In 2009, Matthew and I started making a small line of furniture.
They were traditional "square" tables with square head bolts, hand-forged steel & the wood was reclaimed from expired barns and bourbon aging warehouses of central Kentucky. The extra "pizazz" the tables offered, came from the fact they were locally sourced and made, and that they came out of a blacksmith's shop. Fairly noticeable in pictures, they had delightful texture in the forged steel, you could really see in person.
We started making these between our large railing commissions and sold a few dozen over the course of the next few years. We were very proud to deliver one to a living room in Louisville, another whole set went to Rhode Island after a homeowner saw them while visiting a gallery in Frankfort, Kentucky. Another client requested some custom pieces be made to fit his home in Pennsylvania. Matthew and I are also excited to someday eat at the crab shack in Maryland that has a few of our first design (and very hard to make, labor intensive) bar stools.
Not exactly a high profit margin first venture, the wood guys made more than we did on the first pieces, but we enjoyed making each one and even better, we were learning. Getting to know each client and incorporating them into our story is fun, and I have to admit that starting and finishing a commission in a shorter amount of time than the railings (which can often take three months from start to finish) is refreshing.
|Metal pieces in the forge get heated up to 2000 degrees F.|
|Pieces of our Bourbon Stools after being forged & hammered, |
cool naturally and then get wire brushed & clear coated.
| Here I am putting together a Small Batch Furniture™ |
Hall Table before delivery.
Last year during our stretch to expand our blacksmithing shop, we were approached by a local distillery who was planning to build a new visitor center. By this time we were happy we were getting some experience in the furniture market, but we only had a handful of items. We accepted their challenge and came up with some additions to our line that have evolved into something a visitor might expect to see when taking a tour of a local distillery or entering their gift shop.
|Tables made from reclaimed Bourbon Barrels|
|If you look close you can see the coat hook inside the Bar Table leg.|
|Some of the Small Batch Furniture™ by Maynard Studios|