We first caught a glimpse of Bryan Edwards’ meticulously crafted, elegantly designed wood furniture in Canyon Coffee’s online journal and figured woodworking must be something that he has been doing for a lifetime. Well, yes and no.

Bryan cycled through several disciplines before starting Hummingbird + Hawk, a line of Japandi-style wood furniture and accessories. He studied biological anthropology at Duke as an undergraduate, pivoted post-college to become a professional dancer in New York City, and then five years later became a graphic designer. It wasn’t until he challenged himself to replace all of his “budget-conscious” furniture with his own designs that he considered his new vocation. It’s not the typical trajectory of a furniture designer, but it’s worked out for him in spectacular ways.

Above: Bryan spent much of his childhood hiking and camping in the Pacific Northwest: “This developed a deep connection to nature and a fascination with how we fit within the natural world. Our design philosophy is based on this respect for nature and a dedication to using only sustainable products and methods,” he says.

“It might not always be top of mind while I’m designing/creating but I’m sure my past disciplines have played a major role in my approach to furniture design,” he tells us. “A big part of learning to dance is learning how your body works and moves. This gives better insight into how the furniture designs might interact with the human form. Design is where art meets function. While the problems I need to solve with graphic design might be different, the philosophy is the same. It can’t just look good!”

But, of course, it helps that his designs do look good. Have a look.

Photography courtesy of Hummingbird + Hawk.

Bryan describes his work as &#8
Above: Bryan describes his work as “clean, subtle, sustainable, and drawing from mid-century modern and Japanese designs.” Pictured is a Hummingbird + Hawk credenza, which features adjustable shelving and sliding door fronts.
Most of his pieces are made from bamboo, like this coffee table. &#8
Above: Most of his pieces are made from bamboo, like this coffee table. “I almost exclusively use bamboo plywood. This is produced in China. But given the speed of growth (four to five years for bamboo compared to the decades it can take for hardwoods) and that there is close to zero waste in the manufacturing process (the saw dust is used to make fire starting pellets), even with the shipping to the US, bamboo ply is still much more sustainable than typical lumber,” says Bryan.
Bryan and his wife recently moved from Los Angeles to Nashville, where he continues to make pieces for Hummingbird + Hawk in addition to his graphic design and branding work. Pictured is his son, on the walnut rocker Bryan built for mother and son. &#8
Above: Bryan and his wife recently moved from Los Angeles to Nashville, where he continues to make pieces for Hummingbird + Hawk in addition to his graphic design and branding work. Pictured is his son, on the walnut rocker Bryan built for mother and son. “Any hardwoods I use are sourced from standing dead trees or fallen trees, pieces that would normally be sent to landfills,” he says.

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