The Most Innovative Woodworker in California Is Taylor Donsker
Donsker found woodworking to be his true calling after graduating from architecture school in the heat of the recession
Taylor Donsker is one of our 2020 Emerging Designers. Discover the entire inaugural class here and why they’re making the West a more beautiful place.
Name: Taylor Donsker
Type of work: Woodworker
Based out of: Santa Monica
After graduating from USC School of Architecture in the heat of the recession, Taylor found himself at a crossroads. The industry was on a hiring freeze and he needed work, and after extensively traveling throughout the United States and Asia he found his true calling: woodwork.
Wood as a material jumped into the forefront of his mind—particularly in relation to architecture—so he bought a few tools and slabs and started tinkering in his parents’ garage. He’s been going nonstop since, creating beautifully intricate, sculptural furnishings for select clientele. While his roots are humble, Donsker is now one of the most sought after woodworkers in the world, working out of a massive 6,000 square foot studio where he creates large pieces of incredibly detailed furniture out of fallen trees and slabs.
His favorite thing? “I like to make really big tables,” says Donsker. They can get so large that they almost become a piece of architecture that people assemble around.”
Donsker’s favorite material for his woodworking projects is California Walnut, for many reasons. “I love it because it has an incredible color range. The grain patterns tend to be really dramatic and have a lot of figure. It’s durable, dense, yet it’s still easy enough to work. No California Walnut slab that I see ever ceases to amaze me, it constantly keeps me interested. It’s an inspiring wood.”