Honoring the legacy of a family farm through handcrafted heirloom furniture. In early 2018, John and his father, Don, stopped by my studio at the Littlebranch Farm Gallery. In a spring storm, a large white oak had toppled under the storm. They were searching for a furniture maker to craft furniture from a tree.
Don, a 5th generation farmer passionate about the land and family business, passed in 2019. Before passing, Don assigned the task of constructing the furniture to his sons, Sam and John, who possess his energy and passion for the land and family.
Legacy heirloom furniture
In late 2022, Sam and John Halcomb stopped by my Nashville, TN studio at the Gallery at Littlebranch Farm. In early 2018, I recommended milling the tree into three-inch thick wood slabs, which were then stacked and left to dry naturally. They followed my advice and were now interested in the steps to build the furniture. A few days later, I viewed live edge wood slabs at Walnut Grove Farms in Adairville, Kentucky.
I find great satisfaction in creating exquisite natural wood furniture for my clients, regardless of the project’s scope. As a self-taught furniture maker, I take pride in utilizing only the finest air-dried wood to produce long-lasting heirloom pieces. In my opinion, the process of crafting natural wood furniture is akin to producing a premium whiskey – it requires patience and attention to detail.
Natural wood furniture
I have a preference for using air-dried wood in my projects, despite having used kiln-dried wood. However, this requires ample time. It typically takes three to five years for most wood species, milled at three inches thick, to dry and stabilize naturally. Furthermore, not all wood species are suitable for making furniture slabs and may come with their own obstacles. As with a cherished family whiskey, crafting natural wood furniture is a process that demands patience.
The Halcombs wood slabs are a species of white oak. I carefully book-matched two slabs for the conference tabletop and added a custom table base with a shelf for support. It was a pleasant surprise to find owl eyes on both the bottom shelf and tabletop, which added to the overall design. The wood is protected with a natural, premium hardwax finish.