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Women at Work: Furniture Makers Ivy Siosi and Audi Culver

Pronouns: she/her + she/her

Tell us about SIOSI.

Audi: SIOSI is our furniture company. We’re based in Bloomington, IN, and sell via our site shop.

tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

You’re both highly trained, but not in your chosen form—woodworking. True?

Audi: You got it. Undergrad in sociology and studio art, MFA in Photography.

Ivy: Undergrad in sculpture and printmaking. Then trade school, where I got another degree in Classic Automotive Restoration. Woodworking offered another unique way to express ideas and develop forms that are both functional as well as inclusive—and informed by humans’ most basic, need-based history.

How do you split the tasks? Who does what?

Audi: I’m the conductor of all things business, from photography + website design, to emails + social media. I’m a workaholic. There, I said it. I start my day by answering emails, checking Google analytics, editing photos, and then head to the shop to get going on the day’s project(s). With woodworking, there are endless new techniques to learn and processes to improve upon. Ivy's days are dense and diversified, from design, to woodworking, to welding, to fixing the vehicles and building motorcycles.

You’re partners in work and in life. How the hell does that work?

Dovetail Women at Work Audi and Ivy of Siosi Design

Ivy (L), Audi (R) and pups in their studio.

Ivy: How could we not work together? She’s my favorite person. I love knowing how her day went. It helps me be a better partner after work, it helps me understand our finances better, it helps me plan our future better.

We’re not attached at the hip or anything. Furniture building is still a relatively solitary job, but no one can do everything by themselves, so it’s nice to have the person you love and like the most there to help when you need it.

Your life cannot possibly be as beautiful as it looks on Instagram. Give us some dirt!

Audi: Right now I’m really itchy. I have bug bites from head to toe from walking through a seed tick nest. You can’t see them on Instagram, but I’m miserable! 

Woodworker Audi Siosi in the great outdoors Dovetail Workwear

Out on the land.

Is there a piece of furniture you covet for yourselves? 

Ivy: Always. We just delivered a big slab table that I really, really wanted to keep—woulda been perfect in our house we’re building. And of course I want all of Brian Persico’s stuff and Julian Watts’ work is so supple and inspiring…don’t get me started—I can go on forever.

Audi: I want an Eames Chair real bad. One of my favorite woodworkers/designers is Kylle Sebree. I’d love to have a Lewers Bench or Harper Bed.

Let’s play favorites. What are your fav…

Tools

Audi: Lie Nielson block plane

Part of woodworking

Audi: The first coat of finish on a slab table is very gratifying.

Siosi designs woodworker Audi expresses the joy of a project well done

Those finished project feels

Drinks

Ivy: I only drink lemonade and beer.

Childhood toys

Ivy: I grew up really poor, so my imagination, a spoon, and a mud puddle. 

What makes your furniture pieces different?

Audi: we work on a piece until we’re 100% happy with it. A single piece can take months. 

Ivy: I think our crispy details set us apart.

SIOSI created the perfect playlist for sparking your creative flow in the workshop. Give it a listen!

How are you different from one another?

Audi: Ivy is a creative through and through: bad at time management, highly creative, and her ideas are often a bit weird for me… That’s how we make what we make. It’s Ivy’s weirdo idea brought down to earth a little. If I was the sole designer, this would be a very boring line of furniture. I’m a practical, hard-working Midwesterner. I think I have a naturally organized mind that makes me pretty OK at the business side of things. I‘m a third-generation entrepreneur, and before that we were farmers, so hard work is just what we’ve always done. 

A Seat at the Table with Siosi Designs

Build your own seat at the table–literally.

Ivy: It’s true, I’m a little scattered and less focused. My sense of time is wildly off and my priorities seem to be stuck in one of those Bingo ball tumblers. Thank goodness for Audi.

What’s something you don’t like making?

Ivy: Phone calls. Ugh, I need to call AT&T right now and I don’t want to!

Audi: I can’t stand metal work. I have a visceral dislike for that grease and grime on my hands.  

Tell us about the new workshop.

Ivy: It's a dreamy 3500 sq ft on 56 acres of land with a view of the house (currently under construction). Come visit! It’s just a killer set up!

What are your dreams for SIOSI?

Audi: I want to make big-ass tables that people are willing to wait for – no more deadlines, just making highly detailed live edge tables until they’re absolutely perfect. Tables that are sculptures. 

All photos courtesy of @siosidesign

Workwear featured above


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