Marriage of Metal and Wood
Wood is such a fascinating, various, and challenging material that you can easily spend a lifetime working it without feeling you’ve come close to exhausting its possibilities. But for a range of current furnituremakers, adding other materials to wood has become an essential part of their approach. There’s great work being done in wood mixed with all sorts of things-glass, stone, synthetics-but most prominently metal.
In this month’s issue we featured five shops that pair wood and metal, and this slide show gives you a bit broader and deeper look at the work they do. Two of the shops are in Washington State: Stewart Wurtz in Seattle, and Greg Klassen in Lyndon; two are in Upstate New York: Peter Harrison in Grove, and Michael Robbins in Philmont; and Robert and Tor Erickson’s shop is in Northern California. All five shops do some of the metalworking themselves.
Metals like brass and aluminum, which can be worked with woodworking machines, provide an entrypoint for many woodworkers, allowing them to make their own hardware, inlay, or other accents. From there, some makers greatly expand their skill set and machinery list and dive headlong into shaping metal parts themselves. But for more woodworkers using metal usually involves designing the metal parts and then working with machinists, blacksmiths, foundrymen or metal fabricators to produce them.