Steve Lawler began working with wood as a child in his grandfather’s small garage wood shop in San Diego, California. He continued with this hobby into junior high and on into high school. As time went on, though, working with wood would take a back seat to other creative pursuits such as photography, painting and collage. He showed his work in various galleries in Virginia, Washington, California and Mexico. While spending time in Mexico, he continued to explore creatively and began experimenting with found object sculpture, often using old pieces of discarded wood and other detritus to create whimsical sculptures. Slowly, he found himself drawn back to the art of woodworking and eventually into a shop working full time making furniture and other custom pieces in Tacoma, WA. While at the custom furniture shop, he familiarized himself once again with the tools of the trade and began to learn new skills and techniques. At the same time he became very aware of the waste and the toxicity involved in the process of modern woodworking. Watching perfectly usable pieces of plywood and hardwoods go into the trash became unbearable to him, and so his scrap pile grew and grew. Steve soon began sketching his own furniture ideas, and in a very short time his distinctive plywood style was born. His focus is on creating unique, beautiful, earth-friendly furniture that will last a lifetime.
Steve has won several awards for his furniture, including Bellevue Art Museum ARTSFair’s Carol Duke Artist Award of Excellence and Art in the High Desert’s Benchmark award. Steve’s been written about in the Tacoma News Tribune and SouthSound magazine and he was invited to show his work at The Washington State History Museum’s exhibit Make/Do: A History of Creative Reuse in 2018. He was also featured on an episode of TV Tacoma’s Urban Green in 2017. Steve spends most of his time designing and creating his original pieces of furniture, home goods and art in his shop in Tacoma.