Meet Your Judges for ReadyMade 100: Amy Devers

Caitlin Thornton

Amy Devers

Amy Devers

Our ReadyMade 100 contest is in full force. While entries come a-pourin’ in, we’d like to introduce you to our panel of judges.

We were stoked when Amy Devers—the furniture designer, home improvement expert, and TV personality—kindly agreed to join us as a contributor a few months back. Now, on top of her Hands On column for ReadyMade, hosting “Designer People” on Ovation TV and “Fix This Yard” on A&E, and a ton of other cool projects that keep her running around constantly, Devers will be joining our illustrious panel of judges for ReadyMade 100. Read on to find out what sort of projects will impress the do-it-yourself extraordinaire.

Hey there Amy Devers. What are you up to?

No good. Sorry, couldn’t help myself. I’m juggling a lot of open projects at the moment, which is great. But 2010 is almost over and I have a serious urge to skip town for a bit, change my scenery and reboot in prep for 2011. Not sure if/where I’ll go but I’m gassing up the getaway car just in case.

Do it! You deserve a vacation. Since you do encounter DIY projects and rad design every day, what sort of creative endeavors have really impressed you?

I think Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers in LA is one of the greatest DIY projects of all time. I’m still impressed every time I go to see them. One eccentric’s backyard sculpture endures to tell his story and serve as a symbol of hard-work, passion, and possibility, wow.

Non-Sign II by Lead Pencil Studio took my breath away when I saw it, it’s a beautiful and thought-provoking mash-up of billboard and public art. I have such a crush on it!

You’re all about helping out new DIYers in your ReadyMade column Hands On. What advice could you give to newbies who are interested in entering this contest, but nervous of what others would think?

Winning is fun and all, but the lasting satisfaction comes from the knowledge that you can use your brain and your own two hands to make something beautiful and useful and necessary—and therefore manipulate your/our world for the better. And like any new endeavor, there is usually a learning curve. But if you don’t enter the contest then you lose the opportunity to benefit from the feedback of this illustrious panel of judges (this is the real first prize, y’all), and you lose out on being a part of the ReadyMade collective—obvious radness. But the best reason to enter is because of what you will offer the collective: we all benefit from seeing your idea, what you came up with, how you executed it, its successes and failures… it adds to the discourse and enhances the experience for everyone. If you don’t enter, we all lose. And that’s when you should be nervous about what others think.

What are your criteria for a “good” project?

A good project has a reason for being, and whether that reason for being is utilitarian, to provoke thought, or both, it should be expressed in a manner that is uniquely you and supported as best as possible through aesthetics, functionality and craftsmanship.

Do you consider yourself a soft judge or a hard ass?

I am a sensitive and encouraging, constructively critical, brutally honest hard ass.

Anything you’d like to propose as a challenge, in terms of material, time, or purpose?

Yes. Make something that no one will ever want to throw away. Ever.

What sort of creative projects are you not interested in seeing?

No more antlers, please, and pornography would probably not be appropriate.

What projects are you currently working on?

Personally, I’m in the woodshop making Christmas presents for my nieces and nephew. Professionally, I’m making some new work in the studio, writing the column for ReadyMadegearing up to shoot season two of Fix This Yard for A&E (look for it in April), master-minding a genius plot (TBA), and beating myself up for not being able to rock a rhyme that’s right on time, even though it’s notoriously tricky.

Want to read more from DIY Master Amy Devers? Check out her most recent Hands On column, where she rethinks an old futon frame. And stay tuned for her column on our blog every week. If you have a home fixin’ question you want her to tackle, shoot us an email at articles@readymade mag.com.