Jon Wye

Designer Jon Wye is quick to point out that his background is not in art. Sure he's always been creative--as a child, he used to make his own versions of the devices illustrated in The Way Things Work--but it wasn't until he was an adult that, on a whim, he started creating handmade pewter belt buckles and got hooked. He collaborates with a collective of artists and designers, but still likes to approach projects with an unusual, problem-solving perspective.

Case in point: pancakes. Wye is something of a diehard, pancake aficionado. Once, after a bad breakup, he ate made-from-scratch pancakes at least once a day for six months. Over time he perfected his own recipe, and discovered a way to keep them from becoming a syrupy mess by developing a sloped-surface plate.