The Artisan - Keith Keyser
I got my inspiration for working with wood from watching Roy Underhill’s Woodwright’s Shop on PBS in the early 1980s. I gradually accumulated hand tools from antique shops and flea markets and experimented with their uses. When I began practicing homesteading skills on three wooded acres in Eastern Washington, I found an opportunity to hone some woodworking skills making fences, a root cellar and outbuildings from logs cut on site. Much later my attentions turned to finished, rustic wood furniture and I integrated yet more tools and techniques into my repertoire.
Like myself, the wood used in each of my pieces has a history. Unlike most carpentry jobs today, I typically know the exact location of the woods I use and a bit about the people who owned the trees before they became furniture. For instance, the walnut found in the headboard, tete-e-tete and bench featured in this website is from a tree that once stood on rural waterfront property in south Puget Sound. Three generations of one family had enjoyed its shade for family gatherings before it died. I felled the tree after it had been dead for two years, leaving its stump high as a "table" for future family picnics.
Preferring the natural, unspoiled lines and character of unprocessed wood, I don’t typically work with milled lumber. When a local senior requested I design a memorial piece out of wood bequeathed from her deceased mother, I made an exception. Actually, the red alder from my client’s mother ended up in her host chair as well as the ottoman and bench featured in this website. Another commissioned piece now sits in a special outdoor meditation area my client created in her forested backyard. She feels strongly that her mother’s legacy lives on in the furniture I made from those red alder trees.
I remain committed to utilizing sustainably harvested, salvaged and reclaimed wood in my business. My customers can feel good about purchasing one of my pieces as I have a deep respect for the wood and those who practice responsible land stewardship.
I have a large supply of branches and small logs awaiting selection for a role in future rustic wood furniture. Over time, as I look at each unique branch on a regular basis, I grow more familiar with it and its properties until I get an inspiration for its ideal application in a piece of furniture. I look forward to the opportunity of crafting a unique heirloom-quality creation that suits your taste or passion.