Pratt Frameworks is the bicycle brand of artist/craftsman/furniture designer/framebuilder Max Pratt. Max builds custom steel frames by hand in Providence, RI. His specialty is fixed gear and cyclocross.
PBE In what ways are furniture making and frame building alike and different?
MP Furniture Making, like frame building, is all about craftsmanship. The amount of care one puts into a chair or table as a maker has a direct relationship to the surprise and delight of the user when interacting with those objects. Handmade bicycles share this quality.
PBE What are some of your other metal fabricating projects?
MP I will often weld frames for local folks who don’t have the facilities. A lot of people will find out you have a skill like that and you end up with new work. I just finished a set of multi-level racks for holding fish tanks, as an example. A lot of my furniture will also incorporate metal frames or hardware parts that I end up fabricating.
PBE Are you an RI native? How did you choose your location or did it choose you?
MP I grew up in Massachusetts, north of Boston, and spent my time outdoors and on the minuteman bike trail. Going to school at RISD brought me to Providence, and soon after, I was an official resident. As states go, RI is one of the best, and I hope to stay here a while.
PBE What’s your favorite part of the frame-building process?
MP Pressing headsets has always been a satisfying task and one that sort of commemorates the whole process, finally creating a frame-set out of a fork and frame.
PBE Where do you find inspiration?
MP I draw on the work of my fellow mentors and frame-builders for craft and building advice, and on woodworking techniques that I use in my design work. The paint is always a different source. Sometimes it’s an era or time-period, sometimes its another bike, and sometimes its an old British race car, it all depends on how me and the customer are feeling.
PBE Do you listen to music while you work? If yes, what kind?
MP Absolutely! Usually Jazz or Hip-Hop, I’ve played the upright bass for 12 years, but occasionally I’ll get into some rock n roll.
PBE What’s your favorite ride/route/destination?
MP I love getting down to the Ninigret Park in Charlestown, RI for riding fast, but my favorite place to ride is by far the Arastradero Preserve in Los Altos, CA.