Make : Shiruba Tree
Film : Benjamin Hay
Make : Bøge SmykkeDesign
Film : Bjørn Karmann
In 25 words or less describe who you are, where you’re located and what you make.
We’re Frank and Janna Ladner of Stout Woodworks. We’re from a small town in south Mississippi called Poplarville and we handcraft bentwood rings.
What made you want to be a maker?
Frank: I’ve always had the desire to create, which I think is ultimately an inherent part of our makeup as people. But I was raised around folks who make things, from functional items like furniture or tools, to more decorative items given to family. My dad is a woodworker, as was my grandpa and his dad. Several of my uncles are experienced in some form of fabrication, whether that be wood or metalworking. So there was never a decision to make things; it was just part of my upbringing.
Janna: Frank is the one with all of the talent. I try to jump in and help as much as possible so he’s free to be creative. I get to talk with folks from all over the world and handle the shipping and business side of things. It’s really a huge blessing, as we both get to work from home and have our little family together all of the time. It’s allowed me to be able to homeschool and see the wonder in our children’s eyes when learning something new and interesting.
Why should people support your business/products?
We’re not “business people” in terms of financial goals being our primary objective. We won’t try to sell a wooden ring to someone who is not interested. What we do is offer the absolute best wooden ring we can for the person who likes wood, or is otherwise looking for an alternative to metal, and we stand behind the workmanship. We’re here for the long haul. For us, this isn’t just a hobby or a fleeting interest. Making bentwood rings is what we do and ultimately, we want our customers to be completely happy with their rings for many years. If they ever need repair or refinishing, we plan to be here.
Favorite product that you make?
Frank: If I had to pick one particular product as a favorite, it would be our rings made from Kingwood. It is beautiful - with rich grain and color - and exceptionally durable.
Janna: Oh wow – there’s so many to choose from, but if I had to pick one, I think it would be our Hawaiian Koa lined with Maple with an inlay of Turquoise and Malachite ring!
List five of your favorite tools.
Frank: My carving knife, mandrel, mortar and pestle (for making crushed stone inlays), calipers and sandpaper.
Janna: My laptop, Canon T2i, lightbox, printer and tape dispenser (It’s the little things….)
(photographs from Stout Woodworks)
Make : Fine Light Trading
Film : Rueben Pacheco