Meet Ferndale-based wood and resin artist Alex Herbert
By Perry Haselden
Featured photo via @alandfranklin
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your professional background.
My name is Alex. I’m a 28 year old transgender man. I live in Ferndale and have lived in the Metro Detroit area since about 2011. I work as a craftsman, making wood and resin decor and furniture.
2. How did you get started in the industry?
I’ve been making and creating things since I was a kid and always really enjoyed that as a hobby. As an adult, I worked the corporate management track, rat race type deal for a while and really just saw my emotional health and well-being declining rapidly. I was self destructive and just making and spending stupid amounts of money on nothing and still feeling completely disconnected from everything around me. In 2017 I made a lot of huge decisions, including transitioning, quitting my job, living off of savings for a while and making more things. It has kind of snowballed from there.
3. What have been some of your career highlights so far?
I did the interior tables for a restaurant in Ann Arbor, and I recently did the awards for the 2020 SEEN Changemaker Awards.
4. How is being based in/around Detroit beneficial to your career?
Detroit has an incredibly rich history of architecture and design which translates to some amazing antique furniture and wood. I have incredible inspiration and materials all around me for whatever ideas come up.
5. Other than your career, what drives you?
I think my main driver is just wanting to live a more connected life. Having better relationships, better mental health, and contributing to bettering the lives of those around me. Doing good work is a means to that life. If I wasn’t making things out of wood I’d probably be doing something else with my hands, making enough to get by, liv[ing] a thoughtful life.
6. Name three things you can’t live without.
Cheef and Franklin, my two dogs; and my partner Kent. Number four would probably be my tools.
7. What are your current favorite local spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
We don’t often go out to eat. I prefer to cook most of our meals, but Chartreuse is easily my favorite Detroit restaurant. You can try a new thing on the menu every time and still be blown away. If I’m going to spend money eating out, I want to be fed like a king and anything at Chartreuse will make you feel that way.
8. What’s your favorite place to shop locally?
The Rust Belt in Ferndale is an obvious go-to for special keepsakes. I also prefer to make my own gifts or purchase directly from local maker friends.
9. What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend in (Metro) Detroit
Go to Lake St. Clair for the sunrise, hit the trails with the dogs, hit Telly’s greenhouse on the way home and spend way too much money on plants. Go home, re-pot every one and enjoy the scenery with a cider from Blake’s.
10. What do you love most about (Metro) Detroit?
There is basically always something to do, find or explore. No matter what brings you to the D, you’ll end up leaving with a new food you’ve never tried or a new experience.