ARROWMONT CONNECTIONS: Mason Cooley, furniture maker, has a mission to teach people to make their own bicycles

Mason Cooley designs custom furniture and smaller home goods with his partner, Summer. He also makes bamboo-frame bicycles. However, he has never made a bicycle frame for others – he prefers to teach them how to craft their own. He offers “BAMBOO BICYCLE WORKSHOP” at Arrowmont this fall, October 24-29, 2021. https://www.arrowmont.org/workshops/bamboo-bicycle-workshop-mason-cooley/

Mason Cooley and Summer Merritt Cooley

He wrote,

This past year has been challenging but in some ways it made us double-down on running our own business, Pride & Archive, full-time. We will have a show piece on exhibit for the ArtFields Exhibition this spring in South Carolina. It will be our White Oak side table which is now on our website and blog. 
We have been doing quite a few birdhouses, small sculptural hardwood serving boards and other home items as well. The pipes will be on offer soon and I am pretty excited refining the design of those.

The bamboo bike blog has the process of making the bamboo frames. I don’t sell or make those custom for people. It has been my mission to teach people how to make their own. http://bamboo-bike-build.blogspot.com/

I like the idea of combining design principles with promoting greater human mobility so it makes sense to try and get as many people involved in making and not just buying etc. My hope this year is to do a hardwood bicycle frame out of White Oak. I may try and offer that as an advanced workshop in the future for people looking for something more challenging and more woodworking oriented.”
In Mason’s 2021 Arrowmont workshop, experience a timely exercise in “nature inspired design,” revealing that human powered mobility is still a radical and elegant idea. If you are interested in building your own bamboo bicycle frame, register online at https://www.arrowmont.org/workshops/bamboo-bicycle-workshop-mason-cooley/ or call 865-436-5860.

Mason CooleyMason Cooley operates a woodworking studio in Western North Carolina where he designs and builds custom furniture. He received his BFA and MFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Aside from his professional career, he is an avid cyclist who also explores philosophy, science, and design. Cooley’s interdisciplinary curiosities piqued his interest in building bamboo bicycle frames.

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