The commissioning process can start anywhere you like it to. It can start with a problem that you’re trying to solve for storage in your living room. It can be the dream of a new coffee table that becomes the center of your living room and sets the tone when entertaining. You might want to complete a room that will become a favorite place to read and relax with a cup of coffee.
It’s a chance to explore what moves you and assert your values of quality and longevity. My main objective in creating furniture is to build the best piece I can. That involves using time tested joinery and spending a lot of time curating details such as the grain of the wood and width of a leg. The time it takes to have a piece of custom furniture made will vary depending upon current work and the level of detail in the piece itself.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR VISION
I often have clients who describe what they’re looking for in one way and then their parameters contradict their description. Often talking with a designer is when the vision begins to first gain clarity. This part of the process is about turning a vague idea into dimensions that make sense and an object that fits the space and functions as you want it to.
COMING UP WITH A BUDGET
I make furniture that is designed to last several lifetimes. It’s not cheap but once you understand the number of hours involved you'll find it’s quite reasonable for the value it will add to your life. Most of our ideas of value today come from a quick search on the internet. It’s easy to get a false sense of price in doing this that provides you with a distorted sense of what’s possible. Budget a little more; you won’t have to replace the piece for the rest of your life. The level of detail within a piece has an effect on the final price. Also, the type of joinery and the level of complication all affect the final price.
Once we have an idea of the direction of the piece and have settled on a price range, the next step is to come up with the concept for the piece. This is where I work to bring together everything we’ve talked about so far. Taking an aesthetic idea and working within the boundaries set by the sizes, goals for the piece and work through the technical aspects of the joinery and issues with wood movement as well as implement my artistic vision for the piece.
APPROVAL OF DRAWINGS
Once we agree on a final working drawing, a deposit of 25% to 50% of the final price will be required to get the piece in the queue and begin work.
SELECTION OF WOOD
The next part of the process for me is purchasing wood for the project. Often I won’t be able to start a piece immediately because of other work in progress, but I try to buy wood as soon as I can to give it at least a few weeks in the shop before beginning to work with it. Wood doesn’t take well being rushed into shape.
COMPLETING THE WORK
At any point during the process you’re welcomed to make a visit. However once the work begins I try to post regular updates on Instagram that you can follow along to see how your piece is progressing. Before we start the work, we’ll decide upon the payment schedule. Depending upon the price of a piece as well as what is easiest for you there will be progress payments due as the work is done.
If we’re close enough to each other I’ll make the delivery myself. Pieces can also be shipped by a number of reputable carriers that are used to handling delicate work. The final payment is due either when I deliver the piece or before a shipper picks up a piece.