The Haul project was recently featured on a great bike blog and brought up a need to further explain the reasoning behind the work. I drafted a response and thought I should share it here. Detailed, informative, and honest.
I originally conceived the Haul as an elegant indoor firewood holder because I needed one in my own house and didn't like what was currently available. It was a product I could make using all the tooling I already had in the shop to design and fabricate bikes, specifically bike racks. Most importantly to me, it was an exercise in design concept, prototyping, fabricating and realizing a completed project, for fun's sake. Only after posting progress Instagrams and hearing encouragement from the design community here in Portland did I decided to make it a public offering and to see what would happen.
I can admit there are times when I grow fatigued making bikes. Not for the lack of love for the bicycle but for the repetition. It can be tough to keep a creative energy when working with a singular product. I think most framebuilders could agree. A project like this helps me stay focused and revives my desire to make cool stuff, be it bikes, home goods or whatever.
I've been using my Haul to bring in firewood every night for the last few months and absolutely love it. It does it's intended job perfectly and it looks great doing it. I've also sold a few along the way. For me the Haul isn't just a product that works well but also one that helped restore my love for designing something and seeing it through to the end.
I hope this adds to the discussion a bit and helps explain a personal enduring question I have as a designer.....why create something?