I have a weakness for the exposed joinery common in the Arts and Crafts movement and traditional Asian carpentry. Rather than gluing and sculpting multiple pieces of wood into one organic shape, I prefer to make clear distinctions between the structural elements that compose a piece of furniture. I like to glorify the mechanics of the joinery, and I take pride in building furniture with an eye toward future generations.That last point about solid wood vs. veneer is key. When I am sizing up prospective garage sale purchases, almost anything that is constructed of solid wood is salvageable by an amateur while I have never been able to reclaim something with veneer damage.
I work primarily with North American hardwoods, namely: Walnut, Maple, and Cherry, and I relish every opportunity to make use of local trees otherwise destined for the fireplace or the landfill. Because I work only with solid woods, a scratch...a dented corner...a worn armrest will not reveal an inferior material hidden beneath a thin layer of veneer.
Per D+R reader Arlette, Jared is milling the discarded wood from the disappearing Silicon Valley orchards. I would sure like to hear more about that.
J. Rusten Furniture Studio
Jared Rusten's Flickr stream is chatty, interesting and inspiring