Clearlake-rockerA couple weeks ago I attempted to work through a definition of "fine wood furniture" at the request of one of our customers.  I couldn't find any type of universally (or even generally) agreed-upon definition, so I thought I'd try to make one up.  But as I waded into it, I realized how difficult even that is. 

There's just so much ground to cover in "fine wood furniture" such as style, type of wood used, craftsmanship, type of joinery used, finishing products and techniques, the use of hand tools versus precision machinery, the use of veneers versus solid wood, and of course durability and longevity. 

So I've been opining my way through each area– well just to generate some discussion really, because I think that would be more valuable than an attempted definition of "fine wood furniture".

 

Today I wanted to talk about where "fine wood furniture" comes from and how it makes it's way to your bedroom or kitchen.  Would you believe that most of the so called "fine wood furniture" that's sold in America today is made in China or VietNam from wood that was logged unsustainably (and often illegally) from the rainforests of South America, Africa, Siberia and Asia?  I know it sounds like extremist rhetoric, but it's really not.  Kendall just published a page on sustainable furniture today, reminding us about the environmental damage that comes from rainforest destruction.

So my point is, if you're going to define fine wood furniture, you probably do need to address where it comes from.  Furniture from small companies like Vermont Woods Studios that use American-grown, sustainably-harvested wood and local craftspeople is different than furniture that's made overseas with illegal wood by people paid 25 cents/hour.  It feels different.  It has better "karma".  It makes you feel proud to own it.  You find yourself telling people all about where you got it and how long it took to make and how the joinery is designed, right? 

Another note– most American fine wood furniture comes with a lifetime guarantee— an important indication of sustainability.

Next post, I'd like to share some sustainable practices I've been impressed with at Copeland Furniture and Clearlake Furniture, both Vermont companies.  After looking at the green practices Vermont furniture makers have been famous for over many generations, you may find youself agreeing with me that Vermont is the Fine Furniture Capital of America.

Thanks to Clearlake Furniture for the photo of their Rocking Chair

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.

Copeland-vt-furnitureLast month I mentioned that we had made the decision to add Copeland Furniture’s beautiful Vermont made collection to our online furniture store. Since then we’ve been researching and studying the details about this luxury furniture line.  I am amazed at the diversity of styles and construction designs offered by Copeland.  And at the affordability they have engineered into their furniture through high-precision processes.

Tim Copeland started his company in 1974 as a one-man operation in a garage in rural Vermont. His earlier designs were inspired by Shaker furniture but now Copeland Furniture offers many creative styles including Shaker, Mid Century modern, Danish, Scandinavian, Asian, Arts and Crafts, Japanese, and transitional designs.

Dennis is our point person on Copeland Furniture and he’s been feverishly working away over the last several weeks. He’s drafted over 100 new Copeland product pages and has been bringing the rest of us up to speed on Copeland styles and construction details.  My job is to polish and publish Dennis’ draft pages.  Kendall is creating information pages that explain construction details and finish options for the different collections.  Manjula is orchestrating the whole project and fixing our mistakes as we go.

So far we’ve been able to add most of the products in Copeland’s Berkeley, Catalina, and Harbor Island, collections.  I figure we’re about 30% through the project but we’re picking up speed and we’re hoping to have it complete within a couple weeks.

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.

Copeland-furniture-vt

UPDATE:

Copeland Furniture is now available at Vermont Woods Studios.  Browse through our collection of:

Copeland Bedroom Furniture
Copeland Home Office Furniture
Copeland TV-Media Furniture and
Copeland Dining Furniture

Customize Copeland Furniture online or give us a call with your questions. 

Customers have been asking us for a wider selection of sustainable Vermont made furniture so we've been travelling all around our state in search of the next furniture company to feature on our website.  Last week Dennis and Douglas made a trip up to Bradford, VT to meet with Joann Phelps and the Copeland Furniture crew.  We've been admiring the work of this family-owned company for many years and are proud to announce we will soon be carrying their full line of Vermont made furniture including the Frank Lloyd Wright® collection. 

We're working on getting their fine furniture up on our website now and plan to have everything ready by the end of this year.  In the meantime, we are already taking orders so feel free to call us and discuss your (100% American Made) Copeland Furniture needs.  We thank Tim and Ben Copeland for including Vermont Woods Studios in the Copeland Furniture retailer family.

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 Handmade Furniture

I attended a Vermont Wood Manufacturer's Association (VWMA) meeting last Friday that was held at Copeland Furniture in Bradford, VT.  I'm always amazed when getting together with all these talented artisans and furniture makers.  They're creative not only about their furniture designs, but also about the other aspects that are required to keep their businesses sustainable these days.

Tim Copeland was showing us the piles of wood shavings that are generated from milling and sanding his lumber.  He's setting up a system to convert the shavings and sawdust into wood pellets to use for heating.  Tim said he'll be able to heat his entire facility with the wood pellets and in addition, he'll have a new revenue stream generated by the surplus pellets. 

Just one of the many sustainable practices that Vermont's furniture makers have been working through for generations.

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.