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Rogue Fine Woodworking is no ordinary business. For the past five years, we’ve put everything into it. From our time to our ideas to our emotions, we’ve been all in.
One thing that separates us from (anyone) these days is that we are debt-free. We didn’t start this up based on the size of the business loan we qualified for. We purchased our delivery truck with cash. We buy our supplies outright instead of relying on store accounts. We even rent out our shop, not mortgage it. We began and remain debt-free. It’s pretty hard to find another furniture or cabinet shop who can say that.
Another reason why Rogue Fine Woodworking is different is our dedication to each work. It’s important to us that you have a one-of-a-kind piece. In fact, most of the projects we’ve worked on have no duplicates. This is truly where the word “custom” comes in.
Finally, we are unique because of the way we treat you. We firmly believe that you deserve our respect and honesty. With a first-come, first-served schedule, getting in the cue not only helps us make an early commitment to building your project but also makes paying for your item a cinch, similar to a payment plan. Once you’re up, you’ll receive “In The Works” progress reports during every step of the building process so you can see how things are coming together and give any last-minute changes or requests.
So what is it that you are dreaming about? Do you have a particular dining room in mind? How about a bedroom set, with dressers, headboard, and bedside tables? Anything you want out of any species of wood in any style. Let us build it for you and deliver it to your door.
Some of our most beloved pieces come from extreme levels of creative free-form design.
I love wood. I tend to use multiple species in a single piece. The Sunburst Hope Chest (shown above) contains walnut, spalted birch, maple, and mahogany in the lid. This is a great way to utilize miscellaneous scrap pieces in your shop. This hope chest was made mostly of scrap wood that otherwise would have been thrown away. I’m glad I saw what I had laying around and decided to make the most of it.
I work best with customers who give me rights to artistic design o their dreams. Most of them are pleasantly surprised with the results. Give me an inch and I’ll take you a mile. Stepping out of the standardized lifestyle allows the opportunity for something greater to land in your lap. That’s what separates Rogue Fine Woodoworking from other furniture makers.
A wonderful lady named Linda lost her mother a few years back. In her memory, she wanted a hope chest built using the carvings from her mother’s coffee table. The coffee table was old and well-used. Though the wood carvings were gorgeous, the coffee table was too tattered to use as a table.
Linda gave me the responsibility of turning her mother’s old coffee table into a functional hope chest. It was important for me to respect the old wood and incorporate it with the new. I feel so privileged to be given the chance to work for such a unique situation.
My mother-in-law is also a very trusting woman. One of my favorite pieces was making her a walnut coffee table with an inlay top. When I wanted to start making chairs, I took a chance and bent wood veneers to construct the curved back support.
All of these pieces are completely functional. More importantly, they were made without blueprints, plans, or detailed specifications.
Visit our WOOD page to see more projects.
Have you ever been stuck in traffic and happen to see that the guy in the car next to yours is not wearing any clothes? Have you ever been in line at the coffee shop and the customer in front of you buys her $3 latte with four different credit cards?
Birdsock is our innocent bystander who witnesses some of lifes most precious and hilarious moments.
There’s a little bit of truth in each comic. For example, our friends used to talk about their shameless, overweight neighbor who regularly enjoyed wearing his Speedos.
Bummer for them, but great for Birdsock Comics.
Do you have a story you think would be great for Birdsock to happen upon? All ideas are welcome. We want to hear your story.
Visit Birdsock Comics website here.
Wood enhances wine. By the same token, wine has the properties to amplify wood.
We had the opportunity to design and build custom furniture for Rulo Winery in Walla Walla, Washington. This was our first time learning the power of the influences wine has on wood furniture. In addition to the heightened properties, we also wanted to incorporate as much branding in the furniture as we could.
Luckily for us, owners Vicki & Kurt Schlicker wanted several different pieces from building a wine room to constructing stools out of wine barrel staves to creating a credenza all the way to building a gigantic 8′ X 11′ kitchen island. We spent months working with them. It was fun. And it was worth it!
One thing that was wonderful (and unexpected) was the smell in the shop as we worked with the wine barrels. Believe it or not, the fermentation lingered deep within the wood. Every time I sanded a stave or used my table saw to square things up, the perfume of Rulo wine filled the air. What a wonderful job I have!
We were able to use the staves for both the stools and the credenza. We used the wine barrel tops as the seats for the stools as well as branding both the credenza doors and the front side of the kitchen island. Anywhere we could, we used their brass tags as additional furniture jewelry.
I thoroughly enjoyed making beautiful furniture out of wine-infused wood.
There is possibly no greater challenge for functional art than standardization. For most makers, you’d sware it was a four letter, get-your-mouth-washed-out-with-soap, filthy, word. If you dare to utter “standardize” in your college art class, you are sure to receive an F on your next project. The world of art does not square with having to work inside set parameters. However, like it or not, it’s a fact that those of us that make things that are to actually be used must accept and deal with.
You’ve seen her. That pure gal down at the office that has the plaster ”barouche” pin that her son made in 2nd grade art class pinned to her blouse. Not only does it not resemble “a rose” but it’s also so heavy that it looks as if that rose pin will take a piece o f her blouse with it if she jostles it to hard. The plaster rose is 6 inches in diameter, weighs a good 1.5 lb., and has a 3/4 inch brass pin holding it on her. The thing is a safety hazard as it knocks stuff off the shelf as she walks by, but she promised her son “I’ll wear it all day long” and she will not lie to the little guy.
Standards are established for a few reasons. Pretty much all of them can be summed by the concept that we are lazy and or cheap. Basically, we want things to be done the same, over and over with as little effort and training as possible. Better yet, let’s get a task lowered to such a level of mundaneness that a machine can do it for us. So we, the makers, are left with this constant quandary; do we conform to prefab factory-made standards, or do we blow off the parameters and risk making something that has no place in a standardized society? If you build a chair, throw a clay mug, knit a sweater, construct a guitar, design a room layout, or any other form and function task, the function must be present. It’s the ability to flourish creatively inside those standards that make us artisans.
I recently got the wild hair to build a casket. I had always wanted to give it a try and besides, “It couldn’t be that hard.” How many great men have died for uttering those words? I conceived a nice box that was person-sized, four walls and a lid, right? Wrong. The burial industry has formed their own set of standards that must be adhered to. Unless, that is, I want to buy my own cemetary, pour my own vault, and wait ’til someone dies whose family doesn’t care that they are burried in my backyard. The interesting thing about standards is that they describe a whole world, and to design a casket I had to become a part of this world. There was so much to learn about how things are done, why they are done that way, and who came up with it. There is a rich history that can be learned just by studying standards.
When I worked as a patinur at a bronze foundry, the artists were the worst part of the job. They sat for hours and hours sculpting their clay. All the while envisioning the final piece and what they wanted it to look like. Yet when they brought their piece in to be molded and cast, they had on idea of what could be done, or how to do it. It was like pulling teeth to get these folks to understand the limitations and standard of casting a bronze sculpture. Artists can be the hardest people to live with, just ask their spouses. It was those few sculptors who had taken the time to understand the casting process that made the finest work. They knew what could be done, therefore they knew what should be done. One of my favorite of these artists said to me once, “Don’t call me an artist, I prefer to be call a Designer.”
I think design is the key to this conundrum. An artist pushes boundaries, but a designer asks why the boundaries are there. An artist seeks to break though establishments; a designer seeks to establish break-throughs. An artist shows people art for art’s sake but a designer creates art for people’s sake.
If you’re a crab or a seagull on the Washington coast, there is one guy that has just become a part of the coastal scenery. His rugged figure just blends into the coastline. Blending in is helped by the fact that he’s usually lugging around a piece of drift wood that is commonplace on the inlet near Tokeland. His bent form under the weight of the wet wood perfectly mimics the shape of the gnarled piece he carries.
His shop is not your typical furniture shop. But that’s okay. His work is not your typical furniture and cabinets. Forms that come out of this shop look more grown than built, and there isn’t a square line on them.
“I guess, naturally, the lines I’m most familiar with show through my work. I love to create lines that are easy to look at, with balance and flow.”
It’s the history of the these forms that create a flow. One of Jeffro’s underlying talents is to participate in the creation of these compositions without getting in the way of its natural growth. It’s almost as if he is just one stage on the evolution of the slow, graceful formation.
“I appreciate the journey of each piece. What a privilege to be able to bring a little life back into them. Nature has the wildest lines, very inspiring to design. There’s an art in being able to use nature’s lines without the piece looking hindered by man.”
Talking to Jeffro is an education in breaking life down into its simplest elements. Most people see a withered log. You may even appreciate the rustic look of the wood. Jeffro, however, doesn’t see a log; he sees a set of lines. Each naturally etched crevasse rolls and dips to describe it’s organic potential. It’s Jeffro’s willingness to become part of those natural lines that make his work truly inspiring.
I asked Jeffro to dicuss some of his favorite work
“I spent over a year and a half collecting the right pieces for the Eagle, putting them aside until I thought I had enough natural shapes to pick from. I had good signs through this project: at the right time an eagle would fly over head while I was gathering material for it. One time, the plastic eagle from the top of a flag pole had washed up in the middle of nowhere to rest on some pieces that were used in the project. For the most part, it was made from cedar roots, and it has a wing span of 9 feet. Why did I build it? I felt I needed to. I wanted to see if I could capture the life and movement of an eagle with theses natural shapes. It still lives in my work shop. I figure the right place will come around when it is meant too.
The Archway would have to be one of my biggest projects. I put over six months into it, off and on, and I can’t count the amount of time put into gathering material. Built mainly from cedar roots and some fir roots. I think this project is where I turned a corner on my scribe fits, hundreds of them to make everything flow together.
The person that commissioned it was the best to build for. He knew I was capable of doing some nice work, so I got a free range to create. When I was finally finished, everyone was blown away! This one turned out to be off the charts.
You can checkout the rest of Jeffro Uitto’s work at http://www.jeffrouitto.com/
I like wood because you can put stuff in it. I don’t mean you can make a box and fill it with things. That’s not the kind of stuff I’m talking about. I mean the sort of stuff that makes us willing to change the worst baby diaper or ride your bike 50 miles a day out in the cold to train for a race. The stuff that makes you satisfied and at peace when you come home after a hard day’s work. Even though your body aches, your heart is well and warm. It’s more than gratitude, more than joy, maybe it has something to do with love, who knows.
All I know is that it takes something that is alive to hold this kind of stuff. I know it’s there because you can feel it when you lay your hand on an old dresser or sit in an antique chair. The wood has a memory. Those old steamer trunks that were carted all over the world could tell you such amazing tales of far off lands.
A great client and a dear friend, Linda, called me and asked me to design a memorial box. In the box, she wanted to put items that she had from her loved ones. There was, however, one little catch. She wanted her box made out of a table her mother had when Linda was growing up. Even I, who loves a challenge, hesitated to take it on. The table sat in the corner of the shop for a few weeks as I tried to figure out what to do with it. By the time I did finally muster up some courage, or some crazy, to take it on I was pleasantly surprized. As I disassembled the old table, I heard it in the back of my mind. It was like an old record player running without the speaker on. A small whisper vibrated from the wood of that table. I couldn’t hear every word it said but I know it was profound. As I worked, the story of a home full of love and rich history filled the shop from each fiber of the wood grain. And, how amazing it was to get to be a part of that story. To this day, this chest was the most fun I’ve ever had building. Thank you, Linda.
That’s what this place is about. Putting value where it belongs. Do you put value on an item if it’s rare, or if everyone wants one? A Rogue life is cherishing things that can hold stuff, stuff that can tell memories of the past for the future to learn from.