Vermont Furniture: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

Vermont Furniture Encyclopedia
The Vermont Furniture Encyclopedia is full of fun facts about the history of Vermont woodworking, craftsmanship, contemporary Vermont furniture makers, the Vermont Fine Furniture Festival and more.

Vermont Made Furniture Is Thriving

Vermont furniture seems to be getting famous these days.  During a down economy when housing sales (traditionally the driver for furniture sales) are in the ditch, Vermont made furniture continues to increase in popularity.  As a company that sells exclusively Vermont made furniture, we chat daily with customers who inquire about all the details of our state’s signature craft.

So I’ve begun to compile the essence of these conversations into what we’re loosely calling a Vermont Furniture Encyclopedia.  It’s posted on our website and includes topics like the History of Vermont Made Furniture, Vermont Furniture Makers, Vermont Furniture Styles, Sustainability and Vermont Made Furniture, Woods Used in Vermont Furniture Making, Education and Training, Vermont Furniture Quality and Craftsmanship, and How to Find and Purchase Vermont Made Furniture.

Some Vermont Furniture History

Check it out.  You may be surprised to learn that Vermonters have been crafting wood furniture for over 250 years.  Back in the 18th century, wood furniture, cutting boards, bowls, bowling pins, baskets, drumsticks, toys, musical instruments, golf tees, cheese boxes, dolls, gun racks, Scrabble tiles, snowshoes, clothes pins, and wooden shipping boxes were (and continue to be) all products of a thriving Vermont woodworking industry.

And in modern times, during the last half century, when furniture companies from across America began outsourcing top American brands (including Ethan Allen, Bassett, Broyhill, Thomasville, La-Z-Boy and Lane) to Asia, Vermont companies  stayed home, remaining true to their values of quality, community and local economies. You’ll find a list of notable contemporary Vermont furniture makers, sorted by size and specialty in the encyclopedia.  Plus learn fun facts like which state ranks #1 in furniture makers per capita.

We’ll consider the encyclopedia a work in progress and I invite others in the Vermont Furniture World to contribute.  Send comments in the section below, on our Facebook or by emailing me at peggy@VermontWoodsStudios.com.

 

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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.

Hurricane Sandy: Vermont Escaped the Worst of It

After Hurricane Sandy in Vernon VT
The morning after Hurricane Sandy, in Vernon VT.  It seems the Green Mountain State escaped America’s worst storm in recorded history.  We’re thankful for that, this morning’s blue sky and the last few red maple leaves Sandy allowed us to keep for another day or two.

We are feeling very lucky this morning, waking up to intermittent rain and occasional gusts of wind from the remnants of Hurricane Sandy.  Although tens of thousands of Vermonters lost power last night, thankfully Vermont has escaped the worst of the storm. As pain from last year’s devastating Hurricane Irene has yet to subside, it makes me wonder if perhaps Mother Nature has a heart after all.

Our thoughts and prayers are going out to all our friends, family and customers who are today going through the kind of nightmare we woke up to last year on August 21, 2011.   In the coming days we will be thinking of you and looking for ways to help.  Vermonters have a tradition of reaching out in times of need and we will be supporting our state’s efforts to send relief to hurricane victims in neighboring areas.  Stay tuned for details as they evolve.

 

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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.

What’s Your Favorite Vermont Made Product?

Vermont Made Products

Here are some of our favorite Vermont Made Products

Recently Dennis and I had the opportunity to contribute to a blog dedicated to promoting products made in America: USA Love List. This blog has a segment called “The Top 10 Things Made in My Home State” and we represented Vermont. The guidelines were simple: the list had to be exclusively Vermont made products, and our list couldn’t contain more than half food items. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. Vermont has always made high quality products. There are hundreds of companies that as Vermonters we are well aware of and use their products on a daily basis. Our audience narrowed our list down a bit, because we wanted to choose products that are nationally known. However, it was still extremely difficult to limit our list to just 10 products made in Vermont. In the future, we will continue to post on the Vermont Woods Studios blog about products made in Vermont, because there are too many good ones that we don’t want to leave out! For now, here is the original list of Vermont made products that was published on the USA Love List blog on October 24.

 10 Things We Love: Made in Vermont

Vermont’s quaint landscape and travel are what typically give our Green Mountain State some national attention, but our products are pretty buzz-worthy too! Vermont has always been industrious and innovative, which is why it was so hard to narrow down our list to just 10 items. Here are some of our best Vermont made products that we simply could not leave out.

1. Wood Furniture- Vermont’s history of furniture making spans over 200 years. This handed-down tradition of crafting solid, functional, and lasting furniture pieces has continued into the present day, and has made Vermont the fine furniture capital of the United States. There are over 2,500 furniture makers in the state, and including the large household names like Copeland Furniture and Lyndon Furniture.

2. Maple Syrup– For many, Vermont is synonymous with maple syrup. Vermont is the largest producer of pure maple syrup in the United States, and Vermonters use maple syrup in just about everything we cook. We put it in our coffee, glaze our meats with it, and use it as a substitute for white sugar. You won’t find any of the fake stuff (with ingredients you can’t pronounce) in our refrigerators — we like nature’s recipe better!

3. Ben & Jerry’s– Ever head of them? This ice cream company started in Burlington, Vermont in 1978. Ben & Jerry’s is known for their quirky flavors like Chubby Hubby, Phish Food, and Americone Dream. Today you can get Ben & Jerry’s ice cream all over the world, but the ice cream factory is located in Waterbury, Vermont. Come visit the factory, and pay your respect to ice cream flavors of the past in the flavor graveyard.

4. Cheese- With over 150 varieties to choose from, deciding on a type of cheese seems like an impossible task, but somehow we manage. Vermont is the premium cheese state with the highest number of cheesemakers per capita: over 30 of them! You can find some of our cheeses in your local super market. Keep an eye out for Cabot Cheese and Grafton Village Cheese!

5. Darn Tough– With drastic weather changes in Vermont, the importance of good socks is apparent. Darn Tough has been keeping feet happy for three generations. Their quality socks, made in Northfield, are so darn tough that if they aren’t the most comfortable and durable socks you’ve ever owned, they’ll give you your money back!

6. Vermont Flannel Company– This family owned business has been making apparel in Vermont for over 20 years. In 2010 they were given the Made in the USA Foundation’s Hall of Fame Award for their dedication and commitment to manufacturing in the United States.

7. King Arthur Flour– King Arthur Flour has been making top-quality flour for over 200 years. Not only can you find their flour, baking mixes, and other ingredients in your local super market, but you can also visit their headquarters in Norwich, Vermont. The King Arthur Flour campus is a baker’s paradise!

8. Vermont Teddy Bear– The finest handmade teddy bears are designed, cut, sewn, stuffed, and stitched in Vermont. They make cuddly creatures for all occasions, and even have a Bear-Gram option where they ship a special teddy bear gift to a lucky recipient. If you find yourself in northern Vermont, visit their factory in Burlington.

9. Simon Pearce– This glassblowing, pottery, and home accent company is a great representation of the high-quality artistry of Vermont. You can observe these fine pieces being created in two Vermont locations: Quechee and Windsor.

10. Hubbardton Forge– Although this name may not immediately ring a bell, you’ve probably seen their gorgeous hand-forged lighting in showrooms, magazines, and even on film (like the popular TV show Glee). A team of over 200 people hand-forge these lighting fixtures in Castleton, Vermont.

 

Did we leave out your favorite product that’s made in Vermont? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page! Hopefully we’ll cover them in a future blog post.

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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 Artist, Paul Stone

Paul Stone, Vermont Artist
Paul Stone is a native Vermonter who grew up in Westminster and has been painting since he was a young boy. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Tufts University. While I was admiring Paul’s paintings at the I-91 Guilford Welcome Center, I learned that Paul is also a dentist.  What?  Like this post if you think it’s unfair for one person to have such an abundance of talent.  Haha!

Vermont’s Most Surprising Art Galleries: Our Welcome Centers

Lucky me.  I stopped by the Interstate 91 N Guilford Welcome Center (a mile south of Brattleboro on I91) the other day to drop off some brochures and stumbled upon a beautiful collection of oil paintings by nationally acclaimed Vermont artist, Paul Stone.  You never know what amazing stuff you’re going to find at Vermont’s Welcome Centers (it’s not unusual for Paul Stone’s painting to sell for over $10,000 each)!

Paul Stone is a master at capturing quintessential Vermont rural scenes like the barns and farmhouses in my snapshot above.  He’s known for his use of light, shadows and a vibrant palette to create scenes that are realistic and abstract at the same time.  Maybe it’s because I live in Vermont but when I look at Paul’s work I feel like I’m inside his scenes, enjoying the view and the moment.

Apparently many others around the world feel a similar connection to Paul’s work because it hangs in numerous corporate and private collections around the world.  Paul Stone’s shows are relatively rare events so if you love art and you’re coming to Vermont to enjoy the last few days of leaf peeping season be sure to stop at the Guilford Welcome center and take this one in.

A little bit of background about the artist:  Paul is a native Vermonter who grew up in Westminster and has been painting since he was a young boy.  He is a graduate of  Dartmouth College and Tufts University.  While I was admiring Paul’s paintings, I happened to see my neighbors from Earth’s Supergrains who told me Paul used to be their dentist.  What?  Like this post if you think it’s unfair for one person to have such an abundance of talent.  Haha!

For more information on Paul Stone’s artwork, check out his website and or contact Greg Worden at Vermont Artisans Gallery on Main Street in Brattleboro to find out about Paul’s next show.

 

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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.