Keeping with the rustic feeling from my post last week, I’m going to introduce everyone to a friend of mine. His name is Patrick and he is the owner, founder and designer for Patrick Cain Designs.
He creates fabulous tables and shelving units out of wood and metal. I’ve asked him a few questions to know his backstory a little bit better and where he gets his inspiration from. I think these tables would make a lovely wedding present. They would be a great addition to any home. They’re rustic, but modern at the same time.
You were a nuclear engineer?
I was good in math and sciences when I was a kid so engineering just made sense. “Just making sense” is a theme that runs through my life. I live in the practical. The utilitarian. The pragmatic. When you’re 18 or in your young 20s, and someone says “kid, you’re good at this, here’s money to do it;” you do it. That for me, just happened to be nuclear materials sciences for the U.S. government at Los Alamos National labs. The problem is, my heart wasn’t there. I wanted to see results quicker, which helped me transition into being a journalist, which I still do a bit today for publications such as ESPN, SI.com, Mental Floss, Fast Company, Oxygen and a few others. Writing gave – and still gives – me a chance to explore and get paid for it. But there was something too fleeting about a story. Few pieces resonate throughout time, and I’m realistic. I’m not a Woodward. And I’m no Bernstein. Making things however, while it may not have the occupational plumage that engineer or writer has, gave me a chance to create something practical, utilitarian and pragmatic that will last years and year.
How did you get into wood working and working with metal?
Working with my hands started a few years ago after a divorce. To call Patrick Cain of yesteryears woefully pathetic with his hand would be kind. But that changed shortly after my divorce which, through an odd set of circumstances, led me to buying an old four unit apartment building in South Los Angeles. In rehabbing the building I’ve learned all sorts of skills from plumbing to gardening, but it was when I was searching for a special type of masonry that I found my first piece of wood. I bought it thinking I could use it as a stepping (or planter) stone.
The wood sat outside my house drying for a months before I finally finished it. But in the meanwhile I was dating a girl with a very sad lying problem. At the time this penchant for making things up was unbeknownst, so I spent many days trying to sort out details in my head and figure out how her tales could make sense. When you love someone, you make stars align so there stories add up. This process for me, meant going outside and sanding the block of wood. When sanding I am in my head. No outside noise or distractions get to me. I sanded because I loved. I sanded because I wanted to continue to love. Well, not everything is forever. Eventually the lies became too big, but the wood stayed around. In bad things, you can find good. In that bad break up, I found Patrick Cain Designs.
do you work with anyone else?
I’ve had creative input from others, but right now this is a one man operation. That too will hopefully change soon. But I am really fortunate to have incredibly talented people around me ranging from my sister who is a artist that has work in San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to friends who themselves are accomplished designers, such as Brendan Ravenhill.
I totally love your designs! But you’re located on the west coast. Where can i find them out here on the east coast?
Despite being located in Los Angeles, most my sales are to the East Coast! I’ve shipped many tables to New York for example, and others as far east as Australia and China. Ordering from my website, is the best way. However, I am thinking of setting up a presence in New York sometime in the next 12 months. When I do, your readers will hopefully the first to know.
Talk about his lovely designs. I love how he’s brought out the woods natural beauty. I can’t wait to save up enough money and buy one for myself. If you know a couple getting married, I think it’d be a great idea as a wedding gift.