Vermont Woods Studios Handmade Furniture

Dan Mosheim

Wood + Metal = Beautiful Handmade Furniture

December 23rd, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

Wood and Metal Furniture - Mixing Old and New for a Beautiful, Unique Home Style

Our Vermont made collection of reclaimed wood and steel coffee tables and sofa tables mixes old and new to achieve a beautiful, unique style.

There’s a new metal shop in town and it’s popularity is red hot.  These beautiful reclaimed wood and metal coffee tables are the result of a collaboration of three generations of the Mosheim family in Dorset, Vermont.  We’ve been working with Dan Mosheim and his fine furniture studio for many years.  He creates some of the most original and high quality furniture we’ve seen.

Earlier this year Dennis and I made a trip up to Dan’s shop to see his latest project.  He and sons Will and Sam have teamed up to build a series of unique occasional tables.  Dan and Will select and assemble reclaimed wood for the table tops, “toast it” with a torch to achieve rich color characteristics and hand-rub a clear, non-toxic durable finish to protect the wood.  Sam custom fabricates the steel base in a new metal shop he and his dad recently built next to their furniture studio.

We’ve had inquiries about the tables from customers living everywhere from urban loft apartments to rural country homesteads. The artful design manages to add warmth and character to any space.  Whether your style is rustic or refined you can enhance it by adding one of these unique, handcrafted reclaimed oak and metal coffee tables.  Come have a look for yourself at Stonehurst, our fine furniture showroom and art gallery.  And share your thoughts about wood and metal furniture designs on Facebook!


Real Wood Furniture and the Beauty of “Flaws”

August 14th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

Real Wood Furniture | Live Edge Walnut Table | Handmade in Vermont by Dan Mosheim

This live edge real wood furniture is an organic claro walnut table, skillfully handcrafted by Dan Mosheim and his family at Dorset Custom Furniture.  Check out Dan’s blog about how to capture wood’s natural characteristics and turn them into a work of art.

Because most of our fine furniture is bought online, we’ve written a lot on our website about the natural characteristics of real wood furniture.  We don’t want to have any surprises when we deliver your furniture.  Wood is organic.  Just as each tree in the forest is unique, so is each board in your furniture.  As our friend, woodworker Greg Goodman says, “wood is like people.  What makes it interesting is it’s flaws”.

Different styles of furniture require different types and grades of wood.  For example if you were buying Shaker furniture or Craftsman furniture, you would rightly be expecting the highest quality wood with minimal character or “flaws”.

But if you were shopping for a live edge, claro walnut table, for example– like this gorgeous one made by Dan Mosheim of Dorset Custom Furniture  you would be expecting plenty of organic characteristics.  Have a look at Dan’s blog and you’ll see how an artful eye, combined with detailed knowledge of wood grain, shrink, swell and overall movement can transform a rustic “old” slab of wood into an elegant dining table fit for a king.

Turth is– the value of handcrafted real wood furniture is not just in the wood, but also in the craftsmanship.  A less experienced craftsman could have taken this same slab of wood and created a table that looked “flawed” and also performed poorly.  At Vermont Woods Studios we design all of our furniture to last a lifetime.  It’s a thing woodworkers have.  If the tree took a lifetime to grow (this walnut tree was probably at least 100 years old at harvest), then the furniture should last equally as long.

I think what sets Vermont’s furniture artisans apart from others around the world is their reputation for excellence in both style and craftsmanship.  At Dan Mosheim’s workshop and other custom furniture makers throughout Vermont you’ll find experts who understand the characteristics and “flaws” of wood and design their furniture to leverage the best the wood has to offer– whether it’s a refined Shaker piece or an organic live edge table.

Want to see Vermont woodworking and meet furniture artisans in person?  Put September 28-29 on your calendar– the 10th Annual Vermont Fine Furniture Festival is just around the corner!  Details coming soon.

Interested in the mechanics of wood movement?  Brian Boggs, a woodworker in North Carolina has a great blog post about grain orientation in furniture making.  And for those seeking a less detailed approach, check out our website for the quick and dirty details on characteristics or our favorite North American furniture making-woods:


Custom Wood Furniture, Part 2

January 12th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh

Custom-wood-furniture-mosheimYesterday we were discussing the different types of furniture that people call "custom wood furniture".  My last post was about Made To Order Wood Furniture and Customized Wood Furniture.  Today I wanted to distinguish these from true custom wood furniture and ultra luxury custom artisan furniture.  Here are my thoughts:

  • True Custom Wood Furniture is unique furniture that's made more deliberately and artfully than customized furniture.  Usually, you'll want to work directly with the furniture maker if you're purchasing custom wood furniture because it's born from a collaboration between you, the customer and the furniture maker.  Custom furniture is more expensive than customized furniture and for many good reasons.  Design of custom furniture can take enormous amounts of time and several iterations before the furniture maker even progresses from the drawing board into the studio.  Wood selection is also a time-intensive process with the woodworker hand-selecting each board for the proper grain, color, match, size and shape.  Building a custom piece– well, it just takes, time, time, time.  It's all about detail and custom pieces haven't been done exactly like this before (they're unique) so every step along the way is a little challenging.  But the result with a custom piece is perfection, or near perfection anyway.  And each piece is signed by its creator. If you're someone who truly understands and appreciates the fine detail of a custom piece, this is the way to go.  It's not unusual for the price of a custom piece to be twice as much or more than a similar "made to order" or customized piece but the cost is a worthy investment for those who understand its enduring value.


  • Custom Artisan Wood Furniture– well this is yet another notch up from true custom wood furniture.  It's an ultra luxury.  It's a piece of functional art.  It's museum quality furniture that is a privilege to own. Lucky for us, Vermont is home to some of the world's most talented custom furniture artisans like Steve Holman, Dan Mosheim, Kit Clark and others, many of whom belong to the Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers.  Check out their websites and their blogs to understand how truly special and unique their furniture is. We work with these master craftspeople on a referral basis.  When customers come to us looking to invest substantially and commission custom artisan furniture we help them find the artisan who is best suited to their needs.  Usually it's based mainly on their style preference and the specific types of expertise and equipment needed to achieve their vision. But often other factors enter the decision including time constraints, budget, wood species, FSC or LEED criteria and such.  We also take into account the personalities involved to make sure the experience is enjoyable, stress-free and enriching for both the customer and the artisan. Lastly, we negotiate a fair price so both parties achieve a win.  Vermont Woods Studios was actually started as a company that would focus almost exclusively on marketing this important part of Vermont's heritage and culture.

So I hope this helps to better define "custom wood furniture" and draw a distinction between: made to order wood furniture, customized wood furniture, true custom wood furniture and ultra luxury custom artisan furniture.  Customers often ask why the price of one of our pieces may be drastically different from another, when the two pieces look similar at first glance.  The answer lies in the amount of time and expertise involved as well as the quality of the wood and hardware.  At Vermont Woods Studios we're always happy to discuss these details and refer customers directly to our furniture makers when we've reached the limit of our own expertise.  Learn more about commissioning custom wood furniture here.


Vermont Furniture Maker: Dan Mosheim and Dorset Custom Furniture

May 20th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh


As the Vermont Crafts Council 19th Annual Open Studio Weekend approaches I thought you might want to get a sneak preview of some of Vermont's finest furniture makers who will be opening their studio doors for you next weekend.





Dan Mosheim started Dorset Custom Furniture over 30 years ago to pursue his passion in the design and building of exquisite custom furniture.  He and his family and fellow woodworking artisans hand-built the studio they work in today in Dorset Vermont. 










Dan's blog has become quite famous in the world of fine woodworking. I love reading it because he's always got a fascinating project going and he's very generous about sharing his insights, methods and photos.









Dan's projects are big and small, but always elegant.



I've looked everywhere for a photo of Dan that I could post here, but that seems to be the one thing he's kinda stingy about.  He did post his CV online though and it's very endearing.  I think you'll enjoy it.


Stop by and meet Dan and his family of talented artisans next weekend at Dorset Custom Furniture.  They are some of the best in the business.  Here's the map.


 Vermont Woods Studios



New England Furniture Makers on Display in Manchester Vermont

May 5th, 2010 by Peggy Farabaugh

Congratulations to some of our favorite Vermont furniture makers who are going to be featured at the Southern Vermont Arts Center's Yester House Gallery show titled,  Out of the Woods:  Works by Northern New England Furniture Makers.  The show is in Manchester, Vermont and runs from May 8- June 15, 2010.

To kick off the show, there will be a free opening party on Friday May 8, from 4-6pm with live music, hors d'oeuvres, cash bar and conversations with the exhibiting artists.  Go and enjoy!  The following Vermont artisans will be there:

Doug Clarner, East Burke, VT; Garrett Hack, Thetford Center, VT; David Heinz, Springfield, VT; Steve Holman, Dorset, VT; David Hurwitz, Randolph, VT (in collaboration with Kerry Furlani, Rutland, VT); William Laberge, Dorset, VT; Dan Mosheim, Dorset, VT

Congratulations to all of you!