We primarily create furniture from a variety of trees grown natively in North America. This includes species like Black Walnut, Sycamore, Maple, Red & White Oak, Myrtle, Cherry and Ash. On occasion we will indulge in some lesser known woods from around the world to make furniture with unique woodgrain and hues that just are not possible in our climate.
The majority of our wood comes from small family owned businesses that acquire their logs at auctions held around their region. These trees have for the most part fallen or been taken down for reasons related to the surrounding communities. Severe weather, city infrastructure, land development, and old age contribute to the removal of these large stately trees.
After a tree is recovered the large trunks are sliced into slabs, stacked and then air dried in a barn for up to 3 years removing about 85% of its moisture content. The slabs then head to room size kilns where they will be dehumidified for another month. Slowly the slabs reach a moisture content of 4-6% making them dry and stable enough for long lasting furniture.
We are committed to using locally sourced naturally grown trees that are not harvested from commercial logging companies. This comes at a cost but we know we are not contributing to the declining forest land. Old salvaged tree trunks often have the benefit of time - allowing their grain structure to develop while growing to their mature size. A slow process that creates beautiful patterns within the trees heartwood. This allows us to create character rich furniture while treading softly on our landscape.
Since the wood we find has such terrific character and richness we generally choose not to add stains or color altering chemicals to our woods. Instead we finish our furniture with natural hand rubbed oil which lends a satisfying lustre and adds depth to the wood.
In a simpler sense - we create durable furniture made from natural materials and finishes that can be handed down for generations. We believe this is the single best way to keep our contributions in peoples hearts and out of landfills.
We believe in the power of subtlety. While we work to continually expand the vocabulary of furniture design, the end result should always be easy on the eyes. We pride ourselves on designing simple beautiful pieces that will stay relevant and be a joy to live with for many years.
Most projects will start with some simple sketching around a clients needs. Once we find a path the idea will be 3D modeled with software that allows for the meticulous tinkering of details and proportion. This is the moment we can try out all the 'what ifs' and see how those ideas affect other parts of the design. It's a painstaking process of back an forth that's essential to great design and something that we believe separates us from many other furniture companies.
When making furniture one piece at a time we are free to dive into difficult details and accomplish more with a demanding wood species. Because we make these pieces by hand we can spend time perfecting a tolerance and finish that's outside the abilities of large production machinery.
In the end our aim is to find beautiful solutions that support the functional goals of each piece. Something warm and unique that speaks proudly but lives gently in its surroundings.
While our designs aim to explore new vocabularies, our fabrication techniques are largely rooted in the old traditions of woodworking. Typically our wood comes direct from the source - bark and all. Over the course of several weeks the wood is gently milled from rough slabs to silky smooth, shaped furniture elements. Joinery is all done within the solid wood using various techniques and guided by the aesthetic and functional demands of each design.
Since we build each piece by hand, we have the opportunity to source specific boards for each project. All wood, even boards from the same tree can vary in color and grain structure so it's critical to compose these boards throughout the process of making a furniture piece. These varying characteristics bring out the beauty and character of solid wood and when curated properly have a large part in making something spectacular.
In addition, great care must be made to design furniture that breathes. Unlike most production furniture made from laminated materials, solid wood will always move with varying humidities and temperatures throughout the seasons. A dining table can swell half an inch or more in the summer then shrink back down in winter months. We incorporate this factor seamlessly into all our work, in truth - it may be the single most important factor in making lasting solid wood furniture.
(Click on a species above to learn more.)
Ranging from light to dark tones each hardwood has its own unique grain pattern and coloring. It can be hard to pick a species from a small image or even a physical sample so we're more than happy to walk you through some of the ins and outs of each wood.
Most species can be generally characterized in a couple ways; color and grain patterning. This is the easiest way to start whittling down your wood selection. Within these two categories there are seemingly endless combinations. Its really a matter of personal taste. Wild knotty and curly grain structure can be a tapestry all on its own. This breath of nature can help to make a dining table incredibly special and a focal point of a room. On the other hand, calm soothing cathedrals on a cabinet can help set the mood for a more serene setting.
Over time, exposure to sunlight will darken or lighten many species. Cherry is well known for darkening to a deep reddish brown over time. Maple and Sycamore will achieve a more golden hue. Walnut and Wenge can lighten a bit over time. This is a naturally occurring process that generally takes many years to develop. As a rule of thumb direct exposure will speed up this process.
We don't use heavy synthetic finishes that make furniture look and feel like plastic. Instead we finish our furniture with hand rubbed oil which gives the wood a silky smooth luster. Because our primary material is solid wood our furniture is very durable. Wear and tear from daily use can be mitigated with some simple tasks.
MAINTENANCE (do this)
We recommend a simple product called 'Orange Glo' to maintain wood furniture. It lacks abrasive chemicals but contains a small amount of orange oil which will condition the wood and help keep your furniture looking new. You shouldn't have to think about it, just add it to your normal cleaning regimen. You can find it at your local supermarket.
PREVENTION (don't do this)
When dusting or wiping down any piece of furniture don't use the usual cleaning products on the market. They are filled with abrasive chemicals that over time can strip oils from the surface. Instead simply wipe the pieces down with a damp cloth or paper towel. As oil finishes are natural and help to enhance the beauty of solid wood they are also susceptible to long exposures to water. Never leave items on an oiled surface that can result in moisture sitting on the surface for extended periods of time. Water damage like raised grain or rings can be easily restored in solid wood but its even better to try to avoid it all together.
PRICING OUR FURNITURE
Labor is typically the biggest cost in producing our furniture. It just takes a lot of time to make things by hand. Usually furniture with more elements or moving parts take more time to build. Certain designs utilize (and are made possible by) construction techniques that are more complex than others. These are the things nobody will be aware of but it's also how are able to create simplicity in our designs.
Some wood species themselves vary greatly in price but many of them are comparable. Other factors like workability and hardness affect the amount of time we need to make a piece of furniture. Demand for a particular species can raise the cost of raw wood slabs, we try to take these smaller fluctuations out of the equation but sometimes its unavoidable. The price of Walnut for example has doubled in the past 3 years due to its current demand.
Another surprising cost is the use of mixed materials. This is something of a thorny rose. Many times a simple change in materials like a marble top, or formed brass handles are just what a piece needs. We love to add these details and encourage it when we feel it makes the piece. Some of these alternate materials simply come at a higher cost than one would think because of the amount of people involved. Custom metal parts for example are laser cut in one place, shipped to us for fitting, then shipped to another place for finishing, and finally back to us for assembly.
Many of our pieces can be made to fit into varying budgets. With a larger budget we are able to consider more unique wood species and materials. With tighter budgets we will often rework some details for efficiency or use a more cost effective wood to find a solution that does not compromise the aesthetic of the piece.
It is important to realize the photographs of our furniture are simply iterations of what's possible. If the species or dimensions you see are not right for your space we are happy to tailor an existing design or create something completely new. We know that it can be hard to find great furniture that also work perfectly in your space. We are here to help make it easy to find a piece thats 'just right'. Contact us and we will be happy to send you prices for a particular piece in a wood species and proportion that works for you.