L. Kent Merrill, Fine Furniture Makter
Kent Merrill, Fine Furniture Maker Kent Merrill designs and crafts his furniture to fully express the natural beauty of solid, personally selected Appalachian hardwoods such as cherry, walnut and maple. He is inspired by the work of the Shakers to let the beauty of the wood and the simple functionality of the design convey his message. His work has been exhibited at the Folk Art Center and the Grovewood Gallery in Asheville, NC and the 2004 "Best of Tennessee Crafts Exhibition" at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville. Most of his work is done on commission, and he looks forward to your inquiries.
Kent Merrill's Artist Statement Techniques: I use hand planes, chisels, scrapers, a spokeshave and a tenon saw, along with appropriate power tools to make furniture out of selected hardwood lumber. Most importantly, each piece is handcrafted with the Creator’s gifts and my love. Traditional joinery, such as hand cut dovetails, haunched mortise and tenons, sliding dovetails and stopped sliding dovetails, is used to maximize the strength of the furniture. With this extra care you can expect your heirloom to last for generations. Upon completion of each piece, I personally sign it with an inscription, the date and my name. Materials: I personally select solid, kiln or air-dried, Appalachian hardwoods for color and grain patterns. Wherever it is appropriate, I like to use rare, highly figured woods such as curly cherry. The differences in color and grain patterns assure that each item will be a unique, individually crafted piece of fine furniture. Finish: I do not use spray finishes. The extremely hard finish is composed of many hand-rubbed layers of a combination tung oil, linseed oil and resins, topped off with a thin coat of premium wax. It is resistant to damage from water, alcohol, heat and abrasions. I have been a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild since 2002. I can usually be found in my shop nestled in a hardwood forest overlooking the beautiful mountains outside of Jonesborough, TN. Visitors are welcome. Please call ahead. Finally,please be sure to visit the "Hands at Work" section in my photo gallery. I think you will enjoy the behind the scenes look at creating fine furniture.