This photo shows the elm and pecan wood from trees that were cut down during the construction of the new Seton Hospital/University of Texas Medical School as the wood has been meticulously stacked in a kiln to be dried for several weeks. Landers’ Studio was contracted by Seton (and their sub-contractor J.E. Dunn) to act as a consultant on drying the wood and advising on the best means to ultimately utilize and showcase this wood in the new building. Mark has been working on rough milling the wood and stacking it properly in the kiln at the same time as working on the Oak Library project mentioned earlier. Possible suggested usages for the wood has been for use in a lobby reception desk and also as elements of a wall design and liturgical furniture in the Seton chapel.
Acquiring the wood in this picture was the first step in our next project. A client came to us wanting oak library shelving units for his new home. He had a custom built-in library in his prior home that they had to leave behind with the family’s move. So he wanted to be sure their next custom library shelves were moveable and able to expand or contract to fit a space should the family have to move again.
The pictured carts of wood represent 450 board feet of rift-sawn white oak that will be stained to match a library table in that room. The wood is currently being milled to a little over an inch thick and glued into 15+ inch panels.
And so begins the process of turning the raw wood into a custom piece of furniture…..stay tuned as the project continues......
We label ourselves as “Landers’ Studio, fine custom furniture design and specialty millwork.” And sometimes it is the specialty millwork that brings us the most unusual projects. One time, a woman came to us with a broken wooden heel on a very expensive pair of Italian high heels. No common shoe repair shop had the capacity to recreate a new wooden heel to match her coveted shoes. So we restrained ourselves from saying, “Well, shoe repair is not really what we do……” and realized we were her only alternative. She walked away a very happy customer.
Similarly, we had a client with a Rolls Royce with the steering wheel on the right-hand side. The dashboard was a beautiful Carpathian Elm burl veneer. The client, of course, wanted the steering on the left-hand side for the States, but he did not want to lose the burl dashboard. We were able to locate a matching veneer and create a new dashboard, finishing it with the appropriate amount of sun-fade to match the rest of the car’s existing woodwork.
We like to think with Mark’s creativity, woodworking skills, and the tools at his disposal that there is very little he cannot do if he sets his mind to it. We will often tell a client with a challenging project, “We can do that!” When the client walks away, we may look at each other and say, “Now how are we going to do that??”
So we were unfazed when a client drove up in his 1928 Ford Traveler wanting to explore the possibility of making a whole new wooden box for the “Woody”. Mark and the client are now looking at various wood combinations to decide on the best visual effect and long-term resilience. We have never done this before….but WE CAN DO THAT!
We were recently commissioned to make 6 interior doors for a remodel by Austin builder, Scott Murray. Scott’s clients wanted the doors and cabinets to be as light in color as possible, so a two-step bleaching process was approved on an ash sample. The doors and moldings had to be constructed prior to going through this bleaching process. Four of the final doors of bleached ash have a stainless steel mesh panel and two of the doors have the steel mesh panel and a pane of tempered glass to make the doors more noise and dust-proof.
Kimberly Reeve, the Capitol reporter for the Austin Business Journal, wrote “If you have always wanted to own a piece of the Texas Capitol, look no further than a display of heritage oak products at the Capitol Gift Shop.” She explains to her readers how the hailstorm of 2008 caused $50 million in damages including the loss of many heritage oaks from the Capitol lawn.
The Texas State Preservation Board commissioned Landers’ Studio to create art objects and sculptures from the wood. Kimberly’s blog invites the reader to click on several photos of the sculpture collection now available in the Capital Gift Shop. The photo above is a sold sculpture titled, "Rain Over the Llano Estacado."
Over a year ago I was commissioned by the Texas State Preservation Board to create sculptures made of oak burl and stumpwood. The wood came from trees on the State Capitol grounds that were felled by a wind storm in 2008. The first group of sculptures is finally being released for sale today. And, literally, on sale! I am not sure what that says about my art.....