12 Pieces of Custom Made Furniture from 2014

2 door cherry Shaker cabinetAs the end of the year approaches lists of the best movies or books or songs or whatever start appearing everywhere. I guess it seems like a natural time to take stock of what's happened over the past year. In that spirit I've decided to make a list of my own: 12 pieces of custom furniture from 2014 that I feel best represent the type of work we've done throughout the year. My list is presented in more or less the cronological order that the pieces were made in. We make many pieces throughout the year. These are the ones that stand out for me in 2014.

Richard Bissell
December 30, 2014

Siobhan cremation urnSiobhan's Cremation Urn

I hate to start with a downer but such is life. My 34 year old niece died on December 29, 2013 and I was asked to build a cremation urn for her ashes. I've built a number of these over the years. The one previous to Siobhan's was for her grandmother (my mother) who died in 2011. Both of these boxes were made from a very special piece of cherry burl that was harvested off our family's property in Putney, Vermont.

curly maple extension tableCurly Maple Extension Table

The figure of the wood in this extension table was fantastic. We often dye curly maple which highlights the figure. This table has what I call an "aged maple" dyed finish on it. The table is 48" in diameter and has two 22" leaves both of which are in place in this picture.

Cherry 7 drawer Shaker bureauCherry 7 Drawer 3-2-2 Bureau

This 7 drawer bureau is a standard design of mine. This one is done in cherry with ebonized cherry knobs. There was some really nice cherry in this piece. In particular, note the curly figure in the second drawer from the bottom and the grain running continuously from drawer to drawer on the divided drawers.

48" w x 19" d x 39" h

walnut tractor seat stoolsWalnut Tractor Seat Stools

We make a lot of tractor seat stools and more often than not they are in cherry. This year we sold a lot of walnut stools including this batch of 4. We also made quite a few other pieces in walnut this year. Someone out there must have decreed that walnut was the wood to have in 2014.

Asian platform bedAsian Platform Bed

This Asian platform bed was a custom design for customers who'd bought other furniture from us in the past. They wanted a simple bed with an Asian look and I came up with this design which is a variation on my Shaker Platform bed. I liked this design so much I added it to my standard line of pieces and it's selling quite well.

cherry post and panel bookcaseCherry Post and Panel Bookcase

This variation on my post and panel bookcase added walnut pyramid head pegs and a thicker top with a heavily beveled edge. I think the top bevel in particular adds a lot to the piece.

Claro walnut dining tableBookmatched Curly Claro Walnut Dining Table

This was a standard rectangular fixed top Shaker style table but was made with curly marbled Claro walnut which, as you can see, has beautiful figure and varitation in the color of the wood. The lumber for this table was ordered from Northwest Timber in Oregon. They have a fantastic website that allows you to browse individual boards and sets of boards until you find exactly what you need for your project. The price of their lumber seems high but the quality and beauty is unmatched. It's well worth the price.

cherry writing deskCherry Writing Desk

This is my standard Shaker writing desk with the addition of square walnut pegs pinning the mortise and tenon joints. It also has a custom beveled edge on the underside of the top. This desk was for customers in Washington state who have ordered a number of pieces from me over the last few years.

walnut spindle back benchWalnut Spindle Back Bench

This spindle back bench , also for the customers in Washington state, is another piece in walnut. They also ordered 2 walnut spindle back stools. Are you noticing a trend yet?

cherry medicine cabinetCherry Medicine Cabinet

I made 2 of these custom medicine cabinets and a similar looking bathroom mirror in cherry with walnut pegs. These go with bathroom vanities I made for this customer in 2013.

curly maple pencil post bedCurly Maple Pencil Post Bed

The curly figure in this pencil post bed was so spectacular I immediately ordered more wood from the same supplier to have in stock for the next time someone ordered one. That wood is now spoken for as well but I haven't made the bed with it yet. This bed received the same aged maple dyed finish as the curly maple extension table we made earlier in the year.

solid cherry 2 door cabinetCherry Post & Panel Bookcase with Doors

This was another variation on my standard post and panel bookcase. In this case the customer wanted 2 full length Shaker style doors and the overall depth increased from 12" to 15". The interior has 4 adjustable shelves. I love the look of this piece. Its simple, crisp, understated details and nice proportions are the epitome of the Shaker style. This is probably my favorite piece of 2014.

72"h x 32"w x 15"d