Logging with Horses in Vermont | Naked Table Project | Charles Shackleton
“To fully understand the process of sustainably making furniture, you must go into the forest.   The woodlands tour describes how to identify Sugar Maples, low impact forestry principles, and demonstrations on horse-drawn logging. It will change the way you see furniture forever”   …. Charles Shackleton

Last week on my tour of luxury Vermont home decor companies I stopped to visit Charles Shackleton and his wife Miranda Thomas at their studios in Bridgewater, Vermont.  Charlie is perhaps one of Vermonts most beloved furniture makers.  He’s famous for his steadfast belief in the integrity and enduring value of true handcrafted furniture.  You won’t find cnc routers in Charlie’s shop!  Everything is traditionally carved and crafted by hand, making each piece a unique work of art. Dennis pointed out that Charlie is making the Chippendales of tomorrow.  It’s the stuff Christie’s and Sotheby’s will be competing for in years to come.

Charlie Shackleton's Naked Table Project | King Arthur Board of Directors
I arrived at Shackleton-Thomas just as a Naked Table project was beginning.  The lucky participants were the board of directors for King Arthur Flour (bet you didn’t know that was a Vermont company).  They were building tables for their conference room.

What’s a Naked Table?

“We invite businesses, friends and families to our workshops to make tables for themselves to last for ages to come. Each piece in the Naked Collection is made from the iconic Sugar Maple harvested in the forests we visit (inverse from conventional methods of deforesting and sourcing wood from anywhere in the world)…  The table has come to symbolize our community’s connection to our local environment and our ability to make something of it.”  … Charles Shackleton

 

Pete Michelinie os Shackleton Thomas Fine Furniture in Bridgewater, VT
Charlie Shackleton (left) and Pete Michelinie of Shackleton Thomas Fine Furniture in Bridgewater, VT.  Pete was trained at the renowned North Bennett Street Furniture School in Boston.  He’s part of an elite team of craftspeople who create heirloom quality furniture and pottery at Shackleton-Thomas.

The Work of Human Hands

Charlie notes that humans have a natural tendency to want to make things, using their hands in particular.  “It’s a satisfying “buzz” of creativity, comparable to baking a loaf of bread from the grains of a wheat plant.  When a finished piece expresses our creativity, either through the natural beauty of the wood, the design or the marks of shaping left by the human hand, it sends a message.  In these times when so much is mass produced in factories by automated machines on the other side of the world, many are treasuring that message and the natural resources that surround it..”

Visit the Shackleton Thomas store in Bridgewater, VT or their website to learn more and shop.  Next week:  a quiz about Miranda’s pottery.  Hint: yes it is displayed in the White House and the Vatican in addition to dozens of other prestigious locations around the world.

Related posts: Touring Vermont’s Luxury Home Decor Brands    A visit to Simon Pearce

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, a 200 year old farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

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.

Simon Pearce | Handblown Glassware | Made in Vermont

Luxury home decor aficionados:  do you long for days past when real, honest, human craftsmanship was the means of producing quality, long lasting goods for your home?  Are you tired of disposable everything and looking to add authenticity and character to your home– a few things with substance that are designed to be enjoyed forever?  Well Vermont has a treat for you.  Four of America’s top luxury home decor brands are headquartered in the middle of the Green Mountain state– all within a comfortable driving distance of each other.  I made the tour myself last week, while preparing our Stonehurst gallery to begin carrying a selection of items from each company.  Here is what I found at my first stop, Simon Pearce.

Simon Pearce Glassware

With the rich history of Irish glass blower Simon Pearce behind it, this company leads the way in high end, hand blown glass and table ware.  Headquartered in Windsor Vermont, Simon Pearce creates glass and ceramic “products that are beautifully designed, produced with premium quality materials and time-honored techniques and intended for a lifetime of everyday use”.

Simon Pearce | Glass Blower | Watch it Being Made in Windsor and Quechee Vermont
Simon Pearce high quality glass bowls, goblets and vases are hand blown by skilled artisans and designed to last a lifetime.  I took this picture in Windsor, VT but you can also see glassblowing (and pottery making) at their beautiful facility in Quechee, VT.

Simon Pearce Pottery

Simon Pearce Pottery and Stoneware
The Simon Pearce pottery and stoneware collection includes table lamps, vases, pitchers, dinnerware and gifts.  Watch it being made in Windsor and/or Quechee, VT.

Learn more about Simon Pearce, his story and products on his website.  Or better yet, come up to Vermont for a visit!  You can use Stonehurst, our fine furniture, home decor and art gallery as a launchpad to Simon Pearce and the rest of Vermont’s luxury home decor companies.

Restaurant at Simon Pearce
It takes a ton of energy to make glass so Simon Pearce located his facility on a falls and installed hydro power.  Be sure to call for reservations if you’d like to dine at that beautiful restaurant that juts out over the falls. Both food and view are spectacular.

The other three luxury home decor brands I’m thinking of?  Stay tuned, there’s more to come but you’ll find hints on Kelsey’s new Vermont luxury Pinterest board.  Let us know on our Facebook, about any other brands you’d like to learn more about.

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, a 200 year old farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

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.

Luxury Home Decor from Vermont
Vermont is home to these luxury home decor brands:  Anichini linens, Simon Pearce glassware, Shackleton Thomas furniture and pottery and Hubbardton Forge lighting.  We look forward to offering them all in one place at Stonehurst.

Last week I managed to escape from the office and take a road trip.  The excuse (er… purpose) was to visit Vermont’s top luxury home decor businesses.  Maybe this won’t surprise you — it turns out that in addition to being the fine furniture capital of America, Vermont is second to none in many other types of authentic, handmade home decor.  The Green Mountain State hosts hand blown glass blower Simon Pearce, hand forged lighting manufacturer, Hubbardton Forge, hand loomed artisanal fabrics maker, Anichini and handcrafted furniture and pottery maker, Shackleton Thomas.

We felt these companies should be featured at Stonehurst, making it a complete showroom for Vermont’s best, high quality, handcrafted home goods.  So I was chosen as the lucky one to make the rounds and pitch the idea.  I was met with nothing but kindness and enthusiasm.  Wendy Fannin at Hubbardton Forge, Heather Carey at Anichini, Maria Parrado at Simon Pearce, Charlie Shackleton and Miranda Thomas were all very supportive of our plans (thanks guys!).

Over the next few months we’ll be hard at work, adding these new products to our showroom.  A nice selection of items will also be added to our online store.  Stay tuned for more details as they unfold!

Related posts: A visit to Shackleton Thomas    A visit to Simon Pearce

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, a 200 year old farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

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.

Nina Markiw | Welcome to Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture

Today it’s my great pleasure to welcome our newest team member, Nina Narkiw to Vermont Woods Studios.  As a professional photographer, Nina will be working with Dennis and Kelsey in our Marketing department.  Her focus will be on conveying the beauty and quality of Vermont’s fine furniture to those who are unable to visit our Stonehurst showroom and see it in person.

A graduate of Johnson State College with a BA in Studio Art and a concentration in photography, Nina made the Presidents List and graduated magna cum laude.  She owns White Blossom Art, a small business that offers wedding photography, fine art photography and paintings.  In her “spare time” Nina helps in the family’s floral business Checkerberry Hill, which specializes in custom floral designs for weddings and other special events.

Sheep | Nina Markiw | Vermont Fine Artist and Photographer
Here’s one of my favorite photos by Nina, as featured on her website White Blossom Art.
A babbling brook and autumn leaves by Nina Markiw
Photography isn’t her only expertise.  Nina also has a passion for painting.

For Nina, “art is a way of life and not just a hobby”.  At Vermont Woods Studios we feel very lucky to have her caliber of talent and drive on our team.  Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Nina on our Facebook!

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.

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.

Vermont Arts Magazine Features Woodworkers, Winter 2013We’re sending thanks out to journalist Steve Noble and publisher, Lynn Barrett of Southern Vermont Arts Magazine for their insightful articles about three Vermont woodworking businesses.  Vermont Woods Studios was featured along with Charles Shackleton of Shackleton Thomas and Gail Grycel of Twin Birch Woodworking.

Steve’s article, “Three Vermonters and Their Love of Wood” explores how many of us in Vermont’s artisan community share a vision of using the timeless power of wood and woodworking to change the world:

  • Gail, a professionally trained musician who learned woodworking and built her own house, is now teaching the craft to other women.
  • Charlie, a master craftsman (who traveled to Vermont from Dublin Ireland with his friend famed glass blower, Simon Pearce) uses his world-class fine furniture (and wife Miranda’s pottery) to share his passion for authenticity, sustainability and social responsibility.
  • And Vermont Woods Studios, where we reach out across America through our website to bring furniture buyers into Vermont so they can experience the timeless quality and beauty of handmade wood furniture.

We appreciate Lynn’s support for our craft and her help in raising awareness about value of Vermont’s fine wood furniture business.  Keep up with the latest news about the Arts in Southern Vermont and these 3 woodworking businesses:

 

 

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.