If you aren’t already familiar with the work of John Beck, the unassuming but confident talent behind John Beck Paper & Steel (tagline Rule Breaker, Hand Maker), you may be hearing about him in the near future. Beck is currently in talks with a St. Louis retailer to carry his line of hand-crafted contemporary steel furniture, lighting and accessories. The steel artisan closed his 5,000-square-foot workshop and retail store Blend (both were located on Locust Street), but continues to design and manufacture furniture and lighting for a host of corporate clients on a national level, including Starbucks, Google, Facebook, Kiehls, and interior designers such as Kara Mann and Clodagh.
“We do 95 percent of our work in New York, L.A., Chicago and Austin,” says Beck, who exhibits annually at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City. Locally, the company recently completed an offi ce job with Nehring Design for Nehring’s client, Interapptive, in the KMOV building downtown. Plus, Beck says he’s in talks with the folks at Arlene Lilie Interior Design about jazzing up their place.
“Some folks like to call me an artist because of the things I create, but I don’t think so. I’m a regular guy—just any random guy you’d see walking down the street,” he says. “The only difference is I got lucky, and I’m able to do the things I love for a living.”