August 14th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
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:
January 12th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Yesterday 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:
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.
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.
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!