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Rustic Furniture by Steve Ellis




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Rustic Furniture by Steve Ellis

Charles Stephen Ellis III (Steve), a 4th generation Savannahian, lived in Brasstown, North Carolina during the early 1990’s. Brasstown is home of the John C. Campbell Folk School, founded in 1925 to preserve and teach the performing arts, agriculture and many crafts rooted in the traditions of Southern Appalachia. A long time lover of the outdoors, Steve was particularly charmed by the twig furniture of the region and started experimenting with bending wood and making basic rustic chairs. He is entirely self-taught and has learned through trial and many errors!

The smell of the salt marsh lured Steve back to Savannah in 1994 and he has been cutting and bending willow, birch, hickory and cedar since his return. Drawn to the woodlands of the Low Country, he spends many hours each month searching for not only the proper types of wood, but also just the right sizes and growth characteristics necessary for the pieces that he has already built in his mind’s eye. After cutting the various types of wood, the framing pieces (pieces which will not be bent) go throught a weeklong curing process in a kiln. Fresh or “green” willow is bent and attached to the frames. Finished pieces also spend a few days in the kiln to dry out; the furniture is then either finished with a traditional mixture of linseed oil and turpentine or occasionally painted.


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