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Mead grew up in upstate New York, on Lake Erie, and attributes his eventual career path to an early proficiency at working with his hands: “I got the best score on the hands-on science class in fourth grade, which consisted of a lot of scales and proportioning things, picking things up and putting them down,” he says. He started making jewelry while he was in school at Pratt for furniture design, and though he’s sold his arrow-pierced coat racks and Birdie lamps at the Future Perfect, it’s more the belt buckle and chewing-gum necklace section of his portfolio that pays the rent. Here, Mead stands next to his one-off riff on Donald Judd, which he made for 2007’s Haute Green show but never sold.