Jess Gantos


Jess Gantos
I grew up around wood fabrication as a child and have always been curious about the wonder of process in general. My father built and renovated houses, while my mother was often working the band saw creating things to sell at local markets. I loved making crafts with her and used to make a whopping nickel for every piece of wood I sanded. I was rich. But it wasn’t until I built my school bus tiny house during the summer of 2017 that my love of working materials into tangible objects was especially activated. I had made something BIG, my first house. A home I built with my two hands, and a lot of my father’s brain power. He’s taught me everything I know about big construction. Then I unexpectedly landed an opportunity at a wood shop out in the desert and got into hand-carving. I fell in love with making each cut with such intention and can easily fall into a rhythm so meditative I’ll be up through the night perfecting a single square inch of a panel of pine. It was and is a dream. That’s about where and when I got my feet wet with the finer elements of woodworking. From there a friend hired me to make a koji tray, essentially a box for a Japanese fermentation process and was catapulted into the captivating world of Japanese joinery, where hardware nor adhesives are present in the construction. Everything fits together like a puzzle. This satisfied so many elements of design for me I was hooked, and still am today.