- How did you get into woodworking in general and with barn wood specifically?
I tackled a few small woodworking projects when in high school, but never did any real woodworking until later in life. While making frames for a friend’s photography work, I felt the right wood for the project was old weathered wood. That’s what started my appreciation for the beauty and character of barn wood.
- What is your inspiration for the pieces you create?
Seeing the result of nature and scars of time on barn wood, and wanting to preserve that beauty, is what inspires most of our pieces. We try to let each piece project as much of the character of the wood as possible.
- Where does the wood come from and what is the process to reclaim it like?
All of the wood we use is from old utility structures. While most of them are barns, we reclaim farm houses, chicken coops and workshops as well. We start by taking pictures of each structure and interviewing the land owner to record as much of the structure’s history as possible. Each building is then disassembled one board at a time. Each board is de-nailed, then heat-treated to naturally remove any pests without chemicals.
Every finished piece comes with a “barn card” showing a photo of the barn and a snippet of its history.
- What do you do that makes you and your products different than other barn wood products?
In addition to using reclaimed barn wood for all of our pieces, we take the extra step of telling the story of each barn, including pictures. We store the wood from every barn separately. This allows us to number our finished pieces with a “barnprint”, a sequential number code that helps identify each barn. And every finished piece comes with a “barn card” showing a photo of the barn and a snippet of its history.
- How long have you been creating and selling barn wood items?
We’ve been creating barn wood items for over 10 years, since May of 2009. We started as a “garage” business and sold at festivals and antique malls before finally opening our own store in 2017.
- In addition to your products, what other products are for sale in the store?
When we began planning our store, we wanted to offer a variety of quality, handcrafted, locally sourced product. We knew we would have to offer more than just barn wood to attract the customers we wanted. So, we reached out to the local community to find items such as stained glass, jewelry, fine art, soaps, candles and novelty items that would provide more of a gift shop feel.
- How did your store become a gallery for local artists?
While searching for local makers, we discovered a vast amount of talent right here in Henry County and that the art community didn’t have a real venue in Stockbridge. It seemed like the perfect way to showcase local artists and provide a more upscale experience for our customers.
- How do you decide what you are going to make out of each barn?
Although every barn yields a variety of product, each barn is unique in the type and quality of wood that it holds. The species of wood, the width and thickness of the boards, and the weathering often direct what each board can be used to create. While the basic framework of a barn, often 2×4’s and beams, lend well to making sturdy furniture, smaller décor pieces are usually made from the boards found in the façade, floors and walls. Many boards have so much character and beauty that we earmark them for special projects, such as a an art piece.
- Do you accept custom orders and what is that process like?
We pride ourselves on custom orders and love being able to provide our customers with unique pieces that are built to their exact size, style and finish. Painted on the wall of our shop, in big blue letters, are the words “You Dream It, We Build It.” We start by sitting with the customer, listening to their ideas, and talking through the details. We create a drawing, review with the customer, make any needed adjustments, and provide a quote for cost and time frame.
Painted on the wall of our shop, in big blue letters, are the words “You Dream It, We Build It.” We start by sitting with the customer, listening to their ideas, and talking through the details.
- What types of pieces have you created from the wood and how do you preserve the natural character of the wood?
Most of our orders are for furniture, such as tables, consoles, benches and chairs. For those items we try to modify the wood as little as possible in order to make a functional piece and still preserve the beauty of barn wood. Rather than using a planer, we instead sand the wood to preserve the saw marks, nail holes, weathered grain and knot holes. Its character is what makes barn wood special. But the items we make for the store are often truly unique. Getting to make the most of each board is where we have fun. We’ve even discovered how to make light shine through wood with our decorative lamps. Art pieces that show how beautiful nature can be, as well as cabinets, sconces, mirrors, and wooden vases can really accentuate 100 year old barn wood.