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Our Story



 

 We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.

At Ciseal, we know that the spaces we inhabit affect our mood, thoughts, and actions.  As such, we aim to make products that look fantastic and inspire joy.

Ciseal was inspired by the Midcentury Modern architecture and design that’s so prevalent in and around Detroit.  The thoughtful, functional blend of nature and the modern, clean lines of these buildings influenced us to create our own designs using the natural material and modern method of bent plywood.  

Ciseal began in 2013 with a few layers of veneer, a bottle of wood glue, a handmade mold and some clamps.  Those ingredients made our very first product - the Ray iPad Stand (and we still use that original mold!).  Ciseal has been growing steadily ever since - supporting our design habit one bent plywood product at a time.  

Un-molding a Ray iPad Stand

We proudly design and make all of our products by hand in our Troy, Michigan studio.  Each Ciseal product is still inspired by our neighborhood and thoughtfully vetted through countless hours of research, design, and crafting.  The finished products we offer are the result of many iterations and fine tuning for comfort, usability, and style.  The quality of our products is in the details: the intentional curves, the hand-layered, sustainable wood veneer, and the ease of use.

Ciseal is an Irish Gaelic word for layer.  It's pronounced KISH-ill by the Irish, but we've taken to pronouncing it sis-EEL

Bent plywood is our craft, but as people, we’re always learning, growing, and evolving.  Ciseal is about how we layer the trappings of life in a way that uniquely speaks to our soul.  It’s a way of life, a mindset that focuses our attention on finding and embracing all of the layers that matter so that we are free to take our pleasure seriously.

Our Manifesto

We embrace modernism.
We don’t follow the crowd without careful contemplation.
We consider curiosity a responsibility.  
We embrace change.  
We pursue truth.  
We take no pride in being right.
 
We practice minimalism.  
We remove distraction so that we can experience the pleasure of simplicity.
We appreciate when form follows function in a beautiful way.
We are fascinated by a soulful attention to detail.
We discover what matters uniquely to us, and pursue those things with the utmost joy.
We are free from the clutter of endless options because we have found our focus.
 
We support ethical production.
We believe that the pursuit of more things, bigger things, and cheaper things leaves both the consumer and planet empty things.
We make things the right way - even when it’s the hard way.
We know that slow furniture is always worth the wait.
We believe that fair compensation is a fundamental ingredient in a beloved product.
We think that an obsession with craftsmanship and quality is perfectly healthy.
We understand that beautiful, meaningful, timeless designs require high quality materials and production methods.
We envision that there is a future for American luxury and American quality.
We buy for keeps.
 
We are each the designers of our own lives.  
We know that purposeful creation requires mindful curation.
We believe that our environment reflects who we are and influences what we do. 
We create joy instead of waiting for it.
We curate homes that are as unique as we are.
We are inspired by our homes to live life to its absolute fullest.
 
What does your home inspire?
 

Our Team

Nicole Hodsdon

Nicole Hodsdon

Owner | Designer | Chief Plywood Bender

Nicole began her circuitous route to founding Ciseal by practicing engineering at GM for several years.  While at GM, the architecture and design of the Tech Center inspired her to study Industrial Design and Crafts at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.  She took a class on bent plywood and was instantly hooked.  She designs and makes (almost) every Ciseal product as well as answers every single email you send us.  Her favorite movie is Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Fozzie

Fozzie B. Hodsdon

Studio Dog | Chief Swimmer

If we’re being honest, Fozzie doesn’t really help out with the bent plywood at all, but we like to keep him around anyway.  He spends his days looking out the window at bunnies, squirrels, and ducks, counting down the minutes to his daily afternoon walk, and dreaming that said walk ends up at the lake for a swim.  His favorite movie is Frozen because Sven (yes, he watches TV!).

 

Lets keep in touch!

If you'd like to keep up with all of the things we're up to at Ciseal, the best way to do that is to sign up for our email newsletter.  Our newsletter subscribers enjoy exclusive offers, styling tips, and are the first to know about new products.  Get in on the action today!

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Admiration

thekitchn

So many iPad stands are functional -- and look it. If you want a break from black plastic in the kitchen, try this one -- a gorgeous swoop of bent plywood.

 

Atomic Ranch

For friends and family that enjoy having their reading material at arm’s reach, the Aspen Bent Plywood Magazine Rack is a beautiful accessory.

 

busyboo

Each tablet stand is an impressive display of stupifyingly simple design. It certainly functions well with its engineered objective, but you might be tempted to never mount an iPad on the stand and leave it as a self-contained design that captures attention by itself.

 

solid smack

Ciseal has become a go-to source for modern hand-crafted bent plywood furniture.

i am the lab

Just in case your life is devoid of bent plywood coolness, which I suspect it is, I bring you Ciseal. I’ve been a fan of this collection for a while now and I really want more folks to discover these beautiful curvaceous creations.

 

hunker

These 11 U.S. Furniture Brands Are Making America Decor Again

Michigan-based Ciseal takes pride in the fact that they make all of their products "by hand and in-house from carefully selected sustainable materials." They strive to create timeless pieces that inspire.

 

cool mom picks

The wavy tablet stands, curved magazine racks and some gorgeous handmade plywood table lamps feature sleek and modern designs, yet with an earthy and easy style that can work for many different decor themes and lifestyles. Even if you’ve got children.

 

the wallbreakers

When the beauty of form meets the comfort of function, it’s a commercial artist’s ultimate success. Really that’s the goal of all commercial artists. They strive to be considered “artists” in that they’re creative problem solvers, but they also strive to be considered businessmen (+ women) who have honed their craft to the point where others wish to hire their services. Nicole has done just that.

 

Check out our blog

Our blog is the place where we write about the people, places, and things that inspire us.  We offer guides for styling your home, and we provide helpful tips for finding those high-quality handcrafted goods you crave.  Check out a few of our most popular articles:

Estate Sale Tips

6 Estate Sale Tips to Find the Vintage Mid Century Modern Furniture You Crave

 

Why is midcentury modern still a thing

Why is Mid Century Modern Still a Thing?

 

The GM Tech Center

Ciseal Roots: The GM Tech Center

 

Ciseal’s definitive guide to buying quality handcrafted furniture

Ciseal’s Definitive Guide to Buying Quality Handcrafted Furniture