Posted Under: Bits & Pieces,Business,Nevada County Information
By Charles Schmidt:
(Charles Schmidt is a local Nevada County furniture maker)
I probably started getting a feel for putting rustic furniture together from growing up in Montana, living and working on ranches and farms that were quite poor; and quite pioneer in lifestyle, where we built what we needed; often with hatchet, hammer and hand drill. My wife Barbara and I lived in Oregon for years where there’s a lot of roadside rustic furniture to pique the mind. So ideas were always perking.
When the economy started south in ’07 I got the idea to try to add to our income by making rustic furniture and selling it at local craft fairs here. We have our own style and make benches, chairs, coat-racks, end or coffee or chair side tables, footstools, freestanding shelves and do custom orders. We’re currently working on an all-manzanita queen bed that goes to a Tahoe home. We use manzanita (Little Apple), Oaks, Pines, Locust, Maple, Cherry, Laurels, Sycamore, Cedar, Hawthorne and Crepe Myrtle. We use about every wood you can find here in the foothills. A chair will normally have 12-14 different woods in it.
Most rustic furniture is log-gy looking; ours is a bit more artistic in look and made from sticks salvaged from brush piles. Meaning most all the lines are curvilinear instead of straight. The joints are fastened with bronze screws. The furniture tolerates foul weather quite well.
It’s quite enjoyable work in that one has an idea that it’s a chair you want to build. But the contours of the wood rule how it will go together.
Wood-will over craftsman’s-will, so to speak.
Our prices here are around half what our pieces sell for in galleries and retail stores; which we have done in the past. People from Colorado come here to buy from us at way less than they pay there; and get a different style with prettier woods also.
We have no web-site; but you can Email your request and we can send you pictures of similar pieces we’ve built. You may want something from inventory or we can build it for you. Perhaps from wood off your own land. Charles & Barbara, email@example.com