The increasingly prevalent idea of "being more resourceful" generally brings to mind practicality, simplicity and progress. It would turn out that this orderly state of mind pairs best with skillful creativity; at least, this is the case for Tyson Pendergrass and Gable Bostic, the owners, designers and artists of Petrified Design, who are in the business of extreme artistic resourcefulness.
Petrified Design is the manifestation of Pendergrass and Bostic’s passion for natural-yet-modern design. The two use repurposed wood and other materials from unassuming places to design and build furniture with a rustic modern style. “We rely on the aged detailing of reclaimed wood mixed with the clean, modern look of welded metal,” Pendergrass says.
The majority of the wood Petrified Design used for its existing furniture came from Central and West Texas. Pendergrass says they like to keep as much of their business as local as possible, which thus far hasn't been a limiting parameter. With that native mantra in mind, the owners have reincarnated an antique goose-neck trailer, a barn built in 1857, and metal from an old rock and gravel quarry.
“We rely on the aged detailing of reclaimed wood mixed with the clean, modern look of welded metal,” - Tyson Pendergrass
“I definitely like the history behind the different types of woods we use,” Bostic says. Both Bostic and Pendergrass draw inspiration from the materials’ original intents; most of the furniture names, and even designs, give insight into the materials’ past lives. One Petrified Design piece, the “Sixty-Two Bench,” was crafted out of materials that Pendergrass and Bostic found sitting next to a 1962 Cougar on the Rob Cal ranch. Another, the “Gooseneck Coffee Table,” was named and designed to honor the old, gooseneck trailer from which its wood came.
“Design finds us,” says Pendergrass. Because the two use few unused materials, what they design and complete depends almost entirely on what they stumble upon. The result is rare, one of a kind furniture.
Pendergrass and Bostic decided they wanted to work together more than two years ago while they were still in school at Texas Tech University. At the time, Bostic was studying architecture, and Pendergrass was building cabinets as a hobby, fostering his love for woodwork. Each had backgrounds in construction and design and shared the passion for a business where they would do everything from start to finish — sourcing the material, designing and building the furniture, and telling a story through those pieces.
“It’s just the two of us,” Pendergrass says. “We do everything from the ground up, and we always want to keep that. It’s part of our vision for the future.”
Their families and communities have trained them to identify some of the resources often used in their furniture. Lubbock-born Pendergrass had access to incredibly unique resources from rural properties in his hometown; Bostic has a relative who makes laminated plywood signs, which the two have used for colorful pieces such as the Petrified Design Record Cabinet.
For now, Pendergrass does all of the wood work, and Bostic welds the metal portions of the furniture — a trade he learned from his dad, who also builds furniture. They are currently working out of his shop in Burnet and selling their furniture on Etsy. The pair does take on custom creations for stores and individual clients, and they hope to be in Austin full-time this summer, weaving the rustic resources found around them into the heart of their business.