Blue Sky Woodcraft’s Marty Schlein on His Passion for Woodworking

  • RFL: How did you get into woodworking?
Schlein: I started creating things from an early age. I went from following around the building custodian in my hometown of Brooklyn, NY to building my own home and shop in Carbondale. I’ve had wonderful mentors along the way, receiving advice from some remarkable craftsmen. I’m motivated by the joy of problem solving and turning raw materials into useful objects.
  • RFL: What types of custom home pieces do you offer?
Schlein: I’ve built everything from dining tables to media cabinetry, kitchens to coat racks, entry doors to coffee tables, desks, chairs, and everything in between—including wooden boats.
  • RFL: Tell us about those beautiful dories.
Schlein: Ah, to row a wooden boat on a moving river. These boats are steeped in the history of whitewater river-running. Their design was inspired by the work of Martin Litton, founder of Grand Canyon Dories. Their responsiveness and elegance make them a delight to row. They are floating furniture you can pass on to future generations.
  • RFL: Where can locals see some of your pieces?
Schlein: The Bank of Colorado in Glenwood has a 13.5-foot walnut conference table designed and built for their new building. Alpine Bank in Aspen has a lovely hickory low table in their lobby. Marble Distilling has a custom-crafted tasting table built from local Siberian Elm. After decades in the valley, I can also put people in touch with local clients.
  • RFL: What do you love most about your work?
Schlein: It is a joy to take a client’s ideas and turn them into reality. Each piece of wood is unique, with its own history. To build something well, that is pleasing to touch and behold, is my joy and life’s work.