vermont furniture makers
Some parts of the Green Mountain State may have run out of snow this week, but don’t let that deter you from jumping in the car and taking a couple Vermont road trips. Our ski areas all make snow and temps have been perfect for doing that lately, so skiers are in the all set club. But if you’re not a skier or your knees need a break we’ll post a few Vermont road trip suggestions you may not have thought about yet.
First up is the The Vermont Forest Heritage Trail. It’s a driving tour of Vermont’s woodworking shops, studios and showrooms– large and small. You can pick up a guide booklet at any Vermont Welcome Center or download it here. In it you’ll find a Vermont map with dozens of furniture makers and their studios. You’ll also find information on Vermont’s sustainable forestry industry and an invitation to the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, a managed forest in the central region of the state.
Here’s your chance to connect with nature and see how Vermont craftspeople incorporate it into the sustainable furniture they design and build. This initial Heritage Tour goes through the middle of Vermont and features Clear Lake Furniture in Ludlow, Shackleton Thomas in Bridgewater and Copeland Furniture in Bradford. Maple Landmark Toys are also included. The Vermont Wood Manufacturing Association is working on updating the brochure with additional tours throughout the state so stay tuned for more options. Happy trails to you!
Vermont Custom Furniture Showcased in Stowe
Vermont custom furniture takes center stage this month at the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe. Members of the Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers are showcasing examples of their work, which (in my humble opinion) is among the finest custom furniture you’ll find anywhere.
The Stowe expo, Source focuses on the origin of all elements that collaborate to make the final exquisite and creative piece. “The exhibit maps the source of materials, the relationships between forester, mill and craftsperson, as well as the path that the artists took (who influenced them, and where they learned their craft) to become furniture makers”.
Many of our favorite Vermont custom furniture makers are represented in Stowe, including: George Ainley, Erin Hanley, James Becker, Steve Holman, Hugo Belton, David Hurwitz, Richard Bissell, Bill Laberge, Dave Boynton, Mario Messina, Tim Clark, Dan Morsheim, Doug Clarner, Pete Novick, Johns Congdon, Walt Stanley and Bob Gasparetti.
Where Does Your Furniture Come From?
At Vermont Woods Studios our focus has always been on “where does your furniture come from” particularly from an environmental perspective (where is the wood from and was it sustainably harvested).
What I love about this expo is that it takes a broader look into the origin of these works of art, focusing on the artists, their inspirations and the chain of partners involved in getting their wood from the forest to their studios.
If you’re heading up to Stowe to ski and you love woodworking, be sure to make time to stop at the Helen Day Center for a relaxing and inspiring visit. Hours are Wednesday – Sunday 12pm-5pm and by appointment. Admission is by donation. It’s well worth the trip!
Dan Mosheim is one of an elite group of custom furniture makers in Vermont, belonging to the Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers. Check out this beautiful custom live-edge walnut slab table he recently crafted.
Dan writes a very interesting blog about Vermont furniture making. Check it out. He chronicles his projects and shows all the many steps involved in designing and crafting custom furniture.
Woodworkers and furniture aficionados alike will enjoy Dan's work.
I attended a Vermont Wood Manufacturer's Association (VWMA) meeting last Friday that was held at Copeland Furniture in Bradford, VT. I'm always amazed when getting together with all these talented artisans and furniture makers. They're creative not only about their furniture designs, but also about the other aspects that are required to keep their businesses sustainable these days.
Tim Copeland was showing us the piles of wood shavings that are generated from milling and sanding his lumber. He's setting up a system to convert the shavings and sawdust into wood pellets to use for heating. Tim said he'll be able to heat his entire facility with the wood pellets and in addition, he'll have a new revenue stream generated by the surplus pellets.
Just one of the many sustainable practices that Vermont's furniture makers have been working through for generations.