BUILDING THE MOTHERSHIP
July 2017. Jesse Kamm put her big girl pants on. After working from the home studio for 12 years, the JK headquarters moved to its very own space. Starting with a clean canvas was magical. Luke and I made a pact that we would build our own furniture so that each piece would perfectly suit the needs of the specific object. (For those of you who do not know Luke, he is the Chief of Operations at JK industries, the father of my child, and my very best friend.)
In August, we moved in, and set upon the task of designing and building out each room. Many trips to Ganahl Lumber were made, but in the end the price was low, and the pay off was high. We loaded up the work wagon, and got to it.
We started with the couch for the showroom. We built this piece once before, 5 years ago for our surf cabin in Panama. It is our version of the Donald Judd daybed, but smaller and more compact. The frame is made of Maple Plywood. The cushions were built by our sewers out of our leftover Kamm Pants canvas, and foam from Foam Mart in The Valley. Next, we built a small coffee table out of a pine box, topped by a circular piece of marble that I found on Craigslist for $100. You can often find marble tables that are ugly, for cheap, and take only the top. Hot tip! Lastly, we built a bench from the clear pine to showcase some of my favorite objects. We finished the couch with small cushions made from the leftover Palma Dress fabric.
Next up was the meeting room, which we lovingly call "The Hive." We used clear pine for the table top, and pine 4x4's for the legs. This is a super simple design, and was based on a classic farm table. We used two of our Russel Wright dining chairs for seating on one side, and built a bench for the other seats. The bench was made from matching pine, and is a design we used in the surf cabin as well. For the light fixture, I found the Arne Jacobson pendant that I have had on my inspiration board for at least a decade. This is my favorite room in the headquarters. I believe much inspiration will be found around this table.
Custom work benches and work tables for each of the three offices followed. We used a mixture of plywood and rustic pine lumber, and referenced more Donald Judd work tables for these pieces. The drafting table in my office was a daybed that we once built for the home studio, and we flipped it on its side, and affixed it to the wall.
It took the course of 16 days, working in our moments or free time, to complete the build out. I assisted Luke, and laid out designs, but he drove every nail and screw. What a guy. The total cost of the lumber for the entire project was $850. And that my friends, is the JK way. Do it yourself, spend only what you need, and splash out on a few details, like the mid-century pendant, which I will treasure forever, and by it's light, we will surely make it a worthy investment. My friend Sophie calls the JK way the "Kammasutra." Maybe I will write you all a book one day with that title, and tell you all my zen and thrifty secrets. For now, you can call this the prologue.
Have a happy day.