WE ARE ARTISTS AND INVENTORS, MAD SCIENTISTS AND MAKERS, THOUGHT LEADERS AND SOLVERS.
WE ARE FIGURE PLANT.
Sales and Marketing Assistant - "Captain Plan-It"
"I really appreciate that Figure Plant is a supportive environment to be an interdisciplinary creator and a place to flex many professional muscles."
AJ came to Figure Plant after graduating from the University of Washington’s sculpture program, and serving as the Shop Manager/Head of Production at a custom haunt-prop studio. There she gained a wide range of skills including mold-making, product development, painting hyper-realistic cadavers and even hairstyling yetis (you know, abominable snowpeople--so, lots of hair). After receiving a call from Figure Plant to help build a giant unicorn, she never looked back. Since then, her love of learning, puzzling and organizing has led her through a number of different roles within the company. Now she’s traded sculpting for spreadsheets, and painting for promotions, and loves finding new ways to support the Figure Plant team.
- Her love of art and bad vintage horror films prompted her career in prop making
- She is a part of the death-positive movement, which supports creating and legalizing more environmentally-friendly burial methods
- Holds the record for fastest hand-harvester at her hometown raspberry farm, and is known, unofficially, as the “Raspberry Princess”
- Met her husband under a blue moon, when both were crewing a 1780’s-style tall ship called the Lady Washington
Fabricator - "Brainstorm"
"Don’t force it, get a bigger hammer."
Amos was born on a fold-out couch in a cabin in the woods of New Hampshire. After discovering his love of welding in high school, he built an eclectic assortment of vehicles including a snow-bike, a gas-powered go-cart using homemade plywood pulleys, and a Morgan 3-wheeled pedal car. He then headed off to study welding and metal fabrication in New Zealand (because we don’t teach it in this hemisphere?). Between leaving New Zealand and landing in Portland, Amos earned a bachelor’s degree in history (with an art minor), built custom cabinets, and worked in a dashboard factory in New Hampshire, and spent time in Alaska gill-netting, hanging drywall, and working as a lifty (Google it) and kayak guide. And now he just works at boring old Figure Plant making 22’ unicorns and metal trees......
- Drives what is arguably the most photographed car in Portland (email us for a photo!)
- For his American road trip of 2004, Amos acquired an ‘85 Caddy, a cowboy hat, and a shoulder-length mullet
- Married to the Break Neck Betties’ blocker Rage of Aquarius (that’s roller-derby-speak, folks)
- Ancestor Osgod Klapa was a jester in the court of King Knut, 1017-1033
Lead Estimator - "The Assessor"
"I am always wanting to evolve, learn, and grow. My job at Figure Plant keeps me constantly challenged and constantly learning."
Ben was the kid that always needed to know how everything worked. (You probably know the type--leaving a trail of springs, washers, and broken toasters in his wake) No surprise that his years of dismantling everything he could get his hands on resulted in a deep fundamental understanding of fabrication and design.
A native Oregonian, Ben spent his youth exploring the forests and trails of the Cascade mountain range. After graduating from the University of Oregon, his thirst for travel and learning landed him in Italy as the head mechanic for a bicycle tour company, and ultimately led him to our shop. He thrives on variety and activity, and loves to be involved in the diverse and ever-changing projects coming through the doors at Figure Plant.
- Favorite food is watermelon
- Took a 4-month trip to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji when he was 6
- Has owned 3 businesses, all of them bicycle-related
Director of Production - "The Polymath"
"Every day I have the opportunity to become an expert in something new. How cool is that?!"
Raised as the son her father never had, Crystal’s passions care nothing about gender stereotypes. From embroidery and canning to carpentry and welding, she is equally at home in the shop and the office. And the garage! Her love of creative problem-solving led her to study Technical Direction at both University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Penn State University before moving to Portland in 2005. Crystal has worked as Technical Director in theater, opera, and dance, as well as Project Manager for a specialty subcontractor, a design studio, and here at Figure Plant. She possesses a tireless enthusiasm for progress and a tenacious approach to finding things--solutions, widgets, contact lenses, you name it!
- Spent summers teaching canoeing and kayaking in Madison, Wisconsin
- Founded Team Luv Motion #9 for the Portland Adult Soapbox Derby in 2006, and hasn’t missed a year since
- Derives a bizarre and inexplicable joy from roofing. Yes, even in the summer....
- Accessorizes with her pocket knife collection
Principal Designer - "Quickdraw"
"I love to see ideas manifest into physical objects, and at Figure Plant we think about and make something new every day."
Dan’s rabid curiosity about materials and processes has driven him to work in a wide variety of media and disciplines. This curiosity has resulted in collaborations with dancers, musicians, mechanical engineers, metal workers, fellow visual artists, and many others. During college, Dan spent his summers building custom homes while earning a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Michigan. After graduating, he joined a renowned gallery/studio, dedicating the next five years of his life to the development of exhibitions and events, often as Gallery Director, all while maintaining his own studio practice. As a production artist, Dan’s experience is literally infinite. Okay, not literally infinite. But it does run the gamut from 3D printing, to stained-glass, to screen-printing, to illustration, to sculpture, to painting, to design, to..... So, fairly close to infinite.
- Recent ancestors include builders, farmers, engineers, artists, architects, social workers, and at least one scientist
- His work has been shown in dozens of art venues from New York City to Black Rock City
- Is constantly maintaining his ever-expanding collection of sketchbooks and succulents
- Has two different colored eyes.
Owner/Founder - "The Instigator"
"Building my own company has helped me realize what I care most about."
What began as a fascination with lawn mower engines and model rockets has turned into a full-time passion for building and making. No project too complicated, no request too extreme, David believes in Figure Plant’s ability to take on any creative assignment and make it amazing. As Figure Plant’s chief creator with more than 30 years in design and production, David sums up his management philosophy this way: “Artists and artisans are at their best when they’re supported, encouraged, and treated with respect and dignity. To me, this ecology is the best possible environment for a company dedicated to supporting the visions of other creative professionals.”
- Spent 9 years as a welder, scenic carpenter and principal sculptor at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival
- His ancestors built clipper ships for the China tea trade in the 17th century and later, locomotive engines in the 19th century
- His father was an artist and designer: “Our pinewood derby cars were never the fastest, but always looked the best”
Head of Technical Design - "Dr. DXF "
"I find great satisfaction in taking a project from an idea on paper to a completed physical product."
Dave is yet another Figure Planter (Plantarian?) with a background in live theater. He has rarely worked in standard performance spaces, however, or built typical sets. Over his 20-plus years working as a scenic carpenter, welder, rigger/stagehand, lighting guy, and technical director, Dave has encountered a huge variety of designs and venues: a converted meat warehouse, a windswept outdoor amphitheater, a storefront in Soho. With some furniture building, commercial shop work, and construction work rounding out his experience, Dave brings a vast set of skills to Figure Plant and your project!
- Worked for 9 years as Technical Director at the California Shakespeare Theater
- An avid cyclist, he has as much fun tearing them down and building them up as riding them
- One day he didn’t wear his black cycling cap to work. That was weird
Project Manager - "Mr. Clean"
"Give me the ball so I can clean it before we give it to the shop to run with it."
Saintey (due to an overabundance of Daves and Davids in our office, he goes by "Saintey") found his way out of the great Southwest and into the cozy arms of Figure Plant awhile back. En route, he gathered his BFA in Theatrical Design, as well as many years of production management, rigging, A/V, remodeling, and various and sundry other related experience. The beating heart of the office, Saintey’s silent role at Figure Plant is holding us all together with his unique brand of caring--which always involves kind words and often involves sweets.
- Self-appointed “donut consigliere” of Figure Plant
- Considers both sharks and hippos to be graceful & elegant...his favorite would be a tough call!
- Personal pet projects: The Circus Project and Echo Theater Company
- Favorite piece of trivia: rats laugh when tickled
Technical Designer - "Captain Arduino!"
"Working at the intersection of engineering, craft, and art is thrilling. That's where the exciting stuff happens."
Fred has been figuring out how to build things since he was knee high to a grasshopper. Every Christmas his parents would give him a big Lego Technic Expert Builder set, hoping it would keep him busy all day. And every time, he’d have it built in an hour. There were also a few experiments with high-voltage electricity. The results convinced him to stick to batteries and low-voltage electricity for a while. (We’re grateful; he may be scarred) Fred has an MFA in Technical Direction, and over 20 years of experience building and engineering scenery for theater. He still loves working with his hands--welding and wood-butchering--but even more, he loves solving the puzzles of how to build awesome things well.
- Considers himself a semi-professional tinkerer
- Lived in Germany for 5 years as a child
- Total sci-fi junkie
- His spirit animal is the Cookie Monster
Fabricator - "Rocket Man"
"I’m grateful to have the chance to make all kinds of cool and beautiful things for all kinds of cool and interesting people."
From an early age, Jason’s parents instilled in him a strong sense of "if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right." Like so many of the Figure Plant team, his experience is broad and varied. He started carpentry in high school when the technical director of the theatre, impressed with his work ethic, hired him to work for his remodeling company. Jason later served in the US Air National Guard, where he learned hydraulics and electronics while working on the hawk missile system. Then he worked as a professional chef (!) for 15 years before returning to the theater. Eventually we found him. Or he found us. Anyway, happiness and joy ensued.
- Avid gamer (from simple board games to massive online multi-player games, and everything in between)
- Has the biggest little dog in the world, weighing in at 3.2 lbs of pure cuteness
- Still loves spending time in the kitchen, cooking for friends and family
Fabricator - "The Archivist"
"I’m a thinker and an introvert by nature. Working at Figure Plant forces me to be a doer. Which is probably a good thing"
Born in New York and raised in Philly, Jim’s nomadic period began at age 15 when he lit out on a train bound for Florida. From there it was on to Olympia WA, Las Vegas, Iceland (!), Vancouver BC, and finally Portland--not necessarily in that order, except for Portland being last. Jim has a degree in Product Design and Business Administration from the University of Oregon, from which he graduated summa cum laude. All along his journey he has indulged his deep love of books, both to read and to collect as artifacts (thus his nickname, given to him years ago by friends who were helping move said archives at the time). Jim has no idea how many books he owns, but he knows it is many thousands. And he knows how to move them around the country repeatedly.....
- Dreamed of being a filmmaker as a boy; his childhood hero was Jim Henson
- Has an ancestor who was a clockmaker from Germany’s Black Forest
- A formidable and much-feared little league shortstop and pitcher back in the day
- Worked for 8 years as a carpenter with Portland Center Stage (a former haunt of owner David Fredrickson as well)
Company Director - "The Glue"
"Everything’s a hammer. Unless it’s a screwdriver. Then it’s a chisel."
Jack-of-all-trades and master-of-all, John has worked as a master electrician and lighting designer for the theater, a carpenter and residential remodeler in Portland, and set dresser on more than 25 films, including a few you may have heard of like “Forrest Gump,” “A River Runs Through It,” and “Armageddon." As Company Director, John helps guide the business. As a maker, he works tirelessly to help our clients bring even their most outlandish creative vision to vibrant life. Just don’t ask him where his mechanical and creative abilities come from: “Watching me run a new gas line at his house, my dad once asked me, ‘Did you have another father somewhere that I didn’t know about?’”
- Met owner David Fredrickson in 1985
- His Irish ancestors included “boot bottomers” and shoemakers
- Actress Kyra Sedgwick once slammed his head in a door (true story)
- Spent 3 years as a practicing massage therapist (is that why he’s always so calm?)
Fabricator - "Joysterous"
"Go until you think you're gonna f@ it up, and then go a little further."
Joy landed in Portland from Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2011. A true Renaissance woman, Joy has been creating her whole life. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Studio with an emphasis in printmaking AND a Master of Landscape Architecture degree, she is well-schooled in the importance of presentation and attention to detail. Joy has professional experience as a baker, a sign maker, and a model shop technician, building architectural models for Antoine Predock Architect PC. She has curated and contributed work for numerous art and design shows. The list goes on and on. She considers herself, above all, a student of life. She is grateful to know and work with such a talented and caring group of people in such a great shop!
- Grew up in the desert and loves the rain!!!
- Played the clarinet as a child and would like to perform again someday (if she can overcome her dreadful stage fright)
- Has a community garden plot; has a little dog named Leo. Leo loves to eat the veggies
- Earned an honorable mention for a peace prize for her masters thesis work proposing a design/conceptual alternative to the conventional cemetery
Office Administrator - "Glitter Grrrl"
"Can I get your timesheet?"
Raised in the vast farmland of northern Illinois, Kristin made her escape to the Pacific Northwest after attending college in St. Louis. Drawn to the creative pulse of Portland, she quickly immersed herself in the performing and creative arts the city has to offer, both attending and participating in various kinds of shows. Eventually, her Rose City experience led her to the world of coffee--because, Portland--and she became a barista, baker, and manager at Posies Cafe, Figure Plant’s neighborhood morning haunt. Over americanos, decaf mochas, and bagels, Kristin got to know the team and became acquainted with some of the awesome work we get to do. When the universe opened a door, she jumped through with both feet, grabbing the reins and taming the wild animal that is us (okay, maybe we’re not a wild animal, but we’re arguably not house-broken). She immediately became an essential piece of the Figure Plant world. We are as happy to have her as she is to be here. Maybe even happier!
- Second oldest of six children
- Great-grandfather Carl Bunge was a composer in 19th century Germany
- Got a minute? Ask her about her dog Birdy. Yes, she will show you pictures....
- Once co-owned a small bookstore in SE Portland (because, again, Portland)
Shop Manager - "The Woodsman"
"I love when new craftspeople come to work here. They say that Figure Plant is the cleanest, most organized shop they've had the pleasure to create in. It’s great to facilitate a fun and safe creative environment."
His quote here is about as verbose as Levi gets – pretty much ever. A man of few words, Levi prefers to let his tools and his talent do his talking for him. Raised on a ranch in Montana, he and hard work are longtime companions. When not making our shop hum with efficiency, he spends time fine-tuning his home woodworking shop and crafting truly beautiful objects from the controlled intersection of nature and machine.
- Born in Canada, Levi moved with his family to Montana when he was 10
- Lived in his truck for a year exploring the country on a voyage to his new home in Oregon
- Plays mandolin in a fun and perhaps irreverent band called The Git Right Gospel Revue
Digital Engineer - "Technomancer"
"I want people to feel empowered by technology. If we can incite a person’s curiosity through technology, we help to realize a world that can work better for everyone."
Nikita moved to Oregon as a child when his family immigrated from Russia. He spent his youth in Eugene hacking gaming systems and teaching himself how to write code. After studying computer engineering at Cal-Poly in San Luis Obispo, he moved to Portland to work on a cloud-based IT application that is now being used around the world. Nikita’s techno-experience is about as broad as it could possibly be: writing code, electrical engineering, soldering circuitry and assembling machines, designing and building native mobile and desktop applications, setting up and managing networks, even phone systems. As his quote suggests, Nikita has made it his life’s pursuit to demystify technology for everyone (we don’t traffic in small dreams here at Figure Plant!). Never afraid of a challenge, nothing gets Nikita going more than applying his problem-solving skills to translating creative ideas into actual objects and interactive experiences. In his words, "strong design and clear communication are crucial to helping engage people."
- Produces visuals and works as a lighting technician to get into electronic music shows
- Favorite hobby involves building virtual reality systems with simulated motion (whatever that means)
- Once burned through a porta-potty with a laser he built
Project Manager - "The Fixer"
"Limitations define creativity."
Tyler’s earliest memories are of helping his dad slow the decay of their 1880’s farmhouse in Ludlow Falls, Ohio, repairing frozen pipes and being chased by angry farm animals. He misspent his youth replicating movie props, building custom franken-bikes and scaring his brothers with tales of potato-men. Tyler has worked professionally as a technical director, stagehand, waiter, rigger, truck driver, automation designer, university professor, electrician, set designer, welder, ditch digger, stage manager, art director, master carpenter, fry cook, props artisan, flyman, truck loader, parking attendant, and project manager.
- Once fixed a roommate’s beater Dodge Dakota by administering a “laying of hands” on the air filter
- Notices everything. Which can be a blessing and a curse
- Has an MFA in Theater Technology from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- Is absolutely terrible at loading the dishwasher