Wood looking good in 2011?

New Year’s articles charting trends for the coming year are common, and I’ve already read several. One portends good things for those of us working in wood.

Adam Tschorn, a columnist with the Los Angeles Times, wrote an interesting piece noting several new trends for last year that he expects to continue in 2011. Among them was an increased use of wood in items not typically associated with the material.

For example, Tschorn cited some gorgeous radios being made by Magno with wooden cabinets in pine, mahogany and other species. A company called WeWood is turning out some extremely beautiful wristwatches in a variety of hardwoods, both the watch housing and the band. Jonas Damon is selling flashlights and iPod enclosures in wood.

To quote Tschorn’s prediction, “…look for the warm glow of wood – even if it’s just wrapped around the edges of our computer screens or our eyeglass frames – being used to help conjure up a sense of connecting with nature.”

Of course, the items Tschorn notes in his article are all kind of trendy things and the wood use is primarily for accents and not major construction, but they’re all targeted to – and appealing to – buyers who like the look of wood and who like to connect with nature. (Whatever that means in today’s world.) With that in mind, it’s not that big of a stretch to assume that these same buyers with disposable income to spend on trendy wooden items would like the look of wood in other items. Namely, I can see them wanting furniture, cabinetry and other major pieces crafted in solid wood surrounding them in their homes.

If they really want to connect with nature by bringing wood into their lives, I can’t think of a better way.

Till next time,

A.J.

COMMENTS

  1. Lonnie C. Major wrote:

    As a woodworker with artistic flair, I am hoping that this is something that will continue. I have found that people like the look of wood when it is well done. Whether they are willing to pay a good price for it is another matter. Since I am into making small pieces from exotic types of hardwood, it would be great to know that there is a fairly good market on which I can sell my products.

  2. Bill Golden wrote:

    Look Great, BUT! In 2008 George Bush signed into law one of the most screwed up things congress has come up with in a while. It’s called the CPSIA. That stands for the Commencer Protection & Safety Improvement Act. The basic idea is not bad. It’s a knee jerk law because of the Chinese toys with lead paint imported in the Christmas 2007 season. What the law says is that no product intended for children under 12 years old can have more than 300 PPM My toys din’t have any lead in them, but the law also included this little goodie that shut me & a lot of other handmade toy makers out of business. This absence of lead MUST be certified by a 3rd. party lab. This certification costs between $500 & $2,000 per toy per run. Us one man shops can’t afford the cost. We’re out of business.

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