Putting themselves in their work : Redwood Furniture Coupon

Reed Bros. of Sebastapol, California, produces 10 lines of outdoor and indoor redwood furniture and decorative elements like planters. Five carvers, 5 furniture makers and 2 finishers are employed by the company, and all of the work is custom carved to order.

a woodcarver from Scotland who settled in California in the 1920s, originated a style of redwood carving that became popular in and around Carmel. He trained Alfred Durney, who in turn mentored Duncan Reed, who with wife Mary Tanner owns Reed Bros. of Sebastapol. Reed, a selfdescribed "artistic kid who made furniture to pay his way through college," is one of those fortunate few whose work is his passion. "My whole philosophy is to make things I think are beautiful," he says.

Reed's company, which consists of five carvers, five furniture makers and two finishers, custom carves all of its work to order. Reed Bros. produces 10 lines of outdoor and indoor furniture and decorative elements like planters and garden gates. These artisans also craft beds, armoires, mirrors, bookshelves, desks, cribs, changing tables, planters and garden gates and custom cabinetry.

Explaining that Durney's style was almost exclusively redwood floral or animal motifs done for outdoor seating, Reed notes that "our roots are the classics, but we also do a lot of chic, contemporarylooking pieces." Pieces carved by Reed Bros. have what Reed calls "a certain sense of masssomewhat a western U.S. style." This is noticeable even in the somewhat delicate Nymphea lady's desk, pictured here.

Custom, according to Reed, is not simply the result of a made-to-order business. The uniqueness of each pieceregardless of where it will be placed in the house or garden-is attributable to the unique personality and style of the carver. "Wood carving is very personal," he says. "Each piece involves a little bit of the soul of the person carving it. If you see an animal in one of our carvings, you're looking at the person who carved it."

Furthermore, these carvers capture some of the owner's personality in each piece. On a recent project for a Oklahoman with a love for hunting, for example, Reed's design team consulted with an interior designer and came up with a bugling elk. They carve everything from flowers to trains to underwater seascapes, and can, Reed says, work within whatever style a job demands.

Redwood (which Reed emphasizes is a fastgrowing organism not in short supply) has very few knots and so in the hands of a skilled carver lends itself well to intricate design, Reed says. All of the outdoor furniture is overscaled and finished in a weathered gray with a textured look.

His company does not use redwood exclusively, however. Reed Bros. offers many of its collections in pine, as well. Reed speaks with great passion for sugar pine, too, which he says shows wonderful carving detail. "It is a friendly wood for good living," he says. "It shows marks and carries life with it."

Normally, Reed is willing to work with a client who wants a specific type of wood. His staff uses Sonoma Cypress, and, when the opportunity presents itself, mahogany and walnut.

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