Restoration is a sentimental journey, based on trust. I am a product of the satisfaction I always try to give to my clients. I restore your precious memories by restoring the wooden furniture, heirlooms and treasured pieces that hold them. We are merely stewards and guardians of these wooden creations, carefully crafted at all stages, from choosing the type of wood, felling the trees, fashioning the lumber, and building the piece. I carefully and mindfully restore the item to its original state, guarding and adding to its value, through the process of minor to major repairs, using the correct materials and protocols, through the use of proper glues, appropriate stains, glazes, oil finishes, lacquer finishes, or French polish finishes, from initial pick up and assessment, to the final delivery back to you.
“It should be good for another 100 years!”
Growing up I was always surrounded by nature; we lived in a wooded rural setting, camped and backpacked in very remote areas, and I even asked for my wife's hand in marriage 40 years ago on the Sky Trail at Point Reyes National Seashore. I remember watching my mother with her passion for painting capturing landscapes featuring Redwood forests, old dilapidated barns, or the Pacific Ocean. I'm sure this is where I got my passion for the beauty of wood.
I began my career in wood by creating furnishings with, of course, only legal Redwood burl- coffee tables, two and three tiered tables, clocks, headboards and such. There was only so much I could do with burl. It was time for change. As luck would have it, my wife and I got a puppy, Seda, “white as snow”, who needed me to make a wooden home for her. I found a wooden crate at a Piano Organ store in Santa Rosa, CA. Outside was a gorgeous Redwood burl being worked on by the proprietor who turned out to be a third generation piano/fine finisher, classically trained, who was about to change my life.
When he slid open the huge doors to reveal his woodworking shop, I was completely captured and fascinated by the beauty of his work. His passion for his craft was evident and his careful, honest work ethic completely meshed with mine. We discovered we were kindred souls, sharing a love of wood, and the beauty of the grain and a passion for detail and appreciation of craftsmanship
He hired me that same day and changed my life. I worked with him for two years starting with disassembly and proper stripping of pianos, moving on to staining, paste filling, and applying a fine closed grain/glass-like finish. His teaching and tutoring instilled in me the fine art of finishing, and the importance of doing it right the first time, never cutting corners. I apprenticed on all of his jobs, branching out into restoration of many different pieces. He liked to go into the client’s home and see the piece where it “lived” and learn the history of it in the family; I carry on that tradition.
After the piano shop closed I was on my own and I opened my own shop on Yolanda Avenue in Santa Rosa in the late 1970's. It took some time to build a reputation for the quality of my work as it is typically a very time-consuming endeavor, and many shops out there do cut corners, actually doing more harm to the piece than good, leaving the unsuspecting customer unsatisfied. It is no easy feat to restore some of these pieces around to original working condition. I like to say "it should be good for another 100 years”. Generally the pieces that come through my doors have a long history with their owners so in turn it is can be a sentimental journey. My theory is this, if it's important to you, it’s equally important to me.
Restoration is not so much my job as it is my passion. I get a thrill at seeing a customer light up or sometimes shed a tear of joy at seeing their piece. I've even had a client deny the piece I'd restored for her was even hers. When I picked it up it was a pile of wood tied with string, and when I delivered it she said "Honey, whomever this belongs to is going to love it, but it's not mine!". Well it was hers and I'm sure the family is still enjoying it- their beautiful, restored mahogany trestle table.
I'm proud to have been trusted by these clients/friends to bring their heirlooms back to life-from Juan Peron's brass inlaid bed, to Major League Baseball bats and Kachina dolls, antiques and contemporary furniture, I have done them all. It is my passion.