CHEST_OF_DRAWERS_David-Hurwitz-Vermont-Woods_Studios
Here's another insiders tip for leaf peepers visiting Vermont this Fall.  The annual Vermont Wood Design Competition Awards Reception is being held on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Woodstock, Vermont at the
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park's new LEED-certified, "Green" Forest Center (directions).  The reception will feature this year's award-winning handcrafted furniture and wood accessories created by the world-class furniture-makers of Vermont.  Meet and mingle with the artisans. Whether you aim to purchase, commission or just admire their work, this will be an elegant evening to remember.  Live music and refreshments provided.  And don't forget to stop by the  Vermont Fine Furniture & Woodworking Festival  on Saturday, September 27 & Sunday or September 28,
2008  from 10am to 5 pm at the Union Arena in Woodstock, VT while you're here (see previous entry). 
  Vermont Woods Studios will be at both of these woodworking events and we hope you will too.

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.

Mango-Desk-closeup
Here's what customer Leslie Bielby had to say about one of our favorite, very talented artisans:
"Dan – just
a quick note to say THANK YOU for the beautiful job you and your team did on my
desk. Every day I get at least half a dozen compliments on it.  It truly is a
work of art. Thank you for your creative vision, craftsmanship and attention to
detail.  I will cherish this desk…"

Lesley Bielby
Chief Strategy Officer

Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos Inc.

Thanks, Leslie for your business and your kind words.  We hope work will be a little more exciting and interesting with your new work of art at hand.  Enjoy!

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.

Red_upholstered_heart_shaped_chairs Sorry to interrupt our train of thought on the Manifesto, but this too is very urgent.  What have you done for Valentine's Day?  It's not just for your one true love, you know.  Here's a link to World Wildlife Fund's free Valentine's email cards to help you out in recognizing all the special green people in your life.

Oh and a reminder for those on a more generous budget. You can still surprise the love of your life with the gift of our heart-shaped chair handcrafted by Steve Holman. This figured maple chair with velvety red upholstery can be customized to include your names, date or other creative personal touches. Like your enduring devotion, these heirloom chairs will be around forever – or at least for generations!

Vermont Woods Studios Custom Artisan 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.

Red_upholstered_heart_shaped_chairs Diamonds, rubies, furs, bonbons…if none of these will be quite creative enough to make the splash you need on Valentines Day, how about our fine furniture adorable handmade, heart-shaped chairs?  Deirdre Woolard of the Luxist writes, "The thing about these Valentine chairs that makes them amazing is all the little details like the way the heart on the chairback is broken so that is slightly curves in to support your back and the darling little red shoes on the end of the chair legs. The chairs are made of sturdy maple with soft velvety red upholstery. The chair sells for $3950 but is as much of an heirloom as any piece of jewelry."  Purchase online, email us or call for more information (888-390-5571).  Happy Valentine's Day!

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.

Meg Flaherty:  I had the recent opportunity to interview Vermont Woods artisan David Holzapfel, whose truly unique work with forgotten and "unwanted" hardwood treasures is showcased proudly in our online gallery.

David_holzapfelDavid and his wife Michelle, another Vermont Woods artisan known for her exquisite work with objects and vessels, live and work in Marlboro, VT as they have for years.  Their shared passion for hardwood artisanry led them to found their own studio in 1976, where Michelle remains fully employed.

David and Michelle are lucky in the time they are allotted to focus on their work.  Although David has been an elementary schoolteacher in Marlboro for twenty odd years, the structure of the academic year affords him large blocks of unadulterated time to spend in his studio.  And though holding two full time jobs can be exhausting, David admits "that there are very, very few studio furniture makers– and I know a goodly number– who are able to work full-time in their studios."  In the roller coaster world that is the artisan furniture market, David is able to rely on his stable teaching salary when the going gets tough.

Like many of our custom furniture makers, most of David’s work is by commission; the process of collaboration is central to his work.  Even the acquisition of his raw materials is a cooperative venture; David has formed a symbiotic relationship with local loggers who bring him bits of non-commercially-salable hardwood in exchange for a small supplementary income not otherwise available in the lumber market.  This way he not only saves the wood itself and gives it new life, he can trace its history back to the exact plot of forest in which it was found, by someone he knows he can trust. 

David has been associated with Vermont Woods Studios for a couple of years now.  While he and Michelle continue to show in galleries and exhibitions from time to time, their main focus of marketing remains at home: at their studio, its website, and ours.  Ironically enough, it is rare for David to receive any local commissions; most of his clients are from other parts of the United States and Canada.  He says that VWS has made things easier for him, in that it "gets [his] work out to a new, interested and select audience."

For the artisan furniture maker, however, things are never simple.  "The market is too thin," David says; "Ikea and other such companies will always be cheaper and take a larger portion of the pie," but "we keep moving on, responding to anyone who expresses interest and providing as much information as we can."  Hopefully, Vermont Woods can provide a kind of extra exposure for its artisans that remains compatible with their marketing philosophy and principles.  "It’s not like the hard-sell of a used car or kitchen appliance," David says; it deserves its own specific kind of marketing.  What Vermont Woods does, we hope, is get David’s work into the eyes of a more specialized clientele, which will hopefully increase his business.  David has said that, "Peggy’s vision for VWS is attractive to makers…. philosophically and business-wise, and the diversification she promotes is essential."

Thank you, David, for your time.  I’m sure I speak for everyone who reads our blog that we are appreciative of the extra insight into your artistry and process!

As always, you can see examples of David and Michelle’s work– or commission new pieces from them– in the Custom Artisan Furniture section of our website.  Happy shopping!

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.