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Meet the Woodworker Behind The Gallery Pastry Shop’s Cool Look

Anthony Sousa is a woodworker using reclaimed material, which sounds very familiar these days, but he’s barking up a different tree than his brethren. His company, An Squared, doesn’t use just any kind of reclaimed wood. All of it is local and sustainably salvaged from storm-damaged, diseased, or insect-infested trees. While Sousa strives to create unique, one-off pieces (those are his tables and trimwork at The Gallery Pastry Shop in SoBro), the mission of his company is bigger than that. He wants to leave behind the smallest possible carbon footprint in the process.

We chatted with Sousa about his growing business, his take on reclaimed wood, and current trends in the world of woodworking.

What kind of custom orders are you doing these days? What are people looking for?

I’m working on a lot of dining room tables. People are realizing the difference between custom, handmade woodworking and what you can buy at the big-box stores—the quality and materials are rarely comparable to one another. My customers are typically looking for something truly unique that no one else will ever have.

Love the cutting boards on your website. Do you sell anything else that’s not a custom order?

I will have a few items up for sale as we approach the holidays, but I do not offer any large pieces for sale. Everything I make is custom, made-to-order work to ensure that everything is as unique as possible.

What are you working on now?

A neat dining room table with matching benches. The table is butcher block–style made from a locally salvaged walnut tree that came down from storm damage. It’s more modern in appearance than the live-edge look.

Is live edge, which leaves on the bark, a new look? I’ve seen live edge a few times now.

Live edge is the new look without a doubt. Indianapolis is a bit behind in comparison to many of the larger cities, but it is making its way here quickly.

There’s a lot of reclaimed wood in our city now. It’s everywhere in restaurants, shops, and homes. What are your thoughts on the trend?

Reclaimed wood has many, many meanings. What most people think of when they hear the term is barn wood, pallet wood, or other construction-related wood. Personally, I say that it’s time for a new definition. What I do is work with tree services only to save trees that have to come down due to storm damage, insect damage, or other health/physical damage related issues. The process I follow stops the trees from becoming waste, truly reclaiming and recycling Indianapolis’s urban trees.

Fernandez began writing for Indianapolis Monthly in 1995 while studying journalism at Indiana University. One of her freelance assignments required her to join a women's full-tackle football team for a season. She joined the staff in 2005 to edit IM's ancillary publications, including Indianapolis Monthly Home. In 2011, she became a senior editor responsible for the Circle City section as well as coverage of shopping, homes, and design-related topics. Now the director of editorial operations, she lives in Garfield Park.
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