Spike TV will debut a competitive furniture design series, “Framework,” on Jan. 6. Hosted by hip-hop artist, actor and author Common, the show features 13 contestants vying for a $100,000 cash prize and the opportunity for their work to be sold by a major furniture manufacturer.
“The competitors will be pushed to the brink of their physical and creative limits with challenges that ask them to reconsider everything they know about designing and building furniture,” according to the show’s promotional literature. “The builders will use unconventional materials, rethink classic furniture pieces and incorporate a variety of techniques and disciplines to demonstrate their mastery of furniture creation.”
Curtis Rew of Spokane, Wash., is a contestant on the show and told Woodshop News this could be a life-changing experience.
“I couldn’t wait to get started when I got the news that I was going to be on it,” Rew says. “I’m working mainly as a carpenter right now, but from 2005 to 2008 I had a business building furniture until the economy went bad and I had to get a better paying job. But this opportunity was my way to get back into doing it full time.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen as far as who the winner will be. I will just do what I do best and hope I win.”
Rew earns a living as the lead carpenter restoring a 120-year-old building in Spokane, but he’d rather be building furniture commissions. If he wins the competition, he wants to start a company and launch three distinct furniture lines.
“I’m a classic woodworker. I know every hand tool that’s been made in the past 500 years and can use all of them, so my skillset is heavily in wood and building the classic mortise-and-tenon joinery and doing dovetails, that sort of thing,” Rew says.
“Furniture building is not an incredibly difficult process. It’s just something you need experience in.”
The cash prize and national recognition from winning the show probably wouldn’t hurt either.
The show’s judges include Common, Nolen Niu and Brandon Gore. For programming information, visit www.spike.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2015 issue.