Monday, July 18th, 2011

Designer Interview: John Eric Byers of Jeb Jones


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
5 Comments » | Published in Designer Interviews  |  5 Comments

Today we’re sitting down with John Eric Byers, the furniture designer behind Jeb Jones. Jeb Jones is an environmentally conscious company that creates furniture distinguished by simple geometric forms, traditional construction methods, hand-tooled surfaces and hand finishing. Based in upstate New York, the designs are influenced by the four seasons and the surrounding countryside. Without further ado, meet John!
Jeb Jones Spools (Short)

What was the first piece of furniture you ever made?

I made a ladder back chair in high school shop. Gave it to my Mom of course.

What has your career path been; what led you into designing furniture?

I always had a desire to work with my hands and with wood. When I discovered the furniture of Wendell Castle I was hooked. I was very fortunate that he had a small school of which I attended for 2 years and then went out on my own.

Jeb Jones Stacking Drawers Dresser

What is your philosophy when approaching the design of a new piece?

Excitement and anxiousness.. I get this kind of  buzz.

What inspires you? What do you do to overcome a creative block?

Honestly, I have never had a creative block. But the best cure to indecision is to stay disciplined and make a decision and hope for the best.

Jeb Jones Wood Ball

Please tell us a bit about the sustainable aspects of your practice and products.

At the onset  I wanted JEB JONES to represent sustainability and enduring quality. We use only FSC select hardwoods and VOC-free environmentally safe opaque and clear coat finishes. Our costs are higher but I refuse to cheap out on the environment . When you purchase one of our pieces, you can feel proud that you are doing right by your planet. And you can feel that way for a lifetime because our pieces will last a lifetime and our warranty supports that.

Can you tell us a quick story about three of your designs and how they came to be?

Most of my designs start as quick thumbnail doodles, I never do working drawings. I often have a few designs being made at the same time and then I begin to see variations on the pieces as they come to life.

Jeb Jones Open Form Bench/Table

The idea of emphasizing the interior space of the Open Form Tables led me to to extend that interior consideration and attention to detail to all the open pieces in the collection.

What’s your workspace like? How do your surroundings in upstate New York influence you work?

My private studio is short 30 foot  commute from my 1860s farm house which makes it easy to go to the studio every day.  I think the simplicity of my lifestyle in the country has contributed to the simplicity of my design forms . The four seasons certainly has influenced my color palette.

Thanks so much to John for sitting down with us today! Here are more of his designs.

About Becky:
Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!

About Becky

has written 1620 post in this blog.

Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!



  1. goodjoy says:

    July 18th, 2011 at 3:09 pm (#)

    We were so glad to read the interview with John eric Byers. Design Public seams to be a great venue for his work. We are looking forward to seeing and reading more about JEB JONES in the future.
    goodjoy design

  2. bruce hoffman says:

    July 18th, 2011 at 5:14 pm (#)

    Love ya man.. keep doing what you do best.. work is looking great

  3. andy buck says:

    July 19th, 2011 at 5:27 pm (#)

    This work is beautiful. Great forms, great color palate, and a solid design philosophy to back it up!

  4. Rick Snyderman says:

    July 20th, 2011 at 9:35 am (#)

    Your work has always been at the leading edge. I think the JEB JONES line is a winner – clean, elegant and original. Congratulations.

  5. Lex O'Brien says:

    November 23rd, 2011 at 11:46 am (#)

    Great to see John’s fantastic art getting more exposure. It’s awesome work – and as everyday-functional as it is aesthetically rich. There aren’t many things that you can say that about, right? Keep on it!

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