Craftsman's Journey

Charles de Lisle's wild ride as an award-winning designer is fueled by a deep love for making.

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High off the joy of working with a mom-and-pop operation, de Lisle was thrilled to be able to repeat it with his consulting for State Bird Provisions. And that, in turn, reminded him how much he missed making objects. He started creating lighting and furniture, collaborating with local craftspeople, such as a glassblower in Berkeley, a woodworker in San Francisco, and a chainsaw artist named Rick Yashimoto, with whom de Lisle made mirrors, chairs, and soon a dining table and wall shelf. And then, he went to Milan’s Salone del Mobile to check things out because he loved Italian furniture, and he met Dave Alhadeff, owner of New York City’s The Future Perfect, with whom he’s now collaborating on a collection that launched this year with a tree-branch chandelier.

State Bird Provisions (2012), San Francisco, CA

De Lisle helped the owners of this James Beard Award–winning restaurant with material and furniture choices, as well as creating the pegboard-wall design.

Photo: Freda Banks/courtesy State Bird Provisions

So he’s back to a lamp, and craftsmanship, and selling a product in a game-changing design store, except that in the last 20 years design culture has shifted so much that even though it seems like he might just be circling the target, this is actually the next big step for de Lisle, the next move in a multivalent, all-encompassing career. “It’s like getting dressed,” he says of making design decisions. And in this case, the suit fits.

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