Making It: all about Khiem Nguyen

Making It, a new NBC Crafting Competition Series–episode 2 airing tomorrow night!

Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

We’re down to seven makers competing for the title of “Master Maker” and a $100,000 grand prize on NBC’s “Making It,” airing Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

This week, we’re chatting with Khiem Nguyen, age 28, from Austin, Texas. Inspired by mid-century modern and Japanese design, Nguyen is a true craftsman. His passion for crafting began with photography and led to him becoming an open major in art school so he could “get his hands into everything.” After college, Nguyen and his fiancé moved to Austin where they began A & K Woodworking & Design, specializing in furniture and wood crafts.

Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Khiem Nguyen Instagram: @akwoodanddesign

SN: What is your craft of choice?


SN: How do you think your craft specialty prepares you to win the competition?

I think what I like most about woodworking is the problem solving that comes with it. Before I start a project, I usually like to work through all the parts in my mind to try to identify any potential issues that might come up during the building process. It’s really satisfying if you can creatively work through these challenges. In a competition setting, I hope this helps me work through and make quick adjustments that might need to be made.

SN: How has your craft helped in other areas of your life?

I feel like woodworking has made me better at thinking ahead. It has also fueled my curiosity. After you successfully finish your first piece, you get this urge to try something new or a bit more challenging. Then the same thing happens after the second piece and third and it just keeps going.

SN: What would you say to encourage someone who wants to learn your craft?

Woodworking is fun! It feels really good to create an object you can hold. Also knowing how much thought you put into a piece really makes it feel worthwhile and sentimental. The woodworking process can also be very meditative for me.

SN: Did you get to try a craft you wouldn’t normally have done for the competition? If so, what did you learn during the process?

I got to try a little bit of really basic upholstery. It’s something I’ve always wanted get good at to accompany my woodworking. I mainly learned what foams/padding to not use haha.

MAKING IT — “You Crafty” Episode 101 — Pictured: Amy Poehler, Khiem — (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

Watch Khiem turn wood into art Tuesday at 10/9c on NBC.

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