About Dennis Shanoff

Dennis Shanoff
Dennis moved from Connecticut to south western New Hampshire 12 years ago to be closer to the outdoor recreational opportunities northern New England offers. His hobbies include regional travel, motorcycling, hiking, camping & woodworking. Dennis' main inspiration for writing is to share the great things he discovers about northern New England while out exploring the small cities & countryside.

wood and metal tables

Wood and Metal Tables

Vermont furniture ancestry traces back over 200 years. Beautifully simple and functional designs in pure, natural hardwood is the Vermont signature style today. Could it be something very different is in the works? Within the past few months we have seen a new trend with tables large and small that is quite popular in the major metro areas. It’s a blend of live edge or reclaimed woods with sturdy raw or finished metal underpinnings, metal industrial in look. For decades metal furniture was commonly paired with glass tops and the ornate metal work was the style focal point. However, in traditional and even most contemporary Vermont furniture metal is typically reserved for simply the hardware components.

What’s the inspiration behind the pieces? It is driven by a love or appreciation of real wood in it’s minimally altered state. Others want a connection to the past when reclaimed wood is the chosen top. The choice of metal legs is one of pure function and minimal distraction allowing the unique wood top to float in your space. The style certainly makes a handmade statement.

Is there a name for this style yet? Not sure anyone has claimed one yet but my associate Heather likes to call it industrial meets rural. I have been calling it wood-n-metal. At first I wasn’t seeing it for me, but the more I look at this pairing the more it grows on me. I now can see where pinning wood legs underneath may distract from the beauty of the carefully chosen wood top which, rightfully, should get the most attention.

We’ve recently added this new (indus-tree-al) style to our online gallery with three coffee tables. Our versions include a reclaimed, live edge, and a hardwood plank top. Each of these unique wood tops are supported by a powder coated steel base.

Look for more Furniture Fashion posts in the future!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Maple-sap-syrup-vt

Vermont is America's # 1 producer of pure organic maple syrup

Guest Blogger:  Dennis Shanoff
Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture

 

Love Vermont Maple Syrup?  Check out Vermont’s Maple Producers Open House Weekend!

Vermont sure has a whole lot of trees and it is estimated that over 75% of the state is forested. And the biggest percentage of these trees just happens to be of the maple variety.
Well year round these abundant maple trees provide wood and lumber for a variety of products such as wood bowls, cutting boards, wood toys, and of course maple wood furniture.

But come February and March these maple trees are known to produce a very special treat, real Vermont maple syrup! And no wonder with so many sugar maple trees that Vermont is the largest producer of pure organic maple syrup (not a single ingredient added) in the United States. And Vermont’s perfect climate and soil conditions also play a part in our quantity and quality of maple syrup.
 
So with the maple sugar season in full swing, now is the time to plan to visit Vermont and see first hand what this sugaring is all about! And you can’t beat the upcoming Vermont Maple Open House Weekend (held March 24th and 25th) to experience maple syrup production up close. This is a public celebration of the maple syrup season in Vermont and a great opportunity to visit one or more sugarhouses and see just how the clear sap of the maple tree is transformed into a delicious golden syrup.

See you at the Sugar House!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Putney-craft-tour

By Dennis Shanoff

Since tropical storm Irene hit us this summer I had taken a little break from writing about Vermont’s happenings and attractions. I wanted to allow some time for the people, businesses, and roads to heal from the unexpected and in some cases overwhelming destruction. And just about all my favorite destinations and roads were hit pretty hard and I felt it was best to just stay out of the way until things had a chance to mend. Well tremendous progress has been made the past few months so I have begun to revisit my favorite places and resum my deeper exploration of this interesting and beautiful state.

Most of you probably know that Vermont is renowned for its fine arts & craft population. Scattered about the state are thousands of artists and craftspeople who make their living from their handiwork. And throughout the year various regional Vermont craft associations sponsor a “craft tour” weekend. What this means is that you visit a region where you can drive from artist studio to studio. And one of the more famous ones is coming up soon! Thirty two years in the running, the Putney Area Craft Tour will host their open studio event during Thanksgiving weekend from November 25 – 27. Putney has a great concentration of fine artisans so here is your chance to visit 27 working studios, meet the artisans and see where and how these unique craft objects and fine art are created. You name it and you will find it here, from all art mediums, to jewelry, textiles, wood & metal works, and of course pottery and glass blowing. You can preview the artisans work and plan your visit at the Putney Crafts Tour website. Here you will find a tour map as well as information on places to eat and stay. And it’s timed just right so that perhaps you can make this part of your American Made holiday shopping experience. Sounds more fun then the typical “mall madness trip” experience, doesn’t it? Hope you can make it!

Vermont Woods Studios Furniture

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Middlebury-solar-decathalon-results The 2011 Solar Decathalon final judging results are in and Vermont's own Middlebury College Team came in Fourth overall in a world-class line up of contestants. 

Congratulations from all of us at Vermont Woods Studios!

The team cam in FIRST place in the areas of Communications, Home Entertainment, and Market Appeal.  Learn more about the brilliant, hardworking students who made it happen.

The sustainable, energy-efficient home Middlebury students designed and built was filled with Vermont made furniture and accessories, including the Cherry Moon Dovetail Bed we donated.  Great job guys!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

By Dennis Shanoff

Here at Vermont Woods Studios, we have always (and only) sold 100% USA made wood furniture. Vermont made furniture to be more precise.  And the reasons this matters are many and compelling. Let’s start with superb, lasting quality and built from a natural and sustainable material. Well that’s good for your wallet and very good for the planet. And when you factor in the US jobs it creates and the local economies it helps support, well to me that’s when it becomes very compelling. Our product and service choices really do matter and can make a difference.

This past year ABC news ran some Made in America feature stories. You may have seen all or part of these week long series specials on the nightly news. They did a great job of raising awareness of how little we have in our homes that was produced in this country. And the obvious “reason this matters” drawn from these segments was how it has impacted the US economy and our jobs market.

So it did get me thinking that maybe I could shift at least some of my buying to US made goods (as challenging as that sounds).  I would do my part plus I certainly have been experiencing some quality issues with my offshore made products, especially tools. Why is my father’s power drill from the 1950’s still working while I am on at least my 5th one!

And my next thought was that I couldn’t be alone in this thinking and that sooner or later a “Buy American” movement would begin. If ABC news couldn’t push this movement, no one can! Well the whole ABC coverage did inspire and encourage me to think more about this and ponder what a small movement with “spreading potential” could do? When could we make a really big difference? How about the time of year when we really ramp up our spending? What would be an easy to adopt theme? And then it hit me, holiday shopping is right around the corner. How many Secret Santa office parties will there be? How many school children will be partaking in a holiday gift exchange? And how many families and friends will be having an old fashion Yankee Swap! So why not an American Made theme holiday gift party this year? And that’s just what we are going to do here in our Vermont Woods Studios office and that’s what I am going to do when it comes to my family and friend gift buying.

In the coming weeks I will be posting on this blog the results of my findings and ideas. So if you are curious as to what I find or if you want to share your thoughts or findings please come back and post your comments here (or even better– on our Facebook page).

Now imagine if a million holiday gatherings follow this Buy American theme this season… well that will really matter!  Join us and pledge to Buy American this holiday season.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.