Monday, February 14, 2011

Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Conference

Since 2003, we've been hearing about the annual arts & crafts conference at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina.  Set in late February, this is said to be a great event for arts & crafts collectors, designers, experts, and artisans.  The conference takes place at the historic Grove Park Inn, in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Workshops include block printing, stenciling, finishing, decorating tiles and vases, metal-smithing, etc.  

Unfortunately, once again, we're going to miss it this year.  

For more information see


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Finding a Sofa, Part II

We didn’t want to buy an antique sofa.  So, we set out to find the perfect sofa to go into our old bungalow.

It took a long time.  But we found it – at Berkeley Mills.

Berkeley Mills is an amazing operation.  Their showroom and workshops are in Berkeley, California.  The owners LOVE their work and their craft.  They take pride in their furniture, and it shows – you can frequently find at least one of them on the showroom floor on the weekend.  Their enthusiasm is infectious.

That is actually a bit dangerous because Berkeley Mills Arts & Crafts furniture is (as you can see from their website) REALLY EXPENSIVE.  And this isn’t the sort of stuff that goes on clearance. 

That said, sometimes you get what you pay for.  That’s true with this outfit.  Their furniture is custom made to order.  You pick the style, the wood, and the upholstery.  You can see it in the workshop as they build it (if you want).  And again, it is all done locally – this isn’t stuff built abroad and sent here in a container ship.      

If I won the lottery, I’d buy all my furniture at Berkeley Mills.  Seriously.  Since we haven’t won the lottery, however, we just splurged for a sofa.