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American Vernacular: Furniture with History, Handmade in the Catskills

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American Vernacular: Furniture with History, Handmade in the Catskills

September 6, 2018

If Brian Persico’s handmade wooden furniture looks more antique Shaker than newly crafted, it’s intentional. At his studio in the Catskills (near where he grew up), Persico draws from the visual vernacular of American furniture, and sources materials locally—to the extreme. “The wood I use is often from less than 20 miles of my home,” he says. “My finishes and glues are also made with natural ingredients—many of them re-created according to recipes I’ve discovered from times before most of the toxic chemicals available today were available, some even as far back as the sixteenth century.” The pins that hold together chairs are carved from antlers scattered in the woods around his home. Take a look at a few of his offerings, each one-of-a-kind, made by hand, and customizable.

Photography via Brian Persico.

the windham sofa is &#8\2\20;inspired by traditional ladder back chairs an 9
Above: The Windham Sofa is “inspired by traditional ladder-back chairs and finished entirely with hand tools,” plus tiny pins carved out of antlers. The cotton cushion is handwoven by Persico’s wife and frequent collaborator, Hannah Haworth of Handa textiles. The sofa shown is made from American walnut, but it’s also available in cherry, white ash, and Osage orange woods.

Above: Two of Persico’s mirrors: the Oval Cove Mirror (at left) and Cove Mirror (at right).

the windham armchair, with cushions by handa. 12
Above: The Windham Armchair, with cushions by Handa.

Above: Details of the Windham Armchair, with the tiny antler-pin detailing (left) and a woven seat (right).

the risso hutch, shown with a milk paint finish, has dovetail joinery, leather 15
Above: The Risso Hutch, shown with a milk paint finish, has dovetail joinery, leather pulls, and a wood toggle to close the bottom cabinets.
the manago table is the most petite of persico&#8\2\17;s four dining table 16
Above: The Manago Table is the most petite of Persico’s four dining tables, shown here in a natural oil finish. (There’s one already made and available in Persico’s shop: It’s carved from a “one of a kind, extremely rare piece of wood that was recovered from an 18th-century Japanese home;” it’s $4,100).
an old fashioned bread box is &#8\2\20;designed to keep groceries fresh fo 17
Above: An old-fashioned Bread Box is “designed to keep groceries fresh for longer.”
persico&#8\2\17;s arch bench (see also: the arch dining table). 18
Above: Persico’s Arch Bench (see also: the Arch Dining Table).
the stately fin armoire. 19
Above: The stately Fin Armoire.
a detail of the hand cut joinery and brass pulls on the fin dresser. 20
Above: A detail of the hand-cut joinery and brass pulls on the Fin Dresser.
Go to Persico’s online shop for more wares, already made. Select wares are also available via March.

More makers and artisans from upstate New York:

Product summary  Item 7 151Item 8 152

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