Sunshine Canyon Furniture, one of the shop's newest lines, is especially close to home for Cedar and Hyde - founder Jessie Milavitz was born and raised in Boulder, CO, and returned home during the pandemic to put down roots. We love the intention and care that goes into her handmade pieces, and the results are both beautifully organic and uniquely functional. Jessie was kind enough to put some of her thoughts into words for a perfect introduction, both to her and her work. Welcome Jessie!
Q: Tell us about yourself, and about Sunshine Canyon.
Q: What inspires you - are there any beliefs or principles that guide your work? How do you get inspired again if you find yourself at a creative roadblock?
A: Right now I am really inspired by three main things: meditation, sports, and the landscapes I saw while traveling the southwest and Baja. With meditation, I have been doing a lot of thinking about love, healing, and inner peace this last year, so how could that not seep into my work? I'm also inspired by the zen flow one hits while doing sports, like skiing, mountain bikes, moto - whatever is your thing. I realized that the flow I hit on the trail was the most blissful feeling and I needed to start conveying that bliss through my woodwork.
As far as the landscape of the southwest, my husband and I lived out of our pick-up truck for four months last fall/winter, camping from as far north as southern Montana all the way down to Baja. Months of driving off road and sleeping outside got me really in touch with observing my surroundings. We spent days in the thick of scenery that looked like a painted backdrop from another planet. I always saw the sun rise and set, saw the same familiar stars every night, read the gems of 1980s romance novels like Palomino by Danielle Steel (I left my book choices up the chance of free book exchanges). I mean, even now, there are so many days where I am just driving across town and see those big fluffy Colorado clouds in the bright blue sky and think "this is what it's all about."
I have hit roadblocks for sure. I didn't feel like carving when my dad first got sick last winter, I didn't feel like carving at points where I was sick - usually sickness is the roadblock. But then I meditate (Isha Kyiya is my go-to), or go camping with my man, or listen to some rockin' music (Chris Hillman, 90's Buffy Sainte-Marie, P.M. Dawn, and The Band alway hit) and get over it!
Q: How do you choose your materials? Do you have a favorite wood to work with?