"I exist to create beautiful things."
My lifelong enthusiasm for beauty, design and mechanical tinkering were sparked early by my eclectic upbringing.
My childhood unfolded in the renegade rock & roll scene of the late 1960s; I played Frank Zappa’s drums as a toddler, and shared a dinner in a cabin with Bob Dylan.
I’ve always found beauty in many forms, from refined art to the most mundane functional objects. I’ve spent time in mansions, tepees and suburbia, visited museums and galleries worldwide, and have always appreciated the cacophony of textures, colors, and geometry found in any big city’s industrial underbelly. At age five I lived in a hardworking farming community. I remember the glow of the potbelly stove that sat on the dirt floor in the men’s quarters where I slept, and I remember watching the moon rise between the gaps in the boards as I drifted to sleep. There I developed a love for the smells of the farm, the grasslands, leather, sawdust and turpentine, the sounds of machinery humming and the crickets at dusk.
At twelve years old, I learned to weld aircraft steel from a former builder of nuclear submarines. As soon as I could get my hands on a camera, I began hanging out of car windows to shoot photos with my little Instamatic, amassing boxes of pictures of architecture that I loved. By high school I was working in an architectural office, building a car from scratch, and learning the hard way that my driver’s license didn’t make me a “licensed” electrician (though I’d already wired several houses).
I started my first business at 23, pursued an education with an emphasis in home design, and over the past 35 years I have had the privilege of being professionally involved in many related disciplines. In that time I have worked in the trenches alongside concrete contractors, framers, siders and carpenters. I’ve repaired stained glass windows, owned a landscaping business and a cabinetry shop, created sculpture in metal, glass and wood, and engineered parts for major toy companies. I have mentored with several renowned Northwest architects, apprenticed under fine furniture builders, and gleaned a comprehensive understanding of all facets of building, both as a designer and a craftsman.
In assembling my workforce as a general contractor, I aspire to recruit and develop hardworking employees who are passionate and creative in a variety of disciplines, so my team maintains the vitality, ingenuity and excitement your project deserves. From plumbers and electricians to blacksmiths and antiques dealers, I also have strong working relationships with an array of trustworthy subcontractors, vendors and artists. No matter how ambitious your project or unusual your inspiration, my access to tried and true craftsmen across the spectrum of related disciplines is vast.
Our 6,000-square-foot facility houses the tools and materials that allow us to build or fabricate just about anything. We build in wood, glass, metal, stone… I am constantly playing and experiment with mixing materials in interesting and beautiful ways to keep my design palate and technical methods fresh and innovative.
I love to reuse materials, and find that I am often inspired by the character and form of items that have already served their first purpose. While not exclusively a “green builder”, I take every realistic, beneficial opportunity to be environmentally thoughtful in all projects.
I have chosen to live in beautiful Bellingham, Washington, for the pace of life and access to the outdoors, but for the right project, I’m willing to travel. I have designed homes spanning the west coast from Canada to Mexico, but I also dive enthusiastically into smaller local remodel projects as my schedule allows.
I still have much to learn. My curious and adventurous spirit keeps me in the continual pursuit of beauty.
If you’re considering building a new home, remodeling an existing space, adding a feature, or looking for a unique statement piece for your collection, and you like what you see, give us a call. Our little team has some big ideas, and we love a good collaboration.
-Alexei Ford, Owner & Principal