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Balancing Craft and Design

FishRule Studios Creates Beauty Out of Wood

Kyle Hageman and Heather Horton are partners in life and in business. As married co-owners of FishRule Studios, a woodworking company that creates high-quality products for the kitchen and home, Hageman and Horton bring a wonderful balance of craft and design to their products.

In 2015, they seized an opportunity to create a business based on his love for woodworking and her interest in art and design. What sets FishRule Studios apart is their commitment to combining different types of wood in a way that makes each design unique. With their emphasis on precision and fine details, the finished products serve as functional art.

Horton says, “I grew up in a household where my parents were art collectors and I’ve always just been really interested in art and design.”

Hageman has been a woodworking hobbyist for most of his adult life and brings a dedication to the creative process and an ability to be super precise in order to make high-quality items. In the past, Horton would design the item and Hageman was responsible for finding a way to create it. But now, both of them are capable of making things in the shop. They find joy in the creative process and the final result of creating beautiful things that others can enjoy.

A Merging of Function and Beauty

Their bread cutting board is a great example of their emphasis on beauty and function. The cutting board has slots cut into the top and a tray on the bottom to catch bread crumbs. The wall lights called illuminated wall art are another product that combines aesthetics with practicality. Horton creates the handmade panel design out of translucent polymer clay and Hageman crafts the wood and mounts the LED light inside. The finished product provides ambiance and doubles as a light and an abstract work of art. 

Their best-selling product is the cheese slicer. Although similar products can be purchased from retail stores, theirs is handmade and unique. The couple believes that surrounding yourself with beautiful things can elevate your life.

Hageman says the thing he loves most about running the business is the act of creation. He loves the act of “making something with your hands that is going to live beyond you in terms of space or time.”

The woods they use are all natural colors and they are always looking to see how they can emphasize the beauty. They believe part of their job is to find out what a piece of wood best lends itself to in terms of design and function.

Hageman and Horton say they are passionate about social justice, inclusion and the environment. They are always thinking about universal design and how people will interact with an item, including ease of use for people that have different ways of engaging with the world. They are committed to reusing materials to avoid waste and they love incorporating beetle killed pine in their products and sourcing woods from local wood sellers whenever they can.

Horton sums it up by saying that their dream is to be able to really grow this business and continue to find joy in making things. They are currently very excited about expanding their passion for Tiki culture and they hope to bring some of the things they’ve created for themselves to market in the near future.  

Facebook + Instagram: @FishRuleStudios