Saturday, January 28, 2012

Delta Rose Console

J. Wade Beam is one of America's most iconic furniture designers.

After several years working at the legendary Dunbar Furniture Company of Berne, Indiana Wade became Design Director and VP of Sales and Marketing at Brueton Industries Inc. of New York.

It was during this time we worked with Wade to develop many new products for the Brueton collection, including the Virginian Credenza show here.

The elliptical shape of the plywood bend on the Virginian was extremely difficult to achieve, but our success with the final result made this credenza a favorite of all the custom furniture pieces we have ever made.

Following completion of his tenure at Brueton in the mid 1990s, Wade began to dabble with other experimental designs. One of them was a wall hung console he called the Delta Rose.

Measuring 84" long x 18" deep x 36" high this console was extremely angular in form, with high polished Ribbon Sapele ends flanking a triangular gold leaf center wedge.

Although called the Delta Rose, this console became unofficially known as the "Klingon Warship" in our shop. (Star Trek fans might see the humour here).

Friday, January 13, 2012

Happy Birthday, Wiggers Custom Furniture Ltd.

Wiggers Custom Furniture Ltd. turns 45-years-old today.

The company was founded on January 13, 1967 by my parents Ann and Johan Wiggers. Just like today that day also happened to be a Friday the 13th.

Although some consider Friday the 13th to be unlucky, I guess it doesn't work that way for everyone.

When I was very small I spent a great deal of time playing on my father's workbench, while he was still working out of the basement of his home.

The first actual workshop wasn't built until 1968. (Notice the Ford Econoline van parked on the side. Years later that was the first vehicle I learned to drive, complete with standard transmission and three-on-the-tree.)

This is the shop today. It is now approx. 12,000 sq. ft. in size, but still has a number of original tools and machines still being used each day.

Although he's now retired my father keeps himself active which, in turn, keeps him young.

This coming year will also mark my 31st year as a full time furniture maker, and I am amazed how quickly the time has flown. (Such a cliche to say too, I know).

My son Kevin is now working with me as well.

Although he's only 21-years-old he's already far more skilled and experienced than I was at the same age. What parent wouldn't be happy to admit that?

It's great having my father around to teach Kevin things like wood turning and marquetry. Kevin is patient and shows great respect listening to his grandfather.

As an interesting historical footnote it was also 45 years ago today that Time Magazine published the following cover:

Times have certainly changed, because in recent years China has transitioned away from being an agrarian Communist society to become what is now a manufacturing juggernaut - becoming so wealthy in the process that it is now the holder of millions of jobs and trillions of dollars formerly held in the West.

This certainly wasn't the playing field that confronted my father and grandfather during their respective eras. Then again, they had Great Depressions and World Wars to deal with. Regardless, I remain hopeful that we as a small business can continue to find ways to navigate forward during these uncertain times.

In the meantime Happy Birthday, Wiggers Custom Furniture Ltd. !

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Custom Furniture Sample Sale - Dallas, Texas

Currently we have 2 floor samples on display at the Allan Knight showroom in Dallas, Texas.

We are interested in finding good homes for both of them.

The first piece is a Florence Buffet which measures 86-3/8" long x 19" deep x 35-3/4" high. The cabinet exterior is finished in a combination of Tobacco Mahogany and Cerused Natural Walnut satin finish.

There are 3 touch latch doors crafted of Tobacco Mahogany with recessed insets of Cerused Natural Walnut. Three natural maple compartments are located behind each door, with 1 adjustable shelf set into each compartment. There is also 1 lined and 1 lined/divided drawer located inside.

The List price of the Florence Buffet as shown is $12,165.00

The Alina Table measures 30" dia. x 30" high and has a Dark Adobe Oak Top with beavertooth textured finish, set on 3 Cerused Limed Oak legs. The lower level is a non-textured Dark Adobe Oak fixes shelf.

The List price of the Alina Table as shown is $4965.00

Both pieces were designed by Mitchell Pickard of Dallas, Texas and are currently on display at:

Allan Knight and Associates
150 Turtle Creek Boulevard
Suite 101
Dallas, Texas 75207

214-741-2238 (f)

Contact: David Peterman

Please contact David for more information as well as available discounts.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Custom Chess Table

A few months ago we received a request to make a Bow Tie Pedestal Table in a custom size of 19-5/8" long x 19-5/8" deep x 20" high.

The purpose of this table was to provide an elevated playing surface for a stone chess board the client already had.

The resulting table was crafted from a bundle of quarter cut figured Walnut veneer.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Custom End Table for a Ski Lodge

A few months ago an interior designer from Utah called expressing interest in Kevin's Portage Cocktail Table design.

The designer wanted to know if the table could be resized as an End Table measuring 24" x 24" x 24" high. In addition, she said that the satin black plinth and stainless steel offsets would need to be changed to an antique bronze finish, in order to meld with other pieces in the existing decor of a mountain ski lodge.

After finalizing the details with drawings for approval we began work on the table. The timeline was short, since the table had to be delivered in time for a large party taking place just before Christmas.

The antique bronze offsets and plinth were fabricated from a heavy gauge of cold rolled steel, and sent to a nearly plating shop for finishing.

The main body of the table was crafted from a spectacular bundle of reclaimed quartered Walnut veneer, that had a slight fiddleback pattern to the grain.

Drilling the holes for the offsets had to wait until the metal components arrived, in order to ensure a tight custom fit.

This image shows a detail of the top corner of the table, highlighting one of the antique bronze insets as well as the beaded corner inlay.

The above image shows the completed table. A last minute revision was made to use extra heavy 5/8" (16 mm) glass for the top, to complement the masculine proportions of the design.

After final inspection the table was wrapped and crated for shipping. Because of its relatively small size it was possible to ship the package in an economical manner via ground courier to the final destination.

The table arrived just in time for the party, and by all accounts it was well received.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Television Interview with Howard Green of BNN

A few weeks ago a producer from Business News Network (BNN) called asking me to participate in an interview entitled "The Business of Craftmanship".

The focus of the segment was to discover how people can turn the craft of making things into an actual business, and in addition to me discussing the craft of fine furniture making there were also interviews with custom guitar maker William "Grit" Laskin, and shoemaker-to-the-stars John Fluevog.

The interview took place last Tuesday at a gallery in Toronto called Industrial Storm, and it would be an understatement to say that I was incredibly nervous going in.

Thankfully the show's host Howard Green was incredibly professional and easy going, and his friendly, relaxed demeanor worked wonders setting me at ease before the interview began.

Howard's interview with me can be seen at the following link:

Meanwhile Howard's interview with William "Grit" Laskin is here, and the interview with John Fluevog is here.