Josh Rude’s work through his company Glørud Design (his family’s original Norwegian name), is probably most visible in the stylish paddles he’s been making and selling at various locations around the area. He also works that style and attention to detail into larger and smaller-scale pieces such as cabinets, tables and vases. This week, we look at some other pieces that he has made, and a brief history of his path as a woodworker.
JR: Glørud Design is a wood shop in Duluth’s harbor front that focuses on custom woodwork and furniture, as well as paddles for canoe, kayak and stand up paddlers. I’ve been doing this for five years.
I grew up in a small town in northwest Minnesota, where working with your hands was a way of life. I always found great joy in being outdoors, spending time on my grandparents farm or being in the woods. The natural environment was always a draw, setting the stage for my work.
There is not a single route that led me to this work. While in university and graduate school I worked with a small construction company owned by my uncle, giving me an understanding of the use of tools. In the summers I would work as a canoe guide on the Gunflint Trail, setting the stage for paddle making. The first summer I guided is where I also met my wife, Natalie (Studio Haiku), for whom the first paddle was made.