Redesigning: John Lassen's bed-frame easel

Take a look at what John Lassen built from a weathered king-size Ethan Allen bed frame and a door!

John, who has 15 years of computer graphics experience, says he does all his projects in Photoshop, first photographing each piece, then reassembling it digitally.  

“My processes are born out of necessity,” he says. “I think how am I going to design this? How about this?”

In this case, John was sitting in his backyard contemplating an easel design for a friend’s wedding when he spotted the bed frame leaning against the side of his house. Only partially covered outdoors, John said over the course of one winter the bed had developed just the right amount of patina.

“It caused joints to split so that’s why it looks so rustic. All the lamination joints had started to crack and peel in places,” he added. “It worked out really well because in some cases, like the back legs, it split the sides off.”

He started taking the entire piece apart, thinking and planning and conceptualizing the whole way. Then he photographed each piece, and used Photoshop to ‘stitch them back together.’

John says putting all the elements together digitally allows him to figure out the possibilities ahead of time, while eliminating most of the trial and error phase.

He also used Adobe Illustrator to design some of the specialized joints. 

“There’s a big hinge in the back, and I had that all figured out to scale,” John explained.

John crafted the actual easel chalkboard from the top half of a Shaker-style door with an arched inset, cutting a curved to edge along the outter edge to match.

The whole project took John about 200 hours to complete.

“I was exhausted the last two days that I worked on it. My motto was ‘Don’t hesitate,’ he said. “It came down to the last day and I literally worked 16 hours that day and the day before, but it was like, this is it, it’s got to be done today, and just don’t hesitate, don’t hesitate, don’t hesitate!”

Now that the wedding is over, John’s easel will be on display at ReStore outreach events and other special occasions throughout the year. When you see it, we hope you’ll step closer, take a good look…and consider things in a new light every time you donate or shop the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Don’t hesitate.

John Lassen is a ReStore donation pickup driver. His wife, Kris Donald, is interim store manager at the Gresham ReStore.

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