Luxury Simplified office on Broad Street Charleston, SC We often hear talk of how things are not as they used to be and how our youth does not work as hard as we once did.  Charleston has many institutions that put the lie to this myth and not least among them is the American College of the Building Arts.  Wherever our work allows we support their graduates in their work, especially in those years post graduation as they are working to build their client base.  One such project was recently completed for the dining room of our offices at 95 Broad Street. Two, new American white oak dining tables, built with hand-forged iron securing staples and constructed in a way where it can be dismantled for ease of movement.  Built by a local graduate of ACBA, in the ways of traditional joinery, no glue or screws allowed, but peg & dovetail joints with iron securing staples.

Dominic Franceschi is local, young and a Furniture Maker extraordinaire. In his own words and pictures, this is the story of their creation and the final result.   “In building my work I maintain a standard that all pieces should have the same level of craftsmanship of the finest antique furniture, but in design each piece celebrates the beauty of its strength, function and durability. So when anyone, craftsman or not, looks upon this work, they can have a deep understanding of how it works or what holds it together but still be left to enjoy. Along with that it is a design that should feel applicable in a variety of contexts, Rather than simply being coined as ‘period furniture’, it doesn’t lend itself to a particular vernacular or adhere to short-lived contemporary tastes. This way it can assuredly live on to serve its purpose for countless generations.

This particular project I found an opportunity to apply many different historic joinery techniques, along with some lesser seen methods to use that I had personally developed. Rather than relying on manufactured materials or conventional hardware, These tables were entirely assembled using hand cut joinery and materials, all the while also being conveniently collapsible (for white oak is not a lightweight material) the exception being the added forged iron in the tops. The tables were crafted without any glue or hardware, but instead were bound together by hot set forged iron staples, crafted by local blacksmith JP Shepard. It is in these industrial details that I hope those who see my work will find that sometimes, the most beautiful of things are those that were simply built well for their own sake. “

                                                                                 D.F. – February 2016

Dominic is a talented young man and a graduate of the American College of the Building Arts our own downtown trade college dedicated to maintaining those time honored skills.  Should you ever have need for a unique piece, unobtainable in any store just give us a call and we will put you together free of charge.  J. Powers Shepard, Blacksmith.

Note: Watch the short video as these two craftsmen hand build these tables, including how the hot-set forged iron staples are attached – it is quite amazing!

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