Though most of the work I make is client-commissioned, I always have a selection of Available Work for sale; pieces made between commissions to express design ideas and as finished examples of some of the woods I have in my stock of raw materials.
There is no real production; only interdependence.
- Alexandra David-Neel
My work begins with the wiggly and the unhewn. The indigenous Vermont hardwoods I use in my furniture are junk to the lumber industry; burls, dog-legs, unmanageable crotches, gnarled branches and center-rotten trunks not valued by commercial mills as saw logs. Local loggers are the chief sources of supply. We provide loggers with another source of income and they provide us with commercially unavailable raw material.
The design process of my furniture begins with the organic life of the tree and has a direct influence on the individual, finished work. Careful design and responsive craftsmanship are crucial to the entire process.
The challenge with such raw materials is to make sense of them within the parameters of a practical, functional piece of furniture. My efforts are directed toward sustaining the material’s singular qualities while working with it to create a unique piece of furniture; both the design and making are thus material-based and interdependent.
“I had bought two drums from Karamo Saho in Joli. He had cut them from local trees, and each of them followed the shape of the original trunk, so that they leaned slightly, but in opposite directions. Wherever they were, they would remain a part of the landscape from which they had been taken.”
- Mark Hudson, Our Grandmothers’ Drums