can you share what you do fulltime?
Jesse: Is there anyone you can think of that has been a mentor, inspiration, or has been a big influence on your work?
E.K. : My father for sure.
Jesse: If you could go back to when you first started, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
E.K. : Don't buy into the “social media is the only way to grow your business” nonsense. Focus on quality craftsmanship and building personal face to face relationships. Quality speaks for itself and a handshake is 1,000 times better than a “like”. That and value your time, charge for what you're worth. I'm still learning that.
Jesse: Continuing the thread of advice, what would you tell someone who is wanting to take the leap into becoming a maker, or is just starting out?
E.K. : I’d say you've got to figure out your why and remind yourself daily. Turning a hobby into a job can suck the life out of it if you don't remember why you started in the first place. That and find time to do personal projects and get creative. Also, this is the age of information, if you want to learn how to do something, ”I don’t know” is no longer acceptable. Look it up, learn, practice, push your abilities, expect to fail, fail, learn from it, start over.
Jesse: Can you think of an aspect of your craft/business that you have/do struggle with?
E.K. : All of it. I never dreamed I would own my own business so it's mainly trial by fire. I have a rather severe, at times, speech impediment so talking with clients can be a real challenge.
Jesse: Besides what you make, do you have any other interests? (sports, gaming, gardening, or making other things)
E.K. : I'm from the country so anything outdoors. I would chase elk through the mountains all day if I could. That and snowboarding oddly enough. I lived in Colorado for a few years and became very fond of some deep powder in the backcountry. Sky diving as well, I'd love to go back and finish my AFF Course but I don't think the Mrs. would approve. lol
Jesse: What are your thoughts on the Maker Movement that has been happening over the past few years or so? With increased numbers of people wanting to make things, it seems like a bit of a renaissance happening, with people becoming interested in what many see as dying crafts.
E.K. : I think it has its ups and downs. Thanks to Chip and Jo everybody thinks they're a carpenter. With that being said, there is a huge misconception between heirloom solid hardwood furniture and DIY home depot wood projects, which can cause issues when giving bids. On the other side of that though, I am pumped that people are getting interested in the trades again! By all means, I wish everybody would give it a shot; I think they'd be surprised by the therapeutic sensations you can get from shifting all of your focus toward creating something, or even fixing something, instead of those dang TPS reports.
Jesse: (Borrowing from another blog) Is there any new cultural/trending thing that you are interested in at the moment, not necessarily associated with your craft? Like a recently discovered book, movie, music, blog, podcast, restaurant, etc.?
E.K. : I am huge on Podcasts and music. It's always one or the other during those 9 hour days in the shop. As far as Podcasts go, Woodshop Life is awesome for technical/informational things in the woodworking realm. Outside of the woodworking realm, The Jordan B. Peterson podcast, Elk Talk, John Piper Sermons, and of course Meateater.
Jesse: Finally, I want to thank you for taking the time to answer some of these questions and share with us what you do. If you have anything else you’d like to share, suggestions for future interview questions, or individuals that you recommend for this Interview Series, please let me know.
E.K. : Thanks for the interview brotha!
To learn more about EK, and to see more of his work and get his contact info, be sure to check his website: https://www.hiddenscripturedesign.com/
You can find Eythan active on social media outlets below: