Monday, August 31, 2009

Figured Woods

We were talking this past Sunday about the Shaker's use of figured woods. The beauty of the furniture is in part due to the beauty of the wood. The Shakers believed that because God ultimately made the wood, building a piece of furniture with that wood would give credit to Him. This, along with an attitude of "putting our hands to work and hearts to God" created masterpieces that are highly sought.

I thought I would take a minute to write about our introduction to figured hardwoods. There was a dresser made using tiger maple furniture in a Shaker book that we received as a gift from my sister, Sheila for Christmas. This piece just spoke to us. Back then, we had been building Shaker furniture, before it was as popular as it is today, but were limiting ourselves to hardwoods and pine.
I can remember the excitement that we all felt when Mike and John were making that first dresser using details from that picture...the wood itself, the staining and of course the craftsmanship involved in working with figured hardwoods all presented their own list of questions. I know I took many trips out to the woodshop to watch the progress. The above picture is that dresser.

That was the early nineties. Today we offer a full line of furniture using figured woods...Tiger Maple, Birdseye Maple, Curly or Flaming Cherry to name a few. We grade our woods destined for furniture in this way...low figure, heavy figure, heirloom quality and artistic, which has imperfections along with figure. We invite you to browse through our website and imagine the possibilities!