I love nature. I really do. It brings a sense of peace, reverence, and awe that is difficult to come by in our fast paced world. This started when I was a boy on summer camping trips in the Sequoia National parks….yea those trees are big!
This continued as I learned to enjoy the outdoors on backpacking trips as an adult. Some of my closest friendships, best memories, and stories have been forged on these trips.
Both of these photos are taken by my good friend Will Rochfort (more of his amazing work here). The two dots down in the right hand corner are of me and my good friend John on my first backpacking trip as an adult. Thought it was a good idea to climb Mt Ritter without the right gear, got my butt KICKED, and had to turn around.
This is me and my good friend Will Rochfort years later with the right equipment, more knowledge, and so excited to finally have made it to the top of Mt Ritter.
Well, to me, a lot really. I know that not everyone will go backpacking or camping, so my goal when designing a collection of custom furniture, is to try and use wood to foster an appreciation for our planet’s natural beauty.
I love this question because it gives an opportunity to educate people on the value of purchasing something that is built to last. You see, when a piece is handcrafted with proper joinery techniques, and solid wood, it can literally last for hundreds of years. The piece below as an example, is over 200 years old!
This matters a lot when you consider the massive global trash crisis that we are faced with as a society. We live in a world where we expect low prices, and accept that the items we buy at those prices will soon need to be discarded and replaced.
We hope that Open Door Furniture can be a small part of stopping that cycle. We work very diligently to build pieces of furniture that you will enjoy looking at for a lifetime.
Yes but we are VERY diligent and VERY passionate about where our wood is sourced. The vast majority of wood that we purchase was grown in the United States. In addition to loving the look of domestic hardwoods, we build with it because as a country, the US is is setting a great example in responsible harvesting practices. We are planting more trees than we cut down and die of natural causes combined. Here are a few uplifting facts according to a study done by the US Forest resource in 2014:
We currently are only using one foreign hardwood called Black Limba. It is NOT listed as an endangered species by the Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or the International Union for Conservation of Nature. We really try to steer clear of using wood from outside of our country as deforestation is a massive problem.
The majority of countries where this occurs either have relaxed regulations or do not have the resources to police illegal logging. Below are just a few of the major lumber sources for global manufacturers, who produce the furniture that is sold in big box stores:
In case you are interested about why forests actually matter even if you are not a frequent visitor, click here to read more.
The short answer is China and the US. The long answer is….
A good chunk of China’s wood comes from, you guessed it... countries mentioned above with big deforestation problems! They source wood from plenty of other places, but it doesn’t take a genius to see that deforestation doesn’t seem to be a problem that is high on their list to solve.
The next important fact is that China is the world’s biggest furniture manufacturer, by a LONG SHOT. Annually, they produce 93 billion dollars worth of furniture goods. The next closest country is Germany who produces about $18 billion.
We are connected to all of this because the US is China’s biggest buyer of furniture products, coming in at a whopping 44%!
Global manufacturers are perpetually under pressure to produce products at lower price points and increased profits. That means finding cheaper (and often irresponsibly obtained) resources and making lower quality products.
Our handcrafted furniture is not cheap by any definition of the word. We know that and will not apologize. We work hard to make great furniture that will last. We work hard at educating people on the value of buying a lasting piece of furniture. We work hard to make sure that our lumber comes from places that are using the Earth’s resources wisely.
And we know you work hard. So go ahead…use that hard earned money of yours and buy something from us that you will love and feel great about!
Just for fun....some more of our amazing world as seen through the lens of my friend Will Rochfort. See more of his epic photos here
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Woodworking is a rewarding hobby, but it is not without its difficulties. We at Open Door Furniture have compiled a list of 23 things you need to know if you're just beginning your journey in woodworking. We hope that you can learn from some of our (and many others) early mistakes and flourish in your own ambitions as woodworkers.