Metal and wood craftsmanship go together in Greenport

(Credit: Krysten Massa)

(Credit: Krysten Massa)

The memory of exactly how their working relationship first began has since faded for David Nyce and Kristian Iglesias. But for the past decade, the two Greenport residents have always looked to one another as their “go-to guy.” In fact, the men — Nyce is a woodworker and Iglesias is a metalworker — have even become unofficial business partners.

“It’s like having a business partner without actually having a business partner,” said Nyce, a former Greenport Village mayor.

Nyce launched his company, David Nyce Furniture, when he and his wife moved to Greenport in 2001. Mr. Iglesias followed a similar path, opening KAI Design on the North Fork in 2005.

Nyce said he sometimes calls Iglesias to bounce ideas off him. The two can spend hours over coffee discussing the best ways to approach a project.

“We tend to think the same way,” Nyce said.

For example, Iglesias’ metal work often complements a wooden table or piece of furniture built by Nyce, and vice versa. And since the combination of wood and metal details is currently trending, their work is more suited for each other than ever before.

“It’s sort of a unique situation, because I don’t do the same detailed metal work that he does and he doesn’t do the same detailed woodwork that I do,” said Nyce, who has been developing his trade since he was 13. “It seems to match really well.”

Iglesias noted that the two have never collaborated on a project. Rather, they help each other with individual jobs.

“We use each other’s skills to help finish each other’s projects,” he said.

Both men previously worked in an urban setting for a number of years before making their homes on the North Fork. They like the area’s slower pace and how easy it is to get materials.

“There is inspiration here, it’s just in a different context,” Iglesias said. “You have nature and time to think.”

Iglesias, 39, grew up in Florida. He graduated from Florida State University with a degree in media production and studio arts, then worked in New York City for about six years before moving to Greenport with his wife and daughter. His clients are typically based in New York City, but he does considerable bronze and metal work for Wooden Boatworks in Greenport.

Nyce, 54, bounced from Los Angeles to New Jersey and then New York City before finally settling in Greenport, where he plans to remain. He likes the close-knit sense of community between local craftspeople.

“Once you get a group of people together who know each other and work well together, that makes everybody that much better,” he said.

Nyce and his unofficial business partner both love tackling new challenges.

“When you figure the challenges out and it comes out right, those are the satisfying projects,” Iglesias said.

Some projects the pair has worked on in Greenport include Brix & Rye and 1943 Pizza Bar. Nyce constructed Brix & Rye’s bar, while Iglesias did the metal work upstairs at 1943 Pizza Bar.

Nyce also recruited Iglesias’ help in 2013 when the bar at Aldo’s was being rebuilt. Although no metal work was involved in that project, Iglesias assisted Nyce by coming up with ideas and helping him move things.

Nyce said he enjoys working with various local residents because they all have different backgrounds and can learn from one another.

“There are some really talented people here who all think of things differently,” he said. “So to get their experiences and their thoughts involved is really neat.”

As for the future, both men are embarking on new ventures. Nyce just became partner with Vector East, a building company based in Riverhead. He will continue to run his furniture shop.

If any metal work is needed at Vector East, he said, he knows who he’ll call.

Within the next four months, Iglesias hopes to launch a website for his line of furniture and lighting, which he plans to market to high-end companies in New York City and the Hamptons. He would like to continue growing, designing and fabricating his own products.

Both men are thankful to have been able to forge careers from their passions.

“To get paid to do something that you really enjoy doing is a true blessing,” Nyce said.

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