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Robell Awake is a woodworker and teacher based in Atlanta. He works out of MASS Collective, a makers cooperative in Castleberry Hill. Passionate about traditional methods of wood working, he strives to craft each piece by hand, with minimal machine use.

Robell grew up in Marietta, Georgia, the son of Ethiopian immigrants. After briefly living and working in D.C. and New York City, he returned to Atlanta where he worked as a bike messenger for several years, competing in alleycat races across the country. Inspired by the DIY ethos of the bicycle messenger community, Robell began building his own bicycles and began crafting "freak" bikes from salvaged bicycle parts and frames. He and his friends rented a warehouse space in Mechanicsville where they built out their bedrooms, a makeshift kitchen, and a stage for bands to play on.   

From there, Robell moved into in-house construction work for architects, including welding and carpentry. Under the tutelage of these architects, he began developing a serious interest in design and craftsmanship. Through apprenticing with a local furniture maker, attending an intensive course at The North Bennet Street School, and countless hours in the shop, Robell continues to cultivate his craft.

Commercial clients include:

The New School
HKS Architects
Biscuit Studios
The Spindle
Spiller Park Coffee

Bike Messenger Days (2008)

// Photography by Alex Acosta