Judson Beaumont was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1960. He came to Vancouver, BC to study art at Capilano College, completing his studies at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. He graduated from their 3-D department in 1985 and that same year founded Straight Line Designs Inc., creating one-of-a-kind furniture pieces and commissions.
“When I was young, I used to think that in order to design and build anything; one had to get a set of instructions from a book or a magazine. I always assumed that someone else had to come up with the ideas and then you were supposed to build it that way.
“I guess that is why most furniture looks the way it does.” Mr. Beaumont continues, “In my first sculpture class in Art School I learned quite the opposite. I asked my instructor what it was that I should make, and his response was to do whatever I wanted. It did not matter whether it was a good or a bad idea; it was important to just try and do something different. Art school was a good influence; it made me look at things differently.”
Judson continues, “From that day on I never looked at building the same. I had a new focus: to design and build differently. I started with minimalist shapes that slowly transformed into functional furniture. My early furniture pieces were simple in form and shape for I was not a good builder. The more confident I became, the more unusual my ideas became.”
“My rule is: if you can draw and design it, you can build it. I love it when someone tells me that, ‘You cannot build that’ or ‘No one would want that’. These words only encourage me more.”
With passion for ‘something different’, Judson is always searching for new ways to make people question the objects around them. The challenge is to design pieces that are new, inspiring and always highly functional. “A person must dare to drift away from the tried and true in order to give a piece energy and interest. Be influenced and inspired by the norm, and then challenge it, change it, melt it, stretch it, alter it for the better” says Judson.
Judson has always striven to push the limits, try different things. He questions everything and takes it to the next level through functionality or bending the rules. Taking a different path with something that has been done over and over again, Judson incorporates a sense of uniqueness to his designs; proving that anything is possible and that ideas are limitless.
Judson has donated many pieces to charitable organizations including Arts Umbrella, the Vancouver Art Gallery, BC Guide Dog Services, AIDS Vancouver and BC Children’s Hospital. In addition to his donations, Judson takes time out of work to give talks and slide show presentations to students of all ages as well as design professionals. He is an active member of BC Wood, Woodlinks and the Furniture Society and a regular speaker at woodworking related workshops at BCIT.