Julian and kate own Pastrana Studio just outside of denton, tx where they create beautiful paintings and handcrafted wood pieces for the home. I've had the opportunity to visit their home and studio a couple of times now and each time I have been struck by how warm and welcoming they are. this shouldn't come as much of a surprise, as many of the pieces that they make revolve around community, sharing and hospitality. every piece that they create is one of a kind- whether it is one of Kate's paintings or one of Julian's serving boards, maple bud vases or boxcar stools. each wood piece is an original design and is a blend of utilitarian need and art. they both also work full-time outside of the studio which came as a shock to me based on how much work they are constantly turning out and the amount of time that goes into each piece they create. They have collaborated with other makers in North texas and frequently do pop-up shops with other local vendors.
the beginning stages of a serving board
selecting the perfect piece of wood
the edges of the serving boards are cut freehand on the band saw before they are smoothed out and shaped by hand. from here they will be carefully sanded and will head into the finishing room before being sold.
during my visit i was able to just stand back and observe as they collaborated and discussed new designs and projects being worked on. there was a calmness between them and an unspoken understanding of what the other was doing or needed as they performed various tasks around the shop.
from the original design to the hand-crafting and packaging, each step along the way is thoughtful, intentional and done with great care.
julian shared some different design changes he had recently tried with the boxcar stools. these stools use salvaged wood from an old box car that was used for ammunition storage. the seat itself is red oak while the legs are solid walnut.
end table and bud vase
untitled painting in upstairs sitting room
the walls of their screened-in porch are built from salvaged wood.
both their home and work space are a reflection of the beautiful pieces they create as well as the lifestyle and the values they celebrate. beauty abounds and the attention to detail in every design choice is obvious. inside of their home, many pieces of furniture are handcrafted works of art including a kitchen table, end tables, computer desk and even a dog bowl. when a need would arise for a piece of furniture, kate would simply sketch a design and julian would get to work bringing that design to life.