Matthew Bietz makes furniture, installations, buildings, and skateboards. His group Quartertwenty explores the relationship between design art and furniture, which explains the breadth of the work they do.
Bietz gained fluency in furniture and metalwork while working on a Master’s degree in architecture at the University of Washington. While attending school he got hands on experience working at Gulassa & Co., a Seattle custom fabrication shop. While at Gulassa & Co. Bietz had the opportunity to work on projects for Steven Holl and Tom Kundig.
All that experience has influenced a line of skateboards he makes from baltic birch and recycled formica. The decks have a bright, no fade permanent color, and feature an original, ergonomic 3 finger handhold for easy carry. At 36 by 10 inches these long boards are made for cruising in style, with clean simple graphic stripes and exposed wood. I have to say, these are going on my want list.
I think all this unusually warm early spring weather has given me skateboard fever. Lately I have been looking at longboard decks and thinking about getting one.
This morning while searching for skateboard stuff I came across Grow Anthology, a company that makes skateboard decks from paper, pressed with resin. This is basically the same material my Paperstone kitchen counters are made from. The decks are waterproof, and extremely durable. More importantly they are made from green sources, so they are sustainable, and make you feel better about the planet when you are carving a downhill run on a deserted street. Grow Anthology skateboards are FSC certified as well as the only Rainforest Alliance certified skateboard.
Grow Anthologies decks have a really nice retro feel to them, with clean simple lines and uncluttered graphics. They are a really nice answer to the over designed, overloaded decks that were so popular a decade ago.
In addition to green manufacturing, Grow Anthology also works to ensure a tree is planted for each board sold.
“Every one of our longboard skateboards is proudly made in the U.S. using sustainable, eco-friendly material. A tree is planted for every skateboard we sell. Buy green. Buy American.”
A life time ago I was an avid skateboarder. I spent hours at the skate park and on the streets honing my skills on a variety of 4 wheeled planks. Back in the 80’s the trend was for shorter wider boards designed to be ridden in pools and half pipes. The long boards of the 60’s had given way to a new style of riding. Longboarding is making a serious comeback though, and if you are going to take it up, you might as well do it in style.
Loyal Dean makes hand crafted longboards from recycled Oak, Maple, Cherry, Mahogany, Bubinga and Teak. The design team has over 25 years of experience and it shows. The boards echo the look of old school surf boards and the longboards of yesteryear. The line consists of four decks that range in price from $360.00 to $400.00. A price that seems pretty fair for a hand crafted original from California.
back in the day, when I was younger and didn’t care if I broke my arm (note that I now have a mortgage, and broken arm + designer = not working) I was a pretty hardcore skater. I spent countless hours at the skatepark, on ramps, in abandoned swimming pools, and carving the asphalt around my neighborhood. This is the kind of thing that makes me wish I had kept up with it.
Not only is this a fun as hell video, some of the shots in it are pretty amazing, and the end result is some killer abstract graffiti.