Rustic Furniture

My wife and I often visit our families in the mountains of western North Carolina. We are planning on visiting next weekend and I spoke with my father today and he suggested that we go for a hike while up to look for Morel mushrooms and ramps (a type of wild leak). In the area of the Appalachian Mountains I grew up ramps are a tradition this time of year. As a young boy I remember hiking in the mountains in search of ramps to dig for family get-togethers. Ramps have such a strong flavor and odor that if eaten raw the smell permeates from your skin for days, so bad that teachers would send you home from school if eaten raw the day before….okay so maybe we did this on purpose a few times.

But for myself these hikes are not only for the ramps and mushrooms but also a time for me to gather a few birch saplings to use in rustic furniture making. Years ago while I was still in the Army my father bought me a book The Art of Rustic Furniture by Daniel Mack. The book reminded me of home with its beautiful pictures of trees, rustic woodworking, and amazing art. For several years after reading this book much of my work was influenced by rustic materials. While most of my current work tends to be more Arts and Craft or Contemporary style, I still enjoy making a table or chair from nothing but limbs cut from the forest on occasion.

I have somewhat of an extensive book collection but keep one bookshelf by the bed of my favorites that I pull out from time to time for reference, ideas, or just admiration and this book has always been on that shelf.

The picture at the top is the first rustic chair that I made many years ago and one of the first projects that I built that was outside of what I had been taught. I was very proud of my artistic expression when I made the chair and although it may not be my best woodworking pieces it is still a prized possession that I could never part with.

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One Response to “Rustic Furniture”

  1. Susan Graham
    October 3, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

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