Our Furniture

Here are a few of the speculative and commission pieces that have been made over the last several years by our craftsmen and teachers. Using solid wood and traditional joinery ensures that these furniture pieces will last longer than the builders!

Rose Table

This table was an original design by the artist drawing heavily on the Federal influence (1780-1820). Each holly bellflower on the legs was carefully cut and inlaid after burning the tips in hot sand (an ancient technique that has been in use for hundreds of years). The top roses were done with no other tool but a hand-held fret saw. Hundreds of pieces were cut and carefully pieced together to create this mosaic. There was no dye, stain or paint used on any of the inlaid roses. The woods used are: box elder, pink ivory, maple, cherry, poplar, Indian rosewood, lignum vitae, holly and ebony. This table is built completely with traditional joinery throughout, including hand-cut mortise and tenons, tapered sliding dovetails and half-blind houndstooth dovetails for the drawers.
This piece was designed and built by Frank Strazza. Each holly bellflower on the legs was carefully cut and inlaid after burning the tips in hot sand. Hundreds of pieces of wood were used to create the roses on this table, all cut out with a hand-held fret saw! There was no dye, stain or paint used on any of the inlaid roses. The woods used are: box elder, pink ivory, maple, cherry, poplar, Indian rosewood, lignum vitae, holly and ebony. This table is built completely with traditional joinery throughout, including hand-cut mortise and tenons, tapered sliding dovetails and half-blind houndstooth dovetails for the drawers.

 

 

 

  White House Cabinets

Finished cabinet for the U.S. White House
Finished cabinet for the U.S. White House

In 2008 we were given the honor of building two mesquite cabinets for the Cabinet room in the U.S. White House. Every surface was veneered with our own shop-cut veneers (which are much thicker than commercially available veneers). Each column was turned by hand on our lathe, all the cross-banding was cut, glued, then cut again to get the exact pattern; each shelf inside the cabinet had pillow panels to eliminate dust collecting inside the grooves. Every door was mortise and tenoned together with flat mesquite panels that we then veneered over. All the construction was with traditional joinery and solid mesquite wood, and each piece of wood was selected for its color, grain and strength. Every surface was hand-planed or hand-scraped before sanding.

The pieces of wood that make up the eagles on the front of the cabinets were cut out with a knife, then pieced back together so that the grain of the wood matched the shape. We used scarlet oak (a tree from the White House north lawn that fell during a storm) together with ebony to border the veneer and cross-banding, giving it a nice contrast.

The finish is French polished shellac. We worked day and night for a month to finish them by the deadline, personally delivering the cabinets the night the President gave his farewell address. As we carefully set the first one in place, we looked up to see the second one being whisked down the hall on its end . . . by a moving crew! But it survived and now sits, a little bit of Texas, in the middle of Washington, D.C.

 

 Safari Cabinet

Safari Cabinet
This piece was designed and built by Timothy Anz, (age 21) after finishing a 2 year apprenticeship with our organization. It is made using Wenge, Mesquite, Maple, Zebra wood and Ebony.

 

 More furniture pictures.