Probably the most obvious characteristic of each of these styles is the type/s of woods used. Certain species of wood are commonly associated with different styles of furniture. Sometimes this had to do with local availability, and sometimes it was a matter of popular choice.
Early American Primitives often used wide-plank pine or poplar as the predominant material because it was both readily available and because tools weren't particularly "high-tech". Therefore the bigger or wider the board, the less prep work was required to efficiently construct a solid and durable piece of furniture.
The Shakers were also practitioners of clean and efficient design. Their lifestyle was based upon simplicity and function. Maple and cherry woods were commonly the woods of choice in their furniture.
Mission and Arts & Crafts style furniture were most commonly constructed of quarter-sawn white oak and often contained many evenly spaced slats and through-mortised joints. Mahogany was often popular as well.
Contemporary and Original design pieces often run the gamut in their use of fine hardwoods. Often several contrasting species will be used in the same piece for dramatic effect. Original design pieces will often be works of mixed media as well to incorporate such elements as metal, stone, glass or ceramics for distinction.
My pieces are always constructed of top quality woods, which I personally hand select for best color and grain match to enhance the finished results of each individual piece. Some of my primitive pieces are made of genuine old timber often salvaged from old buildings and re-milled for consistency. Primitive reproduction pieces are generally made from wide stock that is in keeping with the originals. Often authentic cut-nails are used where appropriate and edges are burnished and exhibit quirk beading.
As a rule, my furniture is constructed with a wood species most appropriate to an individual style, though that does not have to be a hard and fast rule. I will blend woods where requested if a certain "look" is sought or if something existing is being matched. Pieces may also be constructed with various assembly techniques depending on use or application. For example: often a client will request a dining table with traditional mortise and tenon leg/apron joinery. This is readily available, though a more common approach is to construct the leg as a detachable piece that is mounted into a well-executed corner-mounting block. Though this is somewhat less "traditional," it has several distinct advantages: i.e. the ability to tighten legs periodically with simple hand tools to compensate for seasonal humidity variations, and to easily remove legs for shipping or moving, thus reducing the risk of damage. Either construction style is acceptable and available and will have no bearing on the final appearance or durability of the piece.
My primary goal in furniture construction is to build a piece that is both visually appealing and structurally sound as to provide years of enjoyment and service.
|As mentioned earlier, my background has been strong in the finishing and restoration end of the business. As a result of this, my pieces receive particular attention paid to the end result. How my furniture is finished is not a "left 'til last" detail that receives short shrift upon the completion of assembly. My finish work IS part of the construction process, and ultimately receives attention equal to that of the rest of the process. Though color options are available, most wood tone pieces are offered in shades that will most enhance the natural grain and figure of the wood species. Painted pieces can obviously run the color spectrum, though I generally run towards muted and subtle shadings. All pieces are final-coated with a high-solids, commercial grade lacquer finish that is hand rubbed upon completion. This finish is both pleasant to the eye and touch, and is extremely serviceable with a high degree of repairability. Dining table tops may be top-coated with a catalytic lacquer as an option. Catalytics offer the same appearance, feel, and service with and added measure of durability for high-use applications. Most pieces can be finished to client's specifications.|