Sourcing Custom Furniture
by Kerry Pierce
In the world of furniture, sometimes "good" isn't good enough. Whether you're buying for yourself or for a client, sometimes you need something really special, something at the very top of the quality ladder. You can't find that work in a furniture store or a manufacturer's catalog. You have to go to the source, to the men and women whose refined sensibility and meticulous craftsmanship enable them to produce truly distinctive furniture.
Buying good custom furniture is worth the effort it may require because it can enrich your life in ways that can't be approximated by factory-built furniture. Good custom furniture provides you with enduring visual and tactile pleasure, in addition to a functionality precisely attuned to your specific needs.
It's furniture that wears well and will bring as much pleasure into your life 20 years from now as it does today. It is, in fact, furniture that will become a part of the legacy you will leave to your family.
But the process takes some effort. Custom furniture must be sought out. Once the idea of the purpose, style, setting, and size has begun to take shape in your mind, it's time to talk to craftsmen. How do you find them? What qualities of materials and workmanship do you look for?
Finding a Craftsman
Shows devoted exclusively to furniture are often staged by woodworker associations, but even if there are no such associations in your area, a careful search will likely reveal some high-level craft shows at which three or four (or maybe a dozen) furniture makers display their work along with the work of potters, fiber artists, and others. >>>
This article is excerpted from Custom Furniture Source Book: A Guide to 125 Craftsmen by Kerry Pierce, with permission of the publisher, The Taunton Press.
A wall-hung cabinet by Rhode Island woodworker David Kiernan is made of mahogany and ebony.
Photo: Dean Powell
Cabinet by Kiernan in the closed position.
Photo: Dean Powell
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