Crooked Nail Co.
The Artisan - Crooked Nail Co.
The Artisan: Meet Derek Langone and Brent Rawlinson of Crooked Nail Co., the creators of our one-of-a-kind, handcrafted tables. This dynamic duo are visionaries, craftsmen and artisans in the truest sense, creating products that are well crafted, beautifully designed and always unique. Each table at BoHo is different, reflecting the spirit of the culture.
Why your specific craft?
We both got into woodworking differently.
Brent: I went to school to get into the music business; it’s actually what I ended up getting my degree in. I took a few side jobs working in woodshops and quickly realized I had raw talent in the craft and that it was something I was growing passionate about.
Derek: I was always around craftsmen growing up - my dad, my grandpa. I remember a story about my grandpa, about how he followed his passion and started his own woodshop in Queens, NY after he got back from World War II. I realized that there was some artistry in what I loved and there was also this business side of it too. I could see myself actually making a solid living from doing something I love.
How did you two meet and start Crooked Nail Co?
We met at a basement show in Chicago, started connecting about video games and the movie Step Brothers; in fact, we actually used the line, “Did we just become best friends?!” at the party.
Our first project was building a bed for a friend. We were sardined in half of a two-car garage to get our start with just a few essentials. We then went on to start building coffee tables out of palettes we would find around Chicago.
This project sounded perfect for us. We had recently upgraded to a bigger shop and this was our first chance to do something at this scale. We’ve done similar jobs in the past, but the scale of this one was what we had been looking for. It was the chance to show people how much we could take on, as well as the chance to get creative in our craft.
What was your inspiration behind the work at BoHo?
We wanted to bring to life what the guys envisioned to have in the restaurant. We put our spin on their ideas and really brought their vision to life. People ask us a lot about the table bases - I mean, those bases just look mean. They are structurally very strong and have that old world, renaissance and medieval feel to them, and so do the tables. Honestly, we’d be lying if we didn’t say that Game of Thrones didn’t help out in our creativity.
What’s integral to the work of an artist?
If you’re not into what you’re doing, you’re not going to have a great product. You could be in the shop all day sanding, but if you lose sight of why you’re sanding and forget the vision of the finished product, it’s easy to see it as just another “job.” You must stay focused as an artist on what your final product is to become.
What’s your secret on staying true to your specific style?
Our style is appreciating all styles. If you can appreciate different styles, it allows you to be more creative in your own craft and create better things. There’s something totally different from being a handyman and building things versus actually being an artist and creating.
Professionally, what does the future of your business look like?
We want to build everything – We want to be on location building lights, bars, and tables – getting into the overall design of a space. We love interior design, wood working and welding, and would love to balance the three into one. There’s something about creating a space that’s comfortable – and that’s our future.
What superpower would you have and why?
Brent: I would love the ability to stop, slow down or freeze time and keep moving at normal speed.
Derek: I’d love the ability to grow a beard on demand – Also, teleporting.
Check out more of their work: http://www.crookednailco.com/