Meet the Makers
Our staff comes from near and far, drawn together by a shared passion for craftsmanship, unique design, and creative problem solving. We came to work for a company that values integrity and that rewards personal responsibility and initiative. With such an eclectic grouping of talents and personality quirks (you know, creative types), you can bet we have fun. When an interesting new design challenge presents itself, we huddle together, spontaneously, like minnows around a piece of bread. We pool ideas and pick each others’ brains for the sheer pleasure of it. So whether you’re looking to fill your space with repurposed lighting and furniture, or starting from scratch with a custom design, our team can make it happen. Come put us to work!
Steve is our multi tasking chief executive officer. While his focus is sales and creative problem solving for national and international accounts, he does everything from treasure hunting, to hand drafting and getting dirty in the workshop. He’s a fast walker, a whistler, and an optimist. Steve continues to be fueled by the same passion for making and the same commitment to ideals which launched him into business at age 23. His ceaseless energy keeps him plugged in to the local arts scene and engaged in community building. Our business is located in the historic Soda Plant, a large complex which Steve owns and rents out to over 20 budding artists and artisans.
Work has woven threads throughout Steve’s life. He and his wife Mags (an art teacher for 40 + years) live in the house they purchased as newlyweds. In it, a telegraph insulator chandelier hangs over the dining table, a clawfoot tub fish tank graces the living room, and “repurposing opportunities” abound in the basement workshop. Steve and Mags are the proud parents of two lovely, creative daughters.
Jack is industrial designer and development director for some of our most exciting accounts. Educated at Rhode Island School of Design, his credits include projects for the Smithsonian, Vermont Arts Council, Boston Children’s Museum, University of Vermont, and Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation—more than 45 years of design experience. Working in metal, stone, wood and glass, he has crafted flutes for major symphonies, kaleidoscopes for Hollywood’s best, awards for International events and architectural building blocks for the next generation of great architects.
Jack’s home, a reclaimed barn filled with family fun, is where he and his wife, Linda, created their most noteworthy treasures — two very creative children, Abby and Izak.
Dan is our production manager extraordinaire, ensuring that we have the people, equipment, and plans to get projects completed on time and on budget. Drawing on his skill for industrial design and CAD drawing, he also specializes in custom sales. It’s all about defining challenges and finding creative solutions. Before coming to Conant in 2007, Dan studied studio art with a focus on metals, then went on to pursue a career in hand crafted lighting, furniture, and architectural details.
He spends his free time with his wife, two young sons, and three chickens. He’s also an avid vegetable gardener, mountain biker, and reader of science fiction.
As business manager, Karen’s responsibilities encompass all administrative activities which insure the Conant corporate machine hums along smoothly. Her degree in Business Administration and Psychology, coupled with extensive experience in real estate, law, government, and the non-profit sector enables her to bring order to the creative chaos by herding Conant’s imaginative cats down the path toward fiscal responsibility and financial success.
To rid her mind of financial statements and bank reconciliations, Karen amuses herself in her kitchen, whipping up decadent goodies for her family, friends and co-workers.
Craftsman, inventor, mad scientist? All of the above describe Jonathan. He is a maker of fine jewelry, artillery, toys, and theatrical costumes. John is hungry to know how things are made and work. He’s the kind of person who learns about electricity by conducting voltage experiments in his living room. John’s mechanical mind and encyclopedic knowledge of antiques, make him an invaluable part of our production and restoration team.
Jonathan also gardens, paints, plays guitar, and crafts steam punk ray guns. His work was recently displayed at Shelburne Museum.
Bryn is our social media coordinator and web development project manager. She’s a go-getter, an organizer, a problem solver, a list maker, and she knows what it takes to get the job done, efficiently. Before coming to Conant, she divided her time between a job at a farm-to-table restaurant in Shelburne, VT and earning a degree in nutrition and food science at UVM.
She spends her weekends making and selling jewelry, renovating and decorating her new home, crafting, and spending quality time with her two rescue dogs, Jackson and Clark.
Chris is our resident jack of all trades: metalworker, UL specialist, in house IT guy, purchaser, receiver, shipper, machinery maintenance man. Got a problem? See Chris. That’s if you can catch him—he’s breezing by, key belt jingling, humming bluegrass or Bach. With his self-starter personality, passion for learning, and resume ranging from furniture restoration to hotel maintenance, it’s no wonder Chris wears so many hats. He’s also a blacksmith with 28 years of experience under his belt.
He opens up the shop each morning, cruising here in his 1953 Willys Jeep (weather permitting). When not tinkering to keep the jeep on the road, he’s playing guitar, sailing, or learning celestial navigation.
Tyler is a creative visionary who sees the potentiality of objects. It’s not junk on the roadside; it’s a lathe chuck table lamp, an ice tong pendant. He’s the kind of person who walks a 300 lb barge hatch five blocks uphill from the lakeshore because it has “patina”. That drive and creative ingenuity make him our go-to resource for funky repurposing projects, everything from huge sculptural installations, to “one off” products using found materials. His aesthetic blends oversized industrial elements with playfulness and humor.
When not at work, Tyler builds life-sized animal sculptures and rides his bike in search of treasure (which sounds like a line from a children’s book). He also mentors a Somali boy through the King Street Center.
Becky has a jeweler’s eye for detail. Like a macro-lens, her work picks up the minute facets of natural objects: organic shapes, simplicity, delicacy, variation and color. Becky earned a BFA in metals from Mass Art and an MFA in metals at Suny New Paltz. At Conant, Becky brings a unique aesthetic to lighting fabrication. Nimble fingers plus 25 years experience in a metals studio environment make her perfect for managing complicated restoration projects.
Becky lives with her partner Lincoln and their two cats in a home decorated with a combination of his original furniture, and her custom designed as well as restored lighting. She keeps a thriving vegetable and flower garden.
You’ll find Marta working quietly at her bench under the light of a red vintage desk lamp, work surface immaculate, parts and pieces in rows. She’s assembling hundreds of Canning Jar Pendants and she’s doing it right. A degree in art education and 25 years of drafting experience also come in handy when hand drawing assembly sketches. One word describes Marta—meticulous.
Marta’s magnum opus is her house, which she has been remodeling for 30 years. That’s everything from gutting and sheet-rocking to building furniture. She decorates with her personal photography, sculpture, and watercolors and fills the rooms with her large extended family.
As a woodworker and visual artist, Jason brings a unique skill set and perspective to our production team. While his history in metal working/blacksmithing comes in handy for lighting fabrication, his carpentry expertise is put to great use both in wood repair work and building wooden prototypes and shipping crates.
Having experimented with various forms of media, Jason selected wood as the medium through which to best communicate his passion for nature and its patterns. In addition to working at Conant, he runs a business, Elemental Impressions, specializing in fine cabinetry and furniture. Jason lives with wife and son in a home decorated with his paintings, wood assemblage pieces, and custom furniture.
Megan is a dynamic member of our sales team specializing in lighting consultation. She loves working with homeowners, designers, and restaurateurs to define lighting needs, challenges, and solutions. Her favorite part—site visits and custom design! She draws on product and material knowledge, previous career experience in interior decoration, and a keen eye for aesthetics, all while keeping up with design trends through a myriad of blogs. She also brings effervescence, laughter, and a spirit of fun to her projects.
Outside of work Megan pursues parallel passions for literature (reading and writing), portrait photography, dance, travel, French, and well, decorating her apartment.
Dave is our restoration expert and resident historian. In his work, he makes careful reference to history, efficiency, and the personal taste of each client. Ask him a question—he’ll pause, cock his head, and offer a thoughtful, articulate, and thorough response. That same passion for precision and detail comes across in his work—his antiquing has depth; what he polishes, shines. The trick, he says, is a balance of force and finesse. In 20 + years of metalworking, his experience has ranged from restoring Sumerian Jewelry and iron buildings, to teaching and blacksmithing.
A quintessential maker, Dave spends free time crafting models, costumes, toys, and jewelry for his wife and two young children. He’s also an avid music buff.
Santiago works quietly, carefully, and with intention—a great asset to our production team. Metal fascinates him, a medium that can be cold and hard or completely fluid. He loves the process of shaping it, seeing the transformation from ultimate potential to permanence, solidity. With a degree in environmental studies and a minor in studio arts, Santiago’s career has followed an alchemical process of its own, spanning everything from glass blowing and jewelry making to bald eagle conservation and fire dancing. He also currently holds art workshops for adults with developmental disabilities.
Santiago lives with his girlfriend Audrey, their cat, and 25 guppies. In his spare time, Santiago alternates playing his five different musical instruments.
Gabriel walked through our doors in 2011 bearing a sampling of knives, all handmade in his basement from repurposed materials. We were impressed. Gabe was 18. We hired him. Now Gabriel is part of our production team and personally responsible for all glass cutting (that’s hundreds of canning jars, folks). He also crafts funky “one off” pieces of furniture and lighting for our showroom. Gabe brings youthful enthusiasm to each project he touches.
Outside of work, Gabriel still finds time for making knives, “picking” treasure, coaching wrestling, and playing with his furry dog, Bo.