Turning Spare Time into Profitable Art

(Photo courtesy of MG Custom Creations)

MG Custom Creations started from a passion to learn something new during a change-in-life circumstance for Ryan Moeggenberg. After his family had two other part-time businesses close during the COVID pandemic, they moved into town from a ranch that was east of Bend and he looked for something new to learn to fill his spare time constructively. Acquiring used tools from Facebook and Craigslist — most needing complete refurbishment — he started woodworking. With his new-found time during COVID, he was able to watch videos to learn and draw inspiration from. “I’m YouTube certified,” he says jokingly.

He started by making cutting boards for his own kitchen, then as Christmas presents for family members. During a visit to his chiropractor, Elk Ridge Chiropractic, owner Dr. Natasha asked if he could make cutting boards for her employees for Christmas presents.

And so it began…

He practiced using his tools by building furniture and jigs for his shop. To this point he had not purchased any wood to work with. It had all come from local cabinet shops that gave him their cut offs or allowed him to pull workable wood from their dumpsters. “It took a lot of extra work to turn scraps into something that I could use, but it gave me the opportunity to learn how to use my tools.”

Ryan’s wife Marcee had several art pieces that she had collected over the years that he has built frames for, including a canvas wedding photo that he’d had printed with their vows on it. “I like building frames,” Ryan said. “They enhance the beauty of the artwork and can be works of art themselves.”

As his skills advanced, he built a standing bookshelf out of maple for his son and a folding sewing table for his daughter for Christmas the following year. Once he had experienced larger projects, his chiropractor had another project in mind for him; hope chests for her daughters. “They were a big project for my little car-and-a-half-garage-turned-woodshop,” Ryan said. After seeing the finished product, Dr. Natasha then requested an additional project for her office — a set of six-foot floating shelves in the front office made of two-inch thick juniper slabs and epoxy, and another eight-foot shelf for patients to use.

During the time he was working on the projects for Elk Ridge Chiropractic, the owners of Flights Wine Bar received a referral to Ryan while looking for someone to build wooden crates for wine — an Advent Cuvée, a collection of premium wines like an advent calendar — to offer their patrons. “The first year I built the crates for Flights I struggled to get the tolerances perfect because I was using 30-year-old, worn-out tools,” Ryan stated. “This year when they asked if I could build them again, I decided it was time to invest in a CNC router,” [a computer-controlled router to cut all the pieces with precision]. “The CNC is inspiring many new projects,” he said excitedly. “I am designing more functional pieces of art to be used and admired every day.”

Ryan will be attending the craft show on December 2 at Westside Church located at 2051 NW Shevlin Park Rd. in Bend. Stop by to see his creations.

Follow and contact Ryan on Instagram @Ryan.Moeggenberg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *