Matt Muldoon is the owner of Knuckles Industries: a rapidly ascending design company that just released (to much publicity) their new 60/61 furniture series.
Based on vintage Americana and old-school airplanes – the pieces were built with 6061 aircraft grade aluminum – the collection marries craftsmanship and not-quite-functionalism. Does a shoe rack really require speed holes? Of course not, but then, it doesn’t not need them.
Things are going well so far at Knuckles Industries: the 60/61 series was recently featured at Vancouver’s IDS West show, and has been lauded in publications from The Globe and Mail to Montecristo Magazine.
But back to Matt – what kind of person is it that comes up with this stuff?
A Total Hick
Matt was born in Nanton, Alberta, and describes himself as a hillbilly. He grew up going to scrap yards and buying materials on the Bargain Finder, and at fourteen, he built his first piece: a go-kart repurposed from a smashed-up motorcycle.
As an adult, Matt divides his time between Alberta and B.C., and runs his business a bit like a farmer coming to market. He works mostly out of his shop in Calgary, but wheels and deals in Vancouver. While on the west coast, he lives in an enviable loft space on Main and 2nd, but still misses Alberta’s Wild West vibes.
“The part that was hard for me in Vancouver was it sort of separated me from being a hillbilly,” he says.
“It’s a very different scene in Vancouver. Even if I could build a go-kart out of a motorcycle in Van, someone’s going to arrest me if I drive it down 2nd the way that I drive it at home.”
A Serial Killer
Not really, of course. But Matt admits that he looks like one – a little bit – when he’s staying up all night in his shop, alternately listening to classical music and Nine Inch Nails.
“I just fall back to Trent Reznor at eleven or twelve o’clock at night,” he says.
And then there’s his love of machining and clean lines.
“I prefer that surgical look.”
An Awesome Boyfriend
Recently, Matt’s girlfriend needed a new countertop. So Matt built her one, out of some 90-year-old barn wood that was presumably lying around her apartment.
I think there was very little planning that went into it,” he says.
Sounds like a fun date!
A Real Straight Shooter
More than anything else, Matt deals in authenticity. He describes himself as a half-designer, half-fabricator, and is capable of building any piece that he comes up with. He takes pride in his work; loves quality, well-built materials; and believes in completing a project in its entirety.
“I have an obsession with the 1930s and the 1940s, and everything that was made then. Sort of that Americana manufacturing days, when people went to work and made what they did and they were proud of it, and it turned out really well,” he says.
“I have this thing with the work pride of days gone by.”