MIKE WHITE OF SWELL STUDIO
How would you describe your style? Contemporary, sculptural, and coastal, with an emphasis on fine materials derived from nature.
Do you remember the first thing you made? I designed and built a skate ramp in my front yard. It was a neighborhood hit.
Before I started making I… I managed event production for an experiential marketing agency.
If I weren’t a maker I’d be... A helicopter pilot somewhere breathtaking like New Zealand or Alaska.
Favorite quote or words to live by: Don’t half-ass two things, whole ass one thing - Ron Swanson
If I could run away I’d go… To a small village on the north coast of Japan.
If you could collaborate with one person dead or alive who would it be? I'd love to design furniture for a Wes Anderson movie set.
What would be on your maker’s soundtrack? Frank Ocean, Led Zepplin, Blood Orange, A$AP Rocky, Radiohead, The National, Kendrick Lamar, Sam Cooke, Sylvan Esso, The War on Drugs, The Blaze, Father John Misty, J. Cole, LCD Soundsystem, Kaytranada, Maggie Rogers, Phoenix, … list goes on.
If you could learn a new skill what would it be? Millinery and the art of hat making.
Last book you read? Let My People Go Surfing - Yvon Chouinard
What would your last meal be? The tasting menu at Lilia
Favorite scent? Sandalwood
What do you see outside your bedroom window? A sprawling yard filled with grass, a big willow tree, and a ridge that once had a stag atop.
What do you hear right now? The Thoughts of Mary Jane - Nick Drake
What was the last gift you gave someone? Allison Roman's cookbook - Nothing Fancy
If money was not a factor how would you live your life? I'd split my time between a few places - a beach house in the Spanish Basque country, a ski house in Utah, and an apartment or loft in a major metropolitan city. I'd have a studio at each location, a small plane to explore the area with my family, and a hearty garden.
Favorite podcast? Probably a tie between This American Life or How I built This. Favorite podcast series- Dolly Parton’s America
Any hidden talents? I was once a professional freestyle skier. I've transitioned to snowboarding but was on skis before I could walk.
Where did you grow up? I grew up in a small mountain town in Utah called Huntsville.
Favorite time of day? I'm a morning person by nature but the golden hour is by far my favorite.
What is your most treasured possession? I inherited a set of chisels and woodworking tools from my grandpa. I sharpened them up and use them quite often.
What are you currently watching? Mad Men season 2, episode 5
What are you most thankful for? My family, friends, clients, and Zissou + Hoagie (dogs)