Out of the Woodwork

Luxury play homes

Monday, 09 March 2009 17:26

When Stephen Chernicky of Finleyville, Pa., went looking for a high-quality playhouse for his daughter in the early 1990s, he couldn’t find one that would complement his backyard, so he built one himself — a Victorian-style mansion. After that, he built his nephews a firehouse. Word spread fast, and soon Chernicky had so many requests that he sold his construction business and established Lilliput Play Homes in 1995.



On a small scale

Written by Jennifer Hicks Thursday, 05 February 2009 15:58

Bill Studebaker of Round Hill, Va., custom designs and crafts scale houses and miniature furniture accessories, and also specializes in the restoration and repair of the items. The owner of Studebaker Miniatures emphasizes that, although his work is lighter and takes up less space than full-scale items, he still puts in a considerable amount of work.



Stairway to tools

Thursday, 05 February 2009 15:57

Stan Foster, owner of Stan’s Stair Shop in Paxton, Ill., emerged from more than 150 finish carpenters to win the DeWalt Top 17 Finish Carpenter Contest. Participants submitted a plan to build a project in one of three categories as a way to showcase their precision, craftsmanship and woodworking skills using DeWalt tools.



Sticking with it

Written by Jennifer Hicks Wednesday, 07 January 2009 20:43

Stanley Saperstein is a wood carver and furniture maker who runs Artisans of the Valley woodworking studio in Pennington, N.J. He pays the bills building period-style reproductions and custom built-ins, but fills his time on the side making custom wooden canes and walking staffs. Customers’ favorites include historic icons and animals, but he will cater to all requests. A recent commission describes the fun he has with the niche line of work where his clients, many of them senior citizens, want to express themselves.



Hail to the chair

Wednesday, 07 January 2009 20:39

With nearly two years of presidential campaign news finally behind us, many Americans are still recovering from political overload. But for one small group of furniture makers and distributors, there is actually a benefit to the presidential election that rolls around every four years — an increase in publicity and business. Even during this year’s campaign when the main issue was the poor economy, presidential furniture reproductions grew in popularity.



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