Heart fashioned in wood

I caught up with Martin Edwards outside his studio/shop at 4094 Helena Road cleaning his paintbrushes and ventured inside to see just what he was up to.

In the back, his shop area is wall-to-wall tools of the trade and stacks of wood that he has accumulated with future projects in mind. Up front he’s displayed some very handsome examples of his handcrafted wood furniture.

Martin has many years of construction, home framing and building experience, which he is now channeling into a more personal passion – heirloom furniture using time-honored construction techniques.

“I did not pick this line of work, it picked me,” he says. “It is something inside me that wants to be expressed. Some days I am zombie-like, existing only to eat, sleep and heed the daily call to work with the wood.”

An elegant cherry armoire with dovetailed joints stands in one corner across from a mirrored walnut dresser and stool. One must get closer to the dresser to appreciate the retro-antique styling and detailing.

“My grandfather had a small shop that I remember from childhood and the smell of hardwood always takes me back there again. He would say, quoting Keats, a thing of beauty is a joy forever,” muses Martin. “This is what I think about when I am spending hours and hours shaping, sanding and staining. I started out making pieces for my granddaughter because I want her to be able to tell her kids when she is very old, this was made by your great-grandfather.”

A Queen-Anne style side table is in progress in mahogany, Martin’s favorite wood. Also underway is a clean-lined child’s work desk/organization center and he plans to experiment with designing toy boxes using very brightly stained woods in primary colors.

Also on display are turned bowls and vessels striped with purple heartwood and pine. Boxes appropriate for jewelry in a variety of shapes and woods, a blanket chest or a classic wooden rocking horse would make fine gifts. Martin welcomes custom-orders as well.