Wood Planters  ·  Raised Garden Beds  ∙  Bridges  ∙  Trail Design & Blazing  
   Viewing Platforms  ∙  Functional Structures  ∙  Outdoor Art Installation



Below you'll find some detail about what Artist & Builder can do for you. If you have a novel idea, a folly, a good question -possibly something too outlandish for the average carpenter or landscaper, please contact Frank, owner of Artist & Builder, via the Contact tab above.


Architectural wooden containers for rooftops, balconies, storefronts, commercial sidewalks, decks, front yards, back yards, and every place in between.

As a gardener, I understand plants, micro climates, microorganisms, and the effect of these on outdoor woodwork. Most wood, in contact with soil and weather,  will not last very long. Artist & Builder only constructs planters with tree species that show the best decay resistance and stability in wet environments. Clear or knotty Western Red Cedar and Coastal Redwood are popular choices, but I can source tropical hardwoods as well.  Interiors can be built with ground contact treated ply and planks, spacers for airflow can be added as an option as well as stainless steel fasteners. I will work with you to match your visual sensibility, and can offer several detailing options, or simply use my own design. All planter exteriors can be clear coated, painted or stained to your specification or can be delivered without treatment.

Raised Vegetable Garden Structures

I've been a gardener all my life and there's nothing like the fresh and flavorful taste of home grown vegetables. It's easy to add vegetables to any well-built container, but these structures should not have any treated lumber (even as newer additives are said to be safe, I wouldn't recommend it). For vegetable-growing containers, Artist & Builder prefers to rely on cedar or redwood for their natural rot resistance. There is little we can do to completely eliminate decay of wooden garden structures over time, but relying on these two woods will give your raised beds the best aesthetics as well as the best chance for long term use.

Artist & Builder can design, create, and install any number of iterations of wood-framed raised beds or vegetable garden structures. I can:

  • Incorporate rabbit-proofing (there are tons of rabbits in Minneapolis)
  • Incorporate deer-proofing
  • Create multiple tier gardening beds
  • Create a modular raised bed that is easy for you to put together
  • Increase lumber thickness for increased longevity and sturdy aesthetics
  • Create architectural planters without treated lumber for growing vegetables on your terrace or deck
  • Respond to your needs with the right solution for growing vegetables in a raised structure.
  • Create large scale raised gardening structures for institutional settings such as schools or retirement homes


If you have sensitive wetland areas that need crossing, Artist & Builder is prepared to construct pedestrian bridges appropriate for your site conditions. Structural and decking materials will correspond to your particular application and site conditions.

Artist & Builder is currently working on the repair of an eighty foot long, three foot wide, private wetland crossing. The original piers are white oak cut on site and placed into the muck. After 15 years some of these piers are solid enough to support the treated 6x6 beams, although some have settled out of level and others have too much decay. For these reasons, we will be replacing the log piers with galvanized metal pilings.

Trail Design and Blazing

Artist & Builder can design and build an experience of nature in your woods, fields, and wetlands. All design and construction is completed with sensitivity to the native plant communities, wildlife habitat, and aesthetic experience. The process begins with site visits, GPS and satellite mapping, photography, and walking the proposed route. After the route has been fully considered and approved by you, we will consider other design elements such as path size, paving, low-impact water or wetland crossings, steps and stairways, destination structures, part-way shelters, outdoor signage, or artwork.

Yes, we can site and install artworks as part of the aesthetic experience of your property, and can even source the right art for your site. Additionally, we can work hand in hand with landscape restoration contractors to remove buckthorn or other invasive species and plant native species where necessary or desirable.

Functional Outdoor Structures

Consider Artist & Builder to build your chicken coup, goat shed, doghouse, tractor shelter, viewing platform, destination shelter, woods retreat, or other small functional structure. This type of structure, typically under 200 square feet, often doesn't require permits in most agricultural or ten acre zoned municipalities. They can be built on a floating platform raised above ground with treated wood posts, concrete piers, or helical piles, or pin foundation. Design elements will vary depending on the function, the location, and chosen materials.

An Artist and Builder

Why hire an artist instead of a designer, artisan or tradesperson?  The tradesperson masters code, an artisan masters technique, while the designer masters principles, but only an artist masters questions while accomplishing the rest. If you have questions, I think we can work together.

Although I have been working and growing my skills for years, Artist & Builder is newly founded. Click here or the Projects tab above to see what I have accomplished (and photographed). Because I am an artist, you will also find a link to my artist page, above, as well as my specialty garlic farm, Hudson Clove, and garden and landscape blog, Mound. Thanks for visiting and check back again to see what I have been working on.

An early inspiration: arched sidewalk over large, old tree roots.