Lightning Aktinson

We are all creators. 

I create in wood. 

After four and a half decades, my desire to create is stronger than ever. I build beautiful gifts, worthy boxes, unique decor items, and custom furniture. My name is Lightning Atkinson. I also own a home repair business that specializes in small residential projects. You can learn more about that here. Multigrain Creations is my side hustle…my creative side. 

These three motivations drive me to create as I enter the second half of life:

1) to create for other people

2) to craft wares that will be valued for their uniqueness and beauty

3) to build objects that will outlive me.


Everything you see here is built by hand…my hands. I sell my work at art shows around Chicago. If you see something you like here, shoot me an email. If it is available it can be yours. If it is not available, I may be able to build you something like it.  

why handmade?

We all know that you can buy wooden decor and gift items at a discount store…like Home Goods. And those retail items are much cheaper than what I sell, and some look similar. Those coasters and serving trays and wall hangings are manufactured by the thousands in a factory by people who may not even know what they are assembling.

What separates my art pieces is the inherent humanity invested in each of them. Everything here is unique and created with care. Everything I produce requires hours of work and these inherently human ingredients:



Crafting in wood requires sharp tools that are very close to my hands. Every time I turn on a power tool or pick up a chisel I’m aware that I could get seriously hurt. But everything in life worth having requires some risk, doesn’t it?



This work requires more than just book-knowledge of carpentry techniques. Skill is that intangible characteristic that develops—with commitment to the craft—while using the techniques. It is an intuition that has been honed through my struggle and failure.


vision for unseen potential

Every project starts with raw wood that is rough and dirty. I buy lumber based on the potential beauty I believe is hidden inside. Like great parents, coaches, and managers, I see beyond the present state into the future where potential is realized.



I am constantly waiting for glue to set-up, or polyurethane to dry. However patience is different than involuntary waiting for a chemical reaction to complete. Patience is choosing to not start a project when I’m not ready, or the wood isn’t right, or the design isn’t refined. Patience is choosing to wait when I don’t have to, because it will yield a better result.


These are all inherently-human qualities, absent from a machine or assembly line process. You feel drawn to my work because your humanity resonates with the humanity invested to these creations. Really, when was the last time you felt this way looking at mass-produced pinterested-driven wooden decor at a discount store?

recent work

Upcoming shows

November 22-24, 2024
Holiday Bazaar: Woman’s Club of Evanston: 1702 Chicago Ave; Evanston IL 60201
Friday 6-9pm (preview party fundraiser, tickets $25ea)
Saturday 10a-5p: free entry
Sunday 10a-4p: free entry


December 7-8, 2024
St Nicholas craft fair: Saint John XXIII Catholic Church: 806 Ridge Ave, Evanston IL 60202