Ian Grant

Posted in DesignTelevision on Aug 27, 2010

Television Host of Emmy-Winning Show/Furniture Maker/Importer

Ian Grant (r) with elephant head piece and its artisan (l)

Relic Hunter Job Description:
* Shots required (the vaccination kind, not the “chase with beer” kind)
* Must have no fear of going off – extremely off – the beaten path
* …And speaking of remote villages, must be brave enough to ride in really tiny airplanes to get places
* Must be able to remain calm while watching rituals that involve people cutting themselves or tearing apart live chickens with their mouths (do not attempt at home)

Bjorling&Grant table ("diving board" collection)

Fortunately for Ian Grant, he fit the suit (or the cargo pants) and was asked to be the host of Travel Channel’s “The Relic Hunter with Ian Grant,” which was honored this year with a Daytime Emmy Award for Special Class Series. (view trailer in video #8 below)

He had the perfect experience after years as owner of Bjorling & Grant, which imports unique and fascinating finds from all over the world, as well as produces furniture using reclaimed wood. 

I needed to meet this person who catapulted his love of art and travel not only into a successful business, but also into an award-winning tv show. We met in his indigenous land: his Minneapolis studio/warehouse.


this is a filmed interview – you’ll find a series of short videos on different topics, including a live Proust Questionnaire in #7

1) Ian discusses how he created a business out of his passions for art and travel:

2) Talking about the Travel Channel’s Emmy-winning “The Relic Hunter with Ian Grant”:*

3) We look at utilitarian objects from foreign lands that come to this country and become art…it’s all about perspective:

4) Ian’s thoughts about the common thread among the global artisans he meets:

5) We’ve seen the functional pieces – now we see pieces intended as decorative arts/jewelry pieces in their native land:

6) They don’t call them power tools because they make you feel weak!:

7) Ian answers the Proust Questionnaire:

8. Travel Channel’s “The Relic Hunter with Ian Grant” trailer:

*Travel Channel no longer airs the show. Ian’s vague about whether more tv lies ahead for him, but I’d be surprised if something interesting wasn’t on the horizon…stay tuned!