By Collin Kelley
Leaving a bad job experience is often the key to unlocking a new career. Mike Carpenter said he could feel his creativity draining away as he sat in a cubicle for two years working on CD-ROM development. MDC Interiors was born shortly thereafter, along with a startling array of furniture made reclaimed materials.
Carpenter’s education was in computer art, but he decided he needed “some tangible hands-on creative experience.”
“I was surrounded by art as a child because my mother is a painter and used to do carpentry with my father and grandfather in their workshops,” he said. “I have always painted and enjoyed carpentry as a creative outlet and wanted to find a profession that would allow me to apply my creativity and skills within a lucrative profession.”
Carpenter worked and trained with artists and furniture refinishers and realized he had a knack for decorative painting and working with his hands.
Since the creation of MDC Interiors, he has tackled jobs faux finishing, refinishing and building furniture, murals and cabinetry.
Recently, Carpenter has focused on using green materials such as concrete and wood salvaged locally from construction sites and discarded pallets from local warehouses and stores.
“I like to constantly challenge myself to use and experiment with new materials to inspire creativity and gain personal growth,” he said.
Carpenter has been working on nature-inspired tables and planters, integrating natural elements (moss, river rocks, succulent plants, bonsai) into the piece as a design element.  He’s also working on a series called “Glow,” which are tables made from reclaimed pallet wood and accented with LED lights on dimmer switches to change the mood of a room.
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Photo credits: Photo of Mike Carpenter by Mona Patel; Glow Table photo by Karen Shacham.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.