True to Vermont: The Story of Copeland Furniture

Last updated on March 19th, 2019 at 02:10 pm

Copeland Vermont Made Monterey Bed
Copeland’s Monterey Collection

Founded in East Cornith, Vermont, Copeland Furniture is guided by its values of preservation and stewardship. Environmentally conscious before “green” was anything other than a color, Copeland has been expertly crafting heirloom-quality wood tables, chairs, desks, beds, and case goods since the 1970s.

Copeland’s commitment to stewardship is revealed in the woods they choose – all Copeland wood comes from within 500 miles of their factory, which means less fossil fuels used and less CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. Sourced primarily from the great American Northern Forest, Copeland uses durable and beautiful hardwoods like maple, cherry, and walnut, all of which is sustainably harvested. Their sustainable harvesting practices ensure that the Northern Forest will continue to be among the healthiest forests in the world, continuously building biomass. Plus, Copeland offers a water-based finish on most pieces – these formaldehyde-free finishes are every bit as durable as a catalyzed lacquer, but with drastically reduced VOC emissions at the factory and off-gassing the home.

Copeland Furniture Catalina Collection
Copeland’s Catalina Collection

Part of their commitment to the environment includes heirloom-quality craftsmanship. In some ways, these artisanal pieces are a response against the disposable. Copeland’s promise is to build furniture with the best materials and workmanship available, beautiful pieces that will be handed down for future generations to use daily and to enjoy for years to come.

This family-owned business started out as a one-man operation in East Cornith, but has grown to become a state-of-the art manufacturing facility on the banks of the Connecticut River in Bradford, Vermont. Copeland has skillfully adapted to changes in technology and the market – they expertly combine old-world handcraftsmanship with leading-edge advances computer-aided design. They identify their design aesthetic as “transitional,” neither strictly traditional or contemporary. Design influences are drawn from the Japanese, Shaker, and Scandinavian design styles, as well as from the landscape and culture of their home base of Vermont.

Copeland's Sarah Shaker style Cherry & maple bed
Copeland’s Sarah Shaker Style Cherry & Maple Bed

Copeland has worked hard to stay true to the New England traditions of quality craftsmanship and enduring design from which it emerged. They believe that continuous improvement is ultimately what best serves the customer and work to continue to innovate, while keeping a keen eye trained on the health and well being of the earth, its resources, and its employees and craftsman. Copeland Furniture, as a company, possesses great care and respect both for the land and those of us who live and work on it.

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Vermont Road Trip: Dorset Custom Furniture

Last updated on March 13th, 2019 at 04:28 pm

Custom Furniture Makers | Dorset Vermont
Meet the master craftsmen of Dorset Vermont.  From left:  Bill Laberge, Bob Gasperetti, Steve Holman and Dan Mosheim.  These guys are world class expert furniture designers and woodworkers.  Their beautiful creations grace the Green Mountain State as well as public and private homes, businesses and galleries the world over.  

Dorset is one of the prettiest hamlets in all of Vermont, so Dennis and I were happy to make the trek to Dorset Custom Furniture last Friday.  For us, the main attraction wasn’t the quaint New England Village architecture or the view of the Green Mountain Forest.  It was to meet with Dan Mosheim and three more of Dorset’s famous custom furniture makers.  I guess it’s no coincidence that four of the country’s finest craftsmen have set up shop in this idyllic spot.  Dorset is quintessential Vermont at it’s finest and it’s natural beauty inspires artists and craftspeople from all walks of life.

Once we found our way to the slice of paradise that’s home to Dorset Custom Furniture we caught up with Dan, his wife Kit, and their sons Will and Sam.  The whole family is involved in the arts, creating not only furniture but also jewelry, musical instruments and sculpture.

Dan had invited three other powerhouses in custom furniture to meet with us:  Steve Holman of Holman Studios, Bob Gasperetti and Bill Laberge.  We were brainstorming ways to collaborate in shining a light on Vermont’s long legacy of creating sustainable, high end, custom furniture.  Dennis and I extended an invitation to the Dorset crowd to show their furniture at Stonehurst, our new fine furniture gallery so we will be working with them to make that happen before our grand opening this summer.

If you’re wandering around the world of Vermont arts and crafts before that, be sure to drop by Dorset and visit these fine furniture craftsmen in their studios.  I think you’ll find that in commissioning a piece of their custom furniture, you are acquiring much more that a functional piece of art.  I’m not sure how to describe but it has to do with getting in touch with a level of authenticity that is often missing in our lives.  I think you’ll just have to go to Dorset and check it out for yourself.  Then tell us about your experience on Facebook.  Happy travels!

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Brent Karner and ClearLake Furniture

Last updated on March 13th, 2019 at 04:00 pm

Vermont Woodworker of the Year: Brent Karner
Congratulations to Vermont Woodworker of the Year, Brent Karner of Clear Lake Furniture for his innovative design of high end stacking chairs for the University of Vermont’s Memorial Lounge.

Congratulations to Brent Karner of ClearLake Furniture in Ludlow for being selected Vermont Woodworker of the Year.  The award was presented to Brent last Friday by Mike Rainville, President of the Vermont Wood Manufacturing Association, VWMA. It was in recognition of his work in designing and crafting 150 eco-friendly, stackable cherry wood chairs for the University of Vermont’s Memorial Lounge on UVM’s Burlington campus.

Have you ever noticed that chairs in auditoriums are rarely handcrafted of solid wood and rarely comfortable?  Well it seems that Richard Cate, UVM Vice president for finance and administration decided to change that.  He insisted on finding a competitive bid for beautiful, comfy, high quality, Vermont made STACKABLE chairs and Brent Karner’s proposal fit the bill.

Brent, his brother and two of their craftsmen at Clear Lake Furniture spent 3 months designing and building the chairs.  Each chair contains 41 separate pieces.  Sheahan and Sons Lumber in Weatherfield transformed 400 local, sustainably harvested logs from Bethel, VT into 6,150 pieces of wood designed to Brent’s specs.  The seats were crafted by Don Heaton Upholstery in Chester, VT.  Everything from A to Z was locally made in Vermont!

Isn’t it great to see another example of Vermonters leading the way in the American Made manufacturing movement?

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

High Quality Wood Furniture: Tips For Finding the Best Craftsmanship

Last updated on August 3rd, 2018 at 01:27 pm

High Quality WoHardwood Furnitureod Bedroom Furniture | Cherry Moon Bed
This high quality wood furniture is part of our Cherry Moon Bedroom Collection.  It’s handmade with real, solid cherry wood and topped with a hand-rubbed natural oil finish.

If you’re shopping for high quality wood furniture, you’re seeking craftsmanship that will be beautiful, remarkable and make your investment last a lifetime, right?  It isn’t necessarily hard to find quality craftsmanship, but you’ll have to veer off the beaten big box path and steer over to the local furniture makers in your neighborhood.

Now before you get nervous about price, know that with high quality wood furniture (and most other things, I suppose), you truly do get what you pay for.  A good craftsman will save you money in the long run because quality wood furniture lasts a lifetime.  It’s something you can hand down to your children and grandchildren.

As you’re shopping for this investment, here are a few things to look for:

Real Solid HardWood Throughout

Top quality hardwoods that are grown in America and suitable for high end furniture include black cherry wood, black walnut wood, oak, maple, ash and birch.  These wood species have high densities and tight, non-resinous grains.  Plus they sand well and polish to a silky smooth and supple finish.

Hand Made in America

Furniture that’s hand made in America gets an immediate gold star for integrity, just for the fact that the wood is legally and sustainably harvested (this is often not the case with imported furniture).  You  can also feel good that USA made furniture is creating American jobs and sustainable economies.  Another benefit: no worries about toxic finishes and glues (common in imported furniture) that might offgas in your home or be ingested by small children.

Drawers Made of Solid Wood with Dovetail Joinery and Robust Drawer Slides

Drawers and Doors provide perhaps the quickest and easiest quality check on  craftsmanship.  Make sure they are well fitted and adjusted properly.  Drawers and doors should close easily and be flush with the cabinet front.  The hardware should be substantial and adjustable in case of jostling during shipping and moving processes be sure to have your delivery crew make any necessary adjustments before they leave your home).

Smooth and Supple Furniture Finish

When you run your hand over a piece of high quality wood furniture, it should be as soft and smooth as a person’s skin.  Fine wood furniture is sanded many times and eventually with a very fine grit sandpaper.  The finish is typically a traditional hand-rubbed oil finish or a lacquer.

High Quality Wood Furniture Deserves A Lifetime Guarantee

I can’t imaging getting a lifetime guarantee in a big box store but most local craftsmen are happy to give a lifetime guarantee on their handmade wood furniture.

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.