Put A Bird In It—Featured Maker, Leland Duck of Revive Upholstery & Design

Leland Duck’s work is inventive and refreshing, juxtaposing Pendleton prints with midcentury office furniture. With a background in the automotive world, his passion for vintage cars led to upholstery work. He operates Revive Upholstery & Design with his wife, and works out of Beam & Anchor.

What inspired you to shift from the auto industry to your own making?

I’ve had a love of cars forever and I had always wanted to work in the auto industry. I went to school for that sole purpose, and after I graduated went straight to work. It kind of killed the passion for me, and after I moved to Portland and worked for the biggest douche bag, I’d had enough. I went into business for myself and kept cars as my hobby and brought back the fun.

Your upholstery work features an array of fabrics – vastly different textures and patterns. Where do you source this? What inspires what you choose for a specific piece?

I source from all over. I am a junker at heart, so I love going to estate sales, flea markets, and finding vintage materials. It’s like a treasure hunt. I also love finding locally sourced fabrics wherever I travel too and I found some amazing fabrics on my honeymoon in Spain and Africa.

There are so many things that inspire me when I do a piece. Mens’ vintage fashion has been playing a huge role in my recent pieces. I’m also incredibly inspired by my automotive background. Some of the techniques used in cars, look so amazing when translated to furniture. Sometimes the piece will lend itself perfectly to a certain type of fabric, other times I find I have only so much of a material and so I’m forced to get creative with my placement and fabric combos.

Describe a typical day.

Coffee. Always.

Baked Goods – Donuts from Tulips in St. Johns are my favorite.

NPR.

I usually get into the shop with the Foz (our dog Fozzie) before 9am.

Depending on the day I may have a meeting with a client to go over fabric choices or design options. Most days I jump right into a project with my employee, Kelly. I take calls from my wife, who does the admin side of our business from home.

Lunch - Everyday’s different, although it’s always late in the day.

Fozzie gets a walk.

I jump right back into our project. These days I’ve been working a lot more on my own designs and pieces. It’s been a real treat to create furniture for our pop up shop at Rejuvenation. Usually around 6 or 7 I either compete my project or find a good stopping place.

Home.

Dinner with the wife.

We usually spend the evening with Fozzie, he’s a huge fan of the park and late night walks along the river.

Tell me about your birdhouse.

The birdhouse is inspired by my background as an Eagle Scout. I wanted to utilize sewing and fabric, so I’ve decided to go with an outfitters tent. My process involves a lot of procrastination, which is why I work so well under pressure. I’ve been collecting a lot of vintage camping books lately for inspiration, and am really excited to get started.