On the Record
by Holly Tsang
May 28, 2009 | 19950 views | 0 0 comments | 822 822 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Daniel Moyer went to school to study musical composition, but somewhere along the line he found his true calling in furniture design. It was an unusual switch, but he said the two fields are not entirely unrelated.

“It uses the same organizational skills, just when you’re done making a piece of furniture you can actually sit on it,” Moyer said in an interview.

Moyer works on one piece at a time at 221 McKibbin Street studio in Bushwick, always adhering to a very specific style. He said the collectors who make up his loyal group of returning customers purchase his pieces because they like his signature American style with Asian accents.

Moyer described it as a continuation of the dying arts and crafts movement in America, only much more modern. “It’s kind of arts and crafts for the cartoon age, I guess you can call it. I’m affected by being a kid growing up watching cartoons,” he said.

The pieces drastically range in price depending on the materials, the time of the year and who it’s made for, but Moyer said his work is generally quite expensive.

“You get what you pay for. I’ll be gone way, way, way, long before my furniture outlives its usefulness. What you’re investing in is a piece that’s built to last generations,” he said.

Buyers seem to share the same sentiments about Moyer’s work. Despite the uncertain state of the economy, Moyer is still working on pieces he was commissioned to build last summer. He has not lost any business, but he admitted that his view may be unrealistic because he only works with a few people at any given time.

At BKLYN DESIGNS, the show for local designers of contemporary furniture and home accessories which he attends every year, Moyer said he meets hundreds of people that sit on his furniture and feign interest, but this year, for some reason, there was none of that. The people who inquired about the pieces were genuinely interested. “In that respect, it’s been good. It’s kind of made the field a little bit more serious,” said Moyer, who moved his business to Brooklyn about ten years ago in search of cheaper studio space.

He had previously been working on 9th Street in Manhattan, but said it became too cutthroat and competitive there. In Brooklyn, there’s a sense of community that is lacking in Manhattan, Moyer said, even after a decade of working there.

“It’s still exciting to work in Brooklyn. There’s a real critical mass of furniture builders here, so you don’t feel like you’re the only nut job doing it,” said Moyer. “You really feel like you’re part of a movement, so I think moving to Brooklyn was the best thing I ever did.”

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