Developing craft and skills means learning to use tools, equipment, and spaces. It is learning the practices of an art form, a sport, a video game, or a hobby that you continue to cultivate over time. It is the art of learning, tending, making, practicing, creating, cleaning, helping, and taking care of tools and equipment. It means to create a sense of place to promote the growth of possibilities.

Seth San Filippo illustrates the studio habit of mind, develop craft and skills through his work at Urban Lumber Co. 


  • What is form and function in art? How do they affect the decisions you make in creating art?
  •  What makes art beautiful? Does all art have to be beautiful? Why or why not? 
  • In what ways are art and personal or cultural legacy linked?
  • Does working through challenges make you a better artist? How or how not?


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Seth started building skateboards in his garage at 19, and over the course of five years, grew his company to have worldwide sales. While looking for wood for his boards, he began to notice beautiful city trees that were being removed and not being used. This led to the start of Urban Lumber Co. ten years ago, which turns salvaged city trees into unique lumber and custom furniture, and has grown from a one-man operation to ten employees, with three locations in two states (and growing). The company's home base is a 32,000 sq. ft. historic sawmill facility in Springfield, OR. 





When asked what advice he would give to his middle school-self, Seth replied, 

“Believe in yourself! It can be hard to fit in and although it is easier to do what everyone else is doing, don’t be afraid to believe in yourself and pursue your goals and ideas. Trust your instincts and go for it, but also have the power to say, “no” when something isn’t right for you.”