FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

How long have you been making this furniture?

We started making furniture in 1984 for ourselves and soon found we were asked to make it for others. We participate in juried art fairs during the summer. We also have furniture at our timber framed studio in rural Granite Falls, MN, which you can visit during our spring and fall open house, the Meander Studio Art Crawl or by appointment. We periodically teach timber framing and willow classes through the Milan Village Arts School and will also teach small groups by appointment at our studio.

What is the furniture made of?

The chairs are willow from the Minnesota River Valley. Willow grows in low wet areas. The table tops are generally white oak connected with black walnut butterfly joints. Some of the larger tables have ash or oak legs. We use sustainable harvesting practices in our woodlot and especially enjoy finding uses in our furniture for oddly grown and deformed trees that get thinned from timber stands.

When do you get the willow?

We harvest willow all year. The preferred time is late summer to early winter for several reasons. The sap is down and you are less likely to damage the bark, the weeds and bugs are also less bothersome at this point, and in cooler weather the bending pieces don’t dry out as quickly. We can cut large amounts late in the year to use through the winter.

How do you bend it?

The willow is very pliable when green and is bent before it dries out.

Will it last outside?

The majority of pieces are purchased for indoor use or in covered areas such as a porch or gazebo. Pieces left inside will last indefinitely. The standard finish is boiled linseed oil mixed with mineral spirits. If they were to be used in an outdoor area for extended periods of time we recommend adding an exterior spar urethane finish which can be sprayed onto the furniture annually to extend the life of the piece.