May 2023 Featured MCA Member: Dahl & Company
New to our membership, Jim Lynch founded Dahl & Company in 1980 and named the company after his beloved grandmother and family matriarch, Eva Dahl. Jim’s love for woodworking has resulted in a wide variety of wooden housewares and one of a kind furniture over the course of his career. With a focus on sustainability Dahl & Co is committed to sourcing 100% Maine wood for their products, some even sourced from their own woodlots in Midcoast Maine. As the business grows, Dahl & Co continues to seek out local suppliers from materials to packaging.
Available now at the Shop Maine Craft Retail Galleries and Webshop, Dahl & Co offers a collection of wall-hung drying racks made from eastern white pine. Designed with functionality in mind, the dowels are maple, and the scissors are maple or ash. This combination of hard and soft woods makes the rack strong, yet lightweight. Stainless steel and brass fastenings, both non-corrosive metals, ensure no rust will form in damp environments. While seemingly simple in their visual appeal, the attention to detail in these functional homegoods ensures a long life of use for both the rack and the items it holds, may they be drying flowers and linens in the kitchen, laundry in the washroom, or outerwear drying by the fireplace after a long day in the great outdoors!
Q & A with Dahl & Co
Q: How long has your company been in business?
A: Dahl and Company has been in business since 1980. It’s only recently that we’ve come into the modern world of online sales.
Q: What are the most important elements you consider when making your designs?
A: Our designs must be beautiful AND functional. The things we make are meant to be used for generations to come. Quality counts!
Q: Where do you source your materials from, and why?
A: We do our best to source all of our materials from Maine, or at least New England. Support the local economy! We don’t use tropical woods, not only out of concerns for the planet’s rain forests and jungles, but also to avoid the embedded energy that comes along with their use.
Q: What else do you enjoy making?
A: Various metal sculptures and wood carvings, mostly as gifts for the family.
Q: What is the best compliment you’ve ever received about your work?
A: An Amish man once said he was impressed by our wall hung drying rack. Coming from a man whose people are known for quality craftsmanship, that felt good.
Q: Where do you go to find inspiration for your designs?
A: We love traditional pieces. We often put our own spin on traditional designs by changing materials, finishes, modernizing the overall look, etc.
Q: Did you have any mentors or major influences that led you to creating this business?
A: Jim Lynch, our founder, thanks his high school wood shop teacher for starting him out on his lifelong love of wood craft. Vive les industrial arts!
Q: Where did you grow up? Why did you decide to live/stay in Maine?
A: Jim grew up on Long Island, New York. He originally came to Maine to pursue a postgraduate year at Hyde School in Bath. He and his family fell in love with the place, and soon his mother and grandmother (the matriarch of the family and namesake of our business) moved the whole family up here. It’s home now.
Q: How, if at all, do you market your work?
A: We have a few wholesale outlets, and we’re hoping to use social media to increase online sales. We’re still figuring this out.
Q: How did you (learn about / become involved with) the Maine Crafts Association?
A: We learned of the MCA through a friend and fellow artist in the Studio Building in Portland, Maria Wolff (and former MCA staff member!).
The Maine Crafts Association was founded in 1983 to support and connect Maine’s craft artists. This non-profit organization provides educational programs, public events, mentorship, artist promotions and an inclusive community to connect emerging, mid-career and established craftspeople.
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