Isabella Z Pierson

12 Shepard Drive

Thomaston, Maine 04861


izp at isabellabuilt.com


I am a designer and builder working in wood. I intend to thoughtfully create objects that are a pleasure to live with and use. I enjoy the physical work, the relationship to tools and materials, that comes from building by hand. I like working in solid wood because it requires that I keep my blades and skills sharp. I use cut-offs, throw-aways, and scraps whenever possible. I build on spec and for commission.

In designing a piece of furniture, I begin by considering its function and the particular requirements of the person who will live with it. I try to remove all structural elements that are not essential and then play with balance, proportion and visual rhythm to achieve beauty. I enjoy bringing attention to structural components as unlikely decoration. My hope is to create pieces that are at the same time light and rich, portable and durable.


I have always been intrigued by how we interact with the built world, big and small; from the architecture and urban design that make up our cities and towns, down to the homes we inhabit and the objects we use everyday. I decided to study Urban Planning but found myself too far removed from physical results. I realized I wanted to create things with my own hands. First, however, I needed to learn how to build.

A two-year program in traditional wooden boat building at The Apprenticeshop in Rockland, Maine seemed like a good place to start. My uncle, a builder and sculptor, advised that if I could learn to build a wooden boat, I could build anything. Soon the workshop, tools and materials became familiar. I began to see parts and shapes in a pile of boards. I was filling up a reservoir of techniques so I could dip back into it.

In search of more skills and experience, I was drawn to Rockport Marine, Inc. in Rockport, Maine. For three years, I worked on big traditionally built wooden boats. Everyday I was in awe - of the processes we employed, the molds and jigs we built, and the visual pandemonium of hulls in every stage of incompleteness. I kept my eyes wide open and absorbed all I could. To see photos of boats I worked on click here.

The more skills I gained, the more I began to crave time to explore my own ideas. I signed up for a course at the Center For Furniture Craftsmanship, also in Rockport, Maine with the intention of learning all the tricks specific to fine furniture, and carving out time to build my own designs. I came away with my first complex and finely crafted furniture piece, the Kitchen Archipelago.

Today, I am dedicating all my time to designing and building original objects.

Photos of Damian Bed ©2014 Sarah Szwajkos Photography | www.DamnRabbitStudios.com