Hardwood furniture maker the Joinery has transformed its downtown Portland pop-up shop into a stunning permanent showroom. The company, which has produced heirloom-quality pieces in its Woodstock workshop for 33 years, occupies the building that formerly housed Finnegan's toys.
"We first opened it to test the waters, but there's nothing 'pop-up' about the space now," said owner Jon Blumenauer, who purchased the company in 2013 from founder Marc Gaudin. "We put an enormous amount of heart and planning into designing the space so that it would reflect what we do best, so that it would be a thoughtful representation of how we work."
The move is part of Blumenauer's plan to guide the Joinery from a secret into a higher-profile furniture company tied into Portland's design scene.
Best known for its Shaker and Mission styles, the Joinery also has more modern products, such as its midcentury-inspired Whitman line. As its name suggests, the company's designs feature traditional joint work including dovetail, mortise and tenon, finger and butterfly methods; no cheap dowels and adhesive here.
Each item is made by one craftsperson who puts his or her name on the final product. To showcase the beauty of the wood, pieces are "super-sanded" to a silky finish and then coated with a top-secret clear oil. True to its 1983 founding as a furniture repair business, the Joinery gives every customer a tutorial on how to maintain the wood and deal with mishaps like heat rings.
The Joinery's methods are increasingly rare in an era of mass-produced furniture, and its mid to high-end pricing reflects that. A low, six-drawer Whitman dresser costs $3,691 in Eastern walnut and a Madrone hope chest is $2,030. A Whitman chair, with an upholstered seat and clean midcentury lines, costs $1,084 in quartered white oak. All of the furniture is warrantied for life.
Every woodworker at the Joinery contributed to at least one permanent design element in the new, 4,700-square-foot showroom. Craftspeople displayed their talents on a custom whitewashed reclaimed fir and Western walnut reception desk, rift-sawn white oak kitchen, live-edge barn door and other pieces.
Architectural features include Aurora Mills' salvaged ax-cut fir beams from an 1890s barn in Aurora, Ore., locally harvested Western walnut from Portland's Goby Walnut and locally harvested, Forest Stewardship Council-certified (FSC) Pacific albus. Partners including French Quarter Linens, Tufenkian Carpets and Holly Mueller Designs contributed accessories to the room vignettes.
Blumenauer is quick to assert that the Joinery's emphasis on painstaking craftsmanship will not change as the company grows, and that he is still committed to using FSC and locally sourced woods in the "overwhelming majority" of products.
The company's annual Metamortise contest encourages designers to transform scrap wood into functional, stylish pieces. Even the sawdust in its workshop becomes heating briquettes that are donated to the community.
"The vision for the company is tied into larger communities, both local and global, and we take that commitment very seriously," he said.
Read the entire post at OregonLive | By Amy Mason Doan | Posted June 30, 2015 at 10:02 AM