After 30+ years of service, our family’s honey oak pedestal table is finally being retired. It was a good, solid everyday table that entertained conversation, held laundry, and lots of people. It has been a sturdy and functional table that has followed us to six homes. It was nice, but as the varnish has worn off over the decades, it was a table that we didn’t think much about.
If you look under the table and chairs, you’ll see “Made in Yugoslavia” stamped as the country of origin that no longer exists. It was a product made in a furniture factory a long way away. The only connection we have to it is the stories we’ve told around it as family and friends. But it doesn’t look or feel like art and doesn’t evoke an emotion the way art does.
In looking at a new table, we’ve come across hand-crafted tables and chairs made by traditional, hand-crafted Amish communities in the Central and Eastern US. It’s my first time really looking at this as more than a piece of expensive furniture. Now I see it as functional art.
The people, purpose, and process behind each piece of wood that goes into this work feels and looks like art. The more I leaned in and learned about the people and the story, the more I began to feel a personal connection to their custom art. Heirloom quality is more than a tagline, it describes how the wood wraps around me and holds me off the floor with care as the craftsman intended.
I realized my work feels like art because it too is hand crafted from the heart. We wrap our service and our verbal or written words around our clients with care as our team intended. It’s the human touch that reminds our clients this didn’t just come off a production line. Our name is on it with a touch of love.
Life is a team sport. How are you and your team making art with heart?