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Sleepywood Rustic Furniture
01-25-2012, 12:43 PM
Being an outdoor enthusiast in awe of the spirit of nature, and possessing a penchant for the combination of practicality and beauty, I use the medium of rustic furniture to introduce the synergy of these qualities into the home.

I would describe my style of rustic furniture as "refined" because it is carefully crafted with time honored mortise-and-tenon joinery, is fully functional and, although still retaining a rustic charm, looks quite polished. It is at home in either simple or elegant settings.

When finished, each piece beholds its own unique personality, revealing the spirit that had been "sleeping in the wood" all along. My pleasure is in reintroducing the character of natural habitats into homes at a time when many are largely artificial.


Nestled along Sleepy Creek Mountain, West Virginia, is Sleepywood. If you listen there, you can hear silent yearnings from crowded saplings throughout the woods. The resident wood artist retrieves them and sets to work, listening in the stillness all the while. Sensing their direction, he recreates them accordingly.
Each spirit emerges through the finished piece of furniture as if it had been there all along, sleeping in the wood. So unique are some of the resulting personalities that you may be tempted to believe that surely they get up and walk around when you depart.

In 1986, I was intrigued by an article in a popular gardening magazine on building rustic furniture (http://www.sleepywood.com/furniture.html). As a lifelong outdoor enthusiast, the idea of creating furniture with the sense that it had stepped out of the woods, yet was also refined and functional, greatly appealed to me. Each piece shown had appeared to maintain its present character before building.

Inspired, I collected many books over the next few years, participated in a workshop specific to this art, and proceeded to hone my wood drying, mortise-and-tenon joinery, and finishing skills. Then in 1995, comfortable with my techniques, what had been an interest and hobby evolved into Sleepywood Rustic Furniture, named after the home I share with my wife, Michele, on Sleepy Creek Mountain, West Virginia, and, as you can guess, the spirit we continue to discover "sleeping" in the wood.
With great care for the environment, we collect mountains of branches, crowded saplings, and driftwood on outdoor treks, and occasionally from road crews, winter storms, and building sites. I craft the furnishings and Michele helps with the finishing, seating and business processes. From start to finish, our craft moves in sync with nature. Wood to be used with the bark intact is harvested in the winter. Wood to be peeled is harvested in the spring. Scraps remaining after building are then used to fuel our wood stove. No leftover waste!

3336 Slate Mills Road
Sperryville, VA 22740
(540) 547-2368
www.sleepywood.com (http://www.sleepywood.com/)

3336 Slate Mills Road Sperryville, VA 22740