WE MAKE INSPIRING. WE MAKE INTENSE.
WE MAKE INCREDIBLE.

For brands, agencies, and artists seeking an inspired partner who will find wildly imaginative solutions to their toughest creative challenges, Figure Plant has been turning the impossible into the incredible for almost twenty years. Our singular commitment to building with emotion, ingenuity, and integrity makes us the best choice for any creative professional.

THE TEAM


DAVID FREDRICKSON, AKA “THE INSTIGATOR”

Founder/Owner “Building my own company has helped me realize what I care most about.” For David, 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 any creative assignment and make it amazing. As Figure Plant's chief creator with more than 25 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 environment for a company dedicated to supporting the visions of other creative professionals."

FAST FACTS

  • Trailblazing rollerblader since 1985
  • Spent 7 years as a welder, scenic carpenter, and principle 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
  • Father was an artist and graphic designer: "Our pinewood derby cars were never the fastest, but always looked the best."

JOHN CENICEROS, AKA “THE GLUE”

Company Director “What we provide is not a commodity. It's a creative partnership.” 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 a set dresser on more than 25 films, including a few that 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?’”

FAST FACTS

  • 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?)

NATE FRANCOIS, AKA “THE CULTIVATOR”

Director of Client Services “I've spent a lot of years building 'things'. What drew me to Figure Plant was the making of marvels.” An Oregon native, Nate journeyed to many far-flung corners of the globe before returning to the Pacific Northwest. His past exploits include working as an English teacher to Business Executives in Germany, managing a world famous luxury hotel, and being part of the creation of science exhibits for the world's leading producer of educational displays. As a child, Nate would often work through the night as he constructed small modular and energy efficient homes out of wooden blocks. His love for the built environment is rivaled only by his passion for science, culminating in what he calls 'the nexus', in which the lines between the physical and virtual worlds begin to blur.

FAST FACTS

  • Nate was a professional rugby player for FB Stutsa Muenchen, but now enjoys Ultimate Frisbee, Dungeons & Dragons, and the occasional pub quiz as his favorite forms of recreation.
  • A recent father, Nate reads nightly excerpts from Cormac McCarthy's The Road to guide his parenting style.
  • He makes a mean omelet, but maybe keep him away from your gas grill. He is fascinated by combustible gases and has singed off his eyebrows on more than one occasion.

JESSE PIERSON, AKA “THE ARTICULATOR”

Marketing Director “I love being able to tell others about the unique experiences that we create.” With teachers for parents, Jesse’s family would spend summers traveling around the Northwest during his formative years. Their journeys would always include visits to local artist studios where he was mesmerized by the creative process. These impressions manifested a passion for creativity and its convergence with the entrepreneurial spirit. His passion for art drew him to Oregon and its community or bronze foundries, where he eventually became the Mold Engineering Manager, building monumental art for renowned artists. He then attended Portland State University’s School of Business to gain a framework for his entrepreneurial side. Here his passion for creative writing steered his studies toward the marketing of creative ideas. Now, as Marketing Director of Figure Plant, Jesse is part of the diversity of creativity and excellence in craftsmanship that Figure Plant inspires on a daily basis.

FAST FACTS

  • Celebrated 16th, 17th, and 18th birthdays on a boat in Alaska.
  • Sold truck and Volkswagen to travel Europe for half a year.
  • Spent winters welding for ski resorts to fund snowboarding.
  • Related to the nefarious Younger Brothers of the outlaw gang led by Jesse James.

CRYSTAL POTTER, AKA “THE SOURCE”

Production Director “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 know no gender stereotypes - from knitting and embroidery to carpentry and welding, she is equally at home in the shop and the office. 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 and design studios. She possesses a tireless enthusiasm for progress and a tenacious approach to finding things - solutions, widgets, contact lenses, you name it!

FAST FACTS

  • 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

DAVE NOWAKOWSKI, AKA “SWISS ARMY KNIFE”

Head of Technical Design “I find great satisfaction in taking a project from an idea on paper to a complete physical product.” Dave is another Figure Planter with a live entertainment background though he’s often worked in non-typical environments within that industry. From executing unique theater designs in a converted meat warehouse, to a windswept outdoor amphitheater, rarely has he worked in typical performance venues, or built typical sets, for that matter. Through his 20 plus years working as scenic carpenter, welder, rigger stagehand, lighting guy and technical director he’s encountered a wide variety of designs, personalities and venues. Add some furniture building, commercial shop and construction work to the mix and Dave brings a versatile set of skills to complete your vision.

FAST FACTS

  • Also has a 1989 truck that was free. What is it about Figure Plant that attracts personnel who have scored free pickup trucks of a very specific vintage?
  • Worked for 9 years as Technical Director at the California Shakespeare Theater.
  • Will almost never leave home without his black cycling cap on, whether or not the day will involve a bicycle.
  • Avid cyclist, but has as much fun tearing them down and building them up as riding them

DAN GAY, AKA “THE SECRET WEAPON”

Senior Fabricator "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 mediums and disciplines. This curiosity has culminated in unconventional collaborations with dancers, musicians, mechanical engineers, metal workers, fellow visual artists, among many others. In 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 to the development of exhibitions and events, often acting as Gallery Director, while simultaneously maintaining his own studio practice. As a Production Artist, Dan has worked in a myriad of mediums, from 3D printing and stained-glass to screen-printing and illustration.

FAST FACTS

  • Raised by builders, farmers, engineers, artists, architects, social workers, and a 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.

LEVI LUNDE, AKA “THE MAKER”

Shop Steward “I love when new artists 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, functional and safe creative environment.” A man of few words, Levi was raised on a ranch in Montana and is no stranger to hard work. When not making the shop hum with efficiency, he spends time fine-tuning his home woodworking shop, crafting beautiful objects from the controlled intersection of nature and machine. His passion for fine woodworking was first inspired by his love for creating music with a variety of acoustic instruments. Levi can be found on stage most weekends making music with his lovely wife, band of friends, or the many new friends he meets on the road and at festivals.

FAST FACTS

  • 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 slow voyage to his new home in Oregon.
  • Has two dogs, Mia and Coda who love to join in family jam sessions.

What Makes Us Different


Emotion. We believe in the power of the things we make to inspire emotion. A sense of wonder. A spirit of adventure. A feeling of responsibility. After all, it’s emotion that gets people to move, to change, to act. That’s why we infuse powerful emotion into everything we make. And no matter what we create—from the tiniest scale model to the most massive walk-through experience—we make sure our clients and our audiences are feeling it.

Ingenuity. We are problem-solvers. Obstacle-overcomers. Puzzle-masters. Inventive and resourceful, we take our clients’ toughest creative challenges and solve them in imaginative and beautiful ways. That’s what they trust us to do. Because, at the end of the day, we want to be known not just for the quality of what we make, but the ingenuity with which we make it.

Integrity. When time, money, and emotion are on the line, our clients need and deserve a creative partner they can trust unequivocally. To “get” the challenge. To play an active role in crafting the solution. To handle things with care. To treat everyone with respect. To make something awesome. Our credentials in the creative community are impeccable, and we’re proud to say we measure our client relationships in years, not dollars.

Design Week Portland