SouleWork



SouleWork

About The Artist

Matthew Soule •
Furniture • WHOLESALE AVAILABLE • CUSTOM COMMISSIONS

Hi there! My name is Matthew Soule. I founded SouleWork after a stint in high education on the West Coast. It began as an outlet of creativity and longing to connect with my ancestral vocation of artisanship. I began slowly, using only hand tools to make small objects. I apprenticed with a local cabinet maker in Huntington Beach, CA and my skill set and desire to make bigger things blossomed. My wife and I moved back to home to Rhode Island where I dove headfirst in SouleWork. I, however, had more growing to do as I discovered the business side of making things. I took a job as a firefighter in Providence, RI in order to supplement my income and allow me to still create my work. In March of 2023 I had enough momentum and work lined up to leave the fire department and I haven't been happier since. I make studio furniture using American hardwoods. I focus on delivering the highest quality and an innovative approach to design. My goal to make the world a little more beautiful.



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Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

It begins with the design. Further, it begins with a design in a specific context. I try to envision what home and what room in the home a particular design will live. This is important because I want my work to live in harmony with the flow of the home. The initial idea can come easily but then I try to put it through the ringer through iterations before making anything. I visualize it by sketching various iterations. From there I'll make a 3D model of it in Sketchup. Sometimes I'll also make a scale model because proportions are so important in what I do. The final step is 2D shop drawings in AutoCAD. During this design phase I'm also thinking about the wood species and various finishes. From there, the easy part is making the piece. I use various methods, from wood turning to case construction. I'm not reinventing the wheel here, just bringing my design to life.


What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

I've always loved nature. Every year my father would take me hiking in New Hampshire and I spent much of my time exploring the woods behind the house. It was a place of refuge, beauty, and play. I've always wanted to interact with beautiful objects: it wasn't enough just to see a beautiful tree - no, I had to climb it. That is also how I got into rock climbing which is an excellent outlet for creativity and growth. This connection to nature and the desire to interact with it on a very fundamental and simple way is the foundation of my passion to create. The actual act of designing something and then making it is also extremely satisfying. I love the whole process from designing to making. The icing on the cake is sharing my work with others who see the value in what I do. I'm grateful to play a small role in making the world a little more beautiful.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

I would say my work is innovative and connected to my lifelong spiritual quest for meaning, love, and desire to reach my highest potential. My Triangle Side Table is not only an innovative design but it is also represents a purity of purpose. For me, the desire for meaning and purpose has always been connected with reading and writing. We all want to live meaningful lives but we often opt for comfort. What if we stripped that all away? Maybe all that is left is a book to two, a pen, and a hot beverage. I would describe my work as minimal, striking, and (hopefully) transcendent.