Sarah's Top Picks: 3 Independent Woodworkers

ICFF 2010

Whenever I meet people who can make a whole chair or table with their own two hands, I'm impressed—it takes a ton of time and skill to make quality furniture. I had the chance to speak to many talented woodworkers at the show, and three in particular stood out for their dedication to the craft and the level of respect they showed towards their materials.

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Miles & May (Photos 1 - 4): Brandon Phillips of Miles & May (formerly SMC Furnishings) works in upstate New York, where he uses reclaimed and locally sourced woods like white oak, walnut, and butternut. While larger manufacturers are picky and cast a lot of wood into the scrag pile, Brandon takes the time to dry those cast-offs, plane them, and finish them to bring out their inherent beauty. Miles and May pieces can be found through their website or in-person through ABC Carpet & Home in New York. Prices average around $1,700 to $4,000 for case goods, $2,400 to $2,500 for beds, and $3,400 for a large dining table.

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Studio Dunn (Photos 5 and 6): Apartment Therapy has already covered this new Rhode Island-based design firm here and here, but I wanted to briefly mention them in this post after speaking with designer Asher Dunn about the Pennsylvania hardwoods—including maple, cherry, and walnut—that they use in their furniture. In the search for sustainable materials, Asher finally settled on a Pennsylvania woodlot that replants a new tree for each one they cut down. Wall shelves start around $250 and tables go up to about $1,250. For more info, check their website.

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Sandback (Photos 7-10): Peter Sandback works in New Hampshire, where he harvests wood himself from a local lot. He understands the beauty of the end grain, and many of his tables highlight the cross-sections of tree rings. My favorite were the drum tables, a set of oak end grain side tables with painted wood bases. The painted finishes are available in a bunch of different colors, but the white sets off the deep, varied tones of the wood. Peter's work is available through Dennis Miller in New York, or you can check his website for more info.

For more coverage of ICFF 2010, click here.

Photos: Miles & May, Studio Dunn, Sarah Coffey