Bio

“I want to leave the world pieces that are beautiful and inspiring. There is nothing more fulfilling than knowing that what comes out of my shop will bring happiness and function to someone for decades, hopefully for many years beyond my own.”

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Matt Buell’s love of woodworking found him, accidentally, through one of his other passions. Frustrated and disappointed with the direction of his life, he had an idea one day while playing his guitar.   

“It occurred to me that I could start refinishing old electric guitars by removing all the paint and finishes, so the wood could breathe and have better tone.”

One thing led to another, and several weeks later, Buell bought a router. He got a feel for what it could do, and as he joyfully fumbled through his first test project, he had his second epiphany.

“The feeling I got was something I’d never experienced. I clearly remember the thought that crossed my mind. There was nothing else I wanted to do, and nothing else I was willing to do, except woodwork.”

From there, Buell worked ten to thirteen hours a day, developing and honing his skills, experimenting with different styles and pieces. He had no formal education in woodworking, no experience beyond that in his own shop, and no teacher. Eventually he produced several finished pieces. It was slow and sometimes arduous process, but he loved every minute of it.

During this time, as Buell approached 10,000 hours – the traditional standard to qualify as a master woodworker – a distinct style emerged. His pieces are an eclectic mix of mid-century, contemporary and modern, with the occasional trace of traditional styles. But nearly all of his work is infused with organic tones.

Buell’s design and pieces caught the attention of a few serious enthusiasts and soon he had built a small, but devoted base of clients. These individuals meant a great deal to him because their demand for well-made pieces – especially in an era of mass-produced, low-quality furnishings – mirrored his own.

While honing his expertise, Buell studied the work of several masters, including George Nakashima, Sam Maloof (“the Mount Rushmore of woodworking”), the recently deceased Tim LaTourette, and Craig Young, who became a mentor and “took the time to answer my questions and helped me learn the right way to build things.”

 For him, working with wood is a calling. “I have to do this,” he says. “I can not imagine doing anything else."

“I want to leave the world pieces that are beautiful and inspiring. There is nothing more fulfilling than knowing that what comes out of my shop will bring happiness and function to someone for decades, hopefully for many years beyond my own.”

Matt Buell lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He no longer works insane hours but admits that he likes having his shop on the same property as his home. When he’s not working or spending time with his daughter, Buell reads, collects comic books and watches basketball. And he still loves music, which he and his apprentice listen to while working in his shop.

 

 

About mbuellstudio:

 

Since February 2011, m.buell Design has offered high-quality furniture and wood accessories for residential and commercial properties in Northwest Arkansas. In recent years, the company has developed a rapidly growing base of clients nationwide. Company founder Matt Buell’s design-build pieces include chairs, desks, countertops, conference and dining tables, beds, credenzas, display cases, miscellaneous ornamental pieces, and a variety of other tables for all kinds of interior needs. Customers proudly display his work in homes, businesses and municipal buildings, including the Fayetteville, Arkansas, city council chambers.

Buell’s unique design features sensible, fluid lines that flow naturally and create a warm, organic aesthetic. Although eclectic at heart, many of Buell’s pieces have been characterized as mid-century modern with subtle traces of various traditional styles.

Buell works primarily with walnut and cherry, and employs the venerable methods of joinery that exceed quality standards achieved with fasteners. He and his apprentice create aesthetic and utilitarian pieces that customers will love and enjoy for many generations. His shop is located outside Fayetteville, Arkansas, at the edge of the hardwood Ozarks.